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Orbital comes around to new Nexo M10 box

Nexo bolstered its GEO series with a companion box for the successful M6 at the ISE show

Nexo unveiled the latest addition to its GEO series – the M10 line array, a high-output system for long-throw theatre and live music applications ­– at the ISE show in Amsterdam in February.

The GEO M10 cab (with its single 10” neodymium LF driver, paired with a 1.4” HF titanium diaphragm HF driver) is reported to be twice as powerful as its sister GEO M6 box, launched two years ago. But while the ergonomics of the M10 are comparable to the M6, the larger cabinet draws on structural and acoustic innovations first released in Nexo’s mould-breaking STM Series modular line array, in particular the STM M28.

There are two versions of the M10 cabinet, offering 12.5° and 25° of vertical dispersion. Both have 80°/120° horizontal dispersion which can be configured manually, without tools, by removing the magnetic grille and adjusting Nexo’s innovative ‘flange fixing’ system.

The rigging system for the GEO M10 evolves another step from the original designs in the GEO M6 and the STM Series. The internal 3-point rigging system now features automatic locking and no loose parts. Two different bumper options are available, both with optional expansion bar, as well as an extension accessory for ground-stacking.

Orbital Sound/Sales has become the #1 dealer and service centre for Nexo in the UK over the last two years. Founder Chris Headlam (pictured with Nexo CEO Jean Mullor) and director of sales Andy Simmons (with the company since late 2014) are very much aware of the importance of the relationship with the France-based speaker-maker.

“Nexo benefits from having a company like Orbital in the UK behind them; we benefit from them being part of our portfolio. So far, so good,” remarks Simmons. “We’re lucky to have such a relationship with them, and the support we’ve had has been second to none.”

Headlam says embracing this partnership was “all about Orbital working out how to make ourselves into something that made more sense, after 15 years. We were a very traditional [rental] model and that no longer makes sense,” he opines.

“Rental houses do all the work and cover everyone’s mistakes up…” he begins with a smile. “The thing now is to go to a manufacturer where you can have a sensible conversation, have interaction with them. We have a young, highly motivated staff at Orbital, they need to do more than take a box off a truck and sell it to someone.”

‘Old’ Nexo was a great brand, says Headlam, “but we’re interested in the future, [so] it’s nice to come to Yamaha-owned Nexo, with its ‘next-gen’ products. ‘Yamaha owned’ makes made us think, ultimately, there are some serious players involved here, and that is a good way to be.”

Simmons adds: “[Mentioning Yamaha] is always seen as a positive at the meetings I go to.”

Orbital has scored many wins via the GEO M6, with its 6.5” bass driver and 1” compression driver plus waveguide. As covered by PSNEurope two summers ago, outdoor event innovator Luna Cinema bought two M6 rigs from Orbital. Says Simmons: “A lot of other people doing outdoor events have seen what Luna are doing and have bought the same thing”.

While sales in that vein have provided a foundation for trust in GEO M, it’s a raft of other jobs that have strengthened it. Namely: Orbital Sound provides the kit for (count ’em) 46 pantos during the winter.

“I got to know panto only too well!” he laughs. “It goes from spoken word to duets to dance music to pop music. You need a PA that can do all of that, rather than just being tuned to pop music. A modern panto is a lot more demanding than how it looks on the poster, you know.”

He says the versatile M6 has proved a boon for this type of work. However, in addition to the musical styles, 46 panto clients has meant the Orbital team has got to know 46 venues. And that’s meant “vastly different theatres” across the country. He cites one in Liverpool, and follows that by pointing out the contrast in size and shape with another in Leeds.

Hence, while M6 has been a key tool in the toolbox, the M10 (pictured here with the cabinets opened up) will help out with bigger spaces. And, because of the ‘magnetic flange’ feature, Orbital engineers can alter the coverage to fit the venue. (“Not to mention,” points out Nexo’s Ginny Goudy, “the modularity: all our systems are voiced together so you can supplement one box with another and it will all work virtually seamlessly.”)

“It sounds like a minor point,” remarks Headlam, “but we’ve used other manufacturers systems where you have to buy one box or the other. With [M10], no longer do we have to stock loads of different boxes that might get used once in a blue moon: we have one box that does both. That’s half the number of speakers you might require normally.”

And how do they sound? “Phenomenal!” smiles Headlam.

“The sound is the least worrying aspect of the whole thing!” laughs a confident Simmons.

If there’s a key reason why Orbital, a well-know d&b player for many years, would want to stick with GEO M, both 6 and 10, then? Headlam: “It gives us something which works in the spaces within which we have to work.”