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Road Test: RCF HDL 6-A Line Array

A sound company field-tests a new compact line array system.

By John Moore December 3, 2018

An RCF HDL 6-A array module.

Good To Go

Event day – how quick was that? This was the question I asked our A1 and A2. It took longer to get the lifts out of the truck than it did to deploy the arrays. Once set, the loudspeakers were rolled up to the Sumner lifts, shackles attached, and up they went. Yes, it was that easy.

I don’t think the lifts even knew the loudspeakers were there; at least in cranking them up it almost felt like there was no load due to the light weight of the loudspeakers and overall rig. That is a big plus.

We had determined the array deployment ahead of time utilizing RCF Easy Shape Designer software, based on the number of boxes and anticipated lift height (about 16 feet in the air). The software also gave us the initial pinning for the bottom boxes, and we did some final tweaking, including adjusting the splay angles of the bottom three boxes for some added down fill. Low-end duty was handled by our RCF TTS 26-A subs centered in a cardioid configuration.

The input and configuration setup was also a breeze – into the sub, crossover out at 110 Hz, off and running. In addition, the HDL 12-AS 12-inch subs provided an excellent transition from the TTS subs, and with the 110 Hz output, really allowed us to push the HDL 6-A arrays.

Working For A Living

“No freak’n way.” This was the first comment out of my mouth on firing up the rig. Connected to an Allen & Heath dLive console surface and a MixRack, this system dropped my jaw, particularly since we were outdoors. My A1 was on stage and had to stop what he was doing to listen; he also couldn’t believe the output and quality.

At right, an array that was assembled in the Trinity Productions shop right after it arrived, and at left, one of the arrays flown to deliver coverage at Blues and Brews.

The sound was smooth – I mean, smooth – most likely due to the 900 Hz crossover point for the main arrays as well as the FiRPHASE DSP. The SPL and overall output from the onboard amplifiers proved to be plenty in helping to deliver even coverage all the way to the rear of the audience area.

Blues and Brews kicked off at noon, going non-stop until 6 pm. Events don’t get any better, and the HDL 6-A arrays did not let us or the bands down all day long. No issues at all. Clean, smooth and fantastic coverage. I took the liberty of walking the venue during one of the sets, and from side to side and front to back, SPL was consistent with the sound quality.

The event went off without a hitch, and the compliments on the mixes and sound were made by event attendees throughout the day. My initial hesitation in using the HDL 6-A was completely nullified that day. Kudos to RCF and a design well done. If you’re looking for a small-format line array at an attractive price point with the ability to do anything from small to, well, large events, and do it with a miniscule footprint, the HDL 6-A comes up a true winner in my book.

The ease of transport, setup and deployment was one of the fastest we’ve ever done, and on striking, the system came right down and bam, it was back in the truck. Don’t be fooled by the compact, lightweight nature of this system; it’s an audio beast.

U.S. MSRP: $2,199 per module. Go here for info on the RCF HDL 6-A.

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