Line ArraysThe line array concept has been around since the late 1950s, though for more than 35 years, the systems were column arrays, primarily for vocal reproduction in installed systems. 10/02/2013 11:05 AM Eastern
Oct 2, 2013 3:05 PM, With Mark Johnson
The line array concept has been around since the late 1950s, though for more than 35 years, the systems were column arrays, primarily for vocal reproduction in installed systems. It wasn’t until the mid 1990s that line array systems were developed for large-scale, full-range, high-performance touring loudspeaker systems. Now, they’re commonplace in touring, as well as installations, and the systems come in all shapes and sizes for a multitude of applications. We’ll be looking at a mixed bag of implementations representative of the diversity of available products. As such, there will be examples of column arrays as well as modular systems.
Adamson’s Metrix W-i is a compact, two-way line source array incorporating EIR (Enclosed Installation Rigging) for installation applications. The system comprises an Adamson ND8-ML Kevlar neodymium low-mid driver and a B&C DE800 1.4in. compression driver mounted on a high-frequency wave-shaping chamber. Horizontal coverage is 120 degrees and vertical coverage is 90 degrees with a peak SPL of 132.5dB. The frequency response is 95Hz to 18kHz.
Intended for portable and permanent installations, Alcons Audio’s LR16 features the RBN601 6in. pro-ribbon, high-frequency driver on a “morpher” wave guide and two 8in. AMB8 low-frequency drivers, which provide a frequency response of 70Hz to 20,000Hz. A single element provides a 90-degree horizontal by 40-degree vertical coverage pattern. The high-frequency horn revolves allowing application in a line array system or as a standalone loudspeaker.
A-Line Acoustics’ AL123A-B is a powered, three-way line array system with two 12in. low-frequency drivers, four 6in. midrange drivers and two 1.4in. high-frequency drivers. The system is powered by 3600W for a maximum SPL of 136dB. The frequency response is 70Hz–18 kHz. The system utilizes A-Line’s EZAL rigging system.
Bogen’s SCW35 Sound Column comprises six 6in. full-range drivers and provides a maximum SPL of 105dB and a frequency response of 70Hz to 18,0000Hz. The vertical coverage is 25 degrees and the horizontal coverage is 120 degrees.
Designed for fixed installations, Bose RoomMatch modules come in a vast array of coverage pattern combinations (five vertical and four horizontal coverage pattern choices), which are incorporated to form Progressive Directivity Arrays. The coverage and directivity of each module is selected to optimize room coverage and system efficiency. All modules provide a frequency response of 60 Hz to 16 kHz.
The i-3 from Clair Global is intended for small to midsized applications or as fill as part of a larger system. The centrally located mid/high section provides 140-degree horizontal by 10-degree vertical coverage. Integrated rigging hardware allows for 0 to 10 degrees adjustability.
For indoor and outdoor applications, the all-weather Community Professional ENT200 two-way compact column array loudspeaker features selectable low impedance or 70V/100V operation. The frequency response is 80Hz to 22kHz and the maximum SPL is 130dB from 20, 80mm long excursion Mylar drivers and four, three element Compact Ribbon Emulators. The horizontal coverage is 140 degrees and the vertical coverage is 15 degrees.
d&b audiotechnik’s Qi1 is the installation version of the Q1 line array loudspeaker comprising a passive two-way design that houses two 10in. low-frequency drivers and one 1.3in. high-frequency compression driver mounted to a toroidal waveshaping device. The coverage is 75 degrees horizontal by 15 degrees vertical. The frequency response is 60Hz to 17kHz, and the maximum SPL is 139dB with the D 12 amplifier. Four M10 threaded inserts on each side panel of the cabinet enclosure are provided for attaching installation hardware.
The Convert 12A from D.A.S. Audio is a powered, two-way curved source array unit. A two-channel Class D power amplifier provides 550W low frequency and 220W for high frequency. The frequency range is 63Hz to 18kHz with a rated maximum peak SPL of 128dB. Horizontal coverage is 90 degrees and vertical coverage is 15 degrees. The Convert 12A includes a pole-mount socket with variable inclination for use as a satellite unit in combination with subwoofers.
Oct 2, 2013 3:05 PM, With Mark Johnson
dB Technologies’ active, three-way DVA T8 line array module provides a frequency response of 66Hz to 18,000Hz and a maximum SPL of 132dB. Two 1in. high-frequency drivers provide 100-degree horizontal by 15-degree vertical coverage. The system also incorporates a 6.5in. mid driver and an 8in. low-frequency driver. The convection-cooled class D amplifier provides 350W, low frequency, 175W mid frequency, and 175W high frequency.
