L1® and the Panaray® MA12
The actual physical behavior of the L1 (and most other speakers for that matter) is very complicated and it's very difficult to express this through a specification with only a few numbers. That's one of the reasons why are very reluctant to publish specification: More often then not they are interpreted incorrectly and people draw the wrong conclusions.
Let me try to clarify the Bose® Panaray® MA12 spec: First of all the “1-4 kHz” spec describes the behavior of the MA12 in this frequency range. It doesn’t talk about other frequencies at all. In particular, it does NOT state that it’s not a cylindrical radiator outside this range. In fact it’s an even better cylindrical radiator above that range. The correct way to read this would be “This picture shows what happens in the 1-4 kHz range. If you are interested in different frequencies please refer to our additional documentation. If you do, please make sure you understand the meaning of polar plots, sensitivity, and efficiency, for cylindrical radiator as they are much different from spherical wave loudspeaker”.
Second, the data concerns a single MA12 in free space. The L1™ is twice the height and also designed to work with a significant floor reflection. The effective height of an L1™ is roughly 3 to 4 times that of a single MA12, so trying to draw any conclusion on the L1 by looking at a single MA12 is really not appropriate.
Hope that helps
Original discussion How Full/Thin does it sound at a distance
If you are interested in this topic and want to learn more about Line Arrays see White Papers and see the section Other