RCF has confirmed the sale of its first D-Line HDL 20-A active line array system in the UK to Leicestershire-based Chameleon Pro Audio & Lighting Ltd.
Given the vast spectrum of events for which the company provides production support, Stewart Duckworth’s long-standing sales, rental and installation operation sensed the time was right to invest in its own line array system after previously hiring in. As a result, this month they took delivery of an initial 12 HDL 20-A full range enclosures and four SUB 8006-AS subwoofers from RCF UK — and believe this is just the beginning.
Based in the East Midlands — in heart of the country with excellent transport links — this self-described “jobbing PA company” says the HDL 20-A ticks all the boxes — particularly with the busy summer season approaching, when their workload spans the spectrum of village galas right through to full-blown music festivals as well as theatre shows.
RCF was already a brand long respected by Stewart Duckworth. “I have been working with RCF components since the mid-1970s, when we were building our own enclosures for local bands, and this continued when we set up Chameleon in 1979,” he says.
Having been exposed, through hiring in, to most of the crop of current line array systems, he was looking to combine performance and budget within a small footprint and reasonable weight to output ratio, with all the amplification and DSP onboard. The polypropylene enclosures also give him a lightweight option. “The cost is exceptional, it’s all contained in a moulded composite box, with internal amps and preset DSP settings which simplifies everything. It’s ideal for what we want.”
Nevertheless, the Chameleon MD first needed proof of concept and hired a local theatre for a full listening test assessment. He rigged the D-Line in two hangs and with the assistance of a percussionist colleague miked up a full drum kit and alternated different source feeds (from snares, cymbals etc) with some of his preferred reference CD tracks. “Without any outboard processing, just using the EQ on the board, we could achieve all the variation in drum sounds regularly required" — proving the flatness and balance between the boxes to be just right.
“That told me everything I needed to know,” he continued. “The system produces excellent sound quality and at the same time will comfortably meet customers’ budgets. With the 2in horn on a waveguide and two 10” drivers, the top box could be used in its own right due to its broad frequency range.”
Duckworth also pinpointed many other positives. “More and more outdoor trailer stages are now being built with rigging points, which means that with the low weight mass —less than 30kg per box — we will generally be able to fly these using the enclosure’s simple three-point rigging hardware".
“The flybar will support up to 16 enclosures and HDL 20-A’s also provide a weather proofing solution, which is essential. Because we service a number of outdoor events on this type of stage for one day events we can easily and safely get a system rigged and running in a short space of time, either flown or ground stacked as the flybar acts as ground support and actually attaches into the subs for stability.”
The new RCF system debuted at the end of the month on local and national Diamond Jubilee celebrations which then extend into June. It is then earmarked for duty at The Feast of St. Peter in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, staged by the local council and now attracting up to 10,000 people.
In conclusion he states, “RCF have come up with an elegant solution and it’s clear that a lot of research has gone into the design".
“RCF’s Shape Designer software provides full optimisation and in terms of transportation, we have developed an efficient flight case solution which — unlike with passive systems — will enable us to carry production in smaller 7.5 tonne trucks and three and a half tonne vans.”