Real World Gear

Multiple Advantages: A Real World Gear Look At Medium-Format Line Arrays

Design trends and application parameters, along with a review of current models.

The definition of what characteristics make a line array medium-format, as opposed to small- or large-format, is somewhat arbitrary. Is it how wide or high each element is, how much it weighs, how many components each houses, the diameter of the components, or how loud it gets?

For this overview, we’ve based the selection on the size of the largest LF driver in the array, considering those with 8-inch to 10-inch cones to be medium-format.

In comparison to enclosures with 12-inch or 15-inch LF drivers, lesser-scaled arrays allow wider splay angles within the array elements, while still maintaining consistent coverage. This characteristic can be useful for covering smaller venues that have multiple levels, and can also help work around architectural structures like the edges of balconies.

Further, they’re designed to be flown and taken down quickly, often in “blocks” of individual modules, and to be flexibly adjustable to different curvatures – and many can also be ground-stacked. This flexibility can be particularly useful in venues where arrays need to be adjusted regularly to accommodate different types of acts.

Within the medium-format category, there’s a lot of variety. Among the represented brands and models in the listings that follow, the horizontal coverage angle varies from 80 degrees to 150 degrees from a single array column, with most ranging between 100 to 120 degrees.

Some manufacturers also offer cabinets with the same “footprint” with differing horizontal coverage, allowing the user to better customize coverage for a particular venue.

Enclosure width varies from a bit over 23 inches to over 30 inches, and weight for each cabinet ranges from a bit over 30 pounds to more than 100 pounds. Many are self-powered, and others have dedicated external processing and amplification.

Most of these systems use one to two cone drivers to cover the lowest frequencies, and often will roll off the upper frequencies of one LF driver while allowing the other to cover the midrange. HF is covered by a compression driver, or occasionally a ribbon driver, with pattern control via a horn or waveguide with a narrow vertical coverage angle.

Thus a 3-way system is effectively created, with the coupling of the two cones effectively creating a larger LF radiating surface.

The following Real World Gear overview of recent models covers a variety of designs based around 8 to 10-inch LF components. It’s not all-inclusive, but is meant as a solid starting point for further homework. Enjoy the tour.

 

VUE Acoustic Linearity al-8
Configuration: 3-way
Dispersion (h x v): 90 x 10 degrees
LF: 2 x 8-inch neodymium cone drivers
MF: 4 x 4-inch Kevlar neodymium cone drivers
HF: 2 x 1-inch-exit Truextent berylliumdiaphragm compression drivers
Frequency Response: 75 Hz – 18 kHz (+/-2.5 dB)
Power: External VUE V6 Systems Engine
Rigging: Integrated hardware, angles selectable in 1-degree increments
Size (h x w x d): 10.2 x 29.4 x 17.5 inches
Weight: 76.6 pounds
Companion Sub: al-8-sb (single 18-inch)

RCF HDL 30-A
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): 100 x 15 degrees
LF: 2 x 10-inch neodymium cone drivers
HF: 1 x 1.4-inch titanium compression driver on custom 4 PATH waveguide
Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 20 kHz
Power: Onboard class D amplifier, DSP controlled input section with presets, proprietary FIRPHASE technology
Rigging: Integral hardware with adjustable splay angles
Size (h x w x d): 11.5 x 27.7 x 19.8 inches
Weight: 55.1 pounds
Companion Sub: SUB Series (8006-AS, 8005-AS, 8004-AS)

Meyer Sound LEOPARD
Configuration: 2-way
LF: 2 x 9-inch cone drivers, Hybrid slot horn-loaded
HF: 1 x 3-inch compression driver coupled to constant directivity horn through patented REM manifold
Frequency Response: 55 Hz – 18 kHz
Power: Self-powered (class D), Galileo loudspeaker management
Rigging: Captive GuideALinks provide with splay angles from 0.5 to 15 degrees
Size (h x w x d): 11.1 x 26.9 x 21.6 inches
Weight: 75 pounds
Companion Sub: 900-LFC (1 x 18-inch)

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Electro-Voice XLD291
Configuration: 3-way
Dispersion (h x v): 90 x 10 degrees
LF: 1 x DVN2080 8-inch cone driver
MF: 1 x DVN2080 8-inch cone driver
HF: 2 x ND2S 2-inch compression drivers
Frequency Response: 75 Hz – 18kHz (-3 dB)
Power: External, TG Tour Grade amplifiers recommended; LF/MF – 200 watts, HF – 80 watts (both RMS)
Rigging Angles: Integrated hardware, adjustable
Size (h x w x d): 9.9 x 28.6 x 14.5 inches
Weight: 48 pounds
Companion Sub: Subwoofer: XS212 (12-inch) & XLC215 (15-inch)

dBTechnologies VIO L208
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): 100 x 10 degrees
LF: 2 x 8-inch neo cone drivers
HF: 1 x 1.4-inch neo compression driver (all drivers located behind panel that acts as a phase-plug and a HF horn)
Frequency Response: NA
Power: Onboard Digipro G3 class D amplifier, DSP with linear-phase FIR filters and presets
Rigging: 3-point system; back-central rigging strand to set splay angles
Size (h x w x d): N/A
Weight: 39.9 pounds
Companion Sub: VIO S118 R (single-18)
**dBTechnologies distributed in U.S. by American Music & Sound

