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Tech Roundup: Line Arrays 2019

19 of the top professional line array options for AV

Hanging out above a wide stage, a big line array can be as impressive in sight as well as sound. Physically-adjustable throw and dispersion offer the versatility needed for venues with adjustable seating or challenging acoustics. With appropriate installation tuning and the right front of house DSP, a line array can deliver amazing sound quality. Here are some of the current features and innovations from the engineers and designers of these critical products.

adamson line array1. Adamson E15
This array has been receiving recognition in the touring market this year, traveling on some high profile tours and picking up industry awards. The E15 is a three-way, true line source enclosure incorporating proprietary transducer and waveguide technology to reduce the cabinet’s weight and overall footprint. The core is the aluminum E-Capsule; its patent-pending skeletal structure provides an accurate and rigid frame for mounting the modular aircraft-grade steel Autolock rigging system, while simultaneously housing a series of efficient mid-high components coaxially mounted on Adamson’s Co-Linear Drive Modules.

2. Alcons LR18/120
Last month, Alcons announced the launch of this three-way format line-source sound system, combining a 120-degree wide dispersion sound quality with SPL capabilities and throw. The LR18/120 features power handling of 1500W with an RMS-to-peak power handling ratio of 1:15. A horn-loaded 6.5-in midrange transducer is included, coaxially mounted behind the HF driver with the LF section consisting of two reflex-loaded 8-in woofers with 3-in voice-coil Neodymium motor structure. System drive is provided by two channels (bi-amp) of the Sentinel amplified loudspeaker controller, featuring LR18 specific drive processing and feedback for each array configuration, with new presets including “VHIR processing” to allow for phase-matching with any Alcons system. Signal integrity sensing prewiring is included, allowing for cable/connector compensation between the LR18/120 and ALC. The rigging system also allows users to enable angle-setting on the cabinets without lifting the array, with a working load limit of 24 cabinets under 10:1 safety.

bose line array3. Bose ShowMatch DeltaQ SM20
These full-range array modules allow precise alignment for custom tailored sound coverage with its 20-degree nominal vertical angle and its field changeable waveguides for 70 or 100-degree horizontal dispersion (optional 120-degree). For odd shaped rooms or unusual seating layouts, one waveguide can be changed for asymmetrical horizontal coverage patterns. These 2-way modules provide a frequency range from 59Hz to 18kHz using an external 2-channel amplifier. Each unit is composed of four Bose EMB2S compression drivers and two 8in. neodymium high-power woofers to produce output as high as 145 dB SPL. Up to 24 modules can be stacked using 3-point “quick pin” rigging. Long term LF power handling is 400W while HF power handling is rated at 100W (1800W peak).

clair line array4. Clair Brothers C-Series
At InfoComm, Clair Brothers introduced a custom configured variable waveguide 10-inch option to it’s C-Series, the C10-TrueFit (the TrueFit option was already available in the 8-inch and 12-inch line arrays in the C-series as well as in the 12-inch curved arrays). TrueFit waveguides are custom-configured, continuously variable waveguides and designed to order. The idea is to reduce energy wasted on walls, and to extend the stereo image over a greater audience area. A TrueFit array is designed collaboratively with the customer, utilizing proprietary progressive azimuth design software that yields a fluid-form waveguide with continuously variable geometry. Finished waveguides are CNC-milled in-house. Clair’s C-series speakers introduced new transducer and digital beam-steering technology. Clair Bros. describes the C10 as the only 15° vertical, dual 10” format line array available with Clair TrueFit technology. The C10 is available with a variety of horizontal waveguide patterns. Standard waveguide is 110°H x 15°V, with horizontal waveguides 70°-to-120° (10° increments) also available. The C10, like the C12 and C8 (the 12-inch and 8-inch speakers in the C Series), features new transducer technology offering significant weight reduction and reduced amplifier channel requirements.

d&b line array5. d&b audiotechnik KSL
A new addition to d&b’s family of line array products is the KSL System; its got the same broadband directivity, low frequency extension and advanced rigging options of the larger GSL line. The KSL8 provides 80-degree horizontal dispersion while the KSL12 has 120-degree coverage. They use twin, front aligned 10in. drivers along with two side firing 8in. drivers to allow carefully controlled directivity from the whole unit. For the mid-range it has an 8in. horn with an 8in. driver and the HF section is a pair of 3in. voice coil drivers mounted in a wave shaping device. The subs in this line, the SL-SUB (flown) and SLGSUB (ground), are equipped with two forward facing 21in. drivers and a single, rear facing 21in. driver that extend the LF response down to 30Hz.

6. DAS Audio AERO-20.120A
This two-way powered line array from DAS Audio features the AX rigging system and low-profile fly-bar that reduces the space needed between the upper rigging point and the top of the array. For low and mid-range coverage there is a 12in. 12AN4 DAS speaker incorporating a light aluminum voice coil bonded to a new fiberglass reinforced cone. On the HF side, there is the M-75N compression driver, titanium diaphragm and 3in. voice coil. This is attached to an aluminum waveguide with 120-degree horizontal coverage. The whole enclosure is constructed using birch plywood and finished with the ISO-flex coating. The low frequency amplifier outputs 800W continuous power while the HF amp has 400W. The unit uses top of the line AD/ DA converters and remote monitoring and control is provided by way of DASnet.

