Digital music giants Line6 weigh into the compact line array market with Stage Source, an interesting-looking digitally networkable PA design. Equally at home in a portable or install situation, the tri-amped design of the new L3M speaker has near-limitless capabilities as a solo speaker, matched pair, line array, floor monitor, or instrument-specific foldback option.
The solid plywood design houses two 10″ woofers, centrally separated by a 1″ horn-loaded compression driver. The three speakers combine to give a huge output of 1,400W and a maximum SPL of 132dB. There’s an impressive integrated feedback suppressor, which automatically isolates frequencies characteristic of feedback, and then applies a narrow notch filter to remove the offending frequency. The DSP-based smart speaker mode optimises the L3m for front-of-house PA, floor monitor, personal PA, keyboard backline, or acoustic guitar backline use. Plus, using a multi-effects guitar processor as a preamp, the system works as a high-performance electric guitar cabinet.
The speaker uses DSP, an internal accelerometer, and optical sensors to select the right Smart Speaker mode for the application, automatically adjusting performance. For example, when the unit is powered on in a horizontal position, it automatically selects Floor Monitor mode. This mode provides a slight reduction in low-frequency content to counteract coupling when placing the speaker on the floor.
If any “backline” mode is chosen (Keyboard, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar), the L3m checks its orientation (via the accelerometer) and pole use (via the pole sensor). If the speaker is vertical and not on a pole, the L3m activates Virtual Tilt-back which optimizes the speaker tuning to achieve an upward tilt to its main axis. However if the speaker is on a pole, it cleverly assumes that the speaker is elevated and aimed in the desired direction.
This wealth of usability options makes StageSource infinitely expandable, with the the addition of as many L3M speakers as required, plus the option of the L3 subwoofer. Of course – being Line 6 – it gets cleverer than that. The proprietary L6 LINK system connects everything digitally (via XLR or, preferably, 110-ohm AES/EBU digital cables), automatically panning stereo sounds, and activating monitor mixes for floor-mounted speakers. The addition of an M20d mixer (which is another post entirely!) will make mixing great sound a lot easier, with visual representations of what you are hearing on (and off) stage.
If you’ve been looking for a PA setup with its own brain, Line 6′s StageSource could just be the answer.