Column speakers systems

What is everyone thoughts on “column” systems?
They look more versatile than a standard point source box. Would they be a better alternative than a small 1-3 box line array system?


Speakers I’m talking about are: dB tech IG1T, IG2T, IG3T & IG4T; FBT CLA206A & CLA406.2A; RCF NXL24A, NXL44A, T_4A, & TTL6A
Not talking about the stick PA like Bose L1, JBL PRX-One or Turbosound Inspire rigs.
 

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From what I can tell (and marketing aside), those boxes are point-source boxes with dual woofers and so have a bit more height and vertical pattern control to lower frequencies than a single-woofer box. But there's nothing magical about them.

As far as comparing to a "dash" array, you'll get LF pattern control to about the same point or perhaps a bit lower with the tall point-source box (this comes from the heights of the woofer stacks in the array and in the point-source box), but your HF dispersion will likely be taller with the point-source box and you won't have as many high drivers so your peak HF output will be lower. The point-source box will likely be a bit cleaner, however, and will typically be quicker to deploy.

I've used both types of systems, and the real advantage to the "dash" array is that it lets you use more of the same boxes in a larger array for larger jobs. If you aren't planning on needing to put together a 6-8+ box array system, I think point-source boxes are a better choice (easier to deploy, and usually better sound).
 

Lev Raber

Freshman
May 7, 2011
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Staten Island, NY
What is everyone thoughts on “column” systems?
They look more versatile than a standard point source box. Would they be a better alternative than a small 1-3 box line array system?


Speakers I’m talking about are: dB tech IG1T, IG2T, IG3T & IG4T; FBT CLA206A & CLA406.2A; RCF NXL24A, NXL44A, T_4A, & TTL6A
Not talking about the stick PA like Bose L1, JBL PRX-One or Turbosound Inspire rigs.
They are good for what they are. Also they are bad for what they are. They have to be properly deployed and often there is not enough height in the room to do that. I had very bad experiences with expensive K-Array system only because columns had to go on the top of the sub, making the system useless after people populated dance floor in front of the band stand. I had a chance to listen to IG4T, CLA206 & CLA406 and all all RCF speakers. We all know there is no universal solution in our business, different jobs require different speaker systems, but if you plan to invest in column design speakers, you have to know what to expect in return. If you're looking for a small "wedding band" size system I would suggest (for example) 2 x CLA206A over a single 18" sub per side. The system of this size won't compete with small line array in a long distance penetration, but give you decent coverage in wide rooms with up tp 100-300 pips. Go with (for example) 2 x CLA 406A over dual 18" sub per side if you need more power for large rooms.
It's all about return on investment. Think twice (or three times) about the best tools for your application before you buy anything.
 
We picked up an RCF NX-L2A system for the sole purpose of maintaining a desired visual aesthetic while also providing adequate output for small live performances (wedding bands, etc...). If I needed to ground stack something for that size audience (100-200) that had no aesthetic requirement, I would send out the QRX212, it has more horsepower and similar enough pattern control. As Rob states above, these are just skinny point source systems, nothing magic about it. Four identically processed woofers in a line with an hf horn on top, in the case of the NX-L24A. They DO look nice, and they sound good, better than the JBL SRX812p imho, though I don't think they have quite the horsepower of the SRX.