This article describes Community Entasys 200 series column loudspeakers and their applications.
The ENTASYS 200 family begins with two small column loudspeakers, the ENT203 and ENT206. Powerful and unobtrusive, these models are intended for use as foreground and background music, fill loudspeakers, ‘delay’ support of larger systems, and as the primary PA in small environments.
The two larger models, the ENT212 and ENT220, are designed for use in medium to medium-large spaces. Highly effective when used as the main system, they can also be matched up with conventional point source loudspeakers, such as the I SERIES and V SERIES models. Their very narrow vertical dispersion precisely directs sound to specific room regions, thereby complementing the inherently broader dispersion of trapezoidal full-range loudspeakers.
Each ENTASYS 200 model includes an appropriately-sized mounting bracket, a built-in 70V/100V autoformer for constant voltage applications, and an integral safety rigging point. Accessories include a universal mounting kit for use with third-party mounting brackets, and a stand adapter kit with an attachable tripod-stand mount that serves double duty as a handle for portable usage.
The ENTASYS 200 models provide a modern solution to the age old problem of directing sound where it is needed - and nowhere else. By reducing room reflections, musical clarity and speech intelligibility are greatly improved.
Technology and design
The ENTASYS 200 models are point source loudspeakers that use vertically stacked low and high frequency drivers to create medium to high pattern control. Like a line source, the length of each array has been carefully engineered to behave like a point source and provide coherent sound across a wide bandwidth. ENTASYS 200 was designed to combine low frequency point source and high frequency line source technologies in an aesthetically pleasing compact vertical form. Since they function as point sources, the ENTASYS 200 models produce more dynamic range and more dB per watt while utilizing far less power. Their frequency response does not appreciably change with distance, so within the optimized coverage area all listeners receive the same sound experience.
ENTASYS 200 loudspeakers are easy to install and aim, as a result of the purpose-built mounting brackets and hardware that are supplied with every unit. Detailed installation instructions are included in each shipping carton, and are also available on the Community website (communitypro.com). The contractor needs only to provide appropriate fasteners to attach the brackets to the wall surfaces.
A rigging safety point is integrated into the top of each column, and a separate safety bracket is supplied for attachment to a wire rope safety line.
Note: The safety line itself is NOT supplied. Wire rope, shackles, compression fittings, and a compression tool can be purchased at any major rigging hardware supplier. All suspension components must be overhead load rated. Please refer to the ENTASYS 200 Installation/Operation Manual for additional details and safe mounting precautions. When installing any suspended loudspeaker, the safety and integrity of the mechanical installation should always be the highest priority!
Acoustical coverage patterns
ENTASYS 200 columns provide exceptional sonic quality and outstanding speech intelligibility when deployed as part of a professionally designed sound system. They offer tightly defined vertical directivity, while at the same time a wide and uniform horizontal coverage pattern. When optimally positioned and aimed, the narrow vertical dispersion keeps sonic energy away from floors and ceilings, thereby increasing the useful operating distance and reducing harmful room excitation. The wide horizontal pattern means that fewer ENTASYS 200 columns - in many cases only a single pair - are often enough to provide full and even coverage for a wide variety of applications, even in fairly large rooms.
Digital signal processing
ENTASYS 200 column loudspeakers are single-amplified; this means they do not require multiple amplifier channels as bi-amplified loudspeakers do. However, equalization filters for system optimization and room compensation plus high pass filters are still needed. For this task, Biamp’s Tesira DSP and amplifiers or the Community ALC Amplified Loudspeaker Controllers are the perfect partners to an ENTASYS 200 installation. They provide numerous capabilities that make it easy to ‘dial-in’ the desired sonic signature that best suits the installation requirements, while ‘dialing-out’ feedback, harmful room resonance, and other unwanted artifacts. They provide intelligent driver protection, digital delay, and built-in presets that immediately assign optimal factory DSP settings, including advanced FIR filters to the ENTASYS 200 columns, merely by selecting the proper model from a menu. The ALC solution is complete processing and amplification in a single box, while the Tesira and Vocia solutions can be entire end-to-end sound systems including many networking and control options. Detailed specifications and features are available at Biamp.com.
