Industry & Product News
Purifi Audio Promises to Reduce Distortion in Speakers and Amplifiers
A new Danish company, founded by Bruno Putzeys, Lars Risbo, and Peter Lyngdorf will be making its first public presentation to the industry in Munich May 9-12, concurrently with High End 2019. The name is Purifi Audio, and as you can guess from the founders involved, the venture promises Class D amplifiers with record-breaking performance "unmatched by amplifiers of any operating class." But the new company will be doing more than amplifiers, since it will also reveal a new 6.5" woofer with "magnitudes lower intermodulation distortion across frequency and SPL ."    Read More

Holoplot Promotes Immersive Audio and Large Sound Fields at Prolight+Sound 2019
German audio technology pioneer Holoplot reported another successful demonstration of wave field synthesis technology at the Prolight+Sound 2019 show, with examples of its groundbreaking "more than beamforming" conferencing and retail-oriented ORION Series solution. Along with extensive showcases of its current products, the company was an enthusiastic participant in the event's education program, with Head of Applications Emad El-Saghir giving two well-received presentations .    Read More

RCF Renews Range of Active Studio Monitors with New AYRA Pro Series
RCF had a very successful presence at Prolight+Sound 2019, presenting a complete array of innovations in professional audio. The Italian company celebrates its 70th anniversary this year and its RCF 2019 product line includes exciting new products and technological improvements to existing lines, including the new AYRA Pro range of studio monitors for recording and mixing. Completely designed and built in-house, using the company's own transducers, these monitors feature powerful amplification combined with RCF's FiRPHASE algorithm .    Read More

FaitalPro New 12" and 15" XL Woofers Launched at Prolight+Sound 2019
FaitalPro attended Prolight+Sound 2019 in full force and unveiled several new products, all with great appeal for the professional audio market. Together with its latest HF1440 1.4" neodymium compression driver, the renowned Italian manufacturer of professional loudspeakers announced several new low-frequency drivers, including its latest FX Woofer Series and two new 12" and 15" subwoofers in its high power XL range: the 12XL1200 and the 15XL1200 models. According to FaitalPro, both woofers are ideal for high power compact systems .    Read More

High End Show 2019 Global Audio Showcase Returns to Munich! 
From May 9-12 2019, Munich will once again be the meeting place for all those interested in getting up to speed on the latest products related to high-end, consumer and lifestyle audio. As the global meeting place for the hi-fidelity audio industry, the High End 2019 Show is now fully booked. The entire capacity of the exhibition grounds, which cover an impressive area of 29,000 square meters, is now completely filled. And companies have already started to pre-announce their product launches for the show!    Read More

Asahi Kasei Microdevices Introduces Premium Audio Solutions at High End 2019 in Munich
Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corp. (AKM) will display its latest flagship Velvet Sound Verita AK4499 32-bit audio D/A Converter (DAC) at the High End 2019 show in Munich, Germany. A newly developed IC manufacturing process was adopted in this flagship DAC to deliver the best sound quality so far in the company's range of products, achieving -124 dB THD+N and 140 dB S/N. The AK4499 is also the first among AKM products to use a new current output architecture. AKM will also demonstrate its new ultra-low power hi-fi D/A converters for Bluetooth headphones, AK4331 (stereo) and AK4332 (mono) .    Read More

Need a Dedicated Spectrum Analyzer? B&K Precision Just Announced Its Slim 2680 Series
B&K Precision, the manufacturer of reliable, cost-effective test and measurement instruments announced its evolution of RF test equipment with the New 2680 Series of Spectrum Analyzers. This series includes a preamplifier, 2D spectrum monitor, and advanced measurements such as channel power, adjacent channel power and occupied bandwidth, which are options on most competing models. It also includes advanced measurement options and pre-amp for RF design and verification .    Read More

Magix Releases Sound Forge Pro 13 with Redesigned Interface, New VST Engine and ARA2 Support
For more than 25 years, Sound Forge Pro has been an industry-leading professional software for recording, audio editing, and mastering. With this latest version 13, Berlin-based Magix presents a comprehensive update specifically designed to meet current requirements of professional audio producers, updating the code for more stability, efficiency, and speed. The all-new Sound Forge Pro 13 has a redesigned interface, delivers a new VST engine and ARA2 support for greater plug-in speed and stability, and adds a host of professional effects .    Read More

Editor's Desk
J. Martins

Yes, But Only in German...
Attending Trade Shows

"With all the options that are available to me, why should I buy from you?"

