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Martin Audio Introduces MLA Compact™ For Installed Sound

Las Vegas, NV––Introduced at InfoComm 2012, the new MLA Compactâ„¢ makes Martin Audio’s award winning* Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array (MLA) technology available to a wide range of installed sound applications.

Incorporating the same principles that allowed MLA to break new ground on the international touring circuit, the self-powered and processed MLA Compact takes advanced cellular control to permanent installations such as Theaters, Concert Halls, Ballrooms and Houses of Worship where a smaller, lighter system takes precedence over the full power and throw of the flagship MLA.

The new system’s compact size (each enclosure measures only 31” wide x 11” high x 19.6” deep and weighs 109 lbs.) belies its output capabilities—a 12-box array can easily deliver full rock SPLs in a 5,000 seat venue, while a 24-box array will approach the output of many “full-size” systems which have less efficient acoustic elements.

MLA Compact’s fully integrated system brings together the latest technologies in acoustic design, Class D amplification, DSP and industry-leading optimization software—with communications and control via an easy-to-use audio network. Combining with fast, automated Display 2.1â„¢ intelligent software it delivers a dramatically increased level of performance and coverage consistency over traditional line arrays.

Since no external amplifier racks are required, the integration of power and control also represents huge trucking advantages as well as valuable space and cost saving.

Asked about the new system, Martin Audio North American Director of Sales Rob Hofkamp stated, “MLA Compact is ideally suited for fixed installations. Its light weight, scalability and competitive pricing, coupled with the power and seamless coverage of MLA technology, make it a winner right out of the box.”

For more about Martin Audio, please stop by Demo Room N112 at InfoComm 2012 or click to


(*) PLASA Gold Award for Innovation; MusikMesse International Press Award; Parnelli Indispensable Technology Award; PSW/LSI Reader’s Choice Award.

About MLA Compact

System Architecture: Loudspeakers

The 3-way MLA Compact delivers power, clarity and detail, with a peak output capability of 135dB LF, 135dB midrange and 135dB HF, per box at 1 meter. MLA Compact’s LF section utilizes 2 A— 10”/2.5″ voice coil, neodymium drive units in a unique HybridA® configuration. Each driver is slot-loaded into a truncated horn with a low flare rate, to give a high sensitivity of 103dB @ 1m/2.83V.

MLA Compact has separate, mid and HF horns with horizontal constant directivity characteristics—so the horizontal off-axis response tracks the on-axis response exactly. The mid horn utilizes 2 A— 5″/1.5″ voice coil neodymium drivers to produce 109dB @ 1m/2.83V, while the 5″ cone/0.7″ compression driver combination replaces the more traditionally used large format compression driver and has less distortion, as well as having a much more extended HF response.

The HF section utilizes 4 A— 0.7″ exit neodymium compression drivers which feed separate horns for true 100A° horizontal constant directivity. In the vertical plane, MLA Compact makes significant advances over previous thinking by adopting new criteria for vertical wavefront curvature.

DSX Subwoofer/DSX-F Sub

With high output level, compact size and advanced DSP-based realization of directional arrays, the DSX more than meets the challenge of a powerful subwoofer.

Capable of 146dB peak output at 1m (half space, measured), the DSX powered and networked subwoofer is an incredible performer. Its high output level is achieved by combining state-of-the-art LF driver technology with an onboard Class D amplifier module that can deliver 6kW peak power.

The DSX features 2 A— 18″/4″ voice coil, ferrite drivers in a reflex-loaded enclosure with four flared ports, carefully designed to improve linear airflow. Each driver is housed in its own separate chamber to move any cabinet resonances out of band. Sonically, the DSX is a perfect balance of low frequency extension and punch.

A flying version, the DSX-F Sub, can be flown alongside or at the top of MLA Compact arrays, as well as being ground stacked. A maximum of 15 DSX-F can be suspended from the MLA flying frame and symmetrical rigging allows flown DSX-F cabinets to face backwards — enabling directional flown as well as directional ground stacked arrays to be configured.

The ground-stack DSX can be upgraded to the DSX–F by the addition of an easy-to-fit accessory kit.

System Architecture: Control

Each MLA Compact enclosure is fitted with a state-of-the-art five-channel amplifier module — with high-efficiency Class D circuitry delivering a total of 2.1kW continuous and 4.2kW peak output. One channel powers both LF drivers in parallel and two channels drive each mid independently. For the HF section, two channels drive the four HF drivers in parallel pairs, making a total of five independently powered acoustic cells per enclosure. Lightweight, switched-mode power supplies, auto-range to global mains voltages from 100 to 240V 50/60Hz, whilst Power Factor Correction smoothes out the mains current draw over the whole of the AC waveform. The amplifier section is designed to withstand rain and ambient temperatures of up to 45A°C and features advanced protection ─ amplifier monitoring via U-NET includes input signal, output signal at the drive unit terminals, limiter status, heatsink temperatures and driver fault conditions.

Powerful onboard DSP performs all crossover and EQ functions via a combination of IIR and advanced FIR filtering — fast VanishingPointâ„¢ FIR filters give the freedom to physically separate the mid and HF horns — so they do not compromise each other’s constant directivity dispersion pattern, yet achieve the spatial performance of a single device.

Arrays can be remotely controlled over U-NET from the supplied wireless tablet running VU-NETâ„¢ control software with its intuitive graphical interface. VU-NET also enables the user to switch on enclosure identification LEDs with automatic identification of neighboring enclosures and connectivity confirmation.

MLA Compact’s rigging system combines speed with precision. Up to 24 enclosures can be suspended via its two-point-lift flybar, and the same hardware can also be used for single point lifting of up to 12 cabinets, as well as ground stacking up to 6 high.

For more about Martin Audio, please stop by Demo Room N112 at InfoComm 2012 or click to


About Martin AudioA®

Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

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