The genesis of the WideLine-8 Series finds its roots in QSC's efforts to create an ultra-compact line array system that would meet the growing number of production requirements demanding the use of smaller loudspeakers. Today's trim height restrictions, advancing needs to keep video sightlines clear, and rising fuel costs mandating downsized truck packs are just some of the forces leading to the WideLine-8 system's development. Adding to the challenge of shrinking loudspeaker size in today's audio market are the diametrically opposed expectations of end-users and audiences, who despite calling for a reduced product footprint still want more sonic horsepower and better overall performance than ever before.
Relying on a time-honored formula for success adapted from American hot rod culture, QSC design engineers, in a most basic sense, gave the market what it wanted by stuffing a huge audio engine into the smallest and lightest chassis they could create.
As a result, on the full-range side of the WideLine-8 design came the WL3082, which measures less than a perfunctory 20 inches wide and nine inches high, and has an operable range from 68 Hz - 20 kHz. Relying on a triamplified configuration (there are no passive components), the enclosure is outfitted with a pair of high-powered, eight-inch drivers with neodymium magnets. While both of these elements cover low frequencies, only one extends into the midrange to insure that horizontal dispersion control is maintained at the crossover point.
High frequencies within the WL3082 are managed by a three-inch voice coil-equipped neodymium compression driver coupled to QSC's patented 140-degree multiple aperture diffraction waveguide. Extending nearly to the top and bottom of the enclosure, the waveguide exit creates a continuous acoustical source with minimal discontinuities between adjacent elements to greatly reduce the negative impact of driver interaction. To minimize the frontal area of the system to a bare minimum, the ports were moved to the sides of the enclosure and incorporated within a patented handle design.
No sound reinforcement system is complete without the low frequency impact of a subwoofer. In keeping with its goal of delivering amazing output from incredibly small packages, the WideLine-8 system extends its low-end performance with the aid of the WL212-sw sub. Upon initial inspection, this subwoofer's enclosure appears smaller than the space required to physically house the pair of long excursion 12-inch woofers with four-inch voice coils that reside inside. Producing 135.4 dB peak SPL nonetheless with an extended range down to 32 Hz, the tiny dynamo delivers serious sonic punch with a high sensitivity of 99 dB and 1,100 watts of continuous power handling capacity. Employing a fourth-order bandpass design, the sub matches the width of the full-range WL3082, allowing it to be flown in-line with or behind a WideLine-8 array. Its extremely low profile (less than 15 inches) also makes it ideally suited for either fixed or portable use when system subs must be located under a stage or in other tight spaces.
Every WideLine-8 enclosure is constructed from Baltic Birch plywood finished with an eco-friendly, waterborne polymer that is field-repairable. Reducing weight further (and preventing rust), suspension fittings found on each cabinet are made of aluminum.
Equally at home on the ground or in the air, WideLine-8 Series components utilize a straightforward four-point suspension system outfitted with quick-release pins secured by lanyards. When combined with the light weight, compact size, and handling ergonomics found in the system, this feature enables a complete array to be deployed by a single person.
For groundstack applications, the WL212-sw subwoofer may be used as a base for stacking up to six full-range enclosures. In addition, the subwoofer’s suspension system is equipped with a feature that permits the lowest full-range cabinet stacked above to be tilted up or down as much as 10 degrees to facilitate coverage in areas nearest to the stage.
A number of accessories are offered for the system as well, and include small and large array frames (the largest array frame can be used to suspend up to 12 full-range enclosures and four subwoofers), an extension bar that allows an array of subwoofers to be flown behind an array of full-range systems, caster pallets, padded covers, and road cases.
Set to ship later this spring, the WideLine-8 WL3082 and WL212-sw subwoofer will have an MSRP of $3159 and $2999 respectively.