L-Acoustics, purveyor of the now famous V-DOSC line array system, has introduced to the states a new speaker, the MTD108A.
Product PointsApplications: Sound reinforcement, installation
Key Features: Two-way; 8-inch weatherproof woofer cone; 2-inch voice coil; 1-inch throat compression driver with a neodymium magnet assembly; coaxial arrangement; compact size.
Contact: L-Acoustics US at 805-604-0577, Web Site.
The MTD108A ($1,100) is a small speaker system, with dimensions of 16 inches high, 10 inches wide and 9 inches deep, with a weight of 25 pounds. This compact little package has an 8-inch weatherproof cone with a 2-inch voice coil and a 1-inch throat compression driver with neodymium magnet assembly, all in a coaxial arrangement. L-Acoustics rates the power handling at 250 watts RMS, with a nominal dispersion of 100 degrees (±6 dB) and a sensitivity of 94 dB at 1watt at 1 meter, with a max output of 117 dB at 1 meter. Bandwidth is rated at 65 Hz to 20 kHz.
The enclosure is of Baltic birch, and covered with a rugged brown alligator finish and an even darker brown acoustic foam grille. The connectors are two Neutrik NL4s in parallel. On the top surface of the 108A is the rigging hardware and on the bottom of the cabinet is a receiver cup for stand mounting. The 108A cabinet is trapezoidal in shape, allowing the speaker to be used not only as a main system, but as a stage monitor as well.
The L-Acoustics speaker has available an analog processor called the MTD LLCa. The function of the processor is to provide an active crossover for use of an L-Acoustics subwoofer, provide a phase correct mono-summing operation, filtering and EQ, and power amplifier sensing operations to avoid overpowering and over-excursion of the speaker system. The device also provides different EQ voicings for specific applications – FOH, monitor and fill.
The processor’s front panel houses an XLR connector of both male and female alongside associated NL4 (post sense circuit) speaker outputs for both channels. In addition are the sub-out selector switches, allowing selection of the operational mode/frequency bandwidth. The choices available are full bandwidth for front fills, or at 125 Hz for use with a subwoofer or a 65 Hz roll-out for use as a stage monitor.
The back panel contains the power amp “Sense In” NL4 connector, receiving its information from the output of the selected power amp, which allows the processor to govern both voltage and current acceptance of the speaker system, thus controlling the cone and diaphragm excursion.
My company was providing full production (sound, lighting, stage and roof) for the Beach Boys at an outdoor show on the 5th of July, for about 5,000 attendees. We decided to employ the L-Acoustics speakers as center fills, making a perfect match with our main system, the L-Acoustics V-DOSC. We placed the MTD108As on the apron of the stage, which was at a height of about 32 inches above grade, essentially pointing directly on axis to the ears of the front-row-seated attendees. I had not even opened the boxes prior to this show, so I had no idea what to expect. When we sent our first bit of CD player signal to the speakers, we were absolutely knocked out by the clarity of the little speakers. We had inserted a 1/3 octave EQ on the center/mono output of our Soundcraft Series FIVE, but the initial tests were conducted with the EQ out of the signal path.
The MTD108As sounded so smooth without the EQ that we left the EQ out of the path for the entire show. I sat in the front row several times during the show, and I was absolutely amazed by the smoothness and brilliance of these little speakers. I realized at the conclusion of the show that I had not even used the processor. We had a signal path that went from center master fader to power amp to speaker, and they sounded exceptionally nice.
We did a second show with the Beach Boys, this time at an indoor arena, and with the processor and EQ in the signal path. I found that the processor made the MTD108As even smoother (if that’s possible), and virtually eliminated the need for graphic EQ, except for room correction. This particular venue was a rather echoic/reverberative room, so some correctional EQ was necessary, but minimal at four or five frequencies with no more than a 5 dB cut at any frequency.
I tried them a few more times at different shows, one of which was Chubby Checker. This was a fairly loud show, in a room with terrible acoustics, but the MTDs responded admirably, able to rock n’ roll right along with the main system. The processor protected them well, with no audible clipping.
I found the L-Acoustics MTD108A speakers to be exceptional sounding. They are clear, clean and unequalled in the vocal range with dexterity and bandwidth for concert use. When used with a subwoofer, it offered an unparalleled sound like I have never heard before. This new product from L-Acoustics deserves my complete admiration and recommendation.