Ever since the first man cupped his hands over his mouth to shout across a field, he knew that creating a "horn" in front of his lips would project his voice further and more clearly than without the horn. This phenomena has not changed. It is a principle of acoustic physics.
For many applications, the bass reflex, tuned port or infinite baffle style of speaker does an excellent job, as most listening situations require "near-field" acoustic propagation (where the listener is relatively close to the speaker system, as in a living room).
Concert halls, theaters and churches, however, require a different approach to sound generation. Traditional PA speakers, built largely as tuned or ducted port systems, simply cannot hold their sound quality to the back of the hall-- the sound wave becomes too diffuse, and the sound technician compensates, both by over-processing the sound mix, and by turning up the volume. Any hall seating over about 200 needs the advantage of a carefully designed horn-loaded system, to focus the sound, presenting a more coherent sound wave right to the furthest reaches of the room; outdoor concert settings even more so. An additional benefit is that the horn-loaded system operates at about 3 to 6 times LESS distortion level than that of a bass-reflex (conventional) system of comparable acoustic output. This results in less listener fatigue, lower sound pressure levels for intelligibility, and generally a more pleasant listening experience.
The disadvantage, for speaker manufacturers is first, that a straight-axis horn (where the throat proceeds on axis and expands exponentially away from the diaphragm of the speaker) would be far too large in the bass frequencies to be of any practical value. Secondly, a "folded" horn is very difficult to design and build.
There is a resurgence, however, in research into horn-loaded speaker systems, and the consensus among discerning acoustic engineers is that there is no finer technology that can be applied to the propagation of low audio frequencies.
AcoustiWAVE engineers have been researching, designing and building horn loaded enclosures for three decades. The acoustic principles have not changed, but utilizing today's technology in driver magnet and cone materials, amplification and digital processing equipment, we have designed and built the ultimate PA system: Hi-Fi quality, with unmatched sound propagation characteristics. If you want the very best for your church, concert hall, theater or stage band, invest in an AcoustiWAVE sound system. Superior by design.
Virtually without exception, the many churches I have visited in the last several decades have inadequate sound systems. Inadequate in the fact that two-thirds of the way back in the sanctuary, the bass frequencies have degenerated to the point of unintelligibility. High frequencies generally are acceptable, because the vast majority of speaker manufacturers today use horn-loaded transducers for propagation of frequencies above 1000 Hz., but the overall effect of the whole system is a very muddy and indistinct sound in the back half of the sanctuary.
Acoustiwave P.A. systems use horn-loading throughout the frequency spectrum to achieve a more complete and coherent audio waveform-- all the way to the back of the hall. The bass cabinets are far more complex to design and build than conventional systems, but there is no alternative, if quality audio coverage of the area is required. It does not matter what grade of equipment (mix board, amps, equalizers etc.) is driving the system; if the speaker system is not right for the application, it will not perform. Acoustiwave systems are designed to meet and exceed your expectations.
"Time Alignment" of speaker drivers in a multi-driver array is something that most small sound companies pay no attention to whatsoever. In any speaker system, the origin of the acoustic sound wave is the moving diaphragm (the part of the speaker driver that moves back and forth, producing the sound wave). In a multi-speaker system (bass/mid/treble speaker drivers) - unless each diaphragm is physically in the same plane (i.e. the same distance from the listener), the composite sound wave reaching the listener is less than fully coherent; i.e. for any given pulse of full spectrum sound, the portion reproduced by any driver slightly closer to the listener than another will arrive at the listeners ear slightly ahead of the rest of the transmission. While the listener may not discern the anomaly, instruments can measure the aberration, and a correctly time-aligned system will be subjectively and measurably superior to one which is not.
At Acoustiwave, we match our systems to the latest technology in "digital speaker management" control systems - to address such challenges as room & system equalization, problem frequencies, multiple speaker set delay, as well as individual speaker driver time-alignment. We will always keep pace with the technology, to provide our clientele with a complete speaker system which cannot be matched by conventional tuned-port systems. The Acoustiwave experience is the finest Public Address system listening environment possible: by design.
Acoustiwave Sound Corporation is now qualifying dealers for installation and setup of Acoustiwave systems. If you feel you have the experience and technical expertise to install time-aligned phased array speaker systems, contact us for a dealer application.