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JBL Professional Breaks New Ground With CBT Series Line Array Columns

Constant Beamwidth Technology™ CBT Series resets the standards for directivity and versatility in passive column loudspeakers.

LONDON, England – At PLASA 2009, JBL Professional’s CBT Series passive line array columns are making their European debut, offering unprecedented levels of directivity control, sonic fidelity and affordability. The CBT Series features JBL’s patent-pending Constant Beamwidth Technology™ circuitry, a breakthrough in pattern control that provides remarkably consistent constant directivity coverage and superb audio clarity, even in difficult acoustical environments.

“With the CBT Series, JBL is improving upon a number of challenges customers have typically faced with traditional passive columns, such as uneven coverage of the listening area, inconsistent beamwidth by frequency, out-of-coverage lobes that contribute to a destructive reverberant field, and frequency response that varies with distance,? said Rick Kamlet, Senior Director, Commercial Installed Sound, JBL Professional. “All these factors result in the listening area being covered inconsistently and every listener hearing a different sound character.?

After years of research by JBL engineers, the CBT Series, with Constant Beamwidth Technology, represents a new benchmark in performance and versatility for passive column loudspeakers, providing not only constant directivity, but also adjustable coverage control, full-fidelity sound quality, and one model that provides a very versatile asymmetrical pattern for more consistent front-to-back sound levels within the room while reducing reflections from the back wall. These features, along with high output levels, make the CBT Series a great choice not only for traditional column applications, but also for projects where larger point-and-shoot speakers would normally be utilized, or where more expensive digitally steered columns might otherwise have been required.

The coverage pattern of the CBT models can be adjusted—with a simple switch—between Broad Mode (designed for mid-throw situations) and Narrow Mode (for long-throw applications). This versatility allows the CBT’s to meet the requirements of a broad range of applications. In addition, the CBT speakers provide Dynamic SonicGuard overload protection circuitry, which reduces distortion at high drive levels, along with user variable voicing which allows for selecting a flat frequency response or a midrange presence peak for especially clear speech intelligibility.

The CBT 50LA is a very compact 50 cm high column that utilizes a straight line of eight 2-inch drivers, while the taller CBT 100 LA is a straight 100 cm high column utilizing 16 2? drivers and handles 325 Watts continuous pink noise for high output levels. Combined with Constant Beamwidth Technology circuitry, both provide constant directivity coverage. Both also contain low-saturation transformers, so they can be used on 70V/100V distributed speaker lines or as low impedance speakers.

The J-shaped CBT 70J is a 2-way coaxial line array utilizing 16 soft dome tweeters and four high power 5-inch woofers at a 70 cm height. The J-shape of the array works in conjunction with the Constant Beamwidth Technology circuitry to provide asymmetrical coverage similar to that of expensive line arrays commonly used in concert systems. The column’s top half projects highly concentrated sound toward the back of the venue, while the bottom half down-fills a broader, less concentrated sound to the front of the venue, resulting in more consistent sound levels from front to back.

This 500W system contains a pattern control switch for either 45 or 25 degrees vertical coverage.

The CBT 70JE is an extension cabinet for the 70J, further extending the pattern control of the CBT 70J by doubling its height, which lowers the frequency to which the speaker holds a consistent pattern of coverage, and doubling the power handling. The 70JE also increases the bass capability and extends the low-frequency response of the system to 1000 Watts continuous pink noise. The selectable vertical coverage, music/speech settings, the option to add an extension for bass and pattern control, asymmetrical vertical coverage, high output, and wide bandwidth makes the CBT70J an extremely versatile loudspeaker that fits into a wide variety of applications.

Despite the advanced features and performance built into the CBT Series, they are extremely easy to use, encompassing a new level of user-friendliness that makes them very straightforward to design into everyday projects. The CBT models can be installed either indoors or outdoors and the thin and sleek design is so unobtrusive that they almost vanish into the décor.

The wide variety of applications for the CBT Series include performance spaces, transit centers, lecture halls, multi-purpose rooms, board/meeting rooms, retail stores, courtrooms, theme parks, houses of worship, fellowship halls, movie theater lobbies, cinema surround, audio supporting video, race tracks, and many others.

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