Meyer Sound has been known for innovative designs in speaker manufacturing, and have scored big time with the introduction of the LD-3 Compensating Line Driver. In the years I have reviewed audio products I have rarely come upon a product that is groundbreaking and offers significant improvement to a sound system design. The Meyer Sound LD-3 is one of those products that once used, will need to be purchased in order to enhance the current line of Meyer Line Array speakers.
Product PointsApplications: Live sound, installation
Features: Digital control; high-pass filter; temperature and humidity atmospheric controls; altitude switch; thermohygrometer included
Contact: Meyer Sound at 510-486-1166, Web Site.
The LD-3 Compensating Line Driver ($3,500) was specifically developed for Meyer Sound’s self-powered M series line and curvilinear speaker arrays. Designed to correct frequency response up to 16 kHz at a resolution down to 1 dB, the LD-3 was made to optimize line arrays for atmospheric conditions and manage low-mid frequency buildup typical of all line arrays.
At a retail list price of $3,500, the LD-3 is a digitally-controlled analog system housed in a 2U rack-space cabinet. The front panel has master input channels A and B equipped to control a full range main system. Each master input channel has an illuminated mute switch, signal/clip LED indicator, a switchable high-pass filter (0, 80 Hz, 160 Hz), and gain control from Ð12 dB to +6 dB.
The LD-3 is designed to drive an array with multiple vertical zones. Each master input channel has three separate outputs consisting of gain control (-6 to +6 dB), mute switch, signal/clip indicators, insert switch for engaging equalization to each zone, and individual distance controls to define the throw from each zone of the sound system (0 to 150 meters). Completing the output section is a dedicated subwoofer section with a polarity switch, low-pass filter along with gain trim, signal/clip indicator, insert and mute switches.
An Array Correction section on the front panel enables you to dial in the Meyer M series type of speaker and the amount of speakers in the array. Upon entering this information the LD-3 corrects the overall frequency response of the line array. You can further fine-tune each zone with EQs inserted into each output zone if necessary.
For atmospheric compensation, the LD-3 provides front-panel controls for entry of the temperature (0 to 45 C), relative humidity (10% to 100%) and a three-way switch for altitude above sea level (0 to 800 meters, 800 meters to 2,200 meters and above 2,200 meters). A portable thermohygrometer is supplied to determine these values for setting the LD-3 line driver.
I used the Meyer LD-3 with Tony Bennett and his quartet at the outdoor Santa Barbara Bowl. Using a Meyer MILO self-powered line array of 10 speakers per side with four Meyer 700-HP subs, it was the perfect setting and sound system to evaluate the LD-3 line driver.
This extremely well-designed controller addresses several issues needed to optimize a line array system. With the ability to zone the line array, equalization especially in the high frequency can be shaped to provide optimum results. In addition, outside air absorption plays a critical role. The longer the distance, the greater the attenuation at high frequencies. By zoning the top cabinets, high frequencies are corrected automatically with the LD-3 to compensate for energy lost over distance. When using a line array inside, I have always wanted to zone the top from the bottom of the array for distance equalization characteristics that exist within the sound of the room, and I believe Meyer Sound is the first to address the importance of zoning a line array with their products in order to achieve the best possible results.
Using two zones for the show, one was used for the top four MILO speakers and one for the bottom six speakers in each array. After setting distance characteristics, adjusting atmospheric correction of temperature and relative humidity, I turned on the sound system. Upon initial listening with Tony Bennett’s vocal microphone (Sennheiser SKM 5000 wireless with Neumann KK 105 capsule), I was immediately impressed with the exceptional clarity and flat response of the speakers to the point of not even wanting to touch the equalizer. I can never remember in all the shows I have done, ever doing a show and not having to adjust the system equalizer.
The Meyer LD-3 Compensating Line Driver is a great enhancement to the M-Series line array. This device makes the Meyer Sound line array speaker series the most plug and play speaker system I have used in the sound reinforcement marketplace. The powerful, well-designed line driver produces results for the end user that must be heard to be believed.
Meyer MILO line array speakers; Meyer Sound 700-HP subwoofers; Yamaha PM 3500 mixing console; Sennheiser, Neumann, AKG and Audio-Technica microphones.