This month we take a look at a variety of line array speaker systems. Line arrays are typically made up of identical loudspeaker elements and mounted in a vertical line to create a directable and focused source of sound. This configuration and the spacing between adjacent drivers yield constructive interference, send sound waves further than traditional horn-loaded loudspeakers with more evenly distributed audio coverage. Match physical drivers with electronics and line arrays will become “steerable,” which comes in very handy in many real-world applications.
The S10 from Adamson Systems Engineering is a two-way, full-range line source cabinet containing two ND10-LM Neodymium Kevlar drivers (2x 16Ω) and an NH4TA2 1.5in.exit compression driver (8Ω) with an optimized sound chamber that produces a slightly curved wavefront with a nominal dispersion pattern of 110° horizontal x 10° vertical. According to Adamson, the chamber’s efficiency allows for increased vertical dispersion without sacrificing high frequency presence in the far field. The full range capability of the S10 (from 60Hz) makes it well-suited for applications without a subwoofer. Patent-pending Controlled Summation Technology further eliminates low-mid lob-ing normally associated with two-way line source systems. Increased vertical coverage enables the S10 to cover theater, arena, and stadium environments with reasonable loudspeaker quantities as well as dance clubs, medium-sized festivals, corporate events, and contemporary houses-of-worship.
Bose RoomMatch Progressive Directivity Array
The Bose RoomMatch Progressive Directivity Array is designed to deliver concert-quality sound for live music and speech in permanently installed systems for performing arts centers, auditoriums, sports arenas, dance clubs, and houses of worship. The 42 full-range array modules produce a frequency response of 40Hz to 280Hz (-10dB) and a variety of nominal coverage patterns. There are two companion subwoofers, the RMS215, a 15in. model that extends usable array response down to 40Hz, and the RMS218, an 18in. model that extends usable array response down to 25Hz. Rigging accessories complete the line.
Community Professional Loudspeaker ENTASYS
As the industry’s only three-way passive column line array, Community’s ENTASYS ENTFR provides high voice intelligibility, great musical sound quality, and line-array directivity control to 16kHz. Designers can add the ENT-LF low-frequency column to create custom arrays with lobes for balcony and main floor or other applications at a fraction of the cost of electronically steered columns. Available in black or white with a variety of optional mounting brackets, all ENTASYS models are weather-resistant for outdoor applications.
DAS Audio Aero 20A
DAS Audio’s Aero 20A compact powered line array incorporates the new 12AN4 12in. loudspeaker, which is optimized to provide high output and reliability. This transducer uses a light-aluminum voice coil bonded to a fiberglass-reinforced cone, magnet circuit, and a new suspension design. For HF performance, the Aero 20A relies on the M-75N compression driver and a new waveguide assembly developed specifically for the Aero 20A. The system is powered by a Class D amplifier (800W + 400W) and also includes DSP with brick wall FIR filters for alignment and uniform coverage all the way down to the crossover point. The Aero 20A is also DASnet-ready for remote monitoring and control.
d&b audiotechnik Yi-Series
From d&b audiotechnik’s new compact Yi-Series, the Yi8 and Yi12 line arrays provide flexible and configurable solutions for any small-to medium-sized integration requirement. The Yi8 and Yi12 both feature two 8in. drivers with neodymium magnets around a 1.4in. compression driver. This proprietary driver configuration enables the Yi8 and Yi12 to offer a horizontal dispersion pattern controllable down to 500Hz. The arrayable Yi-SUB, which uses d&b’s patented passive cardioid design, extends LF response and makes the Yi8 and Yi12 system capable of tackling many line array tasks. Weather resistance and extensive color options provide further positioning and visual integration possibilities.
Eastern Acoustic Works’ Anya is a complete, self-contained, high-power sound reinforcement system that adapts all performance parameters electronically, allowing it to be used in virtually any live sound application. Columns of Anya modules hang straight, without any vertical splay, and Resolution 2 software adapts total system performance to produce asymmetrical output for full frequency range response across the entire coverage area as defined by the user. Powerful and immensely scalable, it is suitable for small venues and large stadiums. Each Anya module includes 14 1in. exit/35mm voice coil HF compression drivers loaded on a proprietary HF horn that expands to fill nearly the entire face of the enclosure. Six 5in. MF cone transducers, arranged in two columns of three, use Radial Phase Plugs and Concentric Summation Array technologies. Dual 15in. LF cone transducers use off-center aperture loading to increase the spacing of the apparent acoustical centers, extending effective horizontal pattern control well into the LF range.
