First Alcons “The Ribbon” Line Arrays Hit the Road

Apr 5, 2004 12:00 PM, Editors


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In November 2003, German company Kohlmann Veranstaltungstechnik (event technology) took delivery of a large Alcons “The Ribbon” system, comprising 18 LR16 line array modules with dedicated transport cases, six ALC2 controller amplifiers, complete with cables, connector panels with AC power distribution and dedicated processing.

Pictured: “The Ribbon” system delivery to Herbert Heinze/BSV (first from left) and Jens Wiegand/Kohlmann (second from right) and part of the Alcons team.

The second company was Blue Sound Veranstaltungstechnik from Plumpsfort, Germany, which purchased a complete “The Ribbon” system: 12 LR16 line array modules, four ALC2 controller amplifier and all accompanying hardware.

Jens Wiegand, managing director of Kohlmann, commented, “Kohlmann is active in very different projects in the Bremer and Hannover exhibition and congress halls, ranging from product presentations to music events. Flexibility and fast response are crucial to offer our clients the best service. We always focus on quality in our projects and the equipment inventory reflects this philosophy. We were looking for a new sound system and we came across Alcons, a new company making very strong product claims that initially sounded too good to be true. As we didn’t want to step into this new technology overnight, especially with a new company, we decided extensive tests had to convince us.”

Herbert Heinze, managing director of Blue Sound said, “BSV is more active in music events and concerts. We were already familiar with the smoothness of ribbon technology, as we have had custom-build ribbon driver cabinets for quite some time. With the ribbon’s natural cylindrical wavefront, the use of ribbon technology in a line array didn’t surprise me, but when it comes to sheer SPL and throw, I had to be convinced on the application in higher-SPL concerts.”

Both companies decided to use two Kohlmann events for the evaluation: one congress event and one hip hop event. The SAP-congress event was held in the Bremer Stadthalle and included speech and multimedia presentations.

According to Wiegand, “With a nine-element Alcons line array per side, we not only had even coverage on the ground floor and balcony, saving time and delay equipment, the sound was also intelligible and ‘in-the-face’ everywhere at all SPL levels. But the most striking difference, however, was the huge ‘gain before feedback’ we had with our lavalier microphones, even directly under the array. The client was very surprised and asked where the feedback was, as they got accustomed to that with their presentations! We now also have to do their future jobs with this system.”

The second evaluation project was a large event in the Hannover Messe, called “Next Generation,” with high-SPL hip hop bands and other music styles. Again, a nine-element Alcons array in combination with subs crossed at only 63 Hz, as this is where the LR16 line array cabinets -3dB frequency response start.

According to Heinze, “The throw and even SPL coverage over the 50 meter/150-foot-deep hall were very convincing. The overall performance was very surprising: You expect a ribbon system to sound great at moderate levels, but this typical fast transient response at high SPL’ is an amazing experience. Such dynamic power output from such a small box. Each time, we get a lot of positive reactions from clients on the system!”

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