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Prolight + Sound 2015 preview – audio companies (part 1)

As ever, there will be a strong showing from audio manufacturers at this year’s Prolight + Sound (Frankfurt Messe, 15-18 April). Here is our first selection of highlights.

Adamson Systems Engineering will introduce the S-Series. This new sub-compact line array system consists of the S10 line array enclosure, S119 subwoofer, Blueprint AV and the E-rack, Adamson’s new unified rack solution.

The S10 is a two-way, full-range, sub-compact line array enclosure ideal for mid-size arenas, theatres, churches and dance clubs, as well as outdoor festivals. It is loaded with two newly designed 10in ND10-LM Kevlar neodymium LF drivers and an NH4TA2 1.5in exit HF compression driver mounted to a wave shaping sound chamber which produces a slightly curved wavefront with a nominal dispersion pattern of 110° x 10° (H x V).

Adamson says the overall sonic characteristic of the S10 enclosure is “amazingly clean” due to patent-pending Controlled Summation Technology – a design method that brings the LF drivers as close together as possible, while splaying them symmetrically outwards. This increases the usable frequency range while decreasing summation at the crossover point, reducing interference.

The companion S119 subwoofer is loaded with a light-weight, long excursion, 19inND19 Kevlar neodymium driver and a 5in voice coil. Mounted in a front-loaded enclosure, it designed to reproduce clean, musical LF information.

d&b audiotechnik will launch two new products: the D20, the latest addition to the company’s four-channel amplifier family; and the MAX2, a flexible 15in stage monitor. Additionally, it will announce a new feature in its ArrayCalc software d&b line arrays.

“Prolight + Sound is such an important show for us. This year, we’re launching some really excellent new products, which elevate the quality of d&b systems even further,” says Sabina Berloffa, director of marketing and product management at d&b audiotechnik.

Funktion-One will launch Evolution, a new series of high-intensity loudspeakers. The range is centred around the Evo 6 and Evo 7 enclosures, which are both fully horn-loaded with 15in mid-bass, 10in Funktion-One signature midrange and a 1.4in compression driver for high frequencies above 4kHz. With 30º horizontal dispersion, three Evo 7 side by side give 90º horizontal coverage for up to 2,500 people.The Evo 6 has the same cabinet height and width as the Evo 7 but a wider, 45º horizontal dispersion.

The manufacturer will also unveil a new self-powered bass enclosure, designed for domestic, home studio and small venue applications. The custom Funktion-One amplifier built in to the enclosure has three channels – one large mono channel for the bass itself and two smaller channels that are optimised to power a pair of F81 or F101 loudspeakers.

Six months after the launch of the Firenze Series, K-array is adding the KH7 speaker to the range. The KH7 is a compact, high-performance slim array technology element, which brings the advanced technology of the series in a more compact form: it measures two-thirds the size of a KH8 element and delivers an exceptional peak output of 141 dB SPL. The speaker may be positioned vertically or horizontally when setting up the system.

An integrated class D amplifier delivers 4 x 2