L1® Prototypes I Have Known
Here’s Joe Kutil and I with our line array prototype collection, way after the moment of invention. Joe is my collaborator on many of the line-array designs, and did a lot of the basic tuning and port designs.
The aluminum one is the very original speaker system for this project. It’s actually all put together from folded-up aluminum with PEM nuts for connecting the drivers to the enclosures, a hold-over from the original US Sound/Panaray LT lightweight designs. Drivers are stock ones right out of the Bose Wave Radio. This system went down to about 90Hz but was “fat” in comparison to the final L1 because of the low end requirement.
I’m leaning on the actual (dark grey) prototype that I took out to shows. It’s about 48” high and I used two sections held together with steel plates. I assembled it at the gig and brought a portable electric drill with to fasten everything together. I also had to bolt it down (with the drill) to a square wood base. This probably sound really Fred Flintstone but it was pretty easy.
The white array to my right in the picture (stage left) is a white version of the MA12. This actually made it into the Bose Pro product line years before the L1 was introduced. It gained fast acceptance as an installed speaker that was easy to design with. We actually used MA12’s in our prototype 8-system “Soldiers of Sound” development system.
Right in front of me is a wooden pre-proto that led to the MA12 and L1, when we knew it was best to have a bass system. Notice how much skinnier the line array became when it only had to go down to 200 Hz or so. To Joe’s left (stage right) is the final L1 line array, the skinniest of all.
The L1 had a complete team of design, engineering and manufacturing experts working on it, although Ken and I kept our hands in the clay way past the product launch and way past the launch of the innovative L1 Model II.