Prolight + Sound 2018 sees the launch of the d&b audiotechnik SL-Series GSL System, a new loudspeaker system created specifically for the largest sound reinforcement applications in significantly sized arenas, stadiums and festivals.
Werner “Vier” Bayer of d&b product management states, “We listened carefully to what people using systems said, as well as noting what they did with them. We then coupled this with our own experiences to arrive at a vision of what a future system should achieve.
“To hit those exacting targets, we first thought the entire d&b architecture would be turned on its head, but Matthias Christner and his R&D team methodically worked through the technical challenges. They found clever solutions to deliver the performance targets, still aligned with the established d&b approach. Now we are listening to the results, enjoying the experiences and very proud of the achievement.”
The new GSL8 and GSL12 loudspeakers (shown in the array photo directly below), with 80 and 120-degree horizontal dispersion, respectively, are specified as providing consistent pattern control all down to 45 Hz. The geometry of two front-facing 14-inch drivers and two side-firing 10-inch drivers couple and apply cardioid techniques, fostering tighter directivity behavior with extended low frequency headroom towards the audience.
This low frequency extension and headroom is stated to negate the need for subwoofers flown behind or alongside the main hangs in many applications. Mid-range is delivered by a high sensitivity horn loaded with a 10-inch driver, while three custom-designed 3.4-inch-diaphragm high-frequency drivers mounted on a wave shaping device provide HF resolution and output. Each loudspeaker is driven in 2-way active mode by a d&b D80 amplifier: one channel powers the 14-inch drivers, with all other components passively crossed over and powered by a second channel.
The SL-SUB and SL-GSUB complement the low end with two forward-facing 21-inch drivers and a single rear-facing 21-inch driver delivering the cardioid dispersion. The SL-SUB can be flown, while the SL-GSUB is designed for ground stacked applications. Both are driven in 2-way active mode from two channels of a D80 amplifier.
Matthias Christner, head of R&D Acoustics at d&b, explains, “The GSL System is the result of finding solutions to many challenges. Particularly in creating accurate directivity performance right down to the lowest frequencies and delivering such power from a loudspeaker weighing only 80 kg (about 176 lbs), while still maintaining the all-important architecture. With GSL, we have delivered this and more, yet it is comfortable and familiar for all those used to the d&b workflow.”
Completing the package, the SL-Series has a patented combination of tension and compression modes and procedures to the d&b 3-point rigging. The compression mode enables a straight array to be flown from the touring carts, and a hoist or hand winch then curves the array to the defined splay angles.
Designed to fit within standard shipping container and truck sizes, touring carts with covers transport four GSL8 or GSL12 loudspeakers, or three SL subwoofers. The touring rack assembly housing six D80 amplifiers also contains a DS10 audio network bridge, the MC24 multicore system, and provides PoE for the d&b ArraySight inclinometer. This also sends temperature and humidity information to the R1 Remote control software using the OCA/AES70 protocol.
d&b CEO Amnon Harman concludes: “The GSL System echoes the spirit that has always driven d&b forward. Taking the time to completely understand market demands and requirements, then setting out to find the right audio technology solutions to fit a clear vision of the needs. The determination, commitment and quality demonstrated by the team through the development of the GSL System has been an inspiration to us all. We now look forward to working with our customers to deliver outstanding concert and event experiences to audiences all over the world.”