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Real World Gear: Large-Format Line Arrays

Large-format line array parameters and a look at recent models from around the industry.
ProSoundWeb

Large-format line arrays deliver in terms of output, and in many cases, are now much more than simply loudspeakers, better described as integrated systems. The vast majority of the models we’re presenting here incorporate dedicated power and DSP packages (onboard or rack mounted), and are outfitted with sophisticated control, networking, and optimization capabilities. Integral rigging is user-friendly and marked by precision and ease of use.

It’s still surprising to some that line arrays have been around for more than half a century in the guise of column loudspeakers, and most of them in earlier days were voice-range only. Their application was generally for highly reverberant spaces, where a narrow vertical dispersion avoided exciting the reflective room boundaries and, as a result, improved intelligibility of the spoken word.

V-DOSC from L-Acoustics was the first (in the mid-1990s) to show the concert sound world that more level and smoother frequency response can come from fewer drivers in a line array. Now, large-format line arrays (which we loosely identify as models with 12-inch and larger woofers) exist in a wide range of types and options.

Driver configuration and enclosure design remain defining factors. Some models employ dual woofers with a center high-frequency section to provide horizontal symmetry. The simplest systems may just have a single cone and high-frequency driver. Quasi 3-way solutions use dual woofers, but low-pass one woofer at a lower frequency than the other, thereby eliminating lobing at higher frequencies where the drivers become displaced with relation to the frequencies being reproduced.

True 3-way designs operate separate low-, mid- and high-frequency drivers, each in their own band. There are several approaches to horn loading, which can provide higher sensitivity for additional power. And now, we’re seeing some 4-way systems, with the mid-frequencies subdivided into two sections.

In the listings that follow, note that the horizontal dispersion spec is provided for all models. Vertical dispersion varies, dependent on array structure and configuration.

Keep in mind that several companies present more than one choice in this category. Several of them also offer complementary array elements with wider angles of coverage that perform better as the lowest near-throw enclosure(s) in vertical arrays. Enjoy this look at the latest large-format line arrays.

Spotlight Listing


Electro-Voice X-Line Advance Install
electrovoice.com

The X-Line Advance Install series from Electro-Voice offers consultants, integrators and installers stadium-filling sound quality, precision coverage and proven reliability in an elegant and easy to use package. Created to meet customer demand for an installation-dedicated version of the X-Line Advance series for live-sound applications, these new models incorporate the same EV-engineered transducers, crossovers and patented waveguide components.

The series launches with 20 different model options. The X2i-212 and X1i-212, both 12-inch, two-way line array elements are available with 90- and 120-degree horizontal coverage patterns, in black or white finishes, and in indoor or fully weatherized IP55 fiberglass versions. These lightweight and highly efficient two-way designs outperform many larger and heavier three-way systems, providing high SPL capability, extended HF response and linear LF output for more performance than previously possible from cabinets of this size. The matching X12i-128 double 18-inch subwoofer is also available.

Specifications (X2-212/90):
Configuration: 2-way
LF: 1 x 12-in neo woofer
HF: 2 x 3-in titanium drivers coupled to pair of PDH Plane Wave Generators on a waveguide
Frequency Response: 52 Hz – 19 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 90 degrees (120 degrees also available)
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 13.5 in x 28.8 in x 12 in; 93 lbs
Electronics: TG7 amplifier, RCM-28 OMNEO network/DSP module for amps, NetMax controller (& DSP-2 extension), Dante network module

Standard Listings

Adamson E15
adamsonsystems.com

Configuration: 3-way
LF: 2 x 15-in neo Kevlar woofers
MF: 2 x 7-in neo Kevlar cones
HF: 2 x 4-in-exit voice coil neo Kevlar drivers
Note: MF/HF coaxially mounted on Co-Linear Drive Modules
Frequency Response:
60 Hz – 18 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion:
90 degrees
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 15.4 x 51.4 x 21.4 in; 176 lbs
Electronics: E-Rack with Lab.gruppen PLM amplifiers, audio & AC panels, Ethernet switch
** Adamson also offers the E12 12-in line array

