Wouldn’t it be great if there was a range of loudspeakers that was aesthetically sympathetic to most designs, and provided excellent sound and coverage over a large area?
There have been many conceptual designs of rooms, stadiums, clubs, and so on; we can see that the artists and architects involved have fully embraced the visual aspects of technology that are available.
It is easier for people in the design and concept phase to understand how the placement of screens and lights will work in a space and to integrate it into the rest of the design. It makes sense that people who specialise in the aesthetic effect of the design of a project, are going to feel comfortable (and maybe even excited) about working with visual technology.
Discussing Constant Beamwidth Technology in CBT Passive Columns
It also makes sense that these same people, when asked about the electro-acoustic requirements of a project will say something like “oh yes…. we’ll need some audio please” and then leave it up to the integrator to make their best judgment on it. Those same people can come back with a look of disappointment on their faces as they realise what decisions have been made.
Sometimes the best place to put a speaker for acoustic reasons is in a place that adversely affects the look of the design. The compromise is often to use a smaller speaker in a less appropriate place. However, it is a fact that a beautiful room, can feel a lot cheaper when you have a tinny sound system squawking away.
So, if we were to build the ideal sound system, we would want to provide the same pristine sound to the entire audience which covers a large area whilst not upsetting the architecture of the venue, and how about sounding good straight out of the box without any need for external processing.
Now let’s imagine that range had a couple of passive switches that could change coverage angle and tunings without worrying about specific presets then that would be amazing.
If it was possible to buy a version of these that was also suitable for life safety applications, but that still maintained a musical sound, so that they could be used for good quality BGM systems as well as PAVA systems then that would be even more amazing.
If that same range of products had the option of being driven from a 100-volt (or 70-volt) high-impedance distributed system, then that would be the option to go for in a lot of competitive projects. If it could be made to IP55 specification with the addition of a simple panel cover then that would be even better.
What if this very range of speakers had a way of forming a beam of sound, using passive components so that you could use it effectively in spaces that are tricky acoustically? You’d probably say I was making it up.
If I then said that it was supported by its own design software that was FREE to download and gave accurate comparisons between different models then you would tell me to sit down and think about having a glass of water.
Let’s go even further and say I started ranting on about how it was made from a design based on submarine radar technology, and then started talking about “twin voice coil motors” and “Dynamic SonicGuard Overload protection,” I wouldn’t be surprised if you called for a taxi to take me home to sleep it off.
Finally, what if that range of speakers had models that could fit nicely by small video installations, as well as other models that could cover large crowds easily? You might be interested.
I encourage you to explore the Constant Beamwidth Technology (CBT) loudspeaker range, one of JBL Professional’s best-kept secrets.
- Product Details and Specifications
- Design Guide: Constant Beamwidth Technology
- Watch the Video: Discussing Constant Beamwidth Technology in CBT Passive Columns
- Watch the Video: Exploring Speech Intelligibility and the Speech Transmission Index
- Article: Loudspeaker System Design for Airports
- Case Study – Coal Drops Yard, London
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(Some content in this article originally appeared in AV Magazine.)