Loudspeaker manufacturers continue to drive towards more compact, efficient and better-sounding systems for sound contracting, installation and other applications. This year’s InfoComm convention, held in Orlando, FL, June 14-16, provided both established and less familiar speaker manufacturers an opportunity to show off their latest products, including the following—far from exhaustive—offerings.
From Germany, via its US office in North Carolina, d&b audiotechnik’s appearance was the first opportunity for InfoComm attendees to see the new 24S, 24S-D and 21S-SUB products. “The 24S, 24S-D and 21S-SUB are designed to set and forget. They meet the exact day to day demands of permanent installation with minimum fuss and maximum reliability,” according to Wolfgang Schulz, d&b’s product manager of installation products.
The 24S and 24S-D house two 12-inch LF drivers in a dipolar arrangement with a single horn-loaded 1.4-inch exit compression driver, and both feature rotatable HF horns for vertical or horizontal mounting. The two models, offering a frequency response of 55 Hz to 18 kHz, differ only in horizontal dispersion: 75° x 45° (24D) and 110° x 45° (24S-D).
The new 21S-SUB, a 21-inch driver bass reflex design, provides LF extension from 105 Hz to 35 Hz. In Infra mode, as a supplement to other d&b subwoofers, its LF performance extends from 33 Hz to 85 Hz.
InfoComm 2017 provided the first opportunity for many to meet Rob Hofkamp in his new position as North American director of operations for UK-based Void Acoustics. According to Hofkamp, “The team at Void Acoustics have made a solid name for themselves in Europe and Asia and I am really excited to introduce the brand to the expansive North American market. Void hasn’t just done the same old thing that everyone else is doing; they have set out to forge their own path and create something new.”
Void makes products that the company describes as “an interior designer’s dream come true.” The latest addition is the Nexus XL low frequency enclosure, which builds on the dual-18-inch configuration and resonant chamber design of Void’s Stasys X. Improvements that together lower the moving mass of the driver include a new dual-layer coil arrangement that reportedly increases power handling and efficiency plus materials woven into the cone for increased strength.
Also present was Void’s Air 8, a surface-mounting passive unit intended for small bars, lounges, restaurants and clubs. “The inspiration for the Air 8 came from a requirement for an ultra-compact full range loudspeaker that could be used in larger spaces with an innovative and inspired aesthetic. This called for the invention of a totally new 8-inch transducer that operates at very low temperatures, even at the power levels required to produce its extremely high output levels,” according to creative director Rob Mogale.
Also from the UK, EM Acoustics launched its new ESP Series of compact, self-powered, multipurpose loudspeakers to the North American market at InfoComm. The range debuted with three models: the ESP-8 and ESP-12 loudspeakers, both with coaxial designs for true point-source performance, and the ESP-15S compact reflex subwoofer.
The ESP-8 is a two-way (8-inch woofer/1-inch compression driver) coaxial unit that generates a uniform 100-degree conical dispersion pattern with purportedly smooth off-axis response. Its big brother, the 12-inch/1.3-inch ESP-12 sports the same coaxial design. Both products incorporate onboard 1200 W class D amplification with DSP and a universal power supply. Four built-in presets support stand-alone use, flat response, use with a subwoofer and stage monitoring.
The new line is rounded out by the ESP-15S, offering low frequency extension of the ESP Series mid/high boxes down to 45 Hz. Users can modify the subwoofer’s characteristics via four presets, each with a different low pass filter frequency.
Tasked to deliver the sonic transparency and headroom of its Leopard box in a smaller system, Meyer Sound’s designers developed Lina and its companion 750-LFC low-frequency control element. “Although Lina takes advantage of the existing Mina footprint, the improvements in high-frequency headroom and lower distortion are clearly audible. Lina definitely shows its Leo family lineage,” says Pablo Espinosa, Meyer Sound’s vice president of R&D and chief loudspeaker designer.
A very compact linear line array loudspeaker measuring less than 21 inches wide and weighing under 43 lbs, Lina houses a pair of 6.5-inch woofers and a 3-inch HF compression driver that incorporates the same new magnet structure first used in the Leopard. Meyer reports it has boosted efficiency and peak output with an updated class D amplifier and signal processing package. Its power-to-size ratio makes it suitable for small theatres, theme parks, houses of worship and portable AV systems, says the company, as well as front and under-balcony fill applications.
Providing LF extension to Lina, Meyer Sound’s 750-LFC operates across a range of 36 Hz to 125 Hz. Very compact, the enclosure houses a 15-inch, dual voice coil, long excursion driver. A two-channel, open loop class D amplifier and signal processing provide separate, synchronized power to each voice coil.
Martin Audio arrived at InfoComm from the UK with a large number of products—its exhibitor listing ran to 111 items—after launching 11 new products at the Prolight + Sound Show in Frankfurt earlier this year. Included are the 1 x 12-inch XE300 and 1 x 15-inch XE500, two new lowprofile wedges incorporating proprietary technology.
“XE changes the game with the introduction of high-performance Coaxial Differential Dispersion drivers with an additional contour-molded static third waveguide that increases the size of the HF horn mouth to maintain pattern control over a wide frequency band and avoid spill outside the coverage area,” says R&D director Jason Baird.
Martin Audio’s Wavefront Precision Series of multipurpose line arrays also launched with the WPC (2 x 10-inch LF) and WPM (2 x 6.5-inch LF). The boxes are paired with the company’s new outboard iKON multi-channel amplifiers.
The company has adopted what it refers to as the principle of scalable resolution with the Wavefront Precision line. “[W]ith Wavefront Precision, the decision on the level of coverage control, and therefore the number of high-powered efficient iKON amps required, is the customer’s,” explains managing director Dom Harter. “The more boxes with dedicated amplifier channels, the higher the resolution and scale of coverage control achievable.”
The new VFR “i” revision from EAW is a two-way, full-range loudspeaker with user-rotatable 90×60 horn for optimized pattern control. The VFR109i includes a direct-radiating, vented, 10-inch LF cone transducer and a 1-inch exit/1.75-inch voice coil HF compression driver.
VF Series systems use the same HF sections developed for the company’s MK Series, enabling the designers to employ the same “beamwidth-matching” internal passive crossover/filter networks. The VFR109i can also enjoy the benefits of EAW Focusing when powered by an EAW-specified amplifier or in a system with a UX Series digital signal processor.