Here at Soapy Productions we are a year into working with the fabulous team at KV2 UK who have supplied us with our main front of house PA systems. This is for both our outdoor stages and indoor events.

12 months down the road we are now very aware of what our ES and EX systems are capable of, and there are considerably more plus than minus points. So I thought an update to how we have got to where we are and the interesting situations we have discovered. 

Point Source vs Line array, yawn!

So if we takes things back 18 months ago, we spent a lot of time in this debate. Based on the the following peramiters. 


  • We need a modular system that could scale up or down and split easily, 300 – 3000 people
  • A quick set up and de rig time
  • Outdoor and indoor use
  • Small footprint, in the van and venues
  • Sound f*cking amazing
  • Fit within our budget
  • Ability to scale up at a later date, up to 4000 people


We need a modular system that could scale up or down and split easily, 300 – 3000 people. Both line array and point source systems gave us scalable options. The biggest issues were the ramp up in costs when looking to split the system into 2 smaller versions. The other was how the line array options sounded when only using say 3 boxes a side. The whole nature of line array is to cover a wider vertical dispersion area. When using a smaller system the sound just wasn’t great. The biggest bugbear I have is the amount of DSP that is used on line array to get the system sounding right. So when comparing the line array systems to the KV ES system which is point source. We could purchase 2 x ES systems and run them together for the larger events.

A quick set up and de rig time. Our main focus on outdoor events is around our trailer stage systems. Small festivals and inner-city events up to 3000 people in from of the stage. So quick ‘get in get out’ is paramount to our effectiveness and our price point. To keep our costs as low for the event organisers as possible.The line array systems we looked at needed 6 – 8 boxes a side and needed to be over 4m high to get to cover 3000 people. With 8 bass bins in total to complete the system. Our goal to put 6 – hangs of line array on wind up towers in 10 minutes was looking unlikely. Compared to the 2 KV2 ES 1.0 boxes needed to do the same job.

In 2022 we managed to get the trailer stage set up for a day festival up to 3000 people in just 3 hours. We would have needed to add an additional 30 minutes of using line array.

Outdoor and indoor use. Active systems are much more popular now, but even though one of the line array systems we were looking at was active and weather proof, were weren’t convinced. The KV2 ES system is old school with amp racks and no need for additional power cables when flying. The ES system also can be ground stacked in different configurations. Yes there is a bit more hoofing to be done when stacking from the floor, but the time saved is well worth it.

Small footprint, in the van and venues. Size and weight matters and this was interesting one, because most people would argue that a point source, stackable system is so much more bulkier than line array. Actually it’s not, there was no space advantage and fewer boxes to load. The weight of both style systems wasn’t a big difference either.We can get a double ES system with flying towers, additional stage monitors and side fill speakers for an audience for 3000 people in a sprinter sized van, with room to spare, and just on the right side of weight constraints for a 1 tonne payload.

Sound f*cking amazing. Sound matters, this seems obvious but you would be amazed at the perception people have about using an alternative to line array. Which when you look at it, point source speakers have been used at the largest events around the globe up to 15 years ago. So what has changed? People get used to what they see on a technical rider rather than what is in front of their ears. Don’t get me wrong line array has its place, especially in specific types of venues. But does it always sound as good as the alternatives? I have seen recently some articles where sound engineers have gone back to point source systems on large tours. To solve the issue of sound quality, especially over distance. Have a look at this article about the Cats arena tour for example.

So when you bring this back to our brief, when we looked at the 3 options the KV2 ES system blew the alternatives out of the water in respect to sound reproduction at high SPL, as well as the clarity of that sound over distance.The engineers we have used in 2022 have really liked the ES system noticing how little front of house EQ-ing they have had to make to get the right sound. And how they really haven’t had to push the system to get the right amount of sound for the audience area.

The KV2 ES system amplifiers corporate electronic crossover filters, time alignment, equalisation and system protection, Utilising 20MHz digital conversion. Each control unit houses all the processing as well as the 4 dedicated amplifiers, which in turn feeds the respective 4 dedicated speaker drivers. Within the pre determined frequency range of that driver. This makes the speaker unit extremely efficient. Running high SPL without distortion.Some of our engineers still prefer to have separate control of the subs (bass) over the low mid to high frequencies, which is still possible through dedicated sub inserts in the controller.

Fit within our budget. Immediately our budget on this project started to reduce the options down to 3 possibilities. 2 were line array based and 1 was a point source option. Which in our case was the KV2 EX system. The biggest issue with the line array was being able to split the system in to 2 for up to 1000 people. The more of the array you loose the less effective it becomes. Coupled with the fact we needed additional equipment to make up 2 rigs. This really sealed the deal in respect of going for the point source system.

Ability to scale up at a later date, up to 4000 people. When scaling up, to go down the line array route, would have simply meant more boxes to hang. But this would have increased our set up time even more. This was when I became friends with an experienced Australian sound engineer Andrew Wood, who has worked with ES and KV2 from pretty much the start 16 years ago. He has used a KV2 ES system constantly during this time as well as working with line array.Demonstrating that by simply adding additional base units that fly with the top units with 4 extra floor bins. With a couple of stage fill speakers at eye level. The system is capable of concert quality SPL for up to 4500 people, with plenty of headroom to spare. In this case, it means a sensible cost to upgrade when the time comes.

The biggest question we have needed to ask ourselves is, did we make the right decision?

Based on what our brief required, the resounding answer is Yes. But what’s more satisfying is that the KV2 ES system has delivered more that we had hoped. Even to the point that we are using regular on smaller jobs too. Our older point source active HK systems have just been gathering dust in the warehouse. We have added additional smaller boxes from the EX and ESD range too. With the plan to replace our monitor speakers in the next 12 months too. As well as additional compact ESD speakers for conferencing and award ceremonies.

Tom and Jonathan at KV2 UK are great too. Helping us find the right solutions while not being pushy. Letting the quality of the product do the talking.

I still strongly recommend that when looking for new PA you should look at all the alternatives even if the reps say it’s not in fashion or look as sexy. The artists, and audience do notice the difference when the sound is good. Every event organiser in 2022 had nothing but praise for the ES system and what it delivered for their audience.

More details on KV2 Audio Products, click here. More info on the KV2 Audio ES system click here.

More details on Soapy Production PA services click here.