FaitalPRO Expands Range of Pro Audio Coaxial Loudspeakers with new 10Hx230 and 12Hx230 Models
Apart from several new woofers and compression drivers, Italian pro audio manufacturer FaitalPRO introduced two new full-range coaxial speakers at ProLight+Sound 2017. The new 10HX230 and 12HX230 coaxial drivers stand next to the recently added 8XH230 8" coaxial model, which expanded the brand's catalog. FaitalPRO expects these new coaxial configurations to inspire designers to build smaller, lighter, high-quality speakers for stage and touring applications Read More

Beyma Rocks Prolight+Sound 2017 with New 18LEX1600Nd High-Performance Subwoofer and Complete Range of New Drivers
Spanish renowned pro audio transducer manufacturer Acustica Beyma introduced several new products at this year's Prolight+Sound show in Frankfurt, including new high-performance subwoofers, woofers, and full-range drivers as well as new compact compression drivers. The company literally rocked the show with the introduction of its new 18LEX1600Nd 18" subwoofer, celebrated in big style with a live performance featuring Beyma's own rock band!   Read More

Hypex Electronics Introduces New NCAS500MP Active Speaker Amplifier Module
Dutch power amplifier and DSP specialist Hypex Electronics has been updating its vast product range at such an impressive pace that it's hard to keep track. Among the many new modules in its Class D NCore amplifier range, Hypex introduced the new NCAS500MP module, high-efficiency two-channel (400 W and 100 WRMS at 4 Ω) solution for active speakers. This module will be soon joined by the new NCAS1000MP with two 800 WRMS and 200 WRMS channels .   Read More

Focal Professional Introduces Shape Monitor Series
Surprising visitors at Musikmesse 2017, French manufacturer Focal introduced a completely new monitor series as part of its expanding Focal Professional catalog. Comprising three progressive-sized nearfield monitors - Shape 40, Shape 50, and Shape 65 - the series is placed above the affordable CMS and Alpha series, introducing interesting component and design choices, including passive radiators, in the best tradition of its SM series monitors.    Read More

FaitalPRO Announces Two New High Frequency Compression Drivers with Improved Performance and Reduced Weight
Paying attention to the needs of audio manufacturers in an increasingly competitive landscape, FaitalPRO expanded its already extensive range of professional drivers with two excellent new compression drivers. The two new products announced at Prolight+Sound 2017 implement a ferrite magnet (HF111) and a neodymium magnet (HF142), offering superior performance and benefits in terms of reduced dimensions and weightRead More

3PASS flex: New Background Noise Simulation System for Multi-Microphone Arrangements
3PASS flex is HEAD acoustics' new simulation system for measuring speech quality performance in the presence of background noise. It is particularly suited for testing multi-microphone systems, microphone arrays, or beamforming microphones in real-world conditions where multi-point noise simulation with flexible microphone and loudspeaker arrays is required. 3PASS flex reproduces any previously recorded sound field at distinct microphone positions, representative of typical use cases.  Read More

Top 10 Things to Experience at AXPONA, April 21-23
Now in its 8th year AXPONA (Audio Expo North America) continues to entice audiophiles, music lovers, musicians, and seasoned audio experts looking to enhance their Listening Room, Media Room, and Office with the latest technology from stereo systems, home audio speakers, headphones, turntables, and much more. The show, which returns to the Westin Hotel in Rosemont, April 21-23, will feature 400 exhibitors and offers attendees the enviable opportunity to touch, test, and shop the newest gadgets in high-end consumer audio products.   Read More

Genelec Updates Popular Monitors with New SMPS Power Supplies and Class-D Modules
Genelec announced major upgrades that deliver a completely new level of performance to some of its most popular studio monitors and compact speakers. Six of Genelec's most popular models are about to become more powerful, lighter in weight and even greener, as a number of major upgrades are rolled out, including a switch to more efficient and better-quality Class-D amplification.   Read More

Optocore Presents New Compact SFX7 Network Interface Controller
Optocore has announced the release of a complete network solution suitable for all manufacturers and professional integration clients. Formally launched at Prolight+Sound 2017 in Frankfurt, the new compact SFX7 module was designed by Optocore to be built into third-party product boards - including networked speakers - and will offer maximum flexibility, interoperability, and integration - all on fiber and fully IP-based.   Read More

Sennheiser Updates Iconic Logo and Brand Design
While absent from 2017's Prolight+Sound and Musikmesse shows in Frankfurt, Sennheiser took advantage of the break to announce a new corporate design and visual language. This includes the enhancement of its wordmark and the iconic and recognizable S-shaped logo. The audio specialist will roll out the new look during 2017. The first Sennheiser product to carry the new logo will be the HE1 flagship headphones and tube preamp, since they are built one at a time.   Read More