K-array KH2
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v):
110 x 10 degrees (preset
dependent)
LF: 2 x 8-inch neodymium
cone drivers
HF: 2 x 1.4-inch neodymium compression drivers
Frequency Response: 70 Hz – 19 kHz
Power: Onboard class D amplification; DSP controlled,
digital steering
Rigging: Integrated hardware, adjustable
Size (h x w x d): 9.8 x 25.3 x 8.3 inches
Weight: 62 pounds
Companion Sub: KS5 (dual 21-inch)

L-Acoustics KARAi
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): 110 degrees symmetric; vertical array dependent
LF: 8-inch cone drivers in bass-reflex tuned enclosure
HF: 1 x 3-inch compression driver coupled to DOSC waveguide
Frequency Response: 55 Hz – 20 kHz
Power: LA8 amplified controller, provides 3 operating modes
Rigging: 4-point system; angle increments of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7.5, and 10 degrees
Size (h x w x d): 9.8 x 28.1 x 15 inches
Weight: 51.7 pounds
Companion Sub: SB18 (single 18-inch)

Clair Brothers C8-M
Configuration: 3-way
Dispersion (h x v): 120 x 10 degrees, additional horizontal options
LF: 2 x 8-inch cone drivers
MF: 1 x 3.5-inch cone driver
HF: 1 x 1.75-inch (voice coil) compression driver
Frequency Response: 60 Hz – 20 kHz
Power: Bi-amplified
Rigging: Integral hardware with adjustable splay angles
Size (h x w x d): 9.2 x 28.9 x 23.9 inches
Weight: 62 pounds
Companion Sub: CS118, iS118, iS218

Renkus-Heinz VARIA VA101
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): 90 (also 60 & 120) x 7.5 (also 15 & 22.5) degrees
LF: 1 x 10-inch cone driver
HF: 2 x 1-inch neodymium drivers on proprietary Tuned Conic Diverter waveguide
Frequency Response: 60 Hz – 20 kHz
Power: Class D biamp (500 watts LF, 250 watts HF) with integrated RHAON networking; passive version also available
Rigging: Articulated hardware provides adjustment from 0 to 7.5 degrees
Size (h x w x d): 13 x 23.7 x 15 inches
Weight: 64 pounds
Companion Sub: VA15S (15-inch)

d&b audiotechnik Y8/Y12
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): 80 or 120 degrees; vertical is array dependant
LF: 2 x 8-inch cones, dipole arrangement
HF: 1 x 1.4-inch-exit driver with a wave transformer
Frequency Response: 54 Hz – 19 kHz
Power: d&b amplification (D6, D12, D20, D80)
Rigging: 0 to 14 degrees in 1 degree steps
Size (h x w x d): 10 x 24.8 x 14.8 inches
Weight: 45 pounds
Companion Sub: Y-SUB (cardioid)

Adamson S10
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): 110 x 10 degrees
LF: 2 x 10-inch Kevlar neodymium cone drivers
HF: 1 x 1.5-inch-exit compression driver
Frequency Response: 60 Hz – 18 kHz
Amplification: Designed for use with E-Rack
Rigging: Proprietary SlideLock rigging system allows angles to be set prior to lifting
Size (h x w x d): 10.4 x 29 x 20.7 inches
Weight: 60 pounds
Companion Sub: S119 (single 19-inch)

QSC Audio WideLine-10
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): 140 degrees; vertical array dependent
LF/MF: 2 x 10-inch cone drivers
HF: 1 x 3-inch compression driver on proprietary slot waveguide
Frequency Response: 55 Hz – 18kHz
Power: Biamp or triamp; external amplification
Rigging: Integrated hardware, adjustable from 0 to 10 degrees in 1-degree increments
Size (h x w x d): 10.8 x 27.4 x 20.7 inches
Weight: 83 pounds
Companion Sub: WL218-sw (dual 18-inch), WL118-sw (single 18-inch)

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Alcons Audio LR18
Configuration: 3-way
Dispersion (h x v): 90 x 10 degrees
LF: 2 x AMB8 8-inch cone drivers, vented
MF: 1 x 6.5-inch cone driver coaxially mounted behind HF driver
HF: 1 x RBN702rs 7-inch pro-ribbon transducer
Frequency Response: 70 Hz – 20 kHz
Power: Sentinel amplified controller (Sentinel10 recommended)
Rigging: Angle-setting on cabinets without lifting the array
Size (h x w x d): 8.9 x 31.1 x 17.2 inches
Weight: 61.7 pounds
Companion Sub: BC543 (triple 18-inch), BQ211 (single 21-inch)