EAW Anya
eaw.com

Configuration: 3-way
LF: 2 x 15-in woofers, vented, Phase Aligned and Offset Aperture loading
MF: 6 x 5-in cones, horn-loaded with Radial Phase Plug & CSA apertures
HF: 14 x 1-in-exit drivers, horn-loaded
Frequency Response: 35 Hz – 18 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 70 degrees (scalable up to 360 degrees)
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 30 x 45 x 17 in; 285 lbs
Electronics: Self-powered (22 channels, each w/DSP), EAW Focusing & ADAPTive Performance processing, Resolution control software.
Companion Sub: Otto ADAPTive

VUE Audiotechnik al-12
vueaudio.com

Configuration: 3-way
LF: 2 x 12-in neo woofers
MF: 6 x 4-in neo Kevlar cones
HF: 2 x 1.4-in-exit Truextent beryllium drivers on a precision waveguide
Frequency Response: 47 Hz – 28 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 90 degrees
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 14 x 42 x 16.8 in; 129 lbs
Electronics: Integrated VUEDrive System Engines with SystemVUE control, Dante networking
Companion Sub: hs-221, al-12SB

dBTechnologies VIO C
dbtechnologies.com

Model: VIO C15
Configuration: 2-way
LF: 1 x 15-in (3.5-in voice coil) neo woofers
HF: 1 x 1.4-in (3-in voice coil) neodrivers
Frequency Response: 42 Hz – 19 kHz (-10 dB)
Dispersion: 22.5 degrees horizontal, 45 degrees (+15/-30 degrees) vertical
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 35.1 x 17.2 x 24.8 in; 89.5 lbs
Electronics: Digipro G4 class-D amplifier joined by DSP; RDNet card facilitates monitoring and remote control via Aurora Net software
** dBTechnologies also offers VIO C12 (12-in) and VIO C212 2 x 12-in) models

d&b audiotechnik GSL
dbaudio.com, sl-series.com

Configuration: 2-way
LF: 2 x 14-in woofers, 2 x 10-in woofers (side firing, cardioid), 1 x 10-in woofer (MF)
HF: 3 x 1.4-in compression drivers on an optimized waveguide
Frequency Response: 45 Hz –18 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 80 degrees (model GSL8), 120 degrees (GSL12)
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 15.4 x 51.2 x 24.7 in; 176 lbs
Electronics: d&b D80 amplifier is required to drive the GSL8 and GSL12; powered in 2-way active mode (2 amplifier channels per loudspeaker)

L-Acoustics K2
l-acoustics.com

Configuration: 3-way
LF: 2 x 12-in neo woofers
MF: 4 x 6.5-in neo cones (both LF and MF components are housed in a bass-reflex enclosure)
HF: 2 x 3-in diaphragm neo drivers couple to individual DOSC waveguides
Frequency Response: 35 Hz – 20 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 110/70 degrees symmetric; 90 degrees asymmetric (35/55 or 55/35 degrees)
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 14 x 52.7 x 15.8 in; 123.2 lbs
Electronics: Quad-amplified by LA8 or LA4X controller with factory presets
Companion Subs: K1-SB LF extension, SB28

RCF HDL 50-A
rcf.it/homepage-usa

Configuration: 3-way
LF: 3 x 12-in neo woofers
MF: 4 x 6-in neo cones
HF: 2 x 1.4-in compression drivers on a custom waveguide
Frequency Response: 40 Hz – 20 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 90 degrees
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 14.4 x 46.1 x 19.7 in; 123.4 lbs
Electronics: 2,200-watt RMS (4,400-watt peak) class D amplifier as well as 48 kHz, 32-bit DSP with FiRPHASE filters and more
Companion Sub: SUB 9006-AS and other options

NEXO GEO M12
nexo-sa.com

Configuration: 2-way
LF: 1 x 12-in neo woofer
HF: 1 x 1.4-in compression driver on a BEA/FEA optimized HR wavesource
Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 20 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 80 or 120 degrees
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 14.6 x 27.6 x 17.6 in; 75 lbs
Electronics: NXAMP4x4 powered TDcontroller for 3 x GEO M12 per channel recommended; other options also available
Companion Sub: MSUB18

Clair Brothers C12-M
clairbrothers.com

Configuration: 3-way
Dispersion (h x v): 90 x 10 degrees; additional horizontal options (120 degrees or TrueFit)
LF: 2 x 12-inch cone drivers
MF/HF: 2 x 3.5-inch (voice coil), 2 x 1.75-inch (voice coil) concentric compression drivers
Frequency Response: 45 Hz – 20 kHz
Power: Bi-amplified with passive mid/high
Rigging: Integral rigging hardware with adjustable splay angles (Additional angular resolutions available using Rigging Disc accessory)
Size (h x w x d): 13.9 x 42 x 25.2 inches
Weight: 153 pounds
Companion Subs: CS218-M, iS218-M

