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Thoughts on the new McCauley M Series Line Array

I recently when to a church service where they had a new McCauley M Series system installed. The configuration consisted of 7 x M-90 modules, 1 x M-120, 2 x MS1 and 1 x AC355 per side. The sanctuary is a 80' x 80' x 26' (WxDxH) with a balcony.

The 2 MS1 cabinets where flown in a separate array next to the main array. I noticed some interesting things (no mids) with lots of sizzle in the high end. They had an acoustic guitar player as well as an electric guitar and you couldn't hear either one. The vocals where not very clear either. Because the array had a vertical coverage of > 90 degrees of coverage, they had some slap back and early reflections in the seating area.

They didn't get as many amps as I thought they should because the boxes are 16 ohm cabinets so they could run up to 6 cabs per amp. This makes it extremely hard to adjust the gain level to the individual boxes to get a good balance in the array pattern (even SPL to seating areas) with that many boxes hooked to the same amp. I sat up in the balcony and it didn't sound full (week coverage) compared to the coverage of the M120s on the downfill (on the floor 3rd row from the front). Overall the best sound was on the floor from the downfill boxes but still no mids.

Believe it or not, this was way better than their old system.
This system would be classified as a 4 way system with the subs included. 2 way out of the M-90 and M120 boxes, third way MS1 box and 4th way out of the sub. The problem here is that the only boxes that are projecting to every seat is the 2 way box. We all know how 2 way boxes behave, they lack mids. The woof can't produce the lower mids and the tweet can't produce upper mids.
While line array systems are a better solution for larger venue (>500 seats), it doesn't guaranty a good system. The clarifiers to a good system are:

  1. Keeping sound off the walls and ceiling (no early reflections into seating areas)
  2. Full frequency to every seat in the venue.
  3. even SPL to all seats in the venue.

The McCauley system installed at this church did not meet any of the above criteria. note: these specs need to be verifiable, not shown with a projected coverage modeler program.
(although the system was better than their old system I predict that they will not be happy with it for long)

The only only Line Array system that I know of that can meet the above criteria is the ISP HDL4210 and HDL4215 systems. They are true 4 way cabinets (5 way when you include the subs) but the important thing is that the each box truly projects full frequency to the seating areas. With 8 speakers per cabinet and dedicated speakers for the lower and upper mids there is no comparison. You have to hear these speakers.

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