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22 October 2007


The wedge market is top heavy – by which I mean, the ‘knock your head clean off’ sector is well serviced. Every decent PA manufacturer needs at least one thumpingly loud floor monitor and they’re inevitably big and expensive. Alternatively, you have the bulky/cheap moulded variety that are more at home at the end of poles (for FOH duties) and look ugly on stage. Curiously, it’s much harder to find low-profile, high quality compact floor monitors.

But for any stage that’s not overpoweringly loud, you’re better off having a wedge that’s compact and can’t be driven to frighteningly-loud levels. Solo performers, duos, small club stages, churches, schools, orchestra pits, theatres… If you’re not competing with 130dB of backline then why have a monitor that’s pushing enough air to inflate a jumpy castle?

So it’s a big hello to the Bose Panaray 310M and 620M: incredibly light, amazingly compact and, sonically, beautifully transparent.

Which could be the end of the story, but this is Bose we’re talking about and Bose can’t release a product without some sort of smarty pants proprietary technology. The 620M features two 5.25-inch drivers with six 2.25-inch drivers in a proprietary ‘Articulated Array’ speaker design (the smaller 310M combines a 5.25-inch driver and three 2.25-inch). The cabinet shape and Bose’s penchant for combining multiple smaller drivers, means these monitors display three very different dispersion characteristics depending on whether you place the cab in ‘portrait’ mode (for a narrow individual throw) or ‘landscape’ mode (two permutations for a wider group monitoring).

These monitors are quite a revelation. They’re loud enough (113dB @ 1m and 111dB @ 1m) for any small-scale setups and (in the case of the 610M) many medium-sized stage applications, and offer a very smooth, hi-fi response. Don’t imagine these babies will walk into an on-stage role where SPL is everything, and they don’t enjoy being kicked about (at 6kg and 10kg respectively, they tend to roll away). But where reasonable SPL and a clear full-frequency sound are what matter most, these could be just the ticket. – Christopher Holder

Price: Panaray 310M: $599; Panaray 620M: $899

Bose Australia: 1800 659 433 or www.pro.bose.com


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