Advances in speaker technology have brought line arrays a long way in just a few years. These systems have never been more adaptable, controllable, and capable of customization in so many parameters. One of the biggest steps forward has been software with configurable DSP and system dispersion prediction. There have also been advances in the physical boxes themselves including steerable sections and some very imaginative rigging systems. Included here are some examples of the new array technology and the customization features that have come with it.
The E12 line source enclosure from Adamson Systems Engineering features the e-Capsule, an aluminum skeletal structure that provides a solid framework for the modular aircraft-grade steel Autolock rigging system. The enclosure houses a 7in. Kevlar neodymium midrange transducer and a 4in. HF compression driver. Aimed by a precision waveguide, they produce a dispersion pattern of 110°x8°. On either side are birch ply enclosures each containing Adamson’s Kevlar neodymium 12in. woofer.
For self-powered performance and wide coverage, Atlas Sound designed the AL123A-B large-format line array system with 3600W and network-controlled DSP. Using the integrated EZAL rigging system, one or two people can individually aim up to eight boxes under load while flown or stacked. The boxes are made of birch plywood with threaded attachment fittings and they house a three-way, full-range speaker system with two 12in. woofers, four 6in. MF drivers, and two 1.4in. HF drivers.
Bose RoomMatch RM5540
The Bose RoomMatch RM5540 array module uses six EMB2 extended midband, high-frequency compression drivers with 2in. voice coils and two LF10 ultra-linear 10in. woofers with 3in. voice coils to produce a frequency response of 60Hz to 16kHz (±3dB) and a nominal coverage pattern of 55°x40°. The unit is constructed of Baltic birch plywood on a steel frame and provides two NL4 Neutrik Speakon connectors wired in parallel.
The compact and weather-resistant Entasys line array from Community Professional has a constant vertical beam width from 800Hz up to 16kHz and is available in black, white, and custom colors. Incorporating six 3.5in. neodymium LF drivers, 18 2.35in. midrange drivers and 42 1in. HF drivers, the ENT-FR full-range three-way column has a configurable baffle for straight, curved, or asymmetric curved operation. The ENT-LF low-frequency column has six 3.5in. low-frequency drivers in a straight baffle form.
d&B Audiotechnik V12
d&B Audiotechnik has included two 10in. LF drivers, one horn-loaded 8in. MF driver and two 1 1/4in. exit HF compression drivers in the V12 array loudspeaker. The three-way design exhibits a 120° dispersion pattern down to 250Hz, and the unit can be stacked in arrays of up to 24. It can also be combined with V8s and V-Subs. The enclosure is marine plywood with a PCP (polyurea cabinet protection) finish. The front is protected by a metal grille backed by an acoustically transparent foam layer.
D.A.S. Audio Aero 40A
The Aero 40A advanced line array system (ALAS) from D.A.S. Audio is a three-way, Class- D powered unit using one 12in. woofer, one 8in. midrange, and two D.A.S. M-75N compression drivers attached to a new BPS-2912 waveguide. Monitored and remote controlled over a range of parameters via DASnet, the Aero 40A is constructed of birch plywood and incorporates a two-piece injected aluminum heat sink housing the amplifier and related electronics on the rear of the cabinet.
dBTechnologies DVA T12
The DVA T12 is an active three-way system that is designed by dBTechnologies to serve in long-throw applications and to be scalable for any size setup. It includes a high-end DSP unit and can be set up in sequentially configurable array segments. A neodymium 12in. woofer extends low-end response and midrange uses two 6.5in. neodymium drivers while three 1in. HF drivers with 1.4in. Mylar diaphragms project the highs. With 1500W RMS power, the DVA T12 extends frequency response from 60Hz to 19kHz (±3dB) and provides a maximum SPL of 136dB.
Compact enough for either touring or permanent installation when coupled with its companion subwoofer, the JFL118, the EAW JFL213 two-way line array module is equipped with two 10in. cone transducers and three horn-loaded, 0.75in. exit/1.75in. voice coil compression drivers. Switchable between single or bi-amp powering modes, the JFL213 also has a rigging system that allows it to be mounted in an array of up to five modules or pole-mounted with two units.
Premiering at InfoComm 2014, the new X-Line of line array speakers from Electro-Voice features a new integrated rigging system, FIR-Drive optimization, and improved Hydra wave-shaping devices. The X-1 is a 12in. compact module for small-and midsize venues with its SMX 12in. woofer coupled to an EV-exclusive Mid-Band Hydra device. There are two new ND2R ring-exit, high-output 2in. titanium compression drivers coupled to a pair of WCH constant energy planar wave generators on a 90° waveguide for HF linear response.
Oct 13, 2014 7:49 PM, By Bennett Liles
Designed by JBL to put more power into a lighter and more compact line array system, the VTX series offers eight models to suit a range of sound environments. One of the line’s primary features is the D2 Dual Driver, which uses two voice coils and merges two compression drivers into one transducer with a single acoustical output. The V25 full-size, three-way, high-directivity line array has two 2000W Differential Drive woofers, four midrange transducers, and three of the new D2 Dual-Diaphragm Dual-Voice- Coil compression drivers.
