EAW KF850 “Z” Upgrade

Jan 21, 2004 12:00 PM, Editors


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Loudspeaker manufacturer EAW has upgraded its KF850 Virtual Array loudspeaker. The new z Versions of the KF850 come in two application-specific variations: the KF850zF (flyable) and KF850zR (road). Both include all-new internal components with the latest in EAW transducer technology, as well as a host of new features.

The KF850z upgrade (R and F versions) begins with the integration of EAW’s patented Radial Phase Plug, originally developed for the KF750 to improve vocal reproduction into the mid-frequency section. From there, the high-frequency section receives a new Orbital Magnet Array (OMA) compression driver and a newly designed high-frequency horn. The neodymium OMA driver increases the surface area of the magnet, improving both cooling and reliability. In addition, the new high-frequency horn design minimizes throat distortion and offers improved extension and fidelity.

The powerful SB850R subwoofer offers new dual 18-inch low-frequency transducers that are capable of handling 1,000 watts/each, resulting in improved dynamic response. This, along with an increase in the enclosure volume, means that the SB850zR has vastly improved low-end authority and punch.

Rich Frembes, product director at EAW explained, “The KF850, in all of its iterations, has been on of our best-selling loudspeakers for nearly 18 years. For this reason, there’s a significant user base from which we can learn how the 850 is used in real-world applications. In our research, we learned that many KF850s never leave the ground. Because of their high-output and relatively compact size, they are ground-stacked at outdoor festivals or small theaters and clubs. With this in mind, we determined the time had come to offer a portable version of the KF850 without fly track.”

The KF850zR model is designed for applications where flown loudspeakers are not required. The product is acoustically identical to the KF850zF but does not include fly hardware. The result is an almost 20-percent weight savings: the KF850zR weighs 41 pounds, or 22 percent less than the KF850zF. A stacking pad has been added to the top and a recessed opening has been added to the bottom to facilitate stable ground-stacking. EAW is also offering a complete caster pallet or a caster pallet kit for those wanting to build their own.

The KF850zF’s enclosure and rigging hardware are identical to the previous KF850EF version. As a result, the KF850zF is physically compatible with KF850EF systems, but the two are not acoustically identical due to the significant updates made to the new KF850z. So, EAW is offering an upgrade kit that will allow users to convert existing KF850EF cabinets to “z” versions.

EAW is also offering a bi-amp crossover kit that is compatible with both the KF850zR and KF850zF. This low-cost kit is user-installed, and includes a passive mid/high crossover, stickers for the input panel that depict the new input jack pin-out configuration and installation instructions. With the kit installed, one less amplifier channel is required to run the system. According to EAW, installation can be completed in about 10 to 15 minutes.

The new KF850zR and KF850zF models will begin shipping in February 2004.

For more information, visit www.eaw.com. For more new sound reinforcement products, visit mixonline.com/live_sound_products/index.htm.

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