New EAW product is “next generation” line array16 February 2010
US: The new KF740 Three-Way Full Range Line Array brings technology up-to-date for the loudspeaker maker, writes Dave Robinson. The US-based manufacturer describes the high-output, lightweight compact speaker module as its "next generation" line array.
Engineered by the Whitinsville team that developed the KF Series, the mid-sized module contains two HF compression drivers with 2.5-inch voice coils and two 8-inch MF transducers with 3-inch coils, all of which are integrated into a single horn that occupies the entire face of the enclosure. This results in a 90_ horizontal, 12_ vertical pattern, down to reported frequencies of 160Hz.
The KF740 is assembled in the US from exterior-grade Baltic birch plywood enclosure, with a "wear-resistant textured coating and powder-coated steel grille" to protect each module.
"For quite a few years now we’ve had our KF730 system, which we’ve really touted as a small line array module, and we’ve also had our large KF760 system, which is a large line array module used for some of the largest performing spaces in the world," Nathan Butler, part of the EAW team, told PSN-e in an exclusive interview.
"We’ve never really had anything in-between, [and] we realised that there was a gap in terms of performance between our own KF730 and KF760, and in size.
"I’d say the 740 is much closer to a KF750 or 850 in terms of application. The output is [also] going to be a lot closer to [what] you might expect from a KF760. So we’ve increased size [in the 740] by a very small percentage but increased performance by a very large percentage. That’s the primary reason you use it over a KF730."
What about comparing the 740 to the 750 or 850, then? "Quite frankly, they are just old technology. The boxes are a lot larger, a lot heavier. Those products are also horizontal arrayable systems – a system format much more commonly used in the ’90s. Line array has many advantages these days – it’s certainly just another tool in the toolbox – but in terms of narrow visual impact, the speaker system takes up a very small portion of the stage."
The KF740 uses CSA technology (Concentric Summation Array), which improves high and mid frequency transient response and was first introduced in the AX line of installation loudspeakers and then carried over into the EAW NTL720 powered line array. Alpha testers for EAW’s Australia distributor, Production Audio Services, claim "_the KF740 represents a truly significant moment in loudspeaker design and technology".