Based in Luton, Bedfordshire, Cadac has achieved widespread acclaim for its consoles, with a strong presence in the recording, broadcast, touring and fixed installation markets. Having undergone a three-year period of financial difficulties, the manufacturer had appeared to be on the rise again in recent times, reporting a steady stream of orders for its keenly anticipated S-Digital console.
Conceived to reflect the surface architecture of Cadac's J-Type analogue console, the S-Digital offers a minimum specification of 72 input channels, 66 mix buses and three stereo listen buses, with features including single- or multi-operator control with multiple listen systems provided as standard. Showcased to an invited audience of over 100 sound designers, engineers and rental companies at an event in London in February, the S-Digital rapidly secured interest from AIDA Cruises and several rental houses in the Far East, among others.
However, a sudden downturn in expectations led to the announcement on 9 June that Anthony Kent of Maidment Judd had been appointed to the role of administrator.
"It is heartbreaking to see this great company go under at this stage," said managing director Bob Thomas (pictured). "Although additional bank finances had been put in place to complete the S-Digital development and to get its production under way, the sudden slump in forecast analogue sales over the next few months meant that Cadac would be unable to maintain the underlying cashflow necessary for its survival. Sadly, unless we can find a buyer for the company, the S-Digital, which is thought by many to be the best-sounding digital console ever developed, will disappear, along with Cadac."
While the website of IE's sister title, Pro Sound News Europe, is reporting Thomas' hopes that a buyer could be secured in the near-future (http://prosoundnewseurope.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=824&Itemid=1), one long-term customer has told IE that Cadac is experiencing the effects of a profound shift in the console market.
"It's very sad to see a long-standing British brand experiencing these difficulties," said Chris Headlam, managing director of Orbital Sound, which has carried Cadac J-Type analogue consoles in its hire inventory for more than 10 years. "Unfortunately, the company appears to have been hit by two simultaneous developments - a dramatic decrease in analogue console sales and an increasing need to create its own digital products."
Headlam suggests that an ongoing service and maintenance operation to assist existing Cadac customers could represent a valid way forward if the administrator is unsuccessful in finding a buyer. "I really hope that someone does create a service business. There are still a lot of Cadac users out there who will require support for years to come," he said.