Electro-Voice X-Line Advance
Electro-Voice’s X-Line Advance uses new EV-engineered components and incorporates a range of innovative new features for a highly capable as well as significantly more compact, flexible, and quicker-to-set-up package. Key features include a streamlined performance-to-size ratio for installed and concert sound applications and advanced audio quality and control via a host of new and exclusive EV-engineered technologies, including enhanced Hydra plane-wave generators, high-output transducers, and proprietary FIR-Drive optimization. The new-look EV industrial design and new Integrated Rigging System combine streamlined appearance with simplified setup. The first wave of X-Line Advance products includes two full-range elements, the X1-212/90 and X2-212/90, and the X12-128, reportedly the most powerful subwoofer EV has ever developed.
Grund Audio Design Gala Series GA-1621
The high-output Grund Audio Design Gala Series GA-1621 line array uses all neodymium components with a transducer complement including dual proprietary Grund Audio 1in. HF compression drivers and dual 8in. LF cone drivers. The enclosure provides 100-degree horizontal dispersion with 20-degree vertical throw. Frequency response ranges from 67Hz to 18kHz. Integrators will find the GA-1621 provides quicker and simplified setup thanks to integrated fly-ware. The GA-1621 employs 13-ply Birch wood cabinetry along with Dado and Rabbet enclosure construction for durability. Two NL4 Speakon connectors are provided. Standard finishes include black or white.
JBL Professional VTX V20
JBL Professional’s VTX V20 features the same technology and performance of the VTX V25 but in a smaller format. Its high power density three-way system is complemented by a new suspension system that provides efficient transport, fast setup, and precise configuration. All VTX V20 components have been specifically engineered to provide stable 110-degree horizontal coverage and effective line source array coupling in the vertical plane from 0-12.5 degrees while delivering linear, transparent sound with impressive high output levels for its size. A new small-format version of the patented D2 Dual Diaphragm Dual Voice Coil high-frequency compression driver combined with JBL Professional’s new Ultra-Linear 4in. mid frequency and 10in. Differential Drive low frequency transducers comprise V20’s three-way system design (2x LF, 4x MF, 3x HF).
The Klipsch KI-398-RGL is a full-range 22.5° trapezoidal design ideally suited for use as a vertical line array in a behind-the-screen cinema system. The loudspeaker has an impressive output capability with exceptional low distortion clarity, featuring a 15in. high excursion cast frame woofer, large format 3in. titanium compression driver, and internal high-current full-range crossover.
The fixed-installation sibling of the popular Kara enclosure for touring concert sound, L-Acoustics’ Kara(i) modular line source element features a streamlined rigging system and custom color palette for any environment. With a design inspired by the flagship K1/K2 stadium loudspeaker system, the compact and lightweight Kara(i) is an active, two-way enclosure boasting exceptional throw as well as a smooth and wide horizontal directivity of 110 degrees. When deployed alone, Kara(i) is ideal for enhanced speech and vocal programs. Paired with the SB18 subwoofer, the system delivers a full-range performance capable of reproducing the high-impact and low frequencies of even the most demanding rock concerts.
Martin Audio MLA Mini
The MLA Mini makes Martin Audio’s award-winning Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array (MLA) technology available in its smallest, lightest version for installed sound applications and corporate production events. Self-powered and processed, MLA Mini takes advanced cellular control to permanent installations such as theaters, concert halls, ballrooms, and houses-of-worship. The Mini enclosure measures 19.7” x 8.3” x 14.8” (W x H x D) and weighs 30lbs. Its fully integrated system brings together the latest in acoustic design technologies, Class D amplification, DSP, and optimization software with communications and control parameters via an easy-to-use audio network. Scalable and versatile, MLA Mini’s ultra-compact size understates its output capabilities. A 12-box array is designed to deliver live music in venues of 750 to 1,000 people.
Meyer Sound Leopard
InfoComm 2015 marked the U.S. debut of the new, patented Meyer Sound Leopard line array loudspeaker and its accompanying 900-LFC low-frequency control element. They are the smallest and most versatile members of the flagship Leo Family. The Leopoard boasts a power-to-size ratio with ultra-low distortion and with the 900-LFC element, offers a high level of clarity, power, precision, and ease of use. It forms a complete system solution with MAPP XT for acoustic prediction, Compass RMS for realtime system performance monitoring, the Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system, and the new MDM-5000 distribution module for routing AC power, audio, and RMS signals.
QSC ILA System V2 WL20282-i
The QSC ILA (Installation Line Array) System V2 WL20282-i is built for the rigors of touring. Designed specifically as an installation line array, much of the cost comes in the form of rugged finishes, heavy gauge grilles, or costly rigging components. Installation line arrays need to deliver high quality sound in a fixed position. The performance of the ILA is comparable to tour class line array products but at a fraction of the cost by providing a precise grade of grille, enclosure, and rigging hardware for installation applications, making the ILA an impressive value for permanent installations.