Many years ago I attended a sales seminar where the presenter introduced me to that question as being the one all sales people (and businesses) should ask themselves first to define the correct sales strategy. The guy was good, because that question stuck with me until today.

In that sales training, there was no "sell me this pen," instead I learned that it doesn't matter how good your product is, if you don't understand who your selling to, what needs your product addresses, and how you rate in the client's priorities, then it's almost impossible to have a successful sales pitch.

The problem with that approach is that this was usually applied in the typical cold calling pitch, and it didn't seem to me that I could apply it when selling a speaker or an audio amplifier. After all, in the first years of my career I basically attended to the clients who wanted to buy something. That is, until I stepped away from sales and started coordinating brand and marketing strategy to increase sales.

In those days - this was the 1980s, by the way - the calendar year for a reseller was basically divided into "going to shows," "get new products," going to trainings or "learn about the products," and selling time. Going to shows was never questioned or debated. That's what you do to get to know companies, identify products, technologies and solutions, and make sure you pick the best ones first.

That's how I also learned the importance of meeting people and creating relationships with the industry, and how that made all the difference in the world. Especially at a time in the industry where you could still meet the founders who gave the names to the brands. My core market was not even audio, but that's how I met Dr. Fritz Sennheiser and his son Jörg Sennheiser, how I met Sidney Harman, and many more from other industries that would be less recognizable to our readers, but for me were decisive.

I learned to attend trade shows in the era when it was crucial to bring back a large bag weighing 80 pounds filled with catalogs, price lists, and product manuals. In fact, I quickly learned to look at the global trade show calendar and sometimes attended regional trade shows just to find new products ahead of the major international events and establish an early relationship with a new company. Those local shows were mainly targeted at meeting final clients and end users for the region, but they were an effective way to meet key people with more time available, and learn how they defined their sales pitch in their own - sometimes more mature - markets.

Later in my career, when the Internet was starting to be a thing and companies were starting to create PDF copies of literature, I had the chance to work with brands and manufacturers establishing a strategy to exhibit at trade shows. Again, I quickly learned how important it was to meet in person with agents, distributors, and clients, and also how a company needed to have a clearly defined strategy for exhibiting, with people dedicated to taking care of the end users and the occasional visitors, create dedicated meeting spaces for distributors and large-volume buyers, while planning time to meet key partners ahead of the show. No matter if it was a local/regional event or a major international trade show.

When I moved on to work full-time in publications and I started to revisit those trade shows as technical press, I quickly learned how different those same events I had attended in the previous two decades could be from my reporting duties perspective. Independently of being international or local, some events were less relevant, while others were mandatory and demanded far more planning and larger teams than I had previously experienced, since it was no longer about scouting the exhibits and having 10 meetings, but carefully planning dozens of press events and meeting briefly with hundreds of companies, while still finding time for demos and interviews.

One of the shows I started to attend more regularly as press was Musikmesse and Prolight+Sound, then a mega-event in Frankfurt, Germany. The planning was a major challenge, with more than 8 large halls to cover, many daily miles of walkways, and making sure we had a large enough team to attend all the press opportunities. At the same time, I had already attended the NAMM show in Anaheim, CA, so I could compare the differences. The NAMM show was clearly an opportunity to meet American and a few Japanese companies annually, while Frankfurt was the place to see everyone else, including large European and Asian companies. Funny enough, I found, there was very little overlap.

Still, Frankfurt was the only show in the world where I was frequently faced with the bizarre experience of being told by a manufacturer that they only had press kits or even product literature in German, because those companies were exhibiting mainly to cater to the local market. In many product segments of both the Musikmesse and Prolight+Sound I would frequently be faced with the need to have meetings in outside hotels to meet executives from the manufacturers, which were exhibiting in partnership with their distributor for Germany, or Central Europe. I even attended press conferences at which I was told that all presentations were in German only.

