One of the more interesting stories to appear in last year’s glut of pre-Christmas announcements was the news that High Wycombe-based AC Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) has been appointed exclusive UK and RoI distributor of loudspeaker brand Dynamic Audio Device (DAD) – a household name in its native Italy and much of continental Europe, but a relative unknown in the British Isles.
AC-ET, which also stocks gear from Yamaha, Sennheiser, Shure, Nexo and Traction Sound, states that it was the DAD range’s “high performance at a very attractive price point” which brought the brand to its attention and convinced the distributor that it had the potential to be successful in the UK, “redefining value in this market for rental companies, installers and venues”.
“After spending many months looking for a brand that would live up to our strict criteria of performance, reliability and value for money, a visit to the brand’s parent company’s facility in Italy confirmed that this was the right manufacturer for us to partner with,” comments AC-ET audio and visual director Peter Butler.
Offering solutions ranging from “small PA loudspeaker solutions [and] power amplifiers right up to high-end, large-scale line array systems”, the DAD portfolio includes several distinct models – HDA (High Density Array); MA (Modular Array); Touring System; Touring Power; Fusion; Live; and Event (pictured is the Event series [right] and Live [below right]) – each of which it says are “ideal for concerts, events, fixed installations in theatres and onstage monitoring”.
The company that became DAD started life as a supplier of audio production technologies to the Italian market, but in 2001 “took advantage of [its] extensive industry experience to develop [its] own range of pro-audio solutions”, explains its CEO, Fabio Sorabella. He tells PSNEurope: “[We] created a brand-new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility idyllically located on the coast of the province of Latina, which features offices, a showroom, production plants and warehouses.
“Creativity, innovation and customer satisfaction are the main principles supporting the company’s philosophy. This includes carefully analysing and monitoring each phase of the product process, including research and development, design, production, quality control and sales and marketing.”
Alongside DAD’s individual active loudspeakers, subwoofers and stage monitors, AC-ET also offers a range of speaker packages. Portable PA systems range from under £920 (DJ package) to £1530 (solo act package), while a full ‘venue package’, suitable for installations, touring, houses of worship and pubs and clubs – comprising two DAD Live 12A active speakers, two 15SA subs and two AS230 speaker poles – will set you back just shy of £1600.
So, affordability is a big factor – but what else does Sorabella (pictured, front row, centre, with DAD’s parent company’s staff last year as it celebrated 25 years in pro audio) think sets DAD apart from its rivals in the touring and installation sectors? Well, “technological innovation, passion and industry knowhow” are a good start (the brains behind DAD can lay claim to “25 years’ sales, rental and manufacturing experience in the entertainment production industry”).
He continues: “The company always places central focus on customers’ needs to ensure [it] delivers a product which meets users’ ultimate requirements in terms of performance and value.
“The genesis of each [DAD] product starts with an idea developed through a rigorous process by the R&D team, based on market analysis to anticipate market trends and feedback from existing end users and worldwide distribution partners. Products then go through an engineering process and, finally, are realised on the basis of [our] wide experience of in-the-field use.
“By adopting highly efficient product design and manufacturing processes, and utilising our strong relationships with audio manufacturers to source components at very competitive prices, we are able to bring to market products which offer a new level of performance and value for their price point.”
Italy is a crowded place to be an up-and-coming loudspeaker manufacturer – there isn’t exactly a paucity of rivals in the immediate vicinity – but Sorabella believes DAD’s ‘made in Italy’ badge is one that should be worn with pride. “[‘Made in Italy’] is a proud mark of DAD’s brand values,” he concludes, “which are to offer creative and competitive audio solutions that are the result of real passion, featuring top-quality construction, technological innovation, high attention to detail and the beautiful aesthetic design for which Italian products are known.”
AC-ET will showing its Dynamic Audio Device range at the 2015 PLASA London, PLASA Focus Leeds, PLASA Focus Glasgow and ABTT shows.