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Author Topic: Line vs Point Sources - Open talk  (Read 20491 times)

Alberto Escrina

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Line vs Point Sources - Open talk
« on: November 04, 2017, 03:03:42 pm »

I'm in this business for 40++ years. I'm old enough and yes, English is not my first language.
Since their appearance around the 80's I always thought that, for concert PA, line arrays do have some very good characteristics that, unfortunately, have nothing to do with sound improvement and to make  things even worst, lower efficiency is a big big trade off.
If you don't believe me, just remember the audio power and loudspeaker quantity that were required to fill the very same places you are now filling with dozens if not hundreds of cabinets.
They look better than point sources, they are easy to transport and fly but, acoustic troubles inherent to the technology are still there. Multiple arrival times are still there.
During the 80's and 90's I was one that said major manufacturers will never go into this. I was wrong.
I'm not criticizing them. They did the same thing 99% of the competence did, with some exceptions.
Companies must keep running and some times doing things that go against their principles and technical convictions.
Another thing that could contribute to this trend is that most companies are not run by audio passionate anymore. They are run by accountants and lawyers or.... holdings.
I believe that the most benefited ones were loudspeaker and amplifier manufacturers. Not audiences.
I do not intend to offend or disturb anybody. This intends to be a place where you can put your thoughts and in no way a place for fights or disagreements please.
Thanks for your time.
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Alberto Escriña
R&D for STS Sound Touring Systems
Buenos Aires,
Argentina

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Line vs Point Sources - Open talk
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2017, 04:13:33 pm »

I'm in this business for 40++ years. I'm old enough and yes, English is not my first language.
Since their appearance around the 80's I always thought that, for concert PA, line arrays do have some very good characteristics that, unfortunately, have nothing to do with sound improvement and to make  things even worst, lower efficiency is a big big trade off.
If you don't believe me, just remember the audio power and loudspeaker quantity that were required to fill the very same places you are now filling with dozens if not hundreds of cabinets.
They look better than point sources, they are easy to transport and fly but, acoustic troubles inherent to the technology are still there. Multiple arrival times are still there.
During the 80's and 90's I was one that said major manufacturers will never go into this. I was wrong.
I'm not criticizing them. They did the same thing 99% of the competence did, with some exceptions.
Companies must keep running and some times doing things that go against their principles and technical convictions.
Another thing that could contribute to this trend is that most companies are not run by audio passionate anymore. They are run by accountants and lawyers or.... holdings.
I believe that the most benefited ones were loudspeaker and amplifier manufacturers. Not audiences.
I do not intend to offend or disturb anybody. This intends to be a place where you can put your thoughts and in no way a place for fights or disagreements please.
Thanks for your time.

That's what I like, a nice fresh topic.  Something we don't discuss often. 
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Don T. Williams

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Re: Line vs Point Sources - Open talk
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2017, 04:59:36 pm »

Yes, yes, no, no, yes, no, yes.  Not in that particular order!  Just my opinion.
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Alberto Escrina

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Re: Line vs Point Sources - Open talk
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 06:27:03 pm »

Hi Scott and Don.
Thank you very much for investing your time on those interesting contributions.
Best regards,
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Alberto Escriña
R&D for STS Sound Touring Systems
Buenos Aires,
Argentina

Ivan Beaver

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Re: Line vs Point Sources - Open talk
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2017, 07:13:12 pm »

Here is an interesting video that points to a lot of the issues.  Mostly things that others simply want to ignore or "forget".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D2vzknf8vQ

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Scott Mullane

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Re: Line vs Point Sources - Open talk
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2017, 10:17:52 pm »

Great topic and one that I have banged on about for over a decade. Newbie really. ; )

I run KV2 Audio and Adamson S10. Horses for courses really, but generally speaking, George's remarks are very true.

Each has it's own pro's and con's. Line array usually has better pattern control in the lower frequencies, line length dependant of course. Point source is, as stated more efficient in the HF.

I have been watching companies like KV2 Audio particularly with VHD5.0 and Danley Audio as very interesting companies that chose to stay with point source and develop it beyond where others left it in thew late nineties and early naughties. Hats of to them both and I look forward to hearing some of there newer creations in the near future.
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Doug Fowler

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Re: Line vs Point Sources - Open talk
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2017, 11:02:31 pm »

Who has a pointer (no pun intended) to a modern "point source" system that scales up to arena/festival work or larger?

I'm not holding my breath....

