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Martin Audio WPLs

Written by Brant Grzeskowiak | Marketing & Communications Manager

Image of Ben MacKinney

Ben MacKinney
Sr. Asset Management

A show couldn’t go on without Ben. He assists sales in building budgets and talking with clients about all their show needs. “I work with the show techs to design sound systems and spec equipment to meet our standards of quality for
our audience/client."

With my background working in athletics, putting on a show where thousands of people attend isn’t anything new. I know I need the acoustics to be heard by everyone in the venue, the lights to shine when and where I need them, and the visual effects that will wow the crowd. So Ben already had an uphill battle when I tasked him with this mission to “sell” me (and the reader) why we should want the Martin WPL at an event over some of the other competitors or even one of Martin’s products.

Ben, came out swinging with the benefits of the WPL. “For larger, high energy shows that need more power, there is no better speaker. It will allow you to
“throw” sound further while using fewer speakers.” This hit home to me because the line of sight is vast. “I need the crowd to be able to see video
screens and the action on stage or field, and the WPL will allow you to use fewer speakers to get an amazing sound level.” Ben continues, “With WPL, we can reduce rigging costs for delay lines when the ceiling has the weight capacity and trim height to support the WPL.” He is saying here that with WPL designed into the right venue, with supporting load capacity, the rigging (the trusses hanging from the load-barring points on your ceiling) will be reduced. Fewer delay lines will be needed allowing the crew more time to focus on getting that sound just right for your show and less
time running cable throughout the trusses.

After our sit-down discussion of the WPL, Ben took me back into the warehouse to see the WPL up close and compare them to their smaller counterparts, the Martin WPC and WPM. After seeing the WPC and WPM models first, by the time we got to the WPL, I was blown away by the size. I’ve seen these speakers hanging 40+ feet in the air but standing alongside a part of these things, I was impressed! The dimensions are Width- 44.7in, Height- 14.6in, Depth- 20.7in, and weight 141Ibs. While these speakers are coming in more prominent, the feature of having a broader coverage from their “dual hybrid” technology (combines the efficiency and impact of a bass horn with the low-frequency extension of a bass-reflex enclosure), I believe, more than makes up for the size difference. I also saw how Martin set up their rigging capabilities for the WPL. “Safety, simplicity, and speed are essential aspects of a rigging system which the WPL three-point rigging system fully addresses. The rigging design allows for the suspension of up to 24 enclosures, with DISPLAY software calculating the splay angles from 0°-7.5° needed to produce the desired vertical coverage. DISPLAY also determines the safe limits and tilt angle of an array and confirms compliance with specific safety standards, including BGV-CI, before deployment.”- Martin Audio

So in my personal opinion, with this information, the fact that the WPL is bigger also means that it is better.

I was extremely grateful that Ben took the time to explain and show me the WPL. With better knowledge of WPL’s capabilities, I wanted to see how our team likes this product on the show site.

I reached out to Derrick McDonald, who is one of Alford Media’s audio designers. After chatting with Derrick, here is what he had to say about the WPL. "The WPL is the top large format box in the Martin Wavefront Precision line. They address the need for a stadium, expo hall, or arena where the output and coverage needs are far greater than a ballroom. Much like the WPC, which we primarily use in ballrooms, it is a bump box that allows the Martin processing to shine in controlling the coverage of the PA, putting sound where the audience is and not where they aren’t. The tone of the box is very universally pleasant and, much like the other boxes in the WP line, sets up fast and tears down fast.”

I believe with my background; the Martin WPL was the
the perfect first piece of technology for me to learn about. Coming from a place where I need thousands of people in an arena to hear everything going on, I believe the WPL can deliver just that. A fact that Derrick touched on about controlling coverage provides output any event holder would genuinely want. I enjoyed learning about the WPL's range, which can provide much more sound with fewer speakers. Fewer speakers equal less rigging, which traditionally equals less money. But what "drove it home” for me is what the experts think about the WPL. Ben and Derrick both backed the WPL in the field; if my team supports the WPL, so can I!