D.A.S. Audio Variant System
Bob Owens reviews the D.A.S. Audio Variant System
Bob Owens is president and systems designer of Owens AV Design in Orlando, Fla. Owens AV Design specializes in sound, video, and lighting for entertainment venues and houses of worship.
MY PICK: D.A.S. Audio Variant Speaker System
LIST PRICE: Variant 112a Powered Full-Range Speaker, $2,950; Variant 118a Powered Sub, $2,995
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT IT: The system has multiple characteristics that we needed for our projects. First, it's powered. It's also small but still uses a 12-inch woofer for low frequency, and it gives us more vertical coverage (15 degrees) from each box than most other line array elements. We like that it's available in white or black, and it's easy to rig—the D.A.S. integral hardware is way cool. Equally important: the system is very affordable and sounds great.
WHAT I WOULD CHANGE: If we could ask for anything, the systems could have included some gain controls on the amp. We set all gains from the system processor in our installation. In addition, the speaker included some factory EQ presets for use in different configurations, but we noted certain settings that we didn't agree with the factory on. Still, that didn't affect the end result.
Frequency range (-10 dB): 63 Hz–8 kHz
Amplifier power: 500W LF/100W HF
Rated peak SPL at 1m: 128 dB
Dispersion: 90 degrees horizontal x 15 degrees vertical
AC requirements: 115V, 50 Hz/60 Hz; 230V, 50 Hz/60 Hz
Dimensions (H x W x D): 12.7 x 22.6 x 15.7 inches
Weight: 77 pounds
WHERE I USED IT: Mid-Way Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C., a 1,200-seat, fan-shaped room with a balcony. We installed a 19-box system in July 2008.
MY RESULTS: The room really needed wide line array coverage, and the Variant can be a 12- to 15-degree box for vertical dispersion, which was important because we needed to cover the sanctuary vertically and horizontally. The balcony had longer throw volume requirements, so we wanted separate control for the self-powered enclosures to customize the sound there while aiming at the floor below.
The package had to be small enough and aesthetically pleasing. They wanted white enclosures that would blend in with the room and not get in the way of projectors or screens. The Variant system addressed these requirements.