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Line Array Loudspeakers

Why Line Array?

High directivity over a broad frequency range allows the sound to be focused on the audience area, keeping the sound off the ceiling, the wall behind the audience and the areas above, behind and below the array. Due to its high directivity, the array excites the reverberant field less and the overall noise decreases in the space. Since there is less overall noise in the space because reverberation is decreased, line arrays tend to be very intelligible in difficult spaces.

Line arrays attenuate at 3dB per doubling of distance in the far field, as compared with a point source speaker's typical attenuation of 6dB per doubling of distance. Consequently, arrays have uniform sound coverage from the front of the room to the back of the room. Line arrays can propagate sound over large distances with low distortion. That means a point source speaker that is 110dB at the source will be 86dB at 16 meters while the line array will be 98dB. In 16 meters (52ft.) there is a difference of 12dB or perceived as about twice as loud.

SPL Line Array versus Point Source
Distance Point Source Line Array Difference
1 meter 110 110 0
2 meter 104 107 3
4 meter 98 104 6
8 meter 92 101 9
16 meter 86 98 12
32 meter 80 95 15
64 meter 74 92 18
128 meter 68 89 21
Attenuation 42 21

Line array speakers achieve virtual elimination of lobing in the vertical plane due to the arrangement of the devices in a tightly packed and properly spaced array. Excursion decreases by half each time the number of devices is doubled resulting in lower distortion and higher intelligibility. The proper design, installation, and implementation of a line array system will result in all of these illustrated advantages.

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