There are reasons rental companies buy line source systems, and almost none (or any) have anything to do with sound quality, at least nowadays.  V-DOSC was a revelation, and one of the true game changers, but that was almost 20 years ago.  When we went from walls of 850s or S4s, yeah, you could really hear the difference.  And when decision makers started asking for it, the market was driven by demand.

This topic has been beat to death here.  Line source = business decision for concert sound providers.
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Ray Aberle

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Re: Line vs Point Sources - Open talk
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2017, 01:13:37 am »

Alberto,

Can I ask what the point of the topic is? As was noted by Scott & Don, and Doug... this has been covered a few times in regards to line arrayz versus point source systems. Both have their places, but they are not always interchangeable.

As Doug astutely noted, most of the time, investing in a line array system is a business decision. You broadly painted these decisions as being made by "the accountants or lawyers" of an audio company, as opposed to "audio passionate" -- but that's not true. You can be an audio person and understand the underlying business argument for the purchase of a line array system.

I'm not going to re-hash everything I have said on this topic in the past; I assume that having been on here for over 6-1/2 years, you have seen my thoughts on this before, but to recap for those who might be just joining us:
- A Line Array Is Another Tool In The Tool Box,
- I Buy The Gear That Makes Me Money [Which means it has to be something people will pay me for], and
- Customers Don't Make Silly Requests; They Merely Give Me Another Opportunity For A Line Item On The Invoice.

Whether or not a LA system is appropriate for a venue-- if the customer is gonna pay me for it (to the limits of coverage, budget and safety) I am going to deliver it.

-Ray
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Line vs Point Sources - Open talk
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2017, 01:31:29 am »

Alberto,

Can I ask what the point of the topic is? As was noted by Scott & Don, and Doug... this has been covered a few times in regards to line arrayz versus point source systems. Both have their places, but they are not always interchangeable.

As Doug astutely noted, most of the time, investing in a line array system is a business decision. You broadly painted these decisions as being made by "the accountants or lawyers" of an audio company, as opposed to "audio passionate" -- but that's not true. You can be an audio person and understand the underlying business argument for the purchase of a line array system.

I'm not going to re-hash everything I have said on this topic in the past; I assume that having been on here for over 6-1/2 years, you have seen my thoughts on this before, but to recap for those who might be just joining us:
- A Line Array Is Another Tool In The Tool Box,
- I Buy The Gear That Makes Me Money [Which means it has to be something people will pay me for], and
- Customers Don't Make Silly Requests; They Merely Give Me Another Opportunity For A Line Item On The Invoice.

Whether or not a LA system is appropriate for a venue-- if the customer is gonna pay me for it (to the limits of coverage, budget and safety) I am going to deliver it.

-Ray
I will repeat what I have said before and even add Ray in for reinforcement.   Ray and I both have invested in line arrays and sound quality was not the reason.  Logistics and demand were my drivers.   Having the line arrays and a litany of other production items has opened many doors.  I am neither an accountant  nor a lawyer, just a small businessman.

What is your role and interest in audio technology?

Sent from my SM-T800 using Tapatalk

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Alberto Escrina

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Re: Line vs Point Sources - Open talk
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2017, 03:32:20 am »

Probably I din't make myself clear when stating "..most companies are not run by audio passionate anymore. They are run by accountants and lawyers or.... holdings". I was not talking about users, I was talking about sound systems manufacturers.
Users will buy and use whatever fill their needs because of any reason(s) they consider relevant to run successfully their companies.
The point is, and now trying to answer to Ray, all of you agree that line array revelation not only do not contribute to better sound but, besides, they cost a lot more because it is a low efficiency technology by nature.
Users are buying, transporting and flying probably half of of their systems to cancel selectively the other half in order to achieve the required vertical dispersion pattern.
That's why you need delay towers at 50 meters from the stage where you have flown tons of $$$.
The point is: appart from Tom Danley, George Krampera, Tony Andrews or Bruce Howze, where are the Dr Heils of the XXI century working to put where point source systems deserve to be?
I think most manufacturers choose to stay in their comfort zone because "if they want line arrays I will manufacture and sale line arrays".
The point is, and now borrowing Doug's words: Who has a pointer (no pun intended) to a modern "point source" system that scales up to arena/festival work or larger?
 
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Alberto Escriña
R&D for STS Sound Touring Systems
Buenos Aires,
Argentina

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Line vs Point Sources - Open talk
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2017, 03:32:20 am »


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