In the world of large format line arrays, one of the biggest issues facing touring companies is cartage: the inherent costs in weight, bulk and power consumption vs. performance. RCF answers that with the release of the HDL50-A, an active 4400W three-way module loaded with two 12in. woofers, four 6.5in. midrange and two 2in. HF compression drivers able to achieve 140dB SPL for concert sound, yet only weighing in at 106lbs. each. RCF’s CMD design matches and optimizes all transducers for improved audio articulation as well as power consumption efficiencies. The HDL50-A offers precise 90° x 10° coverage with superb linear frequency response. System design and control can be calculated via rear-panel rotary encoders or use of RCF’s proprietary RDNet protocol and Shape Designer software.
Designed exclusively for the installed sound sector, VARIAi is the newest generation of the Renkus-Heinz VARIA Modular Point Source Array. With a range of vertical and horizontal dispersion angles and Renkus-Heinz’s unique transitional waveguides, VARIAi’s configurable enclosures and hardware make it easy to tailor each speaker to every application. Whether flown vertically, horizontally, or ground stacked, VARIAi brings a new, ultra-streamlined design to VARIA’s hardware, making it a great fit for permanent installations, on tour, or in rental inventory.
The new TOA HX-7 Variable Dispersion Loudspeaker is a compact-yet-flexible high-performance speaker for auditoriums, houses-of-worship, and sports arenas. The HX-7’s variable configuration allows placement in environments where many fixed configuration products won’t fit. Each of the HX-7’s four “cells” contain a speaker compliment (2 x 5.5in. LF + a waveguide-loaded 1in. compression driver) delivering higher SPL and power handling compared to other similarly sized enclosures. Collectively, these cells permit vertical angle adjustment of 0˚ to 45˚ (up to 60˚ with an optional kit) for greater aiming flexibility. A matching 15in. high-powered subwoofer (FB-150) completes the HX-7 solution. Optional hardware for flying and stacking two or more HX-7 enclosures, as well as wall/ceiling and stand mounting, is available. The HX-7 comes in black or white as well as “WP” outdoor versions.
Turbosound Flashline TFS-550H and TFS-550L
The Turbosound Flashline line array includes the TFS-550H dual three-way 6.5in. line array element and TFS-550L 12in. front-loaded subwoofer element. In common with existing Turbosound technologies deployed in the larger Flashline TFS-900 and Flex Array TFS-600 systems, the HF Dendritic waveguide features multiple “hornlets” with identical path lengths designed to give a flat constant phase wavefront with a dispersion of 110° horizontal x 8° vertical. The cabinet is constructed using a polyurethane composite hard foam, making a lightweight, rigid, and non-resonant enclosure. The integrated rigging fly-ware can connect up to 16 TFS-550 elements in a variable curvature array, either mid/high enclosures or bass cabinets (TFS-550L) or a combination of both types, to be flown in a visually unobtrusive array.
WorxAudio Technologies X1
The WorxAudio Technologies X1 is an ultra-compact two-way, high efficiency line array loudspeaker. It incorporates a medium format 1in. exit compression driver coupled to a stabilized proprietary FlatWave Former for reportedly clear, penetrating high frequencies over a predictable and controlled coverage area. Dual 8in. cone transducers coupled to the Acoustic Intergrading Module (A.I.M.) minimize cone filtering throughout the entire operating range. Of particular note, the X1 features an unusually broad 160-degree symmetrical horizontal dispersion pattern for even coverage across an unusually wide area and 10-degree vertical throw. The X1 can be focused in 1-degree increments up to 10 degrees. The X1 can also be used in conjunction with WorxAudio’s TrueAIM beam steering technology.
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems NEXO GEO M620
The Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems NEXO GEO M620 is a full-range unit for standalone, curved array or line array applications. Extremely compact in size (7.5”x14.75”x10.2”), the M620 module punches well above its weight of less than 22lbs. Using a NEXO-designed long-excursion high-efficiency 6.5in. LF driver and a 1in. throat driver on a BEA/FEA optimized HR Wavesource, the M620 delivers a frequency response of 80Hz to 19kHz, ±3dB, with nominal peak SPL of 127dB. HF dispersion is 80° or 120° horizontal with 20° vertical coverage, 0° to 20° splay when arrayed. Using NEXO’s patented HRW waveguide for optimum HF coupling between elements, the M620 performs in a variety of configurations, facilitated by a fully integrated 3-point rigging system.
Adamson Systems Engineering
Community Professional Loudspeakers
Eastern Acoustic Works
Grundorf Audio Design