This week, US pro audio giant Meyer Sound launched its brand-new flagship linear line array system, PANTHER, which was hailed by company president and CEO John Meyer as the company’s “most significant loudspeaker introduction in over a decade”. Here, Headliner catches up with senior product manager Andy Davies to find out precisely why it’s so significant and why he believes it’s a “once in a generation” system.
With the ever-more complex and visually focused demands of today’s live events industry in mind, the new Meyer Sound PANTHER has been built to offer an acoustic output that is closer to the much larger and heavier LEO line array, yet matches the more compact measurement of the LYON loudspeaker. Designed to deliver in stadium-sized shows, it weighs only 150 lb (68 kg) and offers notable savings on current draw from the company’s previous generation flagship line array loudspeaker. Its dual analog/Milan AVB network input module facilitates flexible signal distribution options, and each cabinet comes as standard with an IP55 weather protection rating.
The electronics module in PANTHER is a new, lightweight design featuring a four-channel Class D amplifier coupled to an ‘innovative power supply’. The new amplifier package delivers higher peak current to the loudspeakers while presenting a stable load to the AC line. It also features new, longer-excursion 12-inch low-frequency cone drivers and new 3-inch compression drivers. These incorporate advanced magnet structures using new materials for higher flux density despite substantial weight reduction. Combined with a new LF port design, PANTHER has a maximum peak output of over 150 dB SPL.
The reduced weight means that more PANTHER loudspeakers can be flown on a single motor, and larger arrays can share the same truss and hang points with extensive video and lighting gear. Furthermore, larger and longer arrays can be flown outdoors while complying with new safety regulations related to weather, specifically wind.
The PANTHER range is comprised of three cabinets with different horizontal coverage patterns. PANTHER-M and PANTHER-W are 95 and 110 degrees, respectively, and will be familiar to existing Meyer Sound owners. Meanwhile, PANTHER-L features an all-new long throw horn with a tightly defined 80-degree horizontal pattern. Three options allow system designers to precisely tailor coverage in any size venue with uniform response and enable deployment of fewer arrays or shorter arrays in certain applications, such as in-the-round configurations.
Meyer Sound’s PANTHER will go into production and ship in February 2022. UK-based rental company Major Tom, one of the product’s initial launch partners, will deploy it on Ed Sheeran’s 2022 + - = ÷ x (“Mathematics”) tour.
To find out more about Meyer Sound’s PANTHER, Headliner spoke to Davies about the concept behind product and how extensive conversations with key industry players helped shape it…