For all the advantages of self-powered speakers, in almost every sound reinforcement application, there are constraints in terms of power to form factor, efficiency, and other performance and quality related issues that limit just how compact, loud and affordable they can be.
Launched in 2013, the Pascal S-PRO2 represents a major leap forward in the design of the class-D amplifier modules that power all kinds of active professional speaker systems. Almost 40% smaller than a “regular” professional amplifier module with half the power output, at the time of its launch, the scale of miniaturisation is remarkable; and at just 215mm x 80 mm x 25mm, it remains the smallest commercially available 1,000 watt professional amplifier module available.
36-year-old Jesper Lind Hansen, senior R&D specialist – and co-founder of the Danish professional amplifier manufacturer, with CEO Lars Rosenkvist Fenger and senior VP of business development Peter Frentz – was lead designer on the project. As a gigging DJ in his spare time, Hansen appreciates design objectives from the perspective of an end-user of professional audio equipment: “They want a product to be as compact and as loud as possible.”
As remarkable as its compact size, is the S-PRO2’s optimum electronic performance and stability, audiophile sound quality, simplicity of design and ease of integration, not to mention an affordable price tag; a combination of design attributes that greatly reduces the barriers of entry for manufacturers to the professional self-powered speaker market. As a direct consequence of Pascal’s design, third-party manufacturers can now produce more compact, portable, higher SPL loudspeaker boxes than ever before.
“The design of our power supply was inspired by looking at the approach of other industries, such as LED lighting,” continues Hansen. “This led to a process of optimisation to produce a new audio specific power supply that was far more efficient and therefore smaller.”
Amplifiers are definitely Jesper’s ‘thing’, he says: “I have always been doing amplifiers and power supplies. I started at university and I haven’t stopped.” Stranger perhaps is what he does for kicks: “I like to go to concerts to listen to sound systems that have our amplifiers in them. I get a strange sense of gratification.”
Hail to the boffins! Genius! is all about celebrating those clever people whose inventions have transformed the world of professional audio. Mailed out with the February print edition of PSNEurope, the 36-page supplement is also available to read in handy digital-edition form. Read it online, or download as a PDF, at psnedev.wpengine.com/introducing-genius.