DAS Audio AERO 8A
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): 90 degrees; vertical array dependent
LF: 1 x 8MN 8-inch neodymium cone driver
HF: 1 x M-60N 3-inch neodymium compression driver on BPS-191 waveguide- horn assembly
Frequency Response: 95 Hz – 20 kHz
Power: Onboard 3-channel Class D amplifier, new DASaim processing technology
Rigging: Captive rigging, splay angles range from 0 to 10 degrees in 1-degree increments
Size (h x w x d): 9.6 x 20.7 x 14 inches
Weight: 39.6 pounds
Companion Sub: Several LX single and dual-18 models

NEXO GEO M10
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): 80/120 degrees x 12.5 or 25 degrees
LF: 1 x 10-inch cone driver
HF: 1 x 1.4-inch (throat) compression driver on a BEA/FEA optimized Wavesource
Frequency Response: 59 Hz – 20 kHz
Power: NEXO amplification (NXAmp TDcontroller)
Rigging: Proprietary AutoRig system; choice of 9 angles between boxes
Size (h x w x d): 11.3 x 20.9 x 14 inches
Weight: 47 pounds
Companion Sub: MSUB15 (single 15-inch)

Martin Audio WPC (Wavefront Precision Compact)
Configuration: 3-way
Dispersion (h x v): 100 x 10 degrees
LF: 2 x 10-inch neodymium cones, Hybrid slot-horn loaded
MF: 2 x 5-inch neodymium cones, horn loaded
HF: 4 x 0.7-inch neodymium drivers, horn loaded
Frequency Response: 65 Hz – 18 kHz
Power: Biamp utilizing company’s iKON iK42 class D amplification
Rigging: Integral 3-point system for up to 16 enclosures
Size (h x w x d): 12.6 x 30.4 x 16.6 inches
Weight: 77.1 pounds
Companion Sub: SX218 (dual 18-inch)

EAW Anna
Configuration: 3-way
Dispersion (h x v): 100 degrees x Adaptive
LF: 2 x 10-inch cone drivers (proprietary Offset Aperture loading)
MF: 4 x 5-inch cone drivers (on proprietary Radial Phase Plugs and CSA apertures)
HF: 8 x 1-inch-exit compression drivers on proprietary horn
Frequency Response: 45 Hz – 18 kHz
Power: Self-powered, onboard DSP
Rigging: Integral rigging hangs straight, accommodates up to 18 modules in an array
Size (h x w x d): 11.3 x 40 x 23.6 inches
Weight: 135 pounds
Companion Sub: Otto (omni, cardioid or hypercardioid)

PreSonus WorxAudio V8
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): 120 x 10 degrees
LF: 2 x 8-inch neodymium cones
HF: 1 x 3-inch voice coil titanium driver
Frequency Response: 65 Hz – 18 kHz
Power: PXD Series amplifier platform recommended
Rigging Angles: TrueAim Tour rigging adjustable in 1-degree increments
Size (h x w x d): 10.5 x 28 x 18 inches
Weight: 108 pounds
Companion Sub: TrueLine TL118SS & TL218SS (single and dual 18-inch, respectively)

JBL Professional V20
Configuration: 3-way
Dispersion (h x v): 105 x 0 – 12.5 degrees (inter-enclosure angles)
LF: 2 x 2261H 10-inch cone drivers
MF: 4 x 2164H 5-inch cone drivers
HF: 3 x D2415K compression drivers
Frequency Response: 60 Hz – 20 kHz
Power: BSS OmniDriveHD V5 processing for use with Crown I Tech HD or VRack
Rigging: Angle Stop Mechanism (ASM) suspension allows tension or compression suspension
Size (h x w x d): 11 x 35.9 x 15.8 inches
Weight: 88 pounds
Companion Sub: S28 (18-inch) and S25 (15-inch)

Ramsdell Pro Audio LA10-2
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): Option of 120, 90 or 60 x 10 degrees
LF: 1 x 10-inch neodymium cone driver, vented
HF: 1 x 1.75-inch voice coil neodymium compression driver
Frequency response: 65 Hz – 18 kHz
Rigging: Integrated hardware, 0 to 10 degrees in 2 degree increments
Power: Active and passive versions available; optional bi-amp
Size (h x w x d): 15.9 x 21.7 x 12 inches
Weight: 29 pounds
Companion Sub: LA12-S (single 12-inch)

