Modern Advantages: Delving Into The Latest On Compact Loudspeakers

Active & Passive
Although active designs are the strong trend, passive designs are still common from most manufacturers, and often, users have a choice of the same loudspeaker in an active or passive design.

For example, Yamaha Pro Audio recently unveiled two new additions to its portable loudspeaker lineup – the active DBR Series and the passive CBR Series, both with 10-, 12- and 15-inch woofer options.

In the DBR Series, all three incorporate proprietary FIR-X tuning that uses linear phase FIR filters for the crossover, while D-CONTOUR dynamic multi-band processing applies optimized settings for either front-of-house or floor monitoring applications. Class D amplifiers deliver up to 1,000 watts of power.

There’s a 2-channel mixer, with a combo jack on channel 1 that accepts both XLR and TRS phone. Channel 2 also has a combo jack as well as RCA pin jacks for input from CD players or stereo line-level sources. The mixer offers the ability to select either channel 1 plus 2 mix, or channel 1 pass-thru.

Enclosures are durable, lightweight plastic, with an optimized 50-degree wedge angle monitoring, while the symmetrical cabinet shape of the DBR12 and DBR15 allows them to be placed in a “mirror-mode” configuration. All models also have pole mounts and rigging points compatible with optional speaker brackets and eyebolts for install applications.

The passive CBR Series are lighter than their active counterparts, equipped with a Speakon jack and a 1/4-inch phone jack. They’re tuned via an in-depth analysis and adjustment of an internal passive network, and a protection circuit limits excessive input to the HF driver to reduce the risk of the damage.

The EAW JF Series continues to grow and advance with a steady stream of upgrades, with a range of 2-way models available in both active (NT) and passive versions, with choice of 10-inch, 12-inch and 15-inch woofers. (A few passive versions with smaller woofers are also available).

JFNT (active) models have 1,500 watts of onboard amplification, proprietary EAW Focusing processing, software-accessible front-end DSP, proprietary U-Net audio and communications network, and an adaptable enclosure design.

EAW JF26NT (left) and Grund Audio ACX-2

All models natively offer a combination of portable features and M10 rigging points. Available universal accessories include trim plates that hide handles and provide a connection point for U-brackets and quick release flytrack segments, and adjustable legs for use as a monitor.

Grund Audio offers a broad range of portable PA choices, including the recent expansion of the passive ACX Series with four new active models, two of them stage monitors.  designated with an “A” at the end of the model number. The onboard power amp’s multichannel inputs include an XLR balanced microphone input, a 1/4-inch line input, and RCA inputs for use with CD players and similar equipment. Any two sources can be mixed internally.

All ACX models utilize medium-density fiberboard enclosures and provide component concealing grilles, and all have handles. The loudspeakers also have a pole mount and three 2 x 2 flypoints, with optional eyebolts, dual-mount poles, and crank-style and adjustable poles available.

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