Home » Archive by category 'PSSO'

Line arrays: Everything about the bananas of sound technology

June 28th, 2016 Posted in PSSO, worth knowing Tags:

Line arrays have dominated the sound transmission in modern entertainment technology of music festivals and international sports events for more than ten years now. These sound reinforcement systems can easily be identified by their slightly bent shape which is a reason why they are sometimes called „bananas“ in colloquial speech. More and more, line arrays can be found at smaller venues like medium-sized concerts and political events. This opens the market for more compact systems with easy handling and modest costs in order to operate in a profitable way. 
Bild Line Array

In retrospect:
More than 50 years ago, the American engineer Harry F. Olson developed the theoretical basis for line arrays in his standard work „Acoustical Engineering“. Unfortunately, his insights were only realized in column speakers which can be seen in churches and other venues fighting with reverberation. In these column speakers, several loudspeakers ranging from 3 to 5 inches are vertically aligned for transmitting speech between 200 Hz and 4 kHz. These speakers are not perfectly suited for transmitting music. Another example is a hi-fi system designed by Rudy Bozak in the fifties and sixties with up to 12 vertically aligned tweeters.

In parallel, a radical change in requirements for voice and instrument amplification could be noted from the fifties and the upcoming of rock music. While jazz was performed mostly without any electric equipment way into the sixties, the success of rock and beat music was from the very beginning based on the volume presented at concerts. With amplifiers
and voice amplification in the medium two-digit watt range, this volume could only be realized in dark and small basements in Hamburg or Liverpool where popular bands like the Beatles performed. A very important aspect why the
Beatles did not play any major concert after 1966 was the simple reason that the reinforcement systems available at that time, were not at all suitable for large sports arenas and for reinforcing the more and more complex music of the Fab Four.

In the United States, especially the band Grateful Dead tried to solve this problem via a gigantic piling up of loudspeakers. The „Wall of Sound“ was developed and optimized by the band‘s sound engineers for years and it included up to 641 individual loudspeakers with a total RMS power of 26.4 kW. In miniature, a similar concept was adopted by Udo Klempt-Gießing for the cult band Grobschnitt from Hagen, Germany.

It was not before 1983 that Joseph D‘Appolito suggested simultaneously using hi and mid speakers in several vertically aligned, but horizontally guided cabinets. It would take another decade until Christian Heil presented the first line array in its current definition to the market. Ever since, the triumphant success of line arrays could not have been stopped anymore.

The PSSO CLA(Compact Line Array system):Bild 2 Line Array
The Compact Line Array system by PSSO is the answer to the industry‘s tendency towards line arrays and against conventional amplification systems.

While most available line array systems on the market are not profitable for small to medium-sized venues, the PSSO CLA system was especially designed for this purpose. The innovative reinforcement system unites several core characteristics which make it very attractive for installation and hire:
The weight of the mid/high column is amazingly low, due to special plastic components for the cabinet and modern neodymium technology for the speakers. Its modern design makes this system also adequate for mere voice amplification and gala performances.

By combining the tops with the matching 15“ subwoofer and 18“ subwoofer, the system can be upgraded to a full power line array system. And as the efficiency is more than convincing it provides enough sound for large halls and open-air events. The compact size is no obstacle.

For virtually simulating setups for big events, there’s also a special software: The PSSO Line Array Simulator. You can download it for free.

What makes the compact line array unrivaled is its sophisticated and safe flying hardware. Only two technicians are needed to comfortably set up the entire system. All security-relevant parts are regularly tested by an accredited testing institute. A fact which sets the PSSO CLA apart from other manufactures in this price segment.

With the CLA system, PSSO offers a flexible tool for all kinds of different tasks in the sound reinforcement business. The
system is an economical line array fulfilling all safety requirements, which can be easily installed and convinces by its sound, according to the slogan „I love Sound!“.

Physical background of the technology

The basic problem of every sound reinforcement system for large venues is the fact that an individual speaker cabinet cannot supply the complete audience with the required sound pressure level. Even if the audible transmission range between 20 Hz and 20 kHz is separated into five or more different speaker sizes, the necessary characteristics required for audiences with thousands or even a hundred thousands of people cannot be produced – even with the latest technology.

Furthermore, destructive interference occurs even when using only two speakers at once. Interference occurs when sound waves from two different sources overlap and lead to undesired amplification or elimination of parts of the frequency range. The aim of every sound reinforcement system is to minimize destructive interference and to provide the desired signal level at every position in the audience are.

For reaching this aim, speaker clusters were used for a long period of time where several technically identical speaker systems are horizontally and vertically grouped together. Due to sophisticated cabinet constructions and the use of horns in front of the individual drivers, the efficiency, i.e. the realistic electric power converted into sound pressure level, could be increased while reducing the interference areas within the crossover areas between the individual speaker systems to an acceptable level and thus getting closer to a physically ideal point source.

The sound pressure level is reduced by 6 dB for every doubling of the distance from the speaker system, although this only applies to ball waves, i.e. undirected sound sources. Especially in closed rooms, a point is very fast reached where the diffuse sound, i.e. the sound reflecting from the walls and ceiling, reaches the same level as the direct sound from the speaker system. From this point on, the destructive interference is so strong that the acoustic performance can only be recognized in a strongly falsified manner. This distance is referred to as critical distance. One solution is applying delay lines where the transmitted signal is “refreshed” before the critical distance, thus enabling a large or longer audience area at large venues. Nevertheless, the delay speakers must reproduce the signal with a delay as the speed difference between acoustic and electric signal transmission is already audible from only 20 meters away. This is where the name “delay line” comes from.

Another disadvantage of this procedure is the significant sound level loss even among the first meters of the audience area. According to the already cited formula, the sound pressure level at eight meters distance is only one-eighth of the level in one meter distance from the speaker system clusters. Often, this problem was solved by more volume which is not only a health hazard in the stage area, but may also have a negative effect on the sound quality and sound level on the stage and which can no longer be recommended by today’s emission guidelines.

Line arrays are the next logical step in this chain of cause and consequence. With line arrays, it is possible to minimize the basic problems of conventional cluster systems. With line arrays, it is possible to minimize interference between the vertically aligned speaker systems by a vertical dispersion of less than 15°, to increase the coverage and to keep the sound pressure level constant for the maximum number of people in the audience by curving the system, i.e. setting the individual components at a specified inclination angle. Furthermore, line arrays can realize a larger horizontal dispersion angle than horn systems.

In order to realize this, some physical problems need to be solved. While the vertical alignment of several low speakers or mid speakers is easy and already applied in the column speakers as described above, more problems occur with higher frequencies. Thus it is not possible to realize the necessary, very low distance between high speakers via standard horn speakers or cone speakers. This distance between the speakers and the number of signal sources in vertical alignment and the curving angle is very important for the acoustic aim of the line array technology: the production of a coherent wave front.

In order to reach this aim nevertheless, so-called wave guides are used. They enlarge the output of the individual sound source which makes a very low distance between several vertically aligned sound sources possible. Additionally, these wave guides modify the delays of the sound waves in the transmission area of the hi speaker in a way that building a coherent wave front is possible.

With an ideal line array, a sound pressure level loss of only 3 dB for doubling the distance could be realized, in reality and depending on the system and the number of elements used, this value lies somewhere between the ideal 3 dB and the 6 dB of a cluster system. Thus using delay lines is still necessary especially for larger venues, but within a higher distance to the main PA. The reason is the improved directivity of the systems in comparison to conventional horn speakers.

Introducing line arrays led to a reduction of individual speakers up to one-quarter which provided additional resources for lighting and video technology. With the introduction of the DMX protocol in 1990, it was especially the concurrent digitization of the lighting technology that considerably benefited from the smaller and lighter sound reinforcement systems.


PSSO on board!

June 17th, 2016 Posted in General, PSSO, References Tags: , ,

In the old port of Würzburg, one of the most popular clubs has let go its anchor – literally:

„The boat“ is a former pleasure boat. It opened its doors for the first time on April 4th, 1996 in the Frankonian wine city. Since then, Würzburg’s party people have been celebrating each Thursday, Friday and Saturday night until the early morning hours, dancing to charts, house music, hip hop, the 80s and 90s.BOOT_2

On the turntables, regionally known DJs spin the discs. Even some star DJs have already been giving a guest performance on one of the 3 floors.

The dance floor of the „middle deck“ is filled with sound by four Prime-10 CX coaxial speakers and one K-182 subwoofer by PSSO. In the „machine room“, two PSSO Sub-2180 provide a good basic and on the sun deck, speakers of the brand Omnitronic are used.

We met general manager Nikolaus Zimmermann for a short interview. Being the boss, he has special demands for the sound equipment installed in his club.

What were the considerations you had before buying a sound system for the three floors in your club? What was important for you?

Nikolaus Zimmermann: Good sound is the most important thing in a club. That’s why we set store by good sound. With the PSSO top parts, clean mids and highs are realized. The K-182 as well as the SUB-2180 guarantee for powerful, clean bass.

It’s also an advantage for a club like us that we could buy amplifiers, controllers and other parts of our PA from one supplier. This way, a good interaction between the components is made sure – nothing cumbers problem-free party nights then.BOOT_4


Why did you choose products of PSSO? Which speakers and amplifiers did you install?

Nikolaus Zimmermann: We decided to use PSSO, as the speakers are of good quality at a fair price. Especially the high-quality components of the K- and Prime-series convinced us. At the moment, we have two PSSO Sub-2180 as subwoofers in the machine room and one PSSO K-182 on the middle deck. Highs and mids are provided by four PSSO Prime 10-CX coaxial speakers. Plus, we installed several PSSO amplifiers. One HP-2400 and several HSP-1000.

Some clubs don’t pay much attention to good sound nowadays, as they say that most people wouldn’t care. What do you think about that as a club owner yourself?

Nikolaus Zimmermann: The PA system is the heart of each club. Of course, other technical components like the light system is also important. But in the end, what really matters is the sound. That’s why we decided to use high-quality components, to provide the best possible sound experience for our guests. Besides that, I personally think that people do care about good sound and appreciate it.

When can our readers listen to the good sound of the PSSO system at your club the next time?

Nikolaus Zimmermann: We’re open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Special opening times and all important info can also be found on our website as well as on our Facebook page and in our app.

Thanks a lot for this interview. Party people of Würzburg, have fun on the boat!

This interview was recorded by Simon Alsheimer. Images taken by






First quality sound from PSSO in Flensburg’s Fördehalle

September 10th, 2014 Posted in PSSO, References Tags: ,

On August, 31st 2014 the fifth „MOBI“ adventure day took place at the Fördehalle Flensburg. More than 1000 participants came to break the national Zumba record. The sound came from a CLA from PSSO.

The event’s patron, the minister of the interior from Schleswig-Holstein Andreas Breitner, was more than satisfied by the sound: „We have never had such a good sound in this hall before.“

MOBI-Tag Flensburg

Initial situation: A stage was erected at the large side of the hall. Several live bands of different music styles (soul, rock, hip hop) had gigs there, additionally there were speeches and moderation parts.

Used were: 2 x flying bass, 8 x top, 2 x K-182

Monitoring: 4 x PAS-212 and 2 x K-212

Zone end sound: 2 x PAS-212 without delay

MOBI-Tag Flensburg 2

The event a real success. Thanks to Ulf Dupke from PMN-Events for sharing these images with us!

Amping for actively separated sound-systems

June 4th, 2013 Posted in PSSO, worth knowing

PSSO Line Array CLAWhen it comes to selecting amplifiers for an actively separated sound-system, there are two different philosophies we would like to present here. Both versions have their own advantages and disadvantages so that it is necessary to take a closer look at the requirements for every use and how to find a good economic and technically sound solution.

We call these two philosophies „Stereo-Setup“ and „Mono-Setup“, because in the stereo-setup, the individual signal paths (hi, mid, bass) of the left and right loudspeaker are amplified by one amplifier each. For the mono-setup, each loudspeaker side has its own amplifier, sometimes even its own system controller. The mono-setup is especially suitable for sound-systems not always being operated in the same configuration, e. g. Line-Arrays with more or less loudspeakers depending on the depth and general size of the audience area. Furthermore, mono-setups can also be operated individually as smaller systems in stereo-setup. The stereo-setup is suitable for permanent installations and for systems with always almost the same configuration. Read more »

PSSO PRIME – Club Speaker System

March 21st, 2013 Posted in News, PSSO Tags: , ,

PSSO Prime

PSSO Prime

Sound pressure meets design

The name says it all: The PSSO Prime System is a professional PA system meeting the demands of contemporary club culture. What makes it so unique is the mixture between high quality technical components – all premium drivers come from the French company CELTO Acoustique – and an extravagant design.

Read more »