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DML flat panel speakers... WTF?
April 10, 2024 - 9:29 am

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Okay! time to ruffle some feathers… I do a lot of churches, schools, corporate meeting rooms, police interrogation rooms etc… as well as music venues, clubs and more. I don’t just do acoustics, it is just one part of what I do. In a lot of these facilities acoustic treatment is just not going to happen or they have no budget or real desire to actually do what it takes to address all the issues with the room. One church was a Julia Morgan designed building which is beautiful inside but had severe acoustic issues. the speakers were old junk in the wrong position compounding the problems. There were seating areas pushed off to either side not in the speaker coverage area which was poor to begin with not to mention poor sound quality and severe intelligibility problems. The big issue was that it is a Designated Heritage building and we were prohibited from adding acoustic treatment or to do it with small distributed speakers we were not allowed to attach anything the the walls or ceiling. So… how do we deal with this? you can only change PA system and we had just the one wall behind the Pulpit we were able to hang a speaker.
They wanted the speaker up in the rafters where the junk speakers were, but that would not solve the problem, just provide a better sound from the speaker into the very same issues they are complaining about. It’s a church , and a Heritage building. There is some nice art work around the facility…. why not hang 2 pieces of art on the wall either side of the pulpit? How does this solve anything? Well we use DML flat panel speakers as the artwork!. Yup! the panels can hanging way you want. Portrait mode for this job… and cover the panels with a super thin acoustically transparent material that has high resolution art work printed on it.
Why these panels? They have a a conical coverage of 165°. There is no woofer/tweeter or crossover. It’s a panel with 4 high power actuators attached to the rear of the panel. The coverage is wide and even around the room. Another advantage is they do not push air like a pistonic speaker, the emit sound waves from the multi layer honeycomb carbon panel in a diffused sound field. This is Key to why I use these in difficult rooms… The sound they emit travels outward and being diffused from the panel, they scatter when they hit any surface and produce very little reflections. This can be demonstrated by having a panel and a regular speaker pointed at a an untreated flat wall and play a drum sample like a snare drum. Played over the regular speaker you will hear the slap off the wall. If there are other walls opposite or to the sides, you also hear those reflections and secondary and tertiary reflections… the floor and ceiling are in the picture as well. all bouncing that snare sample all over the place. Now play that same sample thru the DML panel aimed at the same wall(s) and you will hear little to no reflections. Play spoken word over the speakers and switch between them and see the intelligibility blossom. You can hear every word, in any seat front to rear side to side. The panels are also audiophile quality.. They would require a small sub for music and some lower voices. I use the small Meyer MM10 subs.

These panels sound fantastic and they solve a lot of issues with difficult rooms and architecture. They look good too and can be mounted right onto a wall using off the shelf flat panel TV mounts. I like to use a large format swing arm pulled off the wall and an MM10 sub mount directly behind the panel pointed down. For larger music venues, they can be arrayed and use larger subs. They do not interact with each other when arrayed except for a slight bump in the mid frequencies when place in an array situation. which is actually a positive.

The panels require an amp with DSP or you can use outboard DSP or. digital mixer to set up the panels and create a crossover to the sub(s). I use Powersoft Amps.

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