Editor's Desk

Trade Shows Do Matter

I was planning to dedicate this edition of the Audio Voice editorial to more interesting product highlights that we've seen in Frankfurt at Prolight+Sound (and a few at Musikmesse) 2017, but unfortunately time is a precious commodity that we simply don't have enough. Anyway, those highlights have the space and importance they deserve in our regular news updates online. Just click here for Prolight+Sound coverage . All I had time for was to do something that I think the Frankfurt show needs the most. Defending its existence.
The weather was beautiful during all days of Prolight+Sound and Musikmesse 2017. Inside most of the halls... the mood was not so bright.
After previously writing about the implemented changes and the resulting debacle at the 2016 edition - and using some strong words to express our disappointment - I could easily do the same about the 2017 edition, and probably many exhibitors and visitors will do so anyway. But instead, I think I should do some justice to Messe Frankfurt's efforts, knowing that they already recognized their mistakes and are sincerely hoping to turn things around for the next year(s).
After all, the Prolight+Sound and Musikmesse shows in Frankfurt are as needed today as they have been for decades and will certainly be even more important for the future - for all industries involved in the entertainment and music sectors. As I had the chance to hear from Michael Biwer, previously responsible for Prolight+Sound, and now responsible for key account management and the strategic planning of both events,  the organization recognizes that things went wrong and that they need to move things back as they were. Is it still possible? It better be. As Biwer confirmed, there was some pressure for changing things and improving the show from specific sectors that were suffering some anxiety about the changing economy and the global markets. Unfortunately, and unknowingly, Frankfurt Messe reacted hastily to things that were not really under their control and made wrong decisions. They understand and recognize that.
As always, when you need to implement changes, you start by listening to the parties involved. But the same companies that complained were the first to drop out in 2016 (not only from the Frankfurt shows but other shows as well) because they were going through their own changes - for different and sometimes very specific reasons. Other companies that recognize the importance of this major trade show and continued to exhibit, no matter what, are precisely those that have reasons to express dissatisfaction for the ways things are now. And in fact, when we asked some executives from those companies, the first thing we heard is that they would like to see things back as they were before. But that's going to be difficult now.
With many of their big competitors absent, European sound reinforcement companies made a splash at Prolight+Sound once again.
In a way, the changes implemented to the two shows have a parallel to the so-called Brexit. An idea that makes no sense and benefits no one at all, but the question was asked... and suddenly the undesired result affects the life of everyone, with unexpected consequences that everyone regrets. You generate new problems, and more problems than those you thought you were trying to solve. And in the case of trade shows, this is particularly true for the companies that think that there is an alternative to a trade show - even though they have demonstrated time and again that no one knows what that strategy is and how it could work out.
In this case, the new model impacted the microphone companies the most, since they are transversal to all sectors of the Prolight+Sound and Musikmesse - including instrument microphones. Dividing their audiences between two shows - even if they accept having two separate booths - makes no sense. No wonder those companies were precisely among the most notably absent in 2017, including long-standing supporter Sennheiser/Neumann, which did not attend directly in protest. Other major absences have nothing to do with the show itself. The Music Group (Behringer) recently stated that they will not attend next year's National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show as well. But that's probably related to the fact that the company - with all the brands it has acquired - has not released any new products for almost three years now.
Very strange to find Harman in the Light and Multimedia Hall, but then again, it was mainly about Martin... which used to be one of the leading companies in the sector.
The implemented changes are also related to logistical problems of the Messe itself, as Biwer confirmed to audioXpress, knowing that some of the buildings are currently undergoing needed maintenance, while the Messe is building new halls to accommodate the needs of shows such as Prolight+Sound and Musikmesse. Unfortunately, those will only be available in 2019. Until then, the two trade shows will have to survive and the current management team is already planning to correct the most important aspects, such as moving the recording/studio part of Musikmesse closer to Prolight+Sound (an expanding show), moving others sectors closer to each other, and reinstating the needed visitor's traffic flow from pro audio and stage technologies, progressing into recording, DJing, and musical instruments. For next year, the one-day schedule separation will still be maintained, with Prolight+Sound starting one day early (running Tuesday to Friday) and Musikmesse ending one day later, on Saturday. Debatable. The critical thing is to promote the two shows as one big convergent event - as it should always have been - and reinstate the actual business focus of both, understanding that the audiences for both shows have also expanded to end-users.
On the show floor itself, let's just say that the industry looks exciting. In fact, it is as if everything is more exciting when the big brands are not around, and there's no standard products from the usual companies and you have time to find new companies with fresh ideas. Clearly, the companies who benefit the most from this strange situation and market distortion are the ones that attend no matter what. Visitors look at what's being displayed and quickly forget about "all the others." Specifically, in the pro audio industry, the European manufacturers that continue to attend all the shows are the clear winners. We just need to see how successful companies such as d&b audiotechnik, L-Acoustics, Martin Audio, Fohhn Audio, RCF/db Technologies, Nexo, CODA Audio, and many more are in the sound reinforcement area. Or how the mixing consoles currently dominating the market come from the likes of DiGiCo, Allen & Heath, Yamaha, or Solid State Logic - all companies that understand how to use trade shows.

Microphone manufacturers decided not to attend the Frankfurt shows this year. After all, why should they have to decide between two separate shows if they target all visitors? In their place, there was a sad "silent stage"...
Specifically, for the pro audio transducer companies, this means that their number of OEM clients tends to increase. "Fresh blood" in terms of manufacturers growing in volume, means more opportunities to sell more products to a larger number of companies. Same with amplifier modules and electronics in general. Also for the North American companies that grasped the opportunity, this was a great moment to gain a stronger foothold in the vibrant European markets, as well as find new distribution opportunities in other regions of the world.
Of course, in Musikmesse and specifically the studio and recording area (Hall 9), things were so bad that you could fit all the existing exhibitors in the access areas to Prolight+Sound... easily. In fact, if the promoters don't act quickly and do something dramatic for Musikmesse 2018, it risks becoming irrelevant and all the hall layout problems that Frankfurt Messe faces now will simply solve themselves...
Appropriately for this year's Musikmesse, I found The Tora Bora Boys, an American bluegrass group, singing "Mothers not Dead She's Only Asleep." Like Musikmesse...
In general, the statistics revealed by the promoters have reasons to be optimistic about the future of the two shows. There was a total of 1,922 exhibitors from 55 countries, and around 100,000 visitors from 144 countries attended. Most of the exhibitors we talked to at Prolight+Sound confirmed they were extremely pleased with the business they did and the quality of visitors, from rental companies and leading production companies to the big music dealers. The Prolight+Sound conferences were also attended by more than 2600 people - an increase of 40% over the previous year.
It is important to highlight the statement from Frankfurt Messe: "As the partner of the sectors, it is our responsibility to provide a future-oriented marketing platform with target-group specific formats and events. We take this very seriously and, accordingly, we will once again enter into an intensive dialogue with exhibitors and associations with a view to 2018," said Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt.
The next Musikmesse and Prolight+Sound will be held from April 11 to 14 and from April 10 to 13, 2018, respectively. |

Practical Test & Measurement
Sound Cards for Data Acquisition in Audio Measurements
By Stuart Yaniger
audioXpress June 2015 issue initiated a great series by Stuart Yaniger on "Sound Cards for Data Acquisition in Audio Measurements." As Yaniger explains, "In this column, I will look at some of the available options and methods to create a low-cost system (emphasis on "low-cost") for lab-grade audio electronics measurements and provide some examples. I will skip the superb but expensive systems to concentrate on solutions within easy reach of budget-conscience hobbyists. The goal is to demonstrate how you can generate useful data, similar to the graphs and charts in the audio review magazines, but without the expense."
This was the start of an insightful and entertaining series that we have now decided to share online following numerous request from members of DIY forums and many enthusiasts of test and measurement adventures that apparently kept searching for the topic on our website. Spoiler alert, the series will lead you to an addictive hobby that for the author rewarded him with the fundamental discovery that all adventures are worthwhile, but that our most precious resource is time. But then again, it's the journey that counts. And we will say no more. This article was originally published in audioXpress, June 2015.  
Read the Full Article Now Available Here

Voice  Coil Test Bench
Scan-Speak 18M-6431T00 Revelator 6.5" Midrange 
By Vance Dickason
This Test Bench characterizes the Scan-Speak 6.5" 18M/4631T00 Revelator midrange driver, nominally a midrange version of the Scan-Speak 18W/8531G00 with higher sensitivity and shorter Xmax. The original Scan-Speak 18W/8531G00 was a true high-end audio classic and probably one of the most visible high-end drivers ever used in high-end loudspeakers. As you would expect, the feature set for the 18M/4631T00 is very similar to the original 18W's. This includes the updated slim profile cast-aluminum frame, a version of the original uncoated sliced paper cone (for reduced cone break-up modes), a 1.5" diameter sliced convex paper dust cap, 38 mm diameter voice coil wound on a titanium former, SD-1 patented Symmetric Drive (SD) motor structure with a 110 mm × 18 mm ceramic ferrite magnet. The Symmetric Drive motor uses an extended vented pole with an angled chamfer on the pole top section and three copper shorting rings, one centered on the gap and one located above and one located below the cap area. The 18M/4631T00 also has a T-yoke with a 12-mm diameter pole vent. Compliance is provided by a low damping styrenebutadiene rubber (SBR) surround and a 3.5" diameter flat cloth spider. Last, the voice coil is terminated to a pair of solderable gold-plated terminals. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, June 2016.   Read the Full Article Online

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