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Are column PA speakers the future?

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  • Are column PA speakers the future?

    I've seen Bose with one and now Electro-Voice:


    Would one run these in pair as well like traditional PA speakers or would just 1 piece actually be considered stereo? Would this then be placed centered on stage?
    Earn $25 when one friend makes a purchase. They'll get $10.

  • #2
    "As always, how one runs them depends. The Bose system was designed to have one tower and sub unit for each band member, although many have used two set up as traditional pa speakers. I personally use a pair of Turbosound IP2000s set up as traditional left/right speakers. They work well for my 4 piece classic rock band (guitar, keys, bass, drums, 4 vocals). I use just the Turbos in indoor venues up to 100 seating. In most outdoor venues or larger indoor spaces I add a pair of Yorkville 2x10" powered subs, as I don't feel the two single 12" subs carry enough. AFAIK most of the newer small towers are designed to be used this way. Some like them, some don't. I find the sound to be good, and the light weight and compact footprint are great, especially since I've reached the age where I don't do well trying to carry large heavy cabinets.
    As for one piece being considered stereo; many like the Turbo have a left and right input, but since it's all summed to one source it wouldn't actually be stereo. For that one would need at least two towers. Since nobody in the venues cares much about stereo sound, my wife uses one Turbo for her karaoke shows. It works well for her.
    Eschew Obfuscation.


    • #3
      As always it depends. Also these are not new by any means. Although the form may be different a sub with a top on a tripod or on a pole between the sub and top have been around as long as I can remember. ( Mid/60's) What has changed is putting smaller and smaller drivers in a line to control vertical dispersion. The top speaker has more L/R coverage than Up/Down. This controlled coverage frequency wise is determined by the length of the line of speakers in relation to the frequency being reproduced.
      I just picked up a pair of DB IG4T's and will report on them after I go out in 2 weeks or so. In just testing they sound really good and only weight in at 40lbs. Again there are MANY multi driver / tops out there. Part of the sell is packaging it as a new idea.


      I heard the new Turbosound Inspire IP3000 and thought they did a really good job with a classic rock/country rock band. Bass was just ok as the subs placed L/R did lead to uneven bass response in the room. I like mine centered whenever possible.



      • #4
        I use two IP1000's one thing I noticed with it is that the two long throw 8 inch speakers seem to throw as much bass as the single 12 inch in the IP2000. The specs for the IP1000 are 50 - 20khz +/- 3db. While the specs published for the IP2000 are 45 - 20khz +/- 3db. In actual use, I didn't hear any real difference. I was able to test mine side by side with an IP2000 from a local DJ. What I did notice is the bass unit for the IP1000 is a whole lot easier to carry. About 10lbs lighter and the shape isn't as akward to carry. I have thought about matching them with a single 15 inch sub and sending the IP1000's crossed over at about 80hz.
        Last edited by kbeaumont; 07-11-2018, 10:39 AM.


        • #5
          The original BOSE PAS column system were meant for individual users. You have a 5 pc band, you have 5 columns with various amount of bass modules as need. It gets pricey in a hurry for large groups and not ideal for many performers on small stages.

          The newer column trend are systems designed to be deployed like a traditional PA. That means for most applications you'll have 2 systems and run either stereo or dual mono. It's not just BOSE and EV that have them. In fact, most companies caterting to the MI sound world have at least one column system and some have several. Off the top of my head (RCF, FBT, EV, BOSE, DB Technologies, Turbosound, JBL, Peavey, Fender, HK, LD Systems, Wharfedale,
          Last edited by abzurd; 07-13-2018, 12:14 PM.


          • #6
            They were the past and, as the saying goes, everything old is new again! I played my first paid gig when I was just 12 years old back in 1978. I remember many bands around town having a Shure Vocal Master system which featured vertical column speakers. Perhaps Shure was ahead of their time.


            • #7
              As others have alluded to, when I saw this post I thought, is this from the 1960's? Round and round we go.

              To my mind, these systems are going to have to get pretty robust to beat a decently constructed and powered 12" or 15" with a sub, but then again, that could be sooner than I expect.


              • #8
                I swapped out a pair of Yorkville ef500p speakers that have 1 - 15 woofer with 3 inch voice coil horn with 800 watts for a pair of DB Ig4t's and they do everything and more. Doing it at less than 1/2 the weight. For a column speaker they do the job.


                • #9
                  It depends...
                  Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                  Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie


                  • #10
                    It has been my experience that the ones I have heard sound good in solo/duo gigs, but lack impact if used for a full band PA.

                    From the link you posted, a full band setup would be ~$3000.00. For very near that you could get a more powerful system with 12's over 18's .... but it would, of course, be heavier and larger.

                    As others have said .... it depends on what your needs are and where your pain points are.
                    With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding