INDUSTRY & PRODUCT NEWS

Celestion Debuts Production-Ready Axi2050 Axiperiodic Driver at Prolight+Sound 2017
Following a preview a year ago, at this year's Prolight+Sound show, Celestion is introducing the production-ready Axi2050 wideband axiperiodic driver. Performing the role of two speakers in one, the Axi2050 is a high power, high-output driver which reproduces a frequency range of 300 to 20,000 Hz without the need for a midband crossover. Being just one example of the type of innovation Celestion is bringing to market, the new Axi2050 wideband axiperiodic driver promises to shake things up in the pro audio sector Read More


Rotel Introduces Reference Home-Theater Surround Amplified Processor with Dolby ATMOS and DTS:X
Rotel Electronics, a company known for 50 years in affordable high-end electronics designed for serious audiophiles and home-theater fans, has introduced the RAP-1580 Home Theater Surround Amplified Processor. This new system is truly a state-of-the-art single chassis audio/video component that outperforms most separates, with outstanding features such as 8 HDMI 2.0a inputs, 4K/UHD pass-through support, Wolfson premium DACs, Bluetooth with aptX and DTS:X, and Dolby Atmos support.   Read More

Powersoft to Launch LiteMod 4HC and MiniMod 4 Amplifier Modules at Prolight+Sound 2017
In addition to its touring and multi-channel process controlled amplifiers, Powersoft has built an excellent reputation in the OEM market, providing the engines for many market-leading active loudspeaker systems and rack amplifiers with its range of power modules. This has now been extended with the LiteMod 4HC and MiniMod 4, two new flexible, compact, and highly specified modules that will be introduced at this year's Prolight+Sound Show in Frankfurt (April 4-7)Read More


HEAD acoustics Promotes Voice Quality Web Seminars
HEAD acoustics is promoting a new series of complimentary web-based seminars focusing on voice quality. Running every week until May 24, 2017, these one-hour sessions are designed to provide short but focused information on voice quality topics that are normally not taught in college level classes. Anyone interested in learning more about the fundamentals of voice quality testing is invited to attend.    Read More
 


BASF Basotect Absorption Materials Create Total Silence at Guggenheim Museum Exhibit
Noise is everywhere. In New York City - ranked among the top 10 loudest cities in the world - it's a constant. The din in restaurants soars over 90 dB, and subways rushing across the city register more than 80 dB. Running through August 2, 2017, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will offer a serene and silent escape with its new presentation of Doug Wheeler: PSAD Synthetic Desert III. The presentation features 400 pyramids and 600 wedges of Basotect melamine foam, covering the chamber's floor, walls, and ceiling. One of the largest anechoic installations ever opened to the public.  Read More


Nordic Semiconductor Shows Development Kit and Other Solutions for Bluetooth 5 Implementation
Following the announcement at CES 2017 of its Bluetooth 5-compatible nRF52 Series SoCs (nRF52832 and nRF52840 devices), Nordic Semiconductor introduced new development tools for Bluetooth 5 at Bluetooth World, the official event of Bluetooth SIG, which took place at Santa Clara Convention Center, March 28-29, 2017. Demonstrations included the new Preview Development Kit (nRF52840-PDK) and its first Thread networking SDK.  Read More

Dialog Semiconductor Introduces Bluetooth 5 Low Power SoC with Integrated Microphone Interface
As the connected devices market enters a new era of connectivity with Bluetooth 5.0, Dialog Semiconductor announced the next generation in its SmartBond family - DA14586. The all-new System-on-Chip (SoC) is the company's first standalone device that is qualified to support the latest Bluetooth 5.0 specification, delivering the lowest power consumption and unrivalled functionality for advanced use cases.   Read More


V-MODA Unveils Improved Crossfade 2 Wireless Headphones
V-MODA just unveiled its new Crossfade 2 Wireless Over-Ear headphones. Building on the success of V-MODA's original Crossfade M-100 and Wireless headphones, the new models raise the bar in sound quality with Hi-Res Audio certification, larger cushions, new colors, longer battery life, and the iconic CliqFold mechanism design. The new-generation V-MODA wireless headphones use new 50 mm drivers, with improved frequency response in both Bluetooth and wired mode.   Read More





João
Martins
Editor-in-Chief




Editor's Desk


It's a Different Pro Audio World!

Next week, the audio industry will once again converge upon Frankfurt, Germany, for another edition of Prolight+Sound, which is still the leading trade show for audio, lighting, and stage technologies for entertainment applications. The entire audio industry? Well, a part of it.

Prolight+Sound 2016 was truly a confusing event and we left feeling depressed with the whole concept of "changing" one of the most traditional international trade shows in Europe.

Increasingly, we have heard that many companies don't like the way things are evolving with the traditional Frankfurt show, especially in the concurrent Musikmesse sector that started it all. Apart from major names that have drastically reduced their presence for their own internal reasons, there are also major companies that have decided not to attend this year because of the disconnect between the two shows - and if their business is equally split between the musical instruments and the professional audio world, it's hard to blame them.
 
The first Musikmesse was launched in 1980 with the goal of exhibiting musical instruments, while Prolight+Sound was launched in Frankfurt in 1995, addressing professional audio, lightning, and stage technologies. The recording technologies, progressing toward the home studio, were always "stuck in the middle." For many years, the two shows evolved together and for most visitors, it didn't actually matter much whether one hall was Musikmesse or Prolight+Sound - that is, until the weekend, when the shows were opened to the public and typically you had to retreat to the professional side simply to be able to breath with all the people invading the Frankfurt Messe.
 
This is basically the problem. Frankfurt Messe is a gigantic fair complex that keeps expanding but the buildings are all very different and don't work well for larger shows that need multiple halls.
And that's where the debate started. Some companies demanded that the show be kept for business only, while others were demanding more public access. For years, the promoters experimented with different models, restricting access to the public until the last show day and increasingly separating the halls to keep Prolight+Sound away from the crowds. Since the Frankfurt Messe is a gigantic complex of many different buildings connected by miles of walkways and multiple entrances, instead of solving anything, the physical separation of the two shows started to enhance the discomfort of both visitors and exhibitors.
 
While Prolight+Sound 2016 was clearly a successful event for pro audio and lighting companies, now exhibiting in the modern Hall 3, everything else was a complete disaster for this traditional Frankfurt fair - from the layout of the remaining Prolight+Sound halls, to the disconnect with Musikmesse, happening later that same week and located at the extreme opposite end of the gigantic Frankfurt Messe complex. Musikmesse suffered from the absence of key music brands and the significant drop in visitors, trade press, and traffic between the two shows.
 
As we wrote last year, still feeling the effects of one of most confusing trade shows we have attended, the entire concept of "changing" one of the most traditional international trade shows in Europe was already risky, but the result was a combination of all the worst possible choices. Hopefully, Frankfurt Messe will correct some key aspects, starting with the need to better interconnect Musikmesse and Prolight+Sound, reducing the huge distances between halls. That's precisely one of the successful hallmarks of the longstanding National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) - and there's nothing wrong with mixing music with pro audio and entertainment technology.
 
Still some of the worrying signs remain for 2017, such as the confusing message regarding what Musikmesse is about and maintaining an anecdotic B2B area (Hall 11.1) where some companies are "hiding," making sure they don't see any visitors. How could Frankfurt Messe allow companies to exhibit in a restricted area without having a booth presence at the show itself? By saying, "This is for business only" they're basically saying that everything else is "not business." So what exactly is it about?
 
This will be a decisive chance for Frankfurt Messe to amend many of those critical mistakes and to fine-tune the model going forward for these two important shows. A good sign is the fact that Prolight+Sound introduced changes in the outdoor demonstrations and coordinated the concurrent Musikmesse, which now overlaps for three days.
 
The Musikmesse, "a sort of cultural event?" Visitors want to see, touch and BUY the latest gear!
But the most important change for the organization will have to be focusing on the sustaining application areas that have made Prolight+Sound and Musikmesse so successful for so many years: Focusing on the live entertainment. There's no chance those shows can expand into the installation and audiovisual segments, as the Frankfurt Messe has been trying to do. Those markets are now well served by other shows and that's an entirely different crowd. Even the recording and music production segments, which was always one of the misunderstood sections of Musikmesse for many years, is now endangered by the growing dynamics of the much more focused Audio Engineering Society (AES) conventions. There is still space for Musikmesse to regain prominence in that application area, but the show needs to reconnect with that segment of the industry and be truly international - again.
 
But enough of "Messy" politics. Prolight+Sound is still a strong and dynamic show. The professional audio industry and the entertainment technology markets, in general, are doing pretty well and showing lots of resilience considering the global economic volatility. It's true some larger European markets are stalling and there are many countries going through a slow recovery, but as we have seen from recent trade shows, there's plenty of global activity and Prolight+Sound is an ideal platforms for expansion, which is the reason why visitor and exhibitor numbers have grown.
 
Telling visitors that "business is in hall 11" and then you need an invitation to get in... not your show badge! Compare this with NAMM, which has successfully managed to combine business with fun since ever.
Also, evolution in digital audio technologies for professional entertainment production has never been stronger. When we look at what happened with digital mixing consoles for live sound in the last few years, it is truly mind boggling. The live sound console has become an extraordinary "command center," controlling fully networked signal routing systems with all the processing built-in or directly connected with computer systems, which are able to record and playback every track when needed. Solutions from Allen&Heath, Solid State Logic, Yamaha, and others have successfully embraced existing audio networking protocols and combine the best of the software and dedicated user interfaces.
 
A glowing example of the success of this approach comes from British manufacturer DiGiCo, which has been leading the segment for many years now with its FPGA-based SD and S Series consoles. At Prolight+Sound 2017, DiGiCo will reveal upgrades to all its existing models, from the flagship SD7 to the compact SD11, and S Series' S21 and S31. Most important, DiGiCo will be showing its latest console, the SD12 (introduced at NAMM 2017). As the company says, the SD12 "is the culmination of everything the DiGiCo team has learned during its 15 years of manufacturing, which encapsulates the best features of both the SD and S Series." Apparently, they are struggling to keep up with demand!
 
Also, never have sound reinforcement systems been so accurate, controllable, monitorable, and consequently predictable, as they are now. And because of the extraordinary improvements in speaker drivers, amplification, and controllers for the complete systems, the quality has peaked to the point that when we listen to Meyer Sound's latest Leo/Lyon/Leopard family, d&b audiotechnik's latest speakers, Martin Audio's MLA family, or the extraordinary Kiva II ultra-compact modular line source from L-Acoustics, it is as though we are listening to very large hi-fidelity systems - at least as long as we keep them under reasonable power limits and with decent acoustics.
 
But the beauty of those new-generation digitally controlled (and some completely networkable) PA systems is the fact that they all respond with a surprisingly consistent quality level even at extreme levels in the most challenging open-air conditions with massive amounts of cabinets. And that includes the new-generation subwoofers, which is an area that's been fast expanding thanks to the availability of high-quality large-size and long-excursion drivers and the most extreme designs based on Powersoft's M-System, combining the M-Force/M-Drive motor transducer and switching-mode amp module. This year, a lot of those new M-System-based solutions will be visible in Frankfurt. Check out D.A.S. Audio and Funktion One, but there will be more.
 
From the European contingent, Prolight+Sound always brings a strong display of interesting new solutions in sound reinforcement, starting with d&b audiotechnik, which this year will offer an opportunity to explore its new ArrayCalc Viewer app, launched at the show last year. This new mobile interface provides all the key information for positioning and flying a d&b loudspeaker system in a quick and easy format, including all the relevant rigging, setup, and system details. Also new at the show and advancing the functionality of d&b software even further is the new R1 Array verification tool, which works by identifying the position of a loudspeaker in an array, then comparing its order within the array to the one in ArrayCalc.  Together, d&b's J-Series, Y-Series, and V-Series make full use of the new software solutions, including the ArrayCalc simulation software, ArrayProcessing optimization function, NoizCalc immission prediction software, and remote control software.
 
From Dutch company Alcons Audio, the pro-ribbon driver originators, there will be the new LR28/110 larger format line array, the LR18's "bigger brother," specifically designed as under-fill for the LR28. Featuring the proprietary RBN1402rsr 14" (3.000W) pro-ribbon, on a wide-dispersion waveguide, the LR28/110 sets new benchmarks for throw, projection control, and non-distorted linear sound response in even the largest applications.
 
We mentioned British company Funktion One, and we have to recommend a look at the new Vero, a large-format touring sound system that was previewed at the show last year. Engineered for new levels of audio and operational performance, Vero "has been designed, developed, and perfected over the last six years by some of the most knowledgeable and experienced audio engineers in the world," the company states.

The new generation of digital mixing consoles. Powerful combinations of the best software and hardware to control fully networked creativity.
From Germany, Fohhn Audio will showcase its latest digital technology developments and complete product portfolio in a new "World of Fohhn" stand concept. This will be a unique opportunity for the company to launch its next generation of Beam Steering systems and Class D amplifiers. Another of Fohhn's show highlights is the digital updating of its award-winning Linea Focus products, now equipped as standard with digital AES/EBU - and Fohhn AIREA inputs, also optionally available with digital inputs for Dante and Optocore networks, as well as analog inputs. The same digital and analog input options will be also available in Fohhn's brand new DI-Series DSP amplifiers.
 
And from the US side, there will be much to see, including a reinforced presence by VUE Audiotechnik, displaying the latest h-Class High-Definition powered systems and al-Class Acoustic Linearity Line Array systems. In addition, the stand will have representative models from VUE's i-Class Superior Contracting systems and a-Class advanced passive systems. The fast-growing company is also displaying the latest in SystemVUE software including a new iOS/iPad version, the latest updates to EASE FOCUS files with the ability to model hybrid arrays combining al-12, al-8, and al-4 elements with flying or ground stacked subwoofers (including beam steering). The full VUE Europe team will be on hand, along with VUE CEO Ken Berger, who is looking to expand distribution throughout Europe and the EMEA region.
 
Another stalwart of the US pro audio industry, Danley Sound Labs will be showing its loudspeaker, subwoofer, and amplifier designs. The Danley Europe team will be joined by Danley USA's Jonathan Parker and Jeff Pulliam as they look to expand distribution. The Danley J3-94 Jericho Horn will make its first European appearance at Prolight+Sound, promising to beat the competition in SPL and fidelity, "closer to reference monitors than to conventional PAs or line arrays," as they say. Danley's Pure Groove PG-J94 Jericho Horn, aimed at the club and live sound markets, will also be at the show. In addition, Danley will demo the SH-50, its flagship Synergy Horn loudspeaker, along with the Danley TH-Mini15, which uses Danley's Tapped Horn subwoofer technology.
 
And we will also mention Clair Brothers, American trailblazers of professional sound reinforcement technology, which will attend the Frankfurt show promising to rock the pro audio world with several unique design innovations. Following the evolution and success the Clair Brothers started with the C15 large-format line array cabinet, the company is officially launching the new C12 and C8 line array products. The C12 and C8 line array products feature the next evolutionary step in new mid/high technology, and are available with Clair True Fit Technology horizontal waveguides custom tailored for any specific venue. Those custom waveguides are precision-machined using Baltic birch plywood - a key ingredient in all Clair Brothers products - combined with "a new transducer technology" that reduces weight and amplifier channel requirements. All this is combined with the line array's ability to be digitally beam-steered in the vertical plane with F.I.R. processing. The company is also launching the 1.5AM+ active (self-powered) monitor, using an amp module made for Clair by Powersoft.
 
Speaking of Powersoft, the Italian company will launch the new LiteMod 4HC and MiniMod 4 amp modules for the OEM market.
 
Sound reinforcement is getting accurate, controllable. monitorable and consequently predictable, thanks to the latest software solutions.
On the driver front, Celestion is showing the new FTX1025 and FTX 1530 common magnet motor coaxial loudspeakers. And following a preview presentation a year ago, Celestion is introducing the innovative production-ready Axi2050 wideband axiperiodic driver, performing the role of two speakers in one at this year's Prolight+Sound show.
 
From Lavoce Italiana, there will be the worldwide premier of new additions to the company's extensive range of high-frequency and low-frequency professional transducers, including the new SAN214.50LD, 21" Neodymium Subwoofer with 4,5" voice coil (3400 W Program Power); and the DN14.40T, 1,4" exit Neodymium Compression Driver with 4" voice coil (260 W Program Power) and titanium dome.
 
From Spanish company Beyma, there will be several new product introductions, including new high-performance subwoofers, woofers, and full-range drivers as well as new compact compression drivers. But probably the most interesting new product from Beyma this year will be the 18LEX1600Nd, an innovative 18" subwoofer using a newly optimized frame design, which inspired Beyma's marketing department to promote a unique presentation at Prolight+Sound. Members of Beyma's R&D Department have formed a rock band and will be performing at the booth to promote the new woofer. Go to www.beyma.com and click on the tickets logo to see a preview.
 
Especially for our Voice Coil readers, I would like to recommend two sessions by Klippel GmbH. The first is titled "Fast non-anechoic loudspeaker measurement using correction curves" and takes place April 6, 2017 at 12 P.M. (Forum C; Room: Substanz). The second is about "Active Loudspeaker Control - Consequences for Amplifier Design," and takes place Friday, April 7, 2017 at 11 A.M. (Forum C; Room: Substanz).
 
And we will return with more, after the show!

From the Vault
Another Solid-State Single-Ended Power Amplifier
By Ron Tipton
 
This project is based on a previous audioXpress article: "A Solid-State Single-Ended Power Amp" by Ed Simon, published in the April 2006 issue. Ron Tipton was deeply impressed with this amplifier project which used only five transistors per channel, two of them being current sources. "I was very intrigued by this design so I built one very nearly as described by Mr. Simon. Then I made some changes. This article describes those changes and the reasons I made them. So my final version is, of course, a different amplifier although the topology is much the same as the original. More important, it sounds very good."
In his modified design, Tipton changed the power supply to deliver the same output power but making the amp run much cooler. In his rack-mounted version he also used a circuit board with headers (and mating plugs) for making the connections on and off the board, redrew the circuit diagram, and introduced finned radiators on the rear panel to make the whole design even more efficient conducting the heat. And that was just the start. In his project, Tipton manages to create a refined and perfected iteration of this interesting design, creating an amplifier project that is also an excellent project for anyone new to DIY audio design.  This article was originally published on the old audioXpress website and was previously available as a PDF, which was never reposted. Also, the supplementary files, are again available to download as single file.  "The Spice info is included in simon.zip because it revealed that it was easy to overdrive into distortion with Ed's original DC supply. As I recall, maximum undistorted output is about 4 VPP so ±10 V is fine. I'm still using this amp to drive my 10-speaker line arrays," Tipton adds.   Read the Full Article Now Available Here

Voice  Coil Test Bench
Bozhen New Audio Lab CQ66 Ribbon Tweeter 
By Vance Dickason
 
This edition brought an interesting high-frequency driver to Voice Coil's Test Bench, a new high-end ribbon tweeter from a Shenzhen, China-based company, Bozhen New Audio Lab. From Bozhen, we received the CQ66, which is the next generation of its CQ76 ribbon tweeter (featured in Voice Coil's April 2013 issue). Bozhen was founded in 1995 as a high-frequency ribbon manufacturer, but has expanded its product line to include the DDQ line of patented woofers that are a somewhat similar concept to the Tymphany LAT transducers. The CQ66 ribbon tweeter is a smaller iteration of the CQ76, another application of Bozhen's unique patent number ZL200820128865.6 for ribbon tweeter design. The CQ66 utilizes a 65 mm × 15 mm pleated aluminum diaphragm (the CQ76's diaphragm is 80 mm × 20 mm). The pleats are mechanically connected to a section of the voice coil. The CQ66 uses a closed-back design injection-molded rear cavity. Other features for this design include the neodymium motor system, an injection-molded faceplate (the CQ76 has a brushed aluminum faceplate), a black mesh screen protecting the diaphragm, and a pair of gold-plated terminals. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, May 2016.   Read the Full Article Online

AX April 2017: Digital Login
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