Renkus-Heinz VerSys VL3
renkus-heinz.com

Configuration: 3-way
LF: 2 x 12-in neo woofers, vented
MF & HF: 2 x CDT1.5TN CoEntrant drivers with 2 x 6.5-in cones and 2 x 2.5-in drivers. Devices work with proprietary Isophasic Plane Wave Generator
Frequency Response: 45 Hz – 18 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 60, 90 and 120 degrees (user specified)
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 17 x 38.5 x 26.5 in; 175 lbs
Electronics: Passive or upgradable to self-powered RHAON-enabled version.

Martin Audio WPL
martin-audio.com

Configuration: 3-way
LF: 2 x 12-in woofers on Hybrid bass horn
MF: 2 x 6.5-in cones, horn-loaded
HF: 3 x 1-in drivers, horn-loaded
Frequency Response: 52 Hz –18 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 90 degrees (-6 dB), 120 degrees horizontal (-10 dB)
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 14.6 x 44.7 x 20.7 in; 141 lbs
Electronics: 1 or 2 enclosures per amplifier channel; company offers iKON power amplifiers with Dante networking and DX controllers

CODA Audio AiRAY
codaaudio.com

Configuration: 3-way (biamplified)
LF: 2 x 12-in (4-in voice coil) neo woofers
MF/HF: 2 x 6-in DDP (Double Diaphragm Planar-wave-drivers) with 3.5-in MF voice coil and 1.75-in HF voice coil
Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 22 kHz (-6 dB)
Dispersion: Horizontal – 90, 120 or asymmetrical 105 degrees; vertical is array dependent – 0 to 8 degrees in 1-degree steps
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 14 x 26.5 x 21.9 in; 88.2 lbs
Electronics: LINUS loudspeaker management amplifiers for DSP control, amplification, audio I/O routing, network remote control, and diagnostics
** CODA SC2-F 2 x 15-inch sensor-controlled bass extension overlaps the low range of AiRAY and paired subwoofers

Meyer Sound LEO-M
meyersound.com

Configuration: 2-way
LF: 2 x 15-in woofers, vented
HF: 2 x 4-in drivers coupled to CD horn through REM manifold
Frequency Range: 55 Hz – 16 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: N/A
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 17.8 x 44.4 x 23 in; 265 lbs
Electronics: Self-powered (3 channels), Galileo Callisto processing, RMS remote monitoring
**Meyer Sound also offers LYON 12-in line array

D.A.S. Audio Aero 40A
dasaudio.com

Configuration: 3-way
LF: 1 x 12-in neo woofer, rear-loaded
MF: 1 x 8-in cone/horn assembly w/phase plug to enhance coupling
HF: 2 x drivers on waveguide
Frequency Response: 60 Hz – 20 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 90 degrees
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 12.4 x 37.1 x 15.7 in; 158 lbs
Electronics: Self-powered (3 channels), DSP, remote control via DASnet management platform

K-array Firenze-KH7
k-array.com

Configuration: 2-way
Transducers: 4 x 12-inch coaxial neo woofers
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 100/30 degrees, plus digital adjustment
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 13.8 x 46 x 7.9 in; 114.6 lbs
Electronics: Onboard class D amplifier providing 4 x 2,000 watts at 4 ohms; DSP control plus passive filter
Companion Sub: Firenze-KS7 and several other options

Alcons Audio LR28
alconsaudio.com

Configuration: 3-way
LF: 2 x 14-in neo woofers, reflex-loaded
MF: 4 x 6.5-in neo cones, slot-loaded configuration
HF: 1 x 14-in ribbon driver
Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 20 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 80 degrees (110 degrees also available)
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 15.8 x 47.2 x 21.1 in; 138.9 lbs
Electronics: Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controller (4 channels) with specific drive processing with array-compensation, filter presets, system EQ, phase-matching, etc.

