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In the loudspeaker without dispersion control, the frequency region 1-7 kHz region can be seen to be very wide so in rooms with less than ideal acoustics, the loudspeaker will sound colored.
With Flashline, Turbosound presents a true 4-way line array module, incorporating 11 custom-designed transducers. Both compression drivers and mid-high transducers feed optimized waveguides, with low-mids boosted by dedicated transducers and dual horn-loaded woofers utilizing both front and rear cone radiation to bolster efficiency. Danley Sound Labs just introduced HO (High Output) upgrades for some of its Synergy Horn cabinets, providing an upgrade of existing boxes by simply changing out the HF drivers and swapping out the crossover. And at the NAMM show, I came across a new flat panel technology by Tectonic Audio Labs called Distributed Mode Loudspeaker (DML). Craig Leerman is senior contributing editor for ProSoundWeb and Live Sound International, and is also the owner of Tech Works, a production company based in Las Vegas.
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Whether you’re a house monitor engineer, technical director, system technician, sound company owner, installer or consultant, Live Sound International is the best source to keep you tuned in to the latest pro audio world. Hans Haas is passionate about many things, particularly audio, science and technology, and brewing beer. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the basics of this type of distribution system. This is a constant-voltage distribution system, meaning that the voltage at the output of a component is not affected by the load impedance. In other words, it doesn’t matter if the amplifier is driving one loudspeaker or 100, the line voltage will be unaffected by the number of loudspeakers on the line. Virtually all interfaces in a sound system are constant-voltage - it is unfortunate that this term has become associated uniquely with a means of distributing signals to zones of loudspeakers.
This is a constant-voltage interface, because the voltage across the amplifier’s output terminals does not depend on whether the loudspeaker is connected or not.
A drawback of this interconnect method is that due to the very low loop impedance (the amplifier plus the loudspeaker), the voltage across the load is affected by the wire resistance. If the wire must be long, the increased resistance affects the signal transfer between amplifier and loudspeaker.
It works just fine for hooking one or two loudspeakers to a single amplifier through several feet of cable.


Your local power company has the same problem - the need to provide a waveform to numerous loads (homes and businesses) while reducing the cable losses. As the listener moves off axis, the level of higher frequencies reduces more than the level of lower frequencies. Additionally, the high frequency collapse in dispersion creates a narrow sweet spot in that frequency range.In the past waveguides were designing by making a physical prototype out of clay and then checking it using anechoic measurements. For example, the StageSource Series from Line 6 recently expanded with the addition of smaller models.
The Synergy Horn design places multiple drivers inside of a large horn cabinet that offers very good pattern control. It uses very small drivers to excite two large rigid honeycomb flat panels that flank a central Heil air motion transformer (AMT ) for the highs. They also make for fascinating reading, and I encourage more study if you’ve got the time. Written by professionals for professionals, each issue delivers essential information on the latest products specs, technologies, practices and theory.
The reduction in level off-axis compared to on-axis depends on the size of the driver and the surface into which it is mounted (a wall, panel, or loudspeaker cabinet). Incorrect results meant remaking the physical prototype and then taking a new set of measurements.
I like the networking and DSP facilities on these models, and one other cool aspect is that they can sense if they’re in a vertical or horizontal configuration, automatically drawing the correct preset. One interesting facet is dual mid-range transducers mounted on a manifold with integral diffuser that loads a compression chamber, which in turn loads a slot throat waveguide. Panels measure 60-in wide x 13-in high x 3-in deep and weigh 36 pounds, and can be supported from a standard lighting crank tower. These days, the waveguides in Neumann loudspeakers are iteratively designed in a computer using acoustical models until the target is achieved.
It is not practical to control the dispersion of a bass driver using an acoustical horn as it would have to be very large to control the long wavelengths involved.This frequency-dependent dispersion leads to problems around the crossover frequencies. Then only a verification of the final design needs to be performed with an anechoic measurement (Mathematically Modeled Dispersion™ waveguide, MMD™). In a two-way loudspeaker system the woofer plays up to the crossover point, typically 2-3 kHz.


This is analogous to way that automotive aerodynamics were, and are now, designed using computers, clay models, and wind tunnels.The aim of the waveguide is to provide a constant directivity throughout the crossover region(s) and above.
The wavelength of this frequency is quite small in relation to the diameter of the bass driver, which is why the directivity of the bass driver is narrow in the kHz frequencies. Ideally all models should have the same directivity, or same character of the directivity, so that products can be mixed and matched to make suitably specified sound reproduction systems. The wavelengths of these frequencies, while short (10-20 cm), are quite large in relation to the diameter of the tweeter, and therefore the dispersion is wide. So the dispersion has changed from gradually narrowing with increased frequency in the bass driver region, to becoming wide again before narrowing with increased frequency in the treble driver region. This creates a non-smooth power response (the total sound energy radiated from the loudspeaker) which has consequences when the loudspeaker is placed into the listening room – see next paragraph.
Even if the on-axis response is flat, the loudspeaker can have a tonality which is more apparent with decreased quality of acoustical treatment in the room. Neumann avoids this off-axis problem by using waveguides (acoustical horns) in front of the midrange driver and tweeters.Moving onto the sound in the room, even if the listener is positioned on-axis, the total sound at the listening position is the sum of the direct on-axis sound plus the reflected off-axis sound.
Secondly, the off-axis sound is reflected by the surfaces in the room (equipment, furniture, and walls). This reflected sound will be colored in some way and attenuated in level due the reflecting surfaces’ acoustical properties, although it is possible with good acoustical design to minimize the adverse affects of this. The off-axis sound from the loudspeaker should not be colored otherwise the acoustics of the room will have to cope with this additional sound quality factor, which is not practical nor even possible in some cases. Finally, if there is a non-linear reverberation time in the room, the result at the listening position will also be colored.To measure the way in which sound radiates, many measurements are required around the loudspeaker. To avoid the need to measure every angle in all directions, typical just the horizontal and vertical planes are measured with a resolution of 5 deg. The level of the sound at a particular frequency and angle is displayed using different colors.



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