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2012 PAR Excellence Awards: The Nominees

August 2012 marks the PAR Excellence Awards’ re-introduction as a Subscriber-voted program, presented by the Editors and Contributors of Pro Audio Review (PAR). Online voting on the list of nominees by PAR print and digital-qualified Subscribers will be open from the mail date of the August issue through Friday, November 16, 2012. PAR Excellence winners will be announced in the December issue of Pro Audio Review and simultaneously online at 

“The new PAR Excellence Awards voting process goes hand-in-hand with Pro Audio Review’s role as the ‘real world’ product review vehicle for the audio production industry,” offers PAR Editor Strother Bullins. “Between our talented, prolific team of PAR Contributors — working studio and live sound pros themselves — and our technically savvy, qualified subscriber base, the PAR Excellence Awards process is uniquely and credibly structured to trulyrecognize the past year’s most innovative products.”

Nominations for the 2012 PAR Excellence Awards were developed through the brain trust of PAR Editors and Contributors. Nominations were based on the “I want to own this” principle; gear selected should have a proven field track record, performed well via PAR’s review process, or — in the case of recently released products — has shown particular promise through demonstrations, beta-testing and among early adopters.

All products for consideration must have been commercially available on or after July 1, 2011 and on or before June 30, 2012.

2012 PAR Excellence Awards:

The Nominees 

Studio Hardware

Microphone Preamplifiers

 ART USB Dual Tube Pre

 Slate Pro Audio Fox

 Sonic Farm Pro Audio Creamer+


Channel Strips (including preamp, EQ and/or compressor/limiter)

 A-Designs Ventura

 Aphex Channel

 Retro Instruments Powerstrip Tube Recording Channel

 Rupert Neve Designs Portico II


 Dave Hill Designs Titan

 Grace Design m102/m502

 Inward Connections OPTIA Discrete 500 Series Limiter

 XQP 545 Optical Disrupter


 Buzz Audio REQ-2.2ME

 Empirical Labs DocDerr EL-Rx

 Maag EQ4 500 Series

Converters, DAW I/O, Interfaces & Networking


 Antelope Audio Eclipse 384

 Focusrite RedNet Series

 Merging Technologies Horus Network Audio Converter

 Universal Audio Apollo

Studio Monitors

 ADAM Audio A77X AX-Series

 Dynaudio Professional DBM50 Desktop Studio Monitor

 Emotiva Pro Airmotiv Studio Monitors

 Focal SM9

 Guzauski-Swist GS-3a

 sE Electronics Munro Egg 150


 AKG HSC/HSD Professional Headsets

 beyerdynamic DT 1350

 Heil Pro Set 3

 Shure SRH1840/SRH1440

Studio Controllers/Mixers/Worksurfaces

 API 1608 with Automation

 Harrison 950m Analog Console

 Slate Digital Raven X1 Production Console

 Yamaha 01V96i Digital Mixer

Acoustical Treatment/Acoustic Isolation Tools/Speaker Stands

 AuralexCarl Tatz Design Signature Series

 IsoAcoustics ISO-L8R 155 Studio Monitor Stands

 Primacoustic IsoTools Acoustic Isolation Tools

 Ultimate Support MS-100 Studio Monitor Stands

Studio Accessories

 iConnectivity iConnect MIDI-enhanced MIDI interface

 IK Multimedia iRig PRE iOS Microphone Interface

 K&M Elegance Microphone Stand

 RTW TM3 Touch Monitor

 Radial Workhorse Cube


Digital Audio Workstations

 Avid Pro Tools 10

 Cakewalk Sonar X1 Production Suite

 Harrison MixBus 2.0.5

 PreSonus Studio One 2

 SSL Soundscape V6

 Steinberg Nuendo 5.5 

Plug-ins, Channel

 Audio Ease Altiverb 7

 Eventide Black Hole reverb

 Plugin Alliance Maag EQ4

 Sound Toys Decapitator

 Slate Digital Trigger

Plug-ins, Stereo Bus

 Slate Digital VTM (Virtual Tape Machine)

 Universal Audio ATR 102 Tape Simulation Software

 Universal Audio Fatso Jr./Sr.

