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Author Topic: The high cost of deploying a true line-array  (Read 19907 times)

Ivan Beaver

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Re: The high cost of deploying a true line-array
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2014, 03:06:37 pm »

Ivan, why do you say "outside of touring concert systems" ? Surely Jerichos could be easily deployed for this ?
Yes various Jerichos could be used for "tour sound"-with the right rigging hardware.

And then there is the whole "rider" issue-and that is a slow change.

Where the line arrays have the advantage is a fully developed rigging system that goes up quick and transports and stores nicely in a truck.

I can't anything yet-but there are things "in the works" that will challenge the current "status quo" of portable/touring sound. ;)
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Art Welter

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Re: The high cost of deploying a true line-array
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2014, 05:01:52 pm »

After all is factored in, I would estimate over $100,000 for a true sub-compact line-array.
There are a lot of small operations who would like to be riding on the line-array "band wagon" but it doesn't seem to be a practical system for smaller companies.
Robert,

Your estimate seems reasonable, but at an advertised price of only $15,600 for a complete true sub-compact line-array (78.75" long per side) with subs, racks, processing and tarps, using similar "point source" design technology as DSL, the system I presently have for sale used an example of "more for (a lot) less".

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/swap-meet/252064-complete-line-array-system-sale.html

The system also includes separately assembled wave guides offering a larger horn than anything I'm aware of other than DSL's Caleb, yet the entire speaker system fits easily in a small cargo van or 5 x 8 trailer.

Rigging would cost additional, though rigging is often not a practical choice when the budget and logistics of small operations are carefully considered. That said, having compared the above system ground stacked directly to a flown system of eight JBL 4889 large format line array per side, the lack of rigging did not prevent audience members commenting on the better sound and more even coverage my system provided  ;).

Art
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Roland Clarke

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Re: The high cost of deploying a true line-array
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2014, 08:16:33 pm »

I would add to the argument that although we all know the potential benefits of old style array systems and there is too much line array deployed irrespective of whether it is the best thing for the job or not, line arrays do have their benefits for deployment in that often they can be made to "fit" various different venues.  Doing this with standard trap boxes often requires several different types of boxes or much more custom rigging.  The other benefit that many of us are getting is the ability to get more even spl coverage, front to back.

I think that Ivan's view is very valid and certainly in terms of the type of product he is involved with, they probably offer a good or better alternative to just buying in a line array from one of the usual suspects.  Line arrays also do offer a level of configuration that isn't readily available using trap boxes and things like MLA are offering some further interesting options in terms of performance control.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: The high cost of deploying a true line-array
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2014, 08:52:16 pm »

I would add to the argument that although we all know the potential benefits of old style array systems and there is too much line array deployed irrespective of whether it is the best thing for the job or not, line arrays do have their benefits for deployment in that often they can be made to "fit" various different venues.  Doing this with standard trap boxes often requires several different types of boxes or much more custom rigging.  The other benefit that many of us are getting is the ability to get more even spl coverage, front to back.

I think that Ivan's view is very valid and certainly in terms of the type of product he is involved with, they probably offer a good or better alternative to just buying in a line array from one of the usual suspects.  Line arrays also do offer a level of configuration that isn't readily available using trap boxes and things like MLA are offering some further interesting options in terms of performance control.
I hear statements like that all the time.  "Line arrays provide more even SPL front to back".

Well my goal (and achieved very well most of the time) is 0dB variation from front to back-give or take a couple of dB or less.

This is called system DESIGN and not "throwing up cabinets and hoping for the best".

With a well designed system the freq response and amplitude will be the same front to back. 

It is a BIG misconception that "point sources" are louder up front than back.  Yes for systems on a stick or just stacked up, but NOT in an installed system in which the same sound is expected for everybody in the venue.

I must admit that in some cases the low freq is a little bit louder up front-but not always.  Usually it is a limitation of the room and where the system could be placed (due to ceiling height). 
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Ivan Beaver
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Robert Lunceford

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Re: The high cost of deploying a true line-array
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2014, 10:49:09 pm »

However, I think you're latching a little too tightly to the idea of a "true line array" with X-number of boxes, etc.  The Meyer paper you linked to in your earlier thread pretty much debunks that idea entirely - there is no practical length of array where you get "true line array function" - meaning that the radiation pattern is cylindrical with respect to the audience plane.  There is no magic about 2 meters long, or any other number; only that as the array increases in length, pattern control extends lower - just like a "point source" system.

Hi TJ,
When I write, "true line array", I am referring to the practical and not the theoretical.

In my previous topic, Tom Danley wrote,
"The up side of the tiny line array is that they are mostly not a line array acoustically, they have less self interference and so one can achieve a more constant sound spectrum vs location more like a point source.   
Many have observed that the smaller the number of boxes one uses, generally the better it sounds, one can have a “perfect box” but when you stack 16 of them up, what do you have then?"

I find this very interesting. The fewer boxes, the better it sounds.
The problem is, when the speaker has a vertical dispersion of only 15 degrees, where can it be usefully used? Front fills, under balcony, spot fills would be good placements. But when you put 2 on a stick with only 15 degrees of vertical dispersion and an array height of only 16 inches, how large of an area can you realistically cover?
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: The high cost of deploying a true line-array
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2014, 11:11:21 pm »

Hi TJ,
When I write, "true line array", I am referring to the practical and not the theoretical.
??  I am not sure what you mean here?  What is your definition of practical?

In my previous topic, Tom Danley wrote,
"The up side of the tiny line array is that they are mostly not a line array acoustically, they have less self interference and so one can achieve a more constant sound spectrum vs location more like a point source.   
Many have observed that the smaller the number of boxes one uses, generally the better it sounds, one can have a “perfect box” but when you stack 16 of them up, what do you have then?"

