Originally Posted by DonH50
Well, now I'm confused. I thought a line array's pattern, while lobed differently, would exhibit less interaction with nearby walls and ceilings? Meaning first reflections are less an issue for a line array (over the frequency range it is actually a line source, natch)? The merits of their dispersion pattern can be debated, but I wasn't expecting such strong condemnation of them. I have used line arrays in the past for sound reinforcement (pro sound work) to take advantage of their pattern. I am not sure what "better quality performance" means in this context. The transition from line to "regular" radiation pattern at LF is well-known but I am not sure it is a major drawback (I mean that explicitly; I am not sure). It does mean any reasonable line source for home use (and all the ones I have used for pro work) is not a line source at lower frequencies just due to physical (size) constraints.
Anyway, the OP is not using line sources, my comment was a side-note about dispersion patterns. Did not mean to wander off, sorry. - Don
A "line array" has no control over the horizontal pattern-they pretty much just "spray" everywhere-so you will have lots of interaction with the walls.
The ceiling depends on the size of the array-and to the freq at which it actually has a "pattern". In most "home" arrays-this is only for the top octave or two-due to the short length. And since those freq are easily dealt with (carpet on the floor) acoustical or absorptive ceiling tiles, it is of little issue.
The thing that uses of line arrays "like to forget" of "won't talk about" is all the lobing that goes on-(sometimes the sound coming off the rear of the speaker is just as loud as the front).
There are all sorts of "spurious lobes" shooting out everywhere-but the marketing departments want you to "believe" that the radiation pattern is like a soup can cut in half so that produces a nice pattern. But if you actually look at REAL MEASURED DATA that does not have a ton of smoothing applied to it-you will see all those lobes coming off.
And those lobes will produce all sorts of different reflection patterns-causing all sorts of issues.
Now-granted-some people "like" that sound (just like the Bose 901) in which the sound is reflected all over the room and it makes them feel more "involved" in the experience.
HOWEVER that false experience you are getting IS NOT what the producer planned. The material (be it music or a movie) was done in a room WITHOUT reflections. So to hear the way it was INTENDED, you need to have a system with as few reflections as possible.
Or else the speaker system and its interaction with the room is coloring the sound.
But different strokes for different folks.
I know a number of sound "engineers" that don't like a accurate sound system. They want a system that makes you hurt-like an icepick between the eyes type of thing. They think that is what a sound system should sound like. Whatever makes you happy----------------