This, at a time when Frankfurt Messe - the world's largest trade show organizer with its own exhibition grounds - was working hard to expand its globally recognized trade shows into Eastern Europe and Asia, which it did successfully in the case of Prolight+Sound and many others. But while that strategy was dependent on dealing directly with manufacturers and convince them to partner on a whole-year event of carefully planned shows, in Frankfurt, Musikmesse and Prolight+Sound shows were being increasingly targeted to the local distributors and the local market, and the big brands were moving away to other more dynamic international shows.

Fast forward nearly two decades, the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) in Europe, promoted by AVIXA (InfoComm) and CEDIA is now a mammoth annual global event with a huge momentum; the NAMM show expanded with two large halls to be able to accommodate the professional audio and entertainment technologies; while Musikmesse has turned into a music festival for the city of Frankfurt and is now a sad memory of what once was the largest global musical instruments event. Even Prolight+Sound entered a downward spiral of which it is having a very hard time stopping, with many of the 2019 edition exhibitors telling us this would be their last presence there.

Because, they can. They no longer have to attend. There are truly other alternatives available to them. Prolight+Sound has turned into an important event only for Germany and maybe some central European markets, and Musikmesse is now apparently considered irrelevant, since the manufacturers no longer feel the need to attend, now that the European musical instruments and studio market is dominated fully by the large Germany-based online retailers, and distribution is mainly handled by box-movers. The trade, which was holding that show together, is gone.

Many trade shows have faced similar challenges and they evolved. Most brands continue to recognize how important it is to attend trade shows. They simply go to those events that fit their strategy in a global market, where they know they will meet attendees that fit their strategy. The NAB Show (promoted by the National Association of Broadcasters) ended last week another very successful edition, because it has evolved every year to follow the market - now turned into media content production for all platforms, from podcasting to Netflix. The NAMM show faced similar challenges to the Musikmesse when the musical instruments distribution channel changed radically. Its organizers reinforced their relationships directly with the manufacturers and the brands, and created a global platform for the whole entertainment market segments gathered around the common passion for music. In other words, they recognized what holds those markets together... and stayed relevant.

Like the companies that attend trade shows to keep selling and stay top of mind to their addressed markets, trade show promoters also need to recognize how they fit into the whole equation. "With all the options..."


Fresh From the Bench
Lepai LP40PA Mini Stereo Plate Amplifier -  Latest Design or Retro Rewind
By  David Logvin
David Logvin explores the Lepai LP40PA ultra-compact amplifier, a versatile Class D common plate amp module with fully integrated Bluetooth 4.2 receiver and 3.5 mm stereo inputs, ideal for converting existing passive speakers into convenient portable and wireless units that can be placed anywhere. Parts Express provided audioXpress with this plate amplifier for review, and it seems that building powered speakers is easier than ever. At least, the Lepai LP40PA has plenty of power for a pair of bookshelf speakers as Logvin experimented. This article was originally published in audioXpress, January 2019 .   Read the Article Now Available Here

Voice  Coil Test Bench
Eminence SD28 Soft Dome Tweeter  
By Vance Dickason
I've known the folks at Eminence Speakers since the mid-1970s and have a lot of respect for this company, not the least of which is for it being among the few driver manufacturers left in the US. Being primarily known as a pro sound driver OEM, with a great reputation for both guitar speakers and PA drivers, it may come as a surprise that this Eminence driver, the SD28, is a 1" soft dome tweeter - a staple of the home and car audio businesses. I should note however, that while Eminence has a rather large catalog of pro audio transducers, the company also produces drivers for home and car audio companies. While the SD28 is listed in the Super tweeter category on the Eminence website, the suggested applications are for "car audio, ATV, RV, or any other application where space is limited." In terms of features, the SD28 was provided without a mounting flange. Other features include a 4 Ω impedance for a 92.5 dB sensitivity, a 1" silk dome with response out to 20 kHz, and a self-shielding neodymium motor . This article was originally published in Voice Coil, January 2019 .   Check it out here!

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