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Old 20th June 2003, 09:08 PM   #1
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Default so what's the point of mini- line arrays?

So I'm doing my every-so-often review of closeout drivers for a super cheap line array, weighing the appeal of the killer visual impact with the ubiquitous advice of "it might just sound like a big bunch of cheap drivers".

One thing I've never quite understood: what's the point with these half-array or mini-array designs, where there are many drivers used, but still way short of extending between floor to ceiling. What niche do they fit in?
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Old 20th June 2003, 09:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: so what's the point of mini- line arrays?

Quote:
Originally posted by leadbelly
One thing I've never quite understood: what's the point with these half-array or mini-array designs, where there are many drivers used, but still way short of extending between floor to ceiling. What niche do they fit in?
Uhhh ...

How about the 'superb imaging, super fast, low distortion, zero crossover, accepted by the spouse' niche?

But if you want in, leave the cheap drivers out.

Steve
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Old 20th June 2003, 11:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
How about the 'superb imaging, super fast, low distortion, zero crossover, accepted by the spouse' niche?
No, really, I'm serious. Are you you saying that compromises on the ceiling/floor reflection and near-field/far-field issues are not that big a deal and still make for great speakers?
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Old 20th June 2003, 11:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by leadbelly
No, really, I'm serious. Are you you saying that compromises on the ceiling/floor reflection and near-field/far-field issues are not that big a deal and still make for great speakers?
A smaller array will cut down on the ceiling/floor reflections, not as much as a ceiling to floor array but more than conventional designs.

The near-field/far-field issues will depend on the specifics of the small array. With the Nonsuch 4s, the frequency response is normal, provided that the listener is seated and is at a distance of at least 4 or 5 feet from the speakers, in other words, normal listening conditions for most people. If you stand up you will lose some of the high frequencies. I have added a link connection across the terminals so you can cut out the outer two drivers when you need to stand or walk about while listening.

It's not for me to say whether 'mini array' speakers can still make for great speakers. If you use mediocre drive-units you can expect a reduced distortion as, for a given SPL, each unit is working a lot less. You still won't make a great speaker, you need top quality drivers for that.

I'm looking forward to a neutral forum member listening to my particular example of the genre (are there any other examples out there?) and reporting back to the forum.

Does anyone live near South London?

Steve
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Old 21st June 2003, 12:01 AM   #5
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Also are you reffereing to something with like 12 3" drivers per side, or just something simple like 4 3" tang bands?

I will probably do something like the latter soon for my TV/Gameing system, so that I can have something that has alot of impact, and doesn't need a lot power. It's a big room and my little B&W DM302's just sound plain terrible by themselves. However at the same time I'm not concerend about utmost sound quality, because I have another dedicated system and frankly I'd like to keep the precious notion that my MMG's are the best speakers ever!
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Old 21st June 2003, 12:22 AM   #6
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Actually, I'm not really planning anything now. I did see a sale, reread the Linus White Paper, and then asked myself for the upteenth time "how come so many people have designs for mini-arrays that fly in the face of the science of it, at least as I understand it". You know, you see these designs with large spaces in between the drivers and such and all kinds of weird stuff like that. I just wanted to know what was the cr*p and what was for real.
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Old 21st June 2003, 01:02 AM   #7
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One of my projects this summer will be a line array of 16 Tangbands. It will be configured as a MMMMMMMMTMMMMMMMMW system and tri-amplified. To avoid comb effects and time smearing the array will be curved, with the focal point at my seated listening position.

The bass system will be 4 - 12" per channel is sealed enclosures, Q=.5. Low to mid crossover will be about 120Hz.

Multiple mids in series parallel will allow for high SPL and high power handling.

I have recently heard a line array of 3" drivers, 24 per channel, operating full range. I left with the impression that all the time delays had destroyed the "you are there" potential in the system. I believe the curved array and the added tweeter is the solution.
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Old 21st June 2003, 01:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
To avoid comb effects and time smearing the array will be curved, with the focal point at my seated listening position.
Well, now THAT's really interesting. And, by doing that, you really open up the design door, because you can use larger c-to-c spacing before comb effects occur, like using 6" woofers all the way up to 5KHz for example.
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Old 21st June 2003, 01:47 AM   #9
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Default Mini-line Arrays

Bill,

I could resist logging in to direct you to my 16 Tang Band W3-871S and single Esg3 ribbon tweeter line array that avoids the LA shortcomings you mentioned. I call it the Needles. It is a straight baffle but with a driver spacing and a crossover that avoids comb lines. A slight power taper is used to anchor the blend between the TBs and the Esg3. It works very well most anywhere within a listening room but without your head in a vise location issue of a curved array. More information on this design can be had at:

www.creativesound.ca

or from me.

Jim Griffin
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Old 21st June 2003, 02:21 AM   #10
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Yep, but you have a narrow 'sweet spot', as little as cocking your head narrow depending on the curvature/listening distance, not to mention the front/back limitation. Still, in the 'sweet spot' they can sound quite good and a great way to get plenty of dynamics/low distortion without the need for XOs or bulky horns.

GM
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