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Bow Tie wraps up invisible sound with K-Array

20 January 2012
Bow Tie wraps up invisible sound with K-Array

Outside Broadcast provider Bow Tie Television recently upgraded the audio monitoring system in one of its OB vans using a barely visible K-Array system, writes David Fox.

Because of the limited space available, it had proved impossible to position all the speakers of the OB truck’s original production monitoring system in exactly the right places. The only way to achieve the correct placement was to block the view of some of the monitors, which wasn’t an option.

Designed and manufactured in Florence, Italy, K-Array’s loudspeakers and amplifiers are distributed in the UK by Sennheiser.

When Bow Tie TV’s head of outside broadcast sound, Ross Banks attended a Sennheiser roadshow, he was impressed with a demonstration, by Dave Wooster, live sound specialist for Sennheiser UK, of the tiny K-Array KZ10 full-range loudspeaker and KU36 subwoofer (pictured bottom).

The KZ10 weighs just 90g, measures 2.2x10x1.7cm, and houses four half-inch full range drivers that can deliver an output of 92dB continuous.

“Because the KZ10 is so small, we thought that it was the ideal product to use. It allowed us to do something we’d never been able to do before,” explained Ross. “We could place them between two video monitors [pictured] and they would be virtually invisible. It was the only thing we could find that allowed us to do that.”

Working with Wooster and Sennheiser UK’s Lee Shuttlewood (Professional Sound Sales), Ross and his colleagues installed five KZ10s and five KU36s in the truck as a 5.1 surround system.

“We’ve already used the truck on a number of jobs,” added Ross. At one major festival "they didn’t even notice that you couldn’t see the speakers."

Another of Bow Tie’s main clients uses the truck for HD 5.1 sports coverage and "has been very happy with it. In fact, everyone who sees it comments on how good it is. When you see how small the speakers are, the excellent quality of the audio doesn’t make sense. No one has put this sort of system in an OB truck before and it has proved an outstanding success.”


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