One of the offerings from Duran Audio’s AXYS Target range, the self-powered Target U-16 mid/high unit, features a frequency range of 160Hz to 20kHz and a maximum continuous SPL of 123dB. The coverage is 90 degrees horizontal and vertical. The driver complement consists of a 1in. neodymium compression driver mounted on a vertical slot diffraction horn, and two 6.5in. low/mid drivers.
The DSA250z from EAW is a two-way, full-range digitally steerable array with integral signal processing and amplification. Each of the eight 4in. cone low-frequency, and eight 1in. dome high-frequency transducers has dedicated DSP and amplification to facilitate the adjustable vertical coverage pattern. Horizontal coverage is 120 degrees. The frequency range is 78Hz to 15kHz.
The XLCi 127DVX is an adaptation of Electro-Voice’s XLC line intended for permanent installation. The system features a frequency response of 65Hz to 16,000Hz and a horizontal coverage of 120 degrees. The three-way system incorporates one 12in. DVX3121A low-frequency driver, two 6.5in. DVN2065 mid-frequency drivers, and two 3in.ND6-16 high-frequency drivers. The maximum peak SPL is 130dB.
JBL’s VLA (Variable Line Array) Series features the VLA901 three-way, full-range loudspeaker. The system comprises two 15in. low-frequency drivers, two 8in. cone midrange compression drivers, and three 1.5in. exit compression high-frequency drivers producing a maximum SPL of 131dB (LF), 134dB (MF), and 139dB (HF). The frequency range is 42Hz to 15kHz and the horizontal coverage is 90 degrees.
The K-Array KH4 uses 12 8in. low/mid cone drivers and five 1.75in. voice coil compression drivers mounted in an aluminum enclosure. The horizontal coverage is 120 degrees and the vertical coverage is variable from 7 degrees (line array applications) to 37 degrees (single speaker systems). The maximum SPL is 139dB peak and the frequency range is 80Hz to 20kHz. Eight channels of integral DSP controlled Class D amplifiers provide 500W per channel.
The KARA modular WST line source from L-Acoustics is a two-way, biamplified system that comprises two 8in. neodymium low-frequency drivers and a 3in. neodymium driver coupled to a DOSC waveguide. The useable bandwidth is 55Hz to 20kHz and the nominal horizontal directivity is 110 degrees symmetrical. The maximum SPL is 139dB. The rigging system allows the suspension of up to 24 modules in a single array.
The Mackie HDA arrayable powered loudspeaker incorporates 1200W of Class D Fast Recovery amplification, a 12in. neodymium woofer with a 3in. voice coil and dual 1.7in. compression high-frequency drivers. The frequency response is 57Hz to 20kHz; the calculated maximum peak SPL is 134dB. Array coverage is 110 degrees horizontal and the vertical coverage is between 20 and 80 degrees (averaged) depending on array configuration.
Oct 2, 2013 3:05 PM, With Mark Johnson
Martin Audio’s MLA Compact system features five dedicated Class D amplifier channels per enclosure powering a three-way configuration comprising two slot loaded 10in. woofers, two 5in. neodymium midrange drivers, and four high-frequency 0.7 exit neodymium compression drivers. The frequency response is 65Hz to 18kHz and the maximum peak SPL is 135dB. The horizontal coverage pattern is 130 degrees.
McCauley Sound’s IN.LINE two-way full range system for installation features three modules with 60-, 90-, and 120-degree coverage, respectively. The N90 uses two 8.8in. drivers for low and mid frequencies and a 1in. exit high-frequency driver. Horizontal coverage is 90 degrees for the N90 module and the frequency response is 60Hz to 18kHz.
MINA compact curvilinear array loudspeaker from Meyer Sound comprises two 6.5in. cone drivers and one 3in. compression driver mounted on an acoustical manifold, which is coupled to a 100-degree horizontal coverage constant directivity horn. An onboard 3-channel Class D amplifier provides 1950W total peak output. The maximum peak SPL is 128dB and the operating frequency range is 66Hz to 18kHz.
Nexo’s STM system injection-molded enclosures is just one of the things that make it unique. STM stands for “Scale Through Modularity,” and STM is eminently modular and scalable. The STM M46 Main Module features the injection-molded cabinet loaded with four 6.5in. low/mid-frequency drivers and four 2.5in. voice coil compression high-frequency drivers. Designed to accompany the STM B112 Bass Module, the frequency response is 85Hz to 19kHz and the nominal peak SPL is 145dB.
The Outline Eidos 265 features a 100-degree horizontal coverage pattern and is comprised of two 6.5in. mid-woofers and a 1.4in. throat-exit compression driver mounted on a waveguide. The maximum peak SPL is 128dB and the frequency response s 63Hz to 20kHz. The system utilizes an internal passive crossover and designed for single amplifier channel operation.