The KP102 line array element, variable beam speaker from K-array is a passive system comprised of 12 3.15in. neodymium magnet cone drivers mounted in a stainless steel enclosure. This model can be used to fit a variety of difficult coverage situations using its linking and hanging options. Each one can be set for 8Ω or 16Ω to vary the number of elements to be run on a single amp channel. Available in black, white, or custom colors, the KP102 can reproduce the entire vocal range from 100Hz. The unit is IP54 rated for outdoor use, as well.
The L-Acoustics K2 is a full-range WST (Wavefront Sculpture Technology) element with variable curvature and adjustable horizontal directivity. A three-way active unit, the K2 incorporates two 12in. and four 6.5in. speakers teamed with two 3in. compression drivers using individual waveguides and adjustable directivity fins. The Baltic birch plywood units have die-cast aluminum side panels, and they can be rigged with a range of inter-element angles up to 10 degrees. The array can be driven by either the LA8 or LA4X controller.
The HDA 12in. two-way arrayable powered loudspeaker from Mackie provides a coverage pattern of 110°x20° and delivers 1200W of peak system power, 500W RMS for LF, and 100W RMS for HF. Each enclosure features a 12in. neodymium woofer with a 3in. voice coil. For the high end, there are dual 1.7in. compression drivers. The cabinets are 15mm plywood fitted with EAW rigging channels, and there is a dedicated flybar option to allow raising and lowering of the whole array system.
Meyer Sound LEO-M
For big jobs in touring or permanent installation, Meyer Sound offers the LEO-M system, a self-powered linear array loudspeaker with long-throw capability and captive GuideALinks that can be set to the desired splay angles while the cabinets rest in caster frames. The HF section is comprised of two 4in. compression drivers and the lows project through two 15in. long-excursion cone drivers. Together they cover an operating frequency range of 55Hz to 16kHz.
Nexo’s STM (Scale Through Modularity) array system can be arranged like Legos in any combination of modules to suit the venue and the type of show. Through their PistonRig and REDlock rigging, the units can be set up in a simple ground stack, double column, or triple column in any combination of main, bass, sub, and omni modules. Up to 12 of them in groups of three can be powered by the versatile Nexo Universal Amp Rack.
Outline GTO C-12
One of the stars of the Outline array family, the small but powerful full-range line source GTO C-12 packs two 12in. LF drive units, four 6.5in. MF drivers, and two 3in. diaphragm HF drivers to provide a frequency range from 65Hz to 17kHz (±3dB) and a horizontal dispersion of 90°. The Outline V-Power concept is based on the V-shaped front baffle, which allows individual array-coupled line sources to be placed very close together for smooth HF response.
Peavey Versarray 212
The Versarray 212 full-range array loudspeaker from Peavey contains two 12in. Black Widow Neo speakers, 10 2.5in. midrange drivers, and four 4.75in. planar dynamic ribbon tweeter line sources on a waveguide. Each module provides a 90°x 15° coverage pattern and a frequency response of 70Hz to 20kHz. The LF section handles 2000W program power while the mid and HF systems each handle 400W. The modules have two 8-pin Neutrik Speakon connectors wired in parallel.
QSC has enabled the WL2082-i line array speaker for a range of rigging adjustability with the WL118-sw subwoofer capable of being mounted on top or behind the main array. Each module provides 140° horizontal dispersion and a frequency range of 68Hz to 20kHz (±10dB). The WL2082-i is composed of two 200W 8in. weather-resistant woofers and dual 50W 1in. exit, 1.75in. titanium diaphragm HF drivers. The WL118-sw incorporates a single 18in. woofer with a 4in. voice coil.
Oct 13, 2014 7:49 PM, By Bennett Liles
Renkus-Heinz VA/VAX 101-7
Renkus-Heinz designed the VA/VAX 101-7 modular point source line arrays to be capable of variable angles of horizontal and vertical dispersion so that they can be flown vertically, horizontally, or ground stacked. Each cabinet contains a 10in. woofer coupled to one or two neodymium high-frequency compression drivers. The VA101 enclosures are self-powered with integral DSP and CobraNet enabled amp modules while the VAX cabinets use external amps and DSP. All models have a frequency range from 60Hz to 20kHz and weigh less than 70lbs.
RCF HDL 20-A
The HDL 20-A active line array module from RCF is powered by a two-way digital amplifier with 1400W peak and 700W RMS power. The system includes a DSP input section with selectable presets and a comprehensive simulation package, the RCF Shape Designer Software, to provide a complete two-dimensional outlay of the coverage. It can simulate up to 16 HDL 20-A systems. Each module houses two 10in. woofers and a 3in. compression driver delivering 55Hz to 20kHz frequency response.
SLS Audio put its own PRD1000 planar ribbon HF transducer into the LS8800 full-range ribbon line array module to operate along with the LF section, which features two 8in. drivers for clear, high-powered SPL (up to 115dB) with 110° horizontal dispersion. The splay angle between the Baltic birch cabinets can be adjusted from 1 degree to 10 degrees. All rigging is included, and the coverage can be set up using the free SLS LASS prediction software.