- by George Petersen
in Buyer's Guide
A year ago in this space, we covered the topic of “compact” line arrays — referring to units where the woofers were nine inches in diameter or less. Of course, some of those entries, particularly three-way systems with dual 8-inch drivers, weighed more than 100 pounds, so the term “compact” had to be used in context to the larger format line arrays presented in the Buyers Guide in our May, 2012 issue. This time, we turned to units that are even smaller, having LF drivers less than seven inches in diameter and one entry even packing a pair of 3.5-inch woofers.
To download a copy of the Nov. 2012 Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE.
Now, expecting big performance out of smaller drivers may seem like a contradiction in terms. Physics dictates that achieving greater air movement requires increasing the surface area of the drivers, and assembling multiple units into a line array accomplishes just that. Now for the bigger jobs, adding a subwoofer or two (or four) to the rig can provide enough air movement to effectively cool even the people in the back row. Obviously, a mini line array is hardly designed for long-throw applications, yet there are plenty of gigs where they can handle the show nicely and even be kind to your back during load in/out — or provide a more discreet, less noticeable appearance in a theater or small venue install. And many of these are also ideal in applications such as front-fill or under-balcony use, where a low-profile, diminutive, yet high-quality system is just the ticket.
And with that in mind, we present this look at some current choices in mini-sized line arrays, listed alphabetically, and with URLs provided, should you require more information. Happy hunting!