 Waves Dorrough Metering Plug-in

Plug-in Suites/Bundles

 Brainworx BX Rockrack guitar amp simulator

 Focusrite Midnight Suite

 iZotope Ozone 5

 Lexicon PCM Native Total Bundle

 NuGen Audio Stereo Pack 2

Microphones, Studio & Stage 

Large Diaphragm Condensers (LDCs, non-handheld)

 Lauten FC-387 Atlantis

 Mojave Audio MA-301 fet

 sE Electronics sE2200a II

 Telefunken Elektroakustik AR-51 Tube Microphone

Small Diaphragm Condensers (SDCs, non-handheld)

 Audio-Technica AT2022 X/Y Stereo

 DPA Reference Series

 Mojave Audio MA101SP matched pair

 sE Rupert Neve RN17

Dynamic Microphones (non-handheld, including Ribbon mics)

 Audio-Technica ATM25/LE

 Cascade Fat Head II Active/Passive 

Handheld Wired Microphones

 DPA d:facto Vocal

 Earthworks SR40V

 Heil PR 35

 MIPRO MM-89 Condenser

Wireless Microphone Systems

 AKG WMS470 D5 Vocal Set

 Lectrosonics HH Digital Hybrid Wireless

 Line 6 XD-V70 Digital Wireless Microphone

 Neumann KK 204 and KK 205 Wireless Microphone Capsules

 Sennheiser XS Series

 Shure ULX-D Digital Wireless Microphone Systems

Live Sound Hardware

Small Live Controllers/Mixers/Worksurfaces (under $2,500 list)

 Line 6 StageScape M20d mixing system

 Mackie DL1608 iPad-based digital mixer

 Mackie ProFX22 USB-equipped analog mixer

 PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2

 Posse Audio Stage Monitor Mix System

Live Controllers/Mixers/Worksurfaces (over $2,500 list)

 Allen & Heath iLive T112 Digital Mixing System

 Allen & Heath GLD Series

 Midas Pro 2 Digital Audio Console

 Roland M-480 V-Mixer

 Studer Compact Remote Bay for Vista

 Yamaha CL Series Mixers

Loudspeaker Systems/Cabinets

 EAW QX Series

 Meyer Sound 1100-LFC Low Frequency Loudspeaker

 Renkus-Heinz Ralph Heinz Signature Series Loudspeakers

 VUE Audiotechnik A Class Loudspeakers 

Yorkville Unity Paraline Series PSA1 loudspeaker

Line Array Systems/Cabinets

 Adamson Energia E1

 Bose RoomMatch

 JBL Professional VTX Line Array Series

 Martin Audio MLA Compact

Portable PA/Powered Speakers

 Alto Professional TRUESONIC TS115A powered speaker

 Electro-Voice ZXA1 powered subwoofer

 HK Audio Soundcaddy One

 Peavey Impulse 12D

 Yamaha DXR Series 


 Crown iTech 4x3500HD

 Lab.gruppen E installation series

 Peavey IPR 1600 DSP

 Powersoft M Series DSP + ETH

In-Ear Monitors

 Logitech’s Ultimate Ears Personal Reference Monitors

 Sensaphonics Custom Fit bundle for Shure SE535/SE425

Sound Reinforcement Processing/System Control/Networking

 Alto StageDrive+ Speaker Management System

 Community dSPEC226 Loudspeaker Processor

 Letrosonics SPNDNT ASPEN Network Processor

 QSC Q-Sys Core 250i/500i Integrated Cores

 Lake LM 44 Digital Audio System Processor

Live Accessories

 DiGiCo UB MADI Interface/Connector

 Hosa CBT-500 Cable Tester

 Proel DB-1A DI box

About Pro Audio Review

Pro Audio Review is the only pro audio trade publication to focus exclusively on product reviews and applied technologies as related to all aspects of audio production. PAR provides timely and authoritative peer reviews of pro audio equipment and software. Each issue also includes the latest in new product information as well as industry-recognized expert opinion on a vast array of all the technologies supporting creativity and production in music recording, live sound, audio post production and broadcast. Since 1995, audio production personnel have relied on Pro Audio Review’s objective/real world product evaluations, applied technology insights, and curated/relevant new product information to keep them informed and on top of the technology trends within the pro audio industry.