About Us

DC Event Lighting and Sound is a full-service provider for lighting, staging and sound solutions to the special event industry catering to the greater Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland areas.

What We Do

Planning a corporate event? Our rental department has what you need to flawlessly execute your next corporate resentation, product launch and more. Inquire with DCELS about rojector rentals, pipe and base, uplighting, branded corporate gobo, and more.

Contact Us

Contact us today to find out how we can offer
the best service and pricing to your next special

Main loudspeakers


A simple and inexpensive PA loudspeaker may have a single full-range loudspeaker driver, housed in a suitable enclosure. More elaborate, professional-caliber sound reinforcement loudspeakers may incorporate separate drivers to produce low, middle, and high frequency sounds. A crossover network routes the different frequencies to the appropriate drivers. In the 1960s, horn loaded theaterloudspeakers and PA speakers were almost always "columns" of multiple drivers mounted in a vertical line within a tall enclosure. The 1970s to early 1980s was a period of innovation in loudspeaker design with many sound reinforcement companies designing their own speakers. The basic designs were based on commonly known designs and the speaker components were commercial speakers. The areas of innovation were in cabinet design, durability, ease of packing and transport, and ease of setup. This period also saw the introduction of the hanging or "flying" of main loudspeakers at large concerts. During the 1980s the large speaker manufactures started producing standard products using the innovations of the 1970s. These were mostly smaller two way systems with 12", 15" or double 15" woofers and a high frequency driver attached to a high frequency horn. The 1980s also saw the start of loudspeaker companies focused on the sound reinforcement market. The 1990s saw the introduction of Line arrays, where long vertical arrays of loudspeakers with a smaller cabinet are used to increase efficiency and provide even dispersion and frequency response. This period also saw the introduction of inexpensive molded plastic speaker enclosures mounted on tripod stands. Many feature built-in power amplifiers which made them practical for non-professionals to set up and operate successfully. The sound quality available from these simple 'powered speakers' varies widely depending on the implementation.

Many sound reinforcement loudspeaker systems incorporate protection circuitry, preventing damage from excessive power or operator error. Positive temperature coefficient resistors, specialized current-limiting light bulbs, and circuit-breakers were used alone or in combination to reduce driver failures. During the same period, the professional sound reinforcement industry made the Neutrik Speakon NL4 and NL8 connectors the standard input connectors, replacing 1/4" jacks, XLR connectors, and Cannon multipin connectors which are all limited to a maximum of 15 amps of current. XLR connectors are still the standard input connector on active loudspeaker cabinets.

The three different types of transducers are subwoofers, compression drivers, and tweeters. They all feature the combination of a voicecoil, magnet, cone or diaphragm, and a frame or structure. Loudspeakers have a power rating (in watts) which indicates their maximum power capacity, to help users avoid overpowering them. Thanks to the efforts of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and the loudspeaker industry group ALMA, power-handling specifications became more trustworthy, although adoption of the EIA-426-B standard is far from universal. Around the mid 1990s trapezoidal-shaped enclosures became popular as this shape allowed many of them to be easily arrayed together.

A number of companies are now making lightweight, portable speaker systems for small venues that route the low-frequency parts of the music (electric bass, bass drum, etc.) to a powered subwoofer. Routing the low-frequency energy to a separate amplifier and subwoofer can substantially improve the bass-response of the system. Also, clarity may be enhanced, because low-frequency sounds take a great deal of power to amplify; with only a single amplifier for the entire sound spectrum, the power-hungry low-frequency sounds can take a disproportionate amount of the sound system's power.

Professional sound reinforcement speaker systems often include dedicated hardware for "flying" them above the stage area, to provide more even sound coverage and to maximize sight lines within performance venues.

The number of speaker enclosures used in a performance varies a great deal, but the following list gives a rough idea of how many cabinets are used in a typical venue:

  • "Small Vocal" system - Two full range speakers mounted on tripod stands.
  • "Large Vocal" system - Four full-range speakers for wide-area coverage.
  • "Small Club" system - Two subwoofers and two mid/high speakers.
  • "Large Club" system - Four subwoofers and four mid/high speakers.
  • "Small Stadium" system - Four subwoofers, four mid-bass speakers, and four mid/high speakers.