SLA pro or omnitop

Short and Transmission Line Arrays for Pros
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SLA pro or omnitop

#1 Post by AlBrum » Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:03 am


For live band with sub crossed over at 120Hz , what's the pros and cons of Omnitops vs SLA pros please?

Anyone built both and tried them for live band use?

Weighing up the build and cant work out which would be the better option- small venues (pubs!) with low ceilings and audience spread out across width of the venue: Currently pointing reflex speakers to try and catch the majority of crowd, but not ideal tweeters so 12 crossing over WAY too high- so we have a beaming situation, and cone break up...

Need as even off axis response as possible (no wide high frequencies with no mids please :-)

Looking for quality sound.



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Re: SLA pro or omnitop

#2 Post by NukePooch » Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:32 pm

Actually I haven't yet tried either SLAs or OTops, but...I have the melded array on my Jacks. The horizontal dispersion is amazing. If you're got 'audience spread out' and the venue is wide, I'd say that OTops with melded arrays will likely do a better job (cover more area) than the SLA Pros...
Just something else to think about...
4 Jack 112L- 3012HO, melded array
17.5 wide AutoTuba with Infinity 860w
6 Wedgehorn W6 w/ Panel Mount Piezos
2 T48 Slims (15" wide) with 3012LF
4 T48 Fattys (32" wide) with 3015LF

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Re: SLA pro or omnitop

#3 Post by himhimself » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:39 am

Can't say enough good things about my otops - they sound great and the horizontal dispersion is outstanding. I've used them outside and the soundstage is practically 180 degrees. Also, people listen with their eyes too, as stupid as we all know that is - it's the reason guys will split the subs. Looks better, sounds worse. Anyway, I was influenced in going with double stacks of otops in part because of how they look, especially now that I built some stands that enhance the prosound look. I'm sure the SLAs sound great too and are smaller, but in my case, the larger otops work better for what I was after.
2xT30 (20", 3012LF)
2xT30 (21", 3012LF)
4xOtop J-array (Beta12, melded/straight piezos)
Truck Tuba (MCM)
Next up: 2xJack12 or family of table tubas

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Re: SLA pro or omnitop

#4 Post by AcousticScience » Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:33 am

The pro of Omnitop is you can cross them slightly lower and the maximum SPL is greater. Since this is a pub I'm thinking this won't be a concern.
The cons of Omnitop is they are bigger and heavier.
Also they don't sound this good
without shelling out for an equaliser. They are far shriller in the upper mids (compression driver option) if you direct drive run them off an amp, or one of those primitive "4 channel powered mixer" things or just using the simple high/low pass on the back of power amps as a crossover. To be honest SLA pro sound like the best option for you unless you want to expand bigger in the future, and still give you 100dB 1W@1m which is quite economical on power for a speaker that size. Disclaimer is I only have Omnitop 12 so can't comment in person on the SLA pro/compare dispersion patterns etc.

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Bill Fitzmaurice
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Re: SLA pro or omnitop

#5 Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:45 am

Where 'shelling out for an equalizer' is concerned an equalizer isn't an optional piece of kit for PA. It's mandatory.

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Re: SLA pro or omnitop

#6 Post by AcousticScience » Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:40 am

Yes, but I've seen plenty of cobbled together systems with some ancient powered mixer with limited EQ. Other systems are straight out of a DJ mixer into power amps just using the inbuilt 100Hz crossovers. I've seen a system in a hotel with trap cabs (15+ horn) plugged into a Sony mini system. Now do the Omnitops sound better on "Dance", "Pop", "Classical", "Rock" or "Jazz"? If OP is working with such a system, the SLA pro will sound better, considering he has a high pass. Honestly in comparison I'm spoiled with my driverack PA+. Yes, any PA worth its salt will have a way to shape the sound properly and cross over the signal.

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Re: SLA pro or omnitop

#7 Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:57 am

My bet is that anyone who cares enough about how they sound that they build their own speakers isn't going to use crap electronics to drive them. My answer to someone who asks "What speakers are best suited to my shitty system" is to go to Walmart.

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Re: SLA pro or omnitop

#8 Post by MarcBass » Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:44 pm

I have both SLA Pro and Omnitop 12's. They are used for live bands in in small pubs through to large rooms and outdoors.

The bands vary from smaller 3 piece + singer through to loud pub rockers with way too loud multiple marshall quad boxes.

For small pub gigs the SLA Pro is my go to top. If the band is over-the top loud and / or it's a big room I'll reach for the OmniTop12's. Outdoors is always OmniTops. And I always have a DriveRack in the rig.

Having said that, the SLA Pro is my favourite. It's easier to handle, weight and pack size. It has a broard dispersion and is easy to EQ. In fact, I like my SLA's so much I'm building a second pair for those times I need a bit more volume.
2 T39 24 inch 3012LF
2 W8 melded array Fane Sovereign 8-225 loaded
2 W8 flat array Delta Pro 8
2 Omni 12 (2*10 BP102) TallBoy
2 SLA pro 4x6

2 OT12's 3012 / NSD

Next Build: 2 SLA pro 2x6

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Re: SLA pro or omnitop

#9 Post by jimbo7 » Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:18 pm

I think MarcBass is spot on. I have both but never used live.

Another thing to think about along with pack space is cost. 2 2x6 SLA's (or 1 4x6) will perform slightly less than 1 OT12, but will cost more with premium drivers and parts. Yeah it's easier to carry 2 smaller SLA's but probably heavier than 1 OT12. (never compared the weight 🤔). That being said, and me knowing what I think I know; I'd build the SLA's because they're more modular and if you need more later on you can build some OT's.
BFM builds:
T24 BP102 24"
2x SLA's 6-5" mids, 9- gt-302's
2x AT 14" MCM 55-2421
TrT 5" MCM 55-2421
AT 18" JBL GTO804
2x OT12 flat array
2x SLA Pro 2-Alpha 6's 2-Goldwoods
2x T39 24" 3012lf
Simplex 10 BP102

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