EAW line array7. EAW KF810P
This compact installation line array from EAW incorporates many key features desirable for installation units including black or white finish, hidden wiring, concealed 3-point rigging and a weather option. The module is composed of twin HF compression drivers with 3in. voice coils along with four 5in. MF drivers and two 3in. voice coil 10in. LF drivers. The integrated horn brings all these elements together using Concentric Summation Array (CSA) technology to output up to 145dB SPL. With CSA, multiple subsystems sum coherently, without interruption to either HF or MF wavefronts. There is an option for 80 or 120-degree horizontal dispersion. The unit is equipped with bi-amp LF, MF/HF amplification and tuned spacing of LF components for extended LF pattern control. Dynamic Optimization actively tracks input spectrum and power delivery, continually maximizing output and fidelity at any drive level.

JBL line array8. JBL VLA901i
This three-way full range loudspeaker for line array installation has two JBL 2265H, 15in. diameter, dual 3in diameter voice coil, neodymium LF drivers. The midrange is handled by twin JBL 2169H 8in. diameter, dual 3in diameter voice coil drivers while the highs are produced by three JBL 2432H 1.5in. exit compression drivers. The enclosure is made of exterior grade Baltic birch plywood with gray or black DuraFlex finish and there is also a fiberglass finish available in optional colors. The grille is powder coated 14 gauge perforated steel, zinc-phosphate dipped with an acoustically transparent foam backing. Each unit has a barrier strip input for #6 spade lug connectors and a cover plate. There are 16 M10-threaded suspension attachment points and each cabinet weighs just over 200lbs.

9. L’Acoustics Kiva II
This ultra-compact modular WST line source from L-Acoustics is designed to allow long throw coverage in environments demanding a low visual profile. Each unit contains two 6.5in. speakers in a bass-reflex cabinet and a 1.75in. diaphragm compression driver loaded by a DOSC waveguide and L-Fins. With the LA Series power units, a number of powering options are possible. Each unit’s frequency range is 70Hz to 20kHz. The coverage angle is 100 degrees horizontal and the maximum inter-element angle is 15 degrees. Kiva II can be flown as a standalone system or with the SB15m. Under-balcony, pole-mount and pullback arrangements are also possible.

Martin Audio line array10. Martin Audio WPS
This popular compact line array is for small and medium touring applications as well as permanent installation, WPS uses external dedicated multi-channel Class D amplification along with Martin Audio’s DISPLAY system prediction and optimization software. Its integral three-point flying system can hold up to 16 enclosures and the WPS can serve on its own or act as coverage augmentation for larger systems. Each module has two 8in. LF drivers, four 4in. mid-range drivers and four 1in. exit HF compression drivers loaded by an HF horn which covers the full width of the enclosure. The horizontal high and mid-range coverage is 100 degrees. For extended low frequency coverage the WPS enclosures can be paired with the SXC118 cardioid subwoofer or the flyable SXCF118.

Meyer Sound line array11. Meyer Sound Leopard
compact linear line array loudspeaker is optimized for use in arrays and its Native Mode allows perfect performance immediately with minimal signal processing setup. The system’s small profile and light weight make it quick and easy to install and rig using Meyer’s QuickFly rigging with captive GuideALinks. It also works with the Galileo GALAXY Network Platform, which provides 24 bit, 96 kHz audio, matrix routing, alignment, and processing. The Meyer Sound MAPP System Design Tool effectively anticipates system SPL and coverage requirements along with providing help in verifying rigging load ratings. Control is also enhanced through the RMS remote monitoring system which provides comprehensive monitoring of system parameters from a Mac or Windows-based computer. The Leopard’s premium multiply birch cabinet is coated with a slightly textured black finish. Custom colors and weather protection are available as options.

NEXO line array12. NEXO S12 Series
The series consists of the S1210/S1230 arrays and both can be integrated with NEXO’s CD, S2 or RS15 SubBass cabinets. The S1210 has a shallow taper from front to back while the S1230 has a steeper tapering to allow more units to be stacked into a larger array. Both are available in ST long-throw versions. The S1210’s integral rigging system provides angles from 0.20 degrees to 10 degrees. A single 3in. voice coil driver covers the highs while MF/LF is response is projected from a 12in. high excursion neodymium 16Ω driver. The S1230 is capable of rigging angles from 22.5 degrees to 30 degrees. Both models are constructed of Baltic Birch ply with a structured black coating and each includes a molded dark gray metal grille.

