Even if you are a talented and well thought after jazz musician, you are not necessarily made of money, but you still want to be heard properly at the venues you are playing, specially in outdoor situation, and not everybody can afford a Wisdom Audio system, not to mention transporting it in your car and playing outside in all kind of weather....
Unlike regular speakers, line arrays have the unique feature of getting an even levelled sound regardless of the distance the listener is from the source, hence their use in professional audio applications like concert halls and outdoor rock concerts. They are generally heavy, expensive, difficult to set-up and require electronic equalisation and a big bank of amplifiers (Bryston anyone...)
Paul Sun went and designed his own (relatively...) portable system comprising 4 line array modules, each including 8 VIFA 3.5inch drivers, and two subwoofers using VIFA 12inch drivers.
They stack on top of each other nicely to provide an intrusive but highly effective sound system.
They are powered by two professional stereo amplifiers and a dbx electronic crossover set at 240 Hz. Although the full range drivers are limited to about 12 Khz, it is amply sufficient for this application. The sound of the guitar was reflecting the perturbations of the top end of the speakers and could be improved by using a few 19mm VIFA tweeters on a LR2 passive crossover
I have successfully implemented the 2.5in version of these drivers coupled to a 19mm VIFA tweeter and a 6dB/oct crossover for a PA application for schools and museums to be integrated into a lighting profile. We just got our first order for a project in Sydney.
VIFA also makes excellent 10in and 12in bass drivers that I have also implemented in an active subwoofer built in a 27 litres closed cabinet. You can see the combined response below. The system generates a very warm sound, and even without the subwoofer, the result is impressive.
So, Paul has managed to design a very good system, with enough portability and performance for his application, at a reasonable cost. Well done!
I have chosen to review the show in reverse alphabetical order for a change, so here we are starting with W!!!
Wisdom Audio is new to me but have been around for quite a while, 1996 to be precise...
David Graebener is the "eminence grise" behind the company, with 30 years of experience developing planar transducers.
Jerry Hanna - in the photo - is vice president business development and worked at Madrigal for some time (as a few of the executive team members) was very good at explaining and demonstrating the virtues of their planar technologies.
The column you see is a full range device going down to 80Hz on its own!
There is a HUGE subwoofer to cater for the lower 2 octaves (45x90x150cms!!!)
The system claims 100 db/W/m, which together with the cylindrical directivity pattern of the satelites gives a very realistic and precise sound.
Not quite as impressive as the Everest system from JBL demonstrated next door, it was nevertheless the next closest thing to live music.
Quite an achievement, and certainly less unaffordable than the Everest
(Do you need to climb the Everest to achieve Wisdom???...lol!)
Dave Wilson does not need an introduction, as he has been designing "reference" systems for over 30 years.
The new Sasha demonstrated on the stand of its French distributor Europe Audio Diffusion (EAD) is the latest incarnation of a long series of extraordinary speakers on which the most famous would be the Watt/Puppy, a satelite/subwoofer combination, my favourite arrangement as you probably know by now, if you have followed this blog for some time...
It is also a "money is no object" kind of proposition and the reference speaker of the revered Ken Kessler - not an easy treat to achieve!
In good company here driven by Audio Research electronics and next to the latest version of Magnepan panels!
EAD also distributes Macintosh and the new Dan D'Agostino amplifier (unfortunately on static display only...)
This is not for the faint hearted, but certainly one of the best sounds at the Show.
Third award for the Niagara, top of the range for this unique concept of glass cabinet loudspeakers.
Powered by Atohm drivers, another sublime French loudspeaker manufacturer, these original products are both very good to your ears and with a very high WAF index. Waterfall is distributed all around the World and as far as...Australia!
Nadine and Cedric Aubriot are a very handsome couple running the show and they have managed to assemble a diverse range of products well targeted to the melomane as well as to the CEDIA type clients who want a decent sound from a discrete system.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.