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Ultra-slim K-array Firenze line array makes UK debut at Barbican, London

FIRmaker-optimised KH8 and KS8 off to NYC next

It’s already rocked the Chinese festival circuit with appearances at the Great Wall Music Festival in Beijing and JZ Festival in Shanghai since its launch in October last year (see New K-array KH8 slim array optimised by FIRmaker), but yesterday (7 January) K-array’s latest touring system, the Firenze series, made its debut in the UK.

“We’ve had lots of good feedback from American sound engineers and from the festivals in China… everybody is happy,” Francesco Maffei, product specialist manager at K-array, told PSNEurope at the launch at the Barbican Centre in London (pictured), held in association with the company’s British distributor, Sennheiser UK. “Next week I will be in New York to take the first system there. You can do huge things outside the UK and America, but it doesn’t have the same impact. We did a lot of things in China, and the same in Italy, with the biggest Italian artists…”

Comprising the KH8, a flat, self-powered line array with ‘slim array technology’ (SAT) and the ability to independently tilt each loudspeaker within the totally straight enclosure, and the KS8 subwoofer, Maffei described Firenze – named for K-array’s home in Florence (Firenze in Italian) – as “a rock and roll system where you can really get a lot of SPL” (145dBs of it, no less).

However, according to Maffei, many of the features that make Firenze such an effective piece of touring kit – its weather resistance, high power, small size and flat design (the KH8 is less than a foot [30cm] deep) – also make it suitable for fixed installations. “It’s a system that stays straight, so it’s easier to integrated into the design of the room,” he explained, “and it’s loud! Especially with the subs – what we’ve seen in clubs is that they are really happy with just four subs on a big dancefloor.

“So, [the advantages of Firenze for installers are that] it’s flat and smaller than our competitors, but at the same time louder – you can make good coverage with just three panels a side. Everything, anyway, can be used without the KH8 box, as a normal self-powered speaker.”

Firenze KH8 features eight built-in DSP channels per enclosure drive, which separate sections of 20 HF, MF and LMF transducers. Shaping of the wavefront and all beam steering and coverage optimisation is performed electronically by filters calculated by FIRmaker, the sound optimisation tool developed by German pro-audio software company Ahnert Feistel Media Group (AFMG).

We’ll be looking at the Firenze series in more depth in the February issue of PSNEurope.