The Architectural Acoustics Versarray 112 MKII ribbon driver line-source array module from Peavey incorporates a 12in. Neo Black Widow woofer in combination with a neodymium-based Peavey RD 1.6 ribbon driver. The system offers 90-degree horizontal coverage and 15-degree vertical coverage.
The ILA (Installation Line Array) System v2 from QSC features the WL2082-I element loaded with two 8in. low-frequency drivers and two 1.75in. voice coil neodymium compression drivers. Both 8in. drivers work in tandem to produce low frequencies, however only one is used for midrange. The three-way system can be bi- or tri-amped. Horizontal coverage is 140 degrees. The frequency range is 68Hz to 22kHz and the maximum peak output is 132dB for the high-frequency section and 128dB for the low-frequency section.
From Renkus-Heinz comes the VARIA modular point source array systems with dual 1in. high-frequency drivers and a 10in. woofer. The self-powered VA101 integrates the Renkus-Heinz PF2-500R Class D digital biamplifier. Available in three basic models with 90-degree (standard), 60-degree, and 120-degree horizontal coverage, the maximum peak SPL is 126dB with a frequency range of 60Hz to 20kHz.
Italian manufacturer RCF’s TL55-A active three-way, line array module achieves a maximum SPL of 143dB and a frequency response of 50Hz to 20kHz from a total of six transducers comprising three 1.5in. voice coil compression drivers, two 12in. woofers, and one 10in. midrange driver. The horizontal coverage is 90 degrees. Four integrated digital amplifiers power the system two 1000W amps for the lows, one 1000W amp for the mids, and a 500W amp for the highs.
SLS Audio’s LS8800-I incorporates a PRD1000 planar ribbon transducer for the high frequencies while two 8in. drivers cover the mid and bass frequencies. The overall frequency response is 72 Hz to 20,000 Hz. The maximum calculated peak SPL is 131 db for the low frequencies and 129 dB for the highs. The horizontal coverage is 110 degrees. The “I” version utilizes a barrier strip for amplifier input to the loudspeaker.
TOA’s SR-A12L incorporates a 12in. low-frequency driver and two high-frequency compression drivers coupled to a horn that features a proprietary phase front wave control throat. The frequency response is 50Hz to 20,000Hz. The horizontal coverage is 90 degrees. The SR-A12L provides 5 degrees of vertical coverage while the SR-A12S provides 15 degrees of vertical coverage. Waterproof versions of both models are available.
The True Vision BT-1200 system includes five enclosures (four mid/high enclosures and one subwoofer). The mid/high enclosures incorporate dual 6.5in. mid-frequency drivers and a 1.5in. high-frequency driver. The low-frequency enclosure comprises a single horn loaded 15in. driver. The total system response is 45Hz to 20kHz and the maximum SPL is 130dB. Coverage is 120 degrees horizontal and 40 degrees vertical per array. A self-powered version is optionally available.
VTC Pro Audio’s Elevation Series EL210, designed and manufactured by Yorkville Sound, is available in a fixed installation version (EL210i). The transducer complement includes two 1.75in. annular polyester diaphragm high-frequency drivers and two 10in. neodymium woofers. The calculated SPL is 135 for the high frequencies and 128 for the lows. The frequency response is 55Hz to 20kHz and the coverage is 90 degrees horizontal by 10 degrees vertical.
Relative newcomer Vue Audiotechnik manufactures the al-8 compact line array system, which incorporates two 8in. low-frequency drivers, four 4in. mid-frequency drivers, and one 1in. exit Pure Truextent beryllium diaphragm high-frequency driver. The calculated maximum peak SPL is136dB and the frequency range is 50Hz to 26kHz. Coverage is 90 degrees horizontal by 10 degrees vertical.
WorxAudio Technologies’ TrueLine V5 Micro Line Array provides a frequency response of 65Hz to 18kHz and a maximum SPL of 122 dB from a driver complement of two 5in. low-frequency transducers and one 1in. exit high-frequency transducer. The horizontal coverage is 120 degrees and the vertical coverage is 10 degrees.
Yorkville Sound’s Paraline series PSA1 incorporates patented Paraline horn lens technology coupled to two 1in. exit compression drivers and four 6in. neodymium woofers. The maximum SPL is 128dB peak and the frequency response is 75Hz to 20,000Hz. The coverage is 110 degress horizontal by 15 degrees vertical. The system is powered by a two-tier 200W (peak) Class H amplifier for the highs and a 1000W (peak) Class D amplifier for the lows.