Constant-voltage distributed system
Whenever a distributed constant-voltage installation is required, ENTASYS 200 loudspeakers are well equipped to handle the task. Each model includes a built-in 70V/100V autoformer, so there’s no need to purchase additional components. Constant–voltage systems are recommended whenever the distances between the amplifier and the loudspeakers are considerable. A good rule of thumb is to use the built-in autoformer if the cable length exceeds 100 feet, or if the lengths are shorter but the cable gauge is smaller than AWG #16.
Because the autoformer is equipped with selectable power taps, multiple ENTASYS 200 columns can be powered by a single amplifier channel, yet set to different power levels as needed. This allows the installer to provide uniform distribution of sound levels for maximally effective room coverage, without needing an undue number of amplifier channels and ‘home-run’ cables. Community’s proprietary autoformers function the same as conventional 70V/100V transformers, but with lower distortion, lower insertion loss, less weight, and superior frequency response.
When high-impact, full-range musical reproduction is required, one or more subwoofers should always be included in the design plan. Biamp manufactures a wide range of subwoofers that are compatible with ENTASYS 200 column loudspeakers. The specific type and number of subwoofers will vary depending on the desired end results; dance clubs and live music venues will require high power low frequency augmentation to satisfy their clientele, while a small house of worship may need only subtle low frequency enhancement.
Whenever subwoofers are utilized, an external signal-level crossover, either analog or DSP based, must be included as part of the system design. The crossover will divide the frequency spectrum between the ENTASYS 200 columns and the subwoofers, thereby allowing the subwoofers to be amplified independently from the ENTASYS 200 columns. An ALC Amplified Loudspeaker Controller is ideal for this task. Not only does the ALC provide the required crossover for the subwoofers, and factory recommended operating parameters for each model of subwoofer and for each ENTASYS 200 model, it also powers them with a highly efficient Class-D power amplifier. Note: A subwoofer should NEVER be connected directly to the same amplifier channel as an ENTASYS 200 column loudspeaker. This is because all ENTASYS 200 columns require a high pass filter, while all subwoofers require a low pass filter and a lower frequency high pass filter. The two cannot be powered by one amplifier channel at the same time.
In addition to providing LF extension for an enhanced sonic experience, the use of one (or more) subwoofers removes the demand to reproduce low frequencies from the ENTASYS 200 columns, thereby permitting greater power handling, which in turn means substantially more output capability. For applications in which music reproduction or music reinforcement is an important element, the use of subwoofers should be considered essential. It’s important to place subwoofers in locations near the ENTASYS 200 (within 2.2ft [0.67m]) for coherent summation at the required 200 Hz crossover so that both sources sum acoustically and also to avoid the subwoofer from sounding directional near crossover. To make this possible, Community offers compact subwoofers in the I SERIES and V SERIES lines. The most applicable models are IS6-112, IS6-212, IS8-112, IS8-212, VLF208, VLF208LV, V2-212S, and the V2-215S. For high output systems, consider one of the previous models for mid-bass (80 Hz to 200 Hz) plus large I SERIES subwoofers to operate below 80 Hz.
All ENTASYS 200 models provide an industry-standard NL4-type locking connector and a screw-type barrier strip for connections to the amplifier. Inputs are located on the bottom of each model. A bottom cover panel is provided to seal the connector area from water and foreign substances when using the barrier strip terminals (Note: The cover cannot be installed when an NL4-type connector is mated). The cover plate enhances the weather-resistant properties of the enclosure and is equipped with a knock-out that fits 1/2-inch conduit, as well as appropriately sized grommets and gland-nuts for accommodating large diameter cable.
Using ENTASYS 200 outdoors
When using ENTASYS 200 loudspeakers outdoors, we strongly recommend connecting the amplifier to the barrier strip input terminals and securing the bottom cover panel. The NL4-type input connector may be used for short-term connections outdoors, but is not recommended for long-term outdoor usage. Please refer to the ENTASYS 200 Installation / Operation Manual for diagrams and additional information about connections to ENTASYS 200 products, and for other guidelines that will make an outdoor installation as durable and long lasting as possible.