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What is 100V Line Audio? The benefits & applications in commercial premises
SO WHAT IS A 100V LINE AUDIO SYSTEM?
100V Line is a type of audio system which is typically used in commercial premises or large areas, and is capable of powering a large number of speakers across long distances and multiple zones. (a zone is typically different parts of a building)
It runs as the name suggests, on 100 Volts which is how the system can operate at these long distances (100 meters or more), and is also what makes a 100V Line audio system so easy to install and configure when compared to a typical home stereo or low impedance system.
A 100V Line audio system at its core comprises of a 100V Line Amplifier, 100V Line Speakers and Double-Insulated Speaker cable, although there are additions to this which can enhance the system or enable extra functionality.
PLEASE SEE HERE FOR OUR 100V INSTALLATION GUIDE. Download & print this for on-site reference.
100V Line audio is very common in commercial environments thanks to its power, flexibility, zonal and PA capabilities. This could include:
• Restaurants, Pubs & Bars
• Places of Worship, Schools & Colleges
• Warehouses, Factory's & Exhibition Centres
• Shopping Centres, Supermarkets & Coffee Shops
• Outdoor venues such as a Football Fields, Horse Yards & Show grounds
(These are just a few examples) Find our pre-configured packages for all industries HERE >
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A 100V LINE AUDIO SYSTEM?
MORE SPEAKERS - Without worry!
On a 100V Line system, you can run many speakers from a single amplifier without worrying about impedance or audio quality loss. This is great for large areas or buildings with multiple rooms or floors, who need many speakers throughout.
GREATER DISTANCES - As far as the eye can see!
Using the correct cable, you can run a 100V Line system well over 200m, perhaps even further with no loss of audio quality or volume. This makes it great for large outdoor areas or warehouses.
ZONAL CONTROL - You're in control!
Some 100V Line amps have zonal capabilities. Their function varies depending on the amplifier, but this feature is great when you need independent control across multiple rooms. For example, volume and source selection in a restaurant: Entrance, Main Area, Bar & Toilets.
LOTS AND LOTS OF INPUTS! - Connect your smart devices!
100V Line Mixer amplifiers have a multitude of inputs which are designed to accept a range of input devices. This will of course vary depending on the amplifier itself.
Typically, there will be RCA/Phono inputs for connecting a phone, tablet or media player, however you can also find XLR & 6.35mm Jack inputs for Microphones. Some also have in-built Bluetooth, an FM Tuner and USB/SD Card slots, allowing you to load music onto a USB/SD Card and continuously loops a selection of songs – just set it and leave it.
PA / PAGING CAPABILITIES - Bing-Bong...calling!
Most 100V Line amps have a dedicated microphone input, and some have paging microphones built especially for them. This will allow you to talk through the audio system, and even lower the volume of music playback when speaking. Some amplifiers also can page zonally.
MONO PLAYBACK - Easy on the ear!
This initially may sound like a bad thing, but it’s exactly what you want in a commercial environment. Mono playback will ensure a consistent sound through every speaker and won’t split the audio into Left & Right.
EASY TO INSTALL - Just what you want!
Because 100V Line speakers can be wired in parallel/daisy-chained, it will save on cable usage, and subsequently cost. It will also make for easy installation into the amplifier too as there is only one terminal (per zone) to wire the speakers into.
Volume controls, also known as volume attenuators can control the volume of a single or set of speakers independent from the amplifier. This is very useful when you have a single-zone amp with only one master volume but want to control the volume of a speaker independently, in a toilet for example.
Volume attenuators can also make volume adjustments on the fly more accessible, for example, it could be installed under a bar which removes the need to travel to the amplifier.
Attenuators most typically are 1U in size and require a back box to install. As they can vary in depth, it’s best to purchase a box back with the attenuator to ensure it will fit.
In terms of wiring, they are installed in exactly the same way as the speakers, just place the volume control in the daisy-chain depending on what speakers you want to attenuate. Simply install the speaker cable into the corresponding terminals on the volume control (positive and negative).
Every speaker connected after the volume control will be affected, the speakers before will not.
Volume attenuators will have a rated wattage, such as 20W, 40W, & 60W. As with the amplifier, ensure the wattage of the volume attenuator is higher than the combined wattage of the speakers you are attenuating.
When should you go for a Stereo/Low Impedance System? 100V Line systems are a great option for a lot of installs however there are a few drawbacks which make a traditional Stereo (also known as Low Impedance) system a much better choice.
SMALL BUILDINGS & SMALL AREAS
Because of the extra components needed to make a 100V Line system (the speakers need transformers for example), the equipment can be more expensive than a traditional low impedance system.
If you only need a small system with a small number of speakers, it would be more cost-effective to have a low impedance system installed. This is of course dependant on certain functionality such as multiple zones.
SOUND QUALITY & LOUDNESS
100V Line systems are great for continuous background music, however they can also be used at higher volumes if required, but only if the correct speakers are installed.
The drawback is because of the transformer built into the speakers, this does limit how loud the speakers can get, and does ever so slightly inhibit sound quality when compared to a traditional PA or Low Impedance speaker.
Because of this, if your requirements are loud, pumping music with a decent amount of depth & bass, then a 100V Line system is NOT the right choice. A Low Impedance system would provide a much better sound and volume.
We’d recommend using a Stereo / Low Impedance audio system in the following venues:
• Small Bars
• Gyms & Fitness Centres
Using a 100V Line system at home isn’t normally recommended. While the functionality may be there, a lot of the equipment have an ‘industrial’ aesthetic and are quite heavy and bulky to store at home.
Furthermore, the sound quality may not be what you would expect from a home audio system, and none natively offer app or gesture control like Lithe Audio or a System Line setup, which are dedicated Home Audio Solutions. SHOP HERE >
In summary, 100V Line is a perfect choice for just about any commercial premises and offer a lot of functionality and flexibility, however it’s not always the best choice in certain areas.
If you require any further assistance regarding purchasing a 100V Line product please contact us on 02476 369890 and one of our experts will be happy to help. Or use our Request a Call Back page for a FREE no obligation system design & consultation service.