PreSonus WorxAudio line array13. PreSonus WorxAudio XL2
This all-in-one compact line array is the perfect solution for tight spaces and challenging acoustical arrangements. Each is composed of two large format, 1.4in. exit compression drivers coupled to a stabilized proprietary FlatWave former wave shaping device. In addition, there are four 8in. cone transducers for LF projection. The unit has a horizontal coverage of 160 degrees and a 20-degree vertical pattern. The enclosure is made of multi-ply plywood with a multi-layered catalyzed Polyurea finish. The perforated, powder-coated steel grille provides protection on the front. Available in black or white finish, the unit is fitted with custom designed flyware. The XL2 has a frequency range of 48 Hz to 20 kHz and power handling capacity of 800W on the LF section along with 300W on the HF components.

QSC line array14. QSC WL2082i
Packed with versatile installation options, this array provides a 140-degree horizontal coverage angle with QSC’s patented multiple-aperture diffraction waveguide. The enclosure can be bi-amp or tri-amp powered using its dual 50W 8-ohm 1-inch exit, 1.75- inch titanium diaphragm neodymium magnet assembly driver and the dual 200 W 16-ohm 8in. weather resistant cone woofers. With a 68 Hz-22 kHz frequency range, the high impact polystyrene cabinets can be ordered in black or white and each has a perforated, formed aluminum grille. The rear of each cabinet is equipped with a Horizontal Shading selector switch, a BI AMP/TRI AMP Mode selector switch and a pair of NL8 Speakon connectors. The side rigging plates allow a wide range of rigging arrangements.

RCF line array15. RCF TT 4-A
In October, RCF debuted TT series to fill the gap between point source and array speakers. Unique rigging solutions, and the versatile arrangement of the transducers, allow the speakers to be used alone, coupled side by side or vertically for additional coverage. The speakers provide up to 135 dB max SPL via the 1600W RMS Class-D power section, with 32-bit DSP running at 48 kHz sampling rate. The onboard DSP provides linear phase filters and crossover, system equalization, polarity control, fast limiter, RMS limiter and configuration control from the back panel or advanced management via RDNet. Options include the TTP 4-A 60×25 degree coverage; the TTW 4-A 100×50 degree coverage; and the TTL 4-A 100×25 degree coverage.

Renkus-Heinz line array16. Renkus-Heinz CFX101LA
The wide range of ways this point source array can be configured makes it quick and easy to use. The units can be pole mounted, ground stacked or used as a center cluster to fit any touring or installation scenario. The array modules can be flown beneath their companion subwoofers or suspended using M10 eyebolts or a frame. Each is based on a 10in. neodymium woofer coupled to a pair of 1in. SSDCDXI-1730-8 HF compression drivers. A Tuned Conic Diverter waveguide makes a smooth transition between the LF and HF sections. The power comes from a Class D digital amplifier, either with or without RHAON, or with a RHAON equipped Class D bi-amplifier. With a 60 Hz-20 kHz frequency range, the unit has tight pattern control. The horizontal coverage angle is 90 degrees and the vertical is 15 degrees.

17. TOA HX line
At the top of the range of TOA’s variable dispersion speaker modules, the HX-7 is joined by the HX-7B-WP black weatherproof variant and the HX-7W-WP white weatherproof model. The matching subwoofer is the FB-150. The unit is composed of four cells, each of which include twin 5in. LF drivers and a single center-mounted, waveguide-loaded, 1in. exit compression driver. The vertical dispersion angle can be adjusted from zero to 45 degrees while the horizontal coverage is 100 degrees and the enclosure’s power handling capacity is 750W continuous power. On the rear are two SpeakON connectors wired in parallel with screw terminals. The optional MT-200 Matching Transformer allows the speaker system to be connected to a high-impedance amplifier output. The frequency response of the system is 105 Hz-20 kHz.

18. VUE Audiotechnik aI-8
This compact line array is just a step up from the smallest of the VUE Audiotechnik range. The al-8 compact line array system features beryllium compression drivers, Kevlar/Neo transducers, precision amplification and DSP, onboard SystemVUE networking and full compatibility with the VUEPoint beam steering technology. Inside are the al-8 acoustic element and rack-mount VUEDrive V6 Systems Engine which can power up to four al-8 acoustic elements. SystemVUE control software allows precise monitoring and fine adjustments. These units form a single block and more blocks can be integrated for larger applications. The al8SB integrated flyable subwoofer can be added for extended bass and all of the al-class elements are DANTE enabled.

Yamaha line array19. Yamaha VXL1
This innovative option is ideal in tight spaces with minimal mounting room and has two inconspicuous options–the VXL1B-24 (black finish) or the VXL1W/24 (white finish) slim line array speaker. These provide 24 1.5in. full-range loudspeaker units with neodymium magnets for full 170 degree coverage. The vertical coverage angle can be set at either 20 degrees or 40 degrees. The units are supplied with mounting brackets and the cabinets can be painted to match any room. Additional brackets are available to match a wide variety of mounting and configuration needs. The frequency range, minus 10dB, is 77 Hz-20 kHz and the program power rating is 220W.


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