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Fulcrum Acoustic FL283
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): 90 degrees; vertical array dependent (20-degree max splay)
LF: 2 x 8-inch cone drivers, horn-loaded
HF: 3 x 1.4-inch compression drivers
Frequency Response: 54 Hz – 18.6 kHz
Power: Configured for full-range passive operation at 16 ohms; up to 8 units can be driven from a single amplifier channel
Rigging: Adjustable from 4 to 20 degrees in 2-degree increments; 0- and 2-degree splays with optional extended rear link bar
Size (h x w x d): 12.8 x 23.1 x 19.3 inches
Weight: 57 pounds
Companion Sub: FLS115 (single 15-inch)

Bose Professional ShowMatch DeltaQ
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): 100 or 70 degrees (changeable) x choice of 5, 10, or 20 degrees
LF: 2 x 8-inch cone drivers
HF: 4 x EMB2S compression drivers
Frequency Response: 69 Hz – 17 kHz
Power: HF: 100 watts continuous, 400 watts peak; LF: 450 watts continuous, 1,800 watts peak
Rigging: 3-point “quick pin” system, support for up to 24 modules
Size (h x w x d): 11.1 x 31.2 x 18.3 inches
Weight: N/A
Companion Sub: ShowMatch SMS118

FBT MUSE 210LA
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): 90 degrees x 10 degrees
LF: 2 x 10-inch cones, bass-reflex
HF: 2 x 1-inch-throat B&C drivers on waveguide
Frequency Response: 55 Hz – 20 kHz
Power: Onboard class D, switch mode; onboard DSP
Rigging: 0 to 10 degrees in 2-degree steps
Size (h x w x d): 11.6 x 25.6 x 16.7 inches
Weight: 83.7 pounds
Companion Sub: MUSE 118FSA (single 18-inch)

Coda Audio ViRAY
Configuration: 3-way
Dispersion (h x v): 120, 80 or 100 degrees (60+40 or 40+60); vertical is array dependent, (0-10 degrees)
LF: 2 x 8-inch cone drivers
MF: 1 x 8-inch coaxial mid/high planar wave driver
HF: 1 x 1.75-inch-exit compression driver (all drivers are loaded to a ViCOUPLER)
Frequency Response: 55 Hz – 22 kHz
Power: LINUS RACK provide amplification, DSP and network control
Rigging: Integral rigging, 0 to 10 degrees
Size (h x w x d): 9.5 x 26.5 x 14.2 inches
Weight: 56.2 pounds
Companion Sub: SCV-F (omni and cardioid)

Outline Butterfly C.D.H. 483
Configuration: 3-way
Dispersion (h x v): 90 degrees x 7.5 degrees
LF: 2 x 8-inch neodymium cones, band-pass loaded
MF: 2 x 8-inch cones, horn loaded
HF: 1 x 3-inch-exit neodymium drivers on Double Parabolic Reflective Waveguide
Frequency Response: 110 Hz – 18 kHz
Power: 800/120 watts (LF & MF/HF, continuous RMS)
Rigging: – 0 to 7.5 degrees, 0.125-degree increments
Size (h x w x d): 9.4 x 29.6 x 23.6 inches
Weight: 75 pounds
Companion Sub: C.D.L. 1815 (cardioid)

Verity Audio IWAC220P
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): 120 degrees; vertical is
array dependent
LF: 2 x 10-inch cone drivers
HF: 2 x 1.75-inch voice coil compression drivers
Frequency Response: 80 Hz – 20 kHz
Power: Onboard custom 3-channel class D amplifier, DSP, V-Net network control
Rigging: Integral hardware allows setting angles on ground
Size (h x w x d): 11.2 x 29.2 x 19.9 inches
Weight: N/A
Companion Sub: SUB136P (dual 18-inch)

Turbosound TFA-600HW
Configuration: 3-way
Dispersion (h x v): 100 x 16 degrees
LF: 2 x 10-inch cone drivers, horn-loaded
MF: 1 x 6.5-inch cone driver on Polyhorn device
HF: 1 x 1-inch compression driver on Dendritic device
Frequency Response: 90 Hz – 18 kHz
Power: Triamp/biamp modes
Rigging: Vertical and horizontal flying systems integrated into cabinet
Size (h x w x d): 12 x 28 x 22 inches
Weight: 93.5 pounds
Companion Sub: TFA-600B/L (both single 18-inch)

ISP Technologies HDL 2208
Configuration: 2-way
Dispersion (h x v): 100 x 10 degrees
LF/MF: 2 x 8-inch neodymium cone drivers
HF: 1 x 2.6-inch compression driver
Frequency Response: 68 Hz – 16kHz
Power: Onboard 3-channel DCAT amplifier (850 watts RMS total)
Rigging: Integrated hardware, adjustable from 1 to 10 degrees in 1-degree increments
Size (h x w x d): 9.1 x 24 x 19 inches
Weight: 62 pounds
Companion Sub: HDL118 (18-inch)