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Killer start for EAW KF740

New mid-sized box is flying out of the US factory, with 200 units sold within weeks, writes Dave Robinson

EAW, and its parent LOUD Technologies, report an impressive first response to the new 3-way mid-sized full-range line array loudspeaker, with over 200 units shipped within two months of the official launch.

“Everyone who has heard the KF740 has been extremely impressed with its uniform coverage and overall sound quality,” says Sean Martin, EAW European sales manager. “And at the end of the day, no one could believe that such a compact enclosure could produce such a rich sound. It is no wonder that, as of today, over 200 KF740s have shipped, and are in the hands of the first purchasers – the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

As part of the KF740’s worldwide launch, EAW’s Dutch distributor, Holland PA Service (an EAW distributor for over 30 years), held a demonstration at the recent ISE show. Over 200 people were in attendance, and after the event, a significant number of KF740s were sold to SLG, one of the region’s most consistent EAW customers.

Previous to this, EAW hosted an invitation-only KF740 preview event for members of the pro-audio community in San Diego, California. Identical arrays of 14 KF740s, flown on each side of the stage, provided uniform coverage throughout the 19,000-seat amphitheatre venue as CD test tracks and a live performance by members of Jackson Browne’s band put the KF740s through their paces.

“Several of the attendees told me that they couldn’t believe their ears,” says Jeffrey Cox, VP of LOUD’s Pro Audio Group. “They could have sworn they were listening to a bigger box, and that the volume and rich tone seemed effortless. Also, everyone was shocked that, as they ventured outside the primary listening area that with the KF740’s wide dispersion pattern, the falloff was warm and gradual rather than harsh and sudden. And when we were playing the CD tracks, people were convinced we were supplementing the sound with subs, but we weren’t. The KF740 arrays didn’t need that additional help in the low end.”

The KF740 was wholly designed, prototyped and manufactured by the same Whitinsville-based design team responsible for EAW’s critically acclaimed KF Series. “It was important to us to keep the KF740 development and manufacturing completely in-house,” says Kenton Forsythe, EAW executive engineer. “It’s all done in the US, and we’re very grateful and proud of that fact.”

Input from key end users, who suggested a box of the KF740’s dimensions and performance parameters, was paramount to the development of the box. “It was very clear that there existed a real need for an EAW mid-sized line array,” notes Cox. “The KF740’s initial purpose was to fill that need with a high-performance, medium-sized EAW line array system ideal for arena-sized venues. What our design team came up with, however, is really much more. The KF740 truly sets a new performance standard for modules of its size.”

The unit delivers “premium, high output, 3-way performance in a compact and reportedly easy-to-use package”, claims EAW. “It’s fully scalable to any size venue,” says KF740 principal engineer Nathan Butler. “You can use as few as two or four modules, or as many as 16. It’s the exact same side profile as our KF730, but about 10″ wider. Compared to the KF730, on the KF740 we’ve doubled the low-frequency components. The output is a lot closer to what you might expect from a KF760, but again, in this smaller footprint. We increased size by a very small margin, but increased performance by a large one.”

EAW is planning further demo events throughout the EMEA region (to be billed as the B5 Road Show) in April and May, and throughout the Asian and Pacific Rim markets in late May and June. It’s a clear display, says the company, of its commitment to the product and LOUD Technologies’ continued support of its valued brands.