I find this very interesting. The fewer boxes, the better it sounds.
The problem is, when the speaker has a vertical dispersion of only 15 degrees, where can it be usefully used? Front fills, under balcony, spot fills would be good placements. But when you put 2 on a stick with only 15 degrees of vertical dispersion and an array height of only 16 inches, how large of an area can you realistically cover?
Normally people complain about "too short" vertical arrays - your post is an interesting combination of ideas. 

Two 15 degree boxes can potentially be 30 degrees of coverage if splayed all the way, and 3 of them can be 45 degrees.  Those are indeed useful.  In the case of 4886, I find I rarely need or want 45 degrees of vertical coverage, and prefer shallower angles, which makes the HF combine better.  This is largely true whether I'm using 3 boxes or 8 - in my practical deployments, it seems that I usually want between 20 and 30 degrees of vertical coverage, based on my available trim height and throw requirements.

I agree with Ivan that in most permanent installs where one can go to the catalog and choose the right box for the room, a point source is preferable to a vertical array.  It will very likely be a less expensive system, and because flexibility of deployment isn't necessary, the right box for that situation will sound better than a Swiss Army knife adjustable vertical array.  Vertical arrays (IMO) have advantages in portable systems in that they can be configured differently for different rooms, and potentially the rigging and logistics are more desirable than a large point-source box.  An additional benefit is that line arrays look cooler and more impressive than point source systems, and right or wrong, this is a market benefit.

There are lots of different circumstances, and lots of different potential solutions with varying compromises. 
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 11:15:13 pm by TJ (Tom) Cornish »
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: The high cost of deploying a true line-array
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2014, 11:25:09 pm »

Hi TJ,
When I write, "true line array", I am referring to the practical and not the theoretical.

In my previous topic, Tom Danley wrote,
"The up side of the tiny line array is that they are mostly not a line array acoustically, they have less self interference and so one can achieve a more constant sound spectrum vs location more like a point source.   
Many have observed that the smaller the number of boxes one uses, generally the better it sounds, one can have a “perfect box” but when you stack 16 of them up, what do you have then?"

I find this very interesting. The fewer boxes, the better it sounds.
The problem is, when the speaker has a vertical dispersion of only 15 degrees, where can it be usefully used? Front fills, under balcony, spot fills would be good placements. But when you put 2 on a stick with only 15 degrees of vertical dispersion and an array height of only 16 inches, how large of an area can you realistically cover?

Tom's post confirms my observation that "a whole bunch of smaller line array boxes" doesn't sound the same as fewer big boxes making up the same line length.

The answer to your question:  "about the same as you'd get with a similarly sized '90x40' cab."  You'd have 30° of vertical with 2 15° boxes.  How high you can get them up determines whatever "throw" you might accomplish.

While we can (and do) use single line array elements, or 2 or 3 on a stick, those uses are based on customer expectations and inventory availability.  If a client wants to give us extra money to have a "line array" and doing so will not create acoustic or coverage issues, we will happily take their money and design accordingly.  The opposite is usually the case - a client that thinks 6 Mackie 450s on sticks is right for a theater with 2 balconies.  Oy.
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Peter Morris

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Re: The high cost of deploying a true line-array
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2014, 12:05:01 am »

Yes various Jerichos could be used for "tour sound"-with the right rigging hardware.

And then there is the whole "rider" issue-and that is a slow change.

Where the line arrays have the advantage is a fully developed rigging system that goes up quick and transports and stores nicely in a truck.

I can't anything yet-but there are things "in the works" that will challenge the current "status quo" of portable/touring sound. ;)

About time  :)  Although I have never heard any of your boxes, I'm sure they sound great; but from my perspective as a contrator most of your boxes are usless to me because of their size, weight, truck pack, storage, flexability etc.

Can't weight to see what you guys have done.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 04:26:09 am by Peter Morris »
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: The high cost of deploying a true line-array
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2014, 12:57:46 am »

Tom's post confirms my observation that "a whole bunch of smaller line array boxes" doesn't sound the same as fewer big boxes making up the same line length.

The answer to your question:  "about the same as you'd get with a similarly sized '90x40' cab."  You'd have 30° of vertical with 2 15° boxes.  How high you can get them up determines whatever "throw" you might accomplish.

While we can (and do) use single line array elements, or 2 or 3 on a stick, those uses are based on customer expectations and inventory availability.  If a client wants to give us extra money to have a "line array" and doing so will not create acoustic or coverage issues, we will happily take their money and design accordingly.  The opposite is usually the case - a client that thinks 6 Mackie 450s on sticks is right for a theater with 2 balconies.  Oy.

Interesting question on compact and subcompact.  Does anyone have any experience with a subcompact like the Vue AL-4?  Making a 10' line of 4" boxes would be a huge capital investment.  These don't seem to be positioned for smaller venues but when Live Sound does a roundup there seem to be quite a few competitors in this space.  Do the smaller drivers truly couple better?  I can imagine they are very accurate.

I don't have any business or application reason for asking this other than curiosity.

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Ivan Beaver

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Re: The high cost of deploying a true line-array
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2014, 07:40:37 am »


Many have observed that the smaller the number of boxes one uses, generally the better it sounds, one can have a “perfect box” but when you stack 16 of them up, what do you have then?"


With ANY box, by ANY manufacturer, the few number of boxes will have a better sonic sound-simply due to less interference.

More boxes may have more bass and be louder-but will sound worse.

Hence the need for high output single boxes to cover the intended area.

When more than one box is pointed in the same coverage area-the sound is going to suffer-simple as that.

But I will admit that sometimes that is what is needed to get the SPL that is required.

Also it does not matter how good it sounds if it is not loud enough.

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Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: The high cost of deploying a true line-array
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2014, 07:40:37 am »


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