INDUSTRY & PRODUCT NEWS

Behringer's MUSIC Group Confirms TC Group Acquisition
Since, in September 2014, the TC Group publicly announced that, based on its shareholders' interest, it was open for a sale of its entire operations, there where rumors about a three-tiered race between Harman, Yamaha and Behringer. During Prolight+Sound 2015, Harman confirmed it was out of the race. Now, the MUSIC Group confirmed the acquisition.   Read More

  

Solid Growth for Smart-Home Automation Systems and Wi-Fi Deployments

According to market research company ABI Research, global revenues from smart-home automation systems will grow at a 21% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) between 2015 and 2020, with the North American market contributing close to 46% globally. Meanwhile 802.11ac Wi-Fi deployments continue to accelerate in 2015 and the market is gearing up to tri-band 802.11ad solutions Read More


 


New PCB Piezotronics Random Incidence Microphone Covers More of the Human Audible Range
The new PCB Random Incidence Microphone (Model 377C20) from PCB Piezotronics covers a frequency range up to 16 kHz (Ī2 dB), the hearing range for most adults. The new microphone is ideal for noise reduction testing and general room acoustics measurements as well as calculating transmission loss with different materials.   Read More

 


Tectonic Elements BMR Speakers Selected for New Car Concept and Flat Panel TVs
Tectonic Elements, a designer and manufacturer of audio transducers and amplifier modules, recently confirmed two interesting projects for its Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) transducer technology. The BMR speakers have been selected to provide headrest audio for the CitroŽn Aircross concept car and audio for a new range of flat panel TVs from Lucida Technology USA.  Read More

 

X Series Heralds a New Era for L-Acoustics

French sound reinforcement and line source array pioneer L-Acoustics announced a significant expansion of its production capabilities in direct response to growing global market demand. During the 2015 Prolight+Sound show in Frankfurt, Germany, L-Acoustics announced the launch of its X Series, a new line of coaxial speakers for the installation and rental markets.  Read More

Scantek Celebrates 30 Years in Business 

Scantek, a wholly owned subsidiary of Norsonic AS, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015. Combining sound and vibration instrumentation sales, service, rental, and calibration, Scantek is also recognized by its accredited Scantek Calibration Laboratory for microphones, sound level meters, and acoustical measurement instrumentation Read More

 


 

RCF Launches TM18 Digital Mixer and Expands L-PAD Mixer Range

RCF was in great shape at the 2015 Prolight+Sound show. Apart from strengthening its sound reinforcement catalog with new large-format arrays and compact portable systems, the company made an entry into the headphone market with the new Iconica series and officially launched its new TM08 and TM18 digital mixers Read More

 

New Beyma Products Introduced at Prolight+Sound 2015 

As promised, at the 2015 Prolight+Sound show, in Frankfurt, Germany, Beyma introduced its new WR low-frequency 10WR300, 12WR400, and 15WR400 drivers for small- and medium-sized vented cabinets. Beyma also introduced the new 8CX300Fe 8" coaxial driver designed for full-range applications and previewed upgraded versions of the 15P1000FeV2, the 12P80NdV2, and the 8P300Fe/N low-frequency transducers.  Read More

 

2014 Digital Archive

Just when you thought it couldn't get any easier... 
you can now access a full year of audioXpress from any device connected to the Internet! (2014: 12 issues)

You get all the benefits of a printed copy-bookmark pages, make annotations, and write in the margins-combined with the digital advantages of easy storage, zoom, links, and search features. Only $25   Get it Now! 
Item #: AX-DA-2014

Jo„o Martins
Editor-in-Chief


Editor's Desk

Audio Heads and Tails 


During his review of the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2014, our colleague and audioXpress contributor Oliver A. Masciarotte wrote an amusing sentence: "Many engineers would debate the fact, but consumer electronics (CE) wags the tail of the pro audio dog."

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I have often debated this. But since the consumer electronics category embraces high-volume products such as Apple's iPhone to $10 earbuds and boutique high-end products costing hundreds of thousands of dollars (of which probably less than a handful are sold), I can admit the power of the CE industry.

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Nevertheless, my background in the broadcast and pro audio industry taught me a few lessons from many of the most prestigious companies regarding how the industry works. In semiconductor factories, chips are manufactured in batches of thousands, of which, most are used in high-level consumer products, hundreds are applied in demanding professional products, and a handful are selected for critical applications, of which the "broadcast level" is recognized has one of the most demanding.

Of course, the production criteria and the R&D efforts toward innovation are completely different issues. But the question can also be: What segment of the industry carries more weight towards influencing innovation in audio?

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I've had the privilege of working with some great consumer brands, such as Nakamichi, Quad, and Yamaha, as well as professionally focused brands such as Studer (pre-Harman) and learned that, from their perspective, the industrial criteria is usually determinant in terms of R&D investment. Meaning, innovations are normally tested first in demanding environments, such as professional or high-end applications and eventually introduced in more affordable consumer technologies with the concept fully proven and with lower tolerances. Studer, for instance, would apply that criteria to distinguish a reel-to-reel tape recorder used in professional and broadcast applications, and basically sell the same machines for consumer and prosumer applications with the Revox brand (then owned by Studer). When we would question the price difference of a Revox B77 and the equivalent Studer machine, the Studer engineers would explain that there was a 10% practical difference in performance and reliability. Nevertheless, to achieve that 10% "perfection," the price of carefully selected components and finely tuned mechanics easily doubled or tripled the production costs.

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Recently, for our Loudspeaker Industry Sourcebook 2015 edition, we decided to ask multiple audio industry personalities with completely different backgrounds and positions where they saw "more innovation coming from - consumer applications, high-end audio, pro audio applications, or installation?"

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The results didn't surprise me. Those professionals involved in consumer technologies said innovation happens in the consumer segments, while those coming from professional applications thought that innovation is lead there. More significantly, those professionals with a wider view of all industry segments agree that the greatest amount of new technologies are determined from the size of the industry - telecom, semiconductor, etc. - while at the same time agreeing that consumer-oriented research is more marketing-driven and professional audio is more engineering driven. Finally, those with a clear engineering background agree that professional applications drive the audio industry. They all agree that, independently where innovation originates, that segment, sooner or later affects the others.

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I particularly liked the way industry consultant Christopher J. Struck (CEO & Chief Scientist CJS Labs) summed it up: "This depends on the pressure point: Consumer applications have driven both the price point and the size/form factor down. Pro applications continue to drive efficiency upward, whereas installation drives both ease of use and modularization. High-end audio classically drives overall performance and new designs."

So... whose tail is moving which dog?

From the Vault

A Low-Mu Triode Preamp 

By Pete Millett

 

In this article, originally published in audioXpress, February 2004, the author describes how to achieve low distortion from power triodes. As he explains, his preamp is "a little different from most, using low-mu power triodes to get good performance with only one amplifier stage, and no negative feedback. This achieves the modest gain required along with very low output impedance."   Read the Full Article

 

Voice Coil Spotlight

Using All-Pass Filters


By Charlie Hughes,

Excelsior Audio Design & Services, LLC 

 

All-pass filters are perhaps one of the most overlooked and misunderstood tools for the general audio practitioner. Much has been written about their use to yield more linear phase response through the majority of a loudspeaker's passband. They can also be used to optimize the directivity and magnitude response of a loudspeaker system. Perhaps we should first look at exactly what an all-pass filter is. Originally published in Voice Coil, February 2010.

 

THE LOUDSPEAKER INDUSTRY SOURCEBOOK 2015 -
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