Ramsdell Pro Audio LA-15-3
ramsdellproaudio.com

Configuration: 3-way
LF: 1 x 15-in neo woofer, vented
MF: 2 x 12-in neo cones
HF: 2 x 2-in-exit neo drivers
Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 18 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 130 degrees
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 15.7 x 42 x 19; 106 lbs
Electronics: External amplification/processing; program power: 1200 watts LF, 600 watts MF, 300 watts HF
**Ramsdell also offers LA-1-15 15-in line array

JBL Professional VTX A12
jblpro.com

Configuration: 3-way
LF: 2 x JBL 2264H neo woofers (12-in, dual 3-in voice coils)
MF: 4 x JBL 2165H neo cone drivers (5.5-in, dual 2-in voice coils)
HF: 3 x JBL 2423K neo compression drivers (2-in, and 2-in voice coil)
Frequency Response: 46 Hz – 19 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 90 degrees nominal (250 Hz – 18 kHz)
Size (H x W x D)/Weight: 13 x 44 x 19.5 in; 134 lbs
Electronics: Crown Audio I-Tech 12000HD or I-Tech 4x3500HD with standard presets for VTX A12

QSC KLA
qsc.com

Configuration: 2-way
LF: 1 x 12-in woofer
HF: 1 x 1.75-in (diaphragm) compression driver on a multiple difraction aperture waveguide
Frequency Response: 49 Hz – 18 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 90 degrees
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 15 x 23.4 x 16.6 in; 55 lbs
Electronics: Onboard 500- x 500-watt amplifier (1,000 total watts), proprietary DEEP DSP algorithm extends bass response, and Ar-Q frequency optimization quickly tunes and configures the array

EM Acoustics HALO-A
emacoustics.co.uk

Configuration: 2-way
LF: 2 x 12-in neo woofers
HF: 4 x 1.4-in neo drivers on plane-wave manifold
Frequency Response: 48 Hz – 19 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 80 degrees
Size/Weight: 14.3 x 40.2 x 24.4 in; 145 lbs
Electronics: Outboard amplification (2 channels) and utilizes FIR DSP technology, so must be used with company’s DQ20 amplifier or the APA-4E8 amplifier from XTA.

ProZSound LA212
prozsound.cn

Configuration: 3-way
LF: 2 x 12-in neo woofers
MF & HF: coaxial – 1 x 10 mid-range neo driver and 2 x 3-inch neo compression drivers
Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 16 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 100 degrees, adjustable
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 14 x 39 x 22 in; 139 lbs
Electronics: HF/MF/LF:160/350/800 watts; company offers MS, MA Series amplifiers as well as D4000Q class D amplifier

Outline GTO C-12
outlinearray.com

Configuration: 3-way
LF: 2 x 12-in woofers, hybrid band-pass loaded
MF: 4 x 6.5-in cones drivers, partially horn-loaded
HF: 2 x 3-in drivers on Double Parabolic Reflective Waveguides coupled to V-Power baffle
Frequency Response: 65 Hz – 17 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 90 degrees
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 14.3 x 44.1 x 25.8 in; 160 lbs
Electronics: T-Series amplifiers, iMODE processing platform, connection via standard Ethernet fosters system control

ISP Technologies HDL 4215F
isptechnologies.com

Configuration: 4-way
LF: 2 x 15-in woofers
LMF: 4 x 8-in cones, horn-loaded
HMF: 4 x 2-in compression drivers
HF: 4 x 1.75-in compression drivers
Frequency Response: 80 Hz – 18 kHz
Horizontal Dispersion: 90 degrees
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 18.5 x 48 x 24 in; 165 lbs
Electronics: Proprietary D-CAT amplification (6 channels) provides 2,000 watts (RMS) total power; proprietary LINESIM simulation program
**ISP also offers HDL 4215M (mid-throw), HDL 4215S (short-throw) models

PK Sound TRINITY
pksound.ca

Configuration: 3-way
LF: 2 x 12-in neo woofers, horn-loaded/rear-vented
MF: 4 x 6-in CMI-loaded drivers
HF: 2 x 4-in coaxial drivers
Frequency Response: 40 Hz – 22 kHz
Horizontal Directivity: 120 – 60 degrees (intercabinet adjustment: 0 – 5.5 degrees)
Size (H x W x D) & Weight: 13.8 x 54.8 x 23 in; 259.1 lbs
Electronics: Self-powered (6000 watts, RMS), DSP, rear-panel LCD or Kontrol software for control of DSP and vertical/horizontal settings