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SSE Audio Group wins Innovation Award at PLASA 2019

The PLASA Innovation Awards celebrate next generation products and the people behind them


John and Heather collect award
John and Heather Penn collect SSE’s award

SSE Audio was awarded the Innovation Award at PLASA 2019 for its SSE Azimuth line array mount.

The PLASA Innovation Awards celebrate next generation products and the people behind them.

Developed by SSE’s manufacturing arm, Sigma Fabrications, for use on Mark Knopfler’s world tour, the SSE Azimuth allows the horizontal angle (or azimuth) of a line array to be set quickly and accurately in touring applications. The Azimuth is attached to a truss and allows riggers to adjust the angle of the line array in increments of one degree in the horizontal plane before it is flown. This means a series of line arrays can be accurately positioned in relation to each other, which is ideal for the accurate deployment of multiple line array hangs in an immersive sound application.

The judges noted: “This will really help audio companies bring accuracy to the ‘angle of the dangle’ in immersive audio touring applications,” also pointing out that the product is simple, effective and well-engineered.

The award was received by SSE founders John and Heather Penn.

John Penn commented: “The Mark Knopfler tour was our first opportunity to deploy L-ISA immersive sound in a touring application. From the outset, we wanted to package the system to make deployment as quick as possible, essential when you consider the Knopfler L-ISA system had seven line array hangs and a further two outhangs.”

The resulting azimuth mount is in two parts. The first is a horizontal plate that bolts directly to the truss; the second is an arm that hangs down through a hole in the plate. The bumper at the top of the array then bolts directly to the arm.

Sigma Fabrications design manager Steve Atkinson explained: “The angle between the two pieces is set as the horizontal bar is dropped through the hole. Both sections have teeth that mesh together and moving the relationship by one tooth results in a 1° adjustment to the bumper with respect to the truss.”

John Penn summed up: “We’re continually looking to enhance our hire offering and for that work to be recognised by the judging panel of industry peers is an honour. Heather and I were delighted to pick up the award on behalf of the team who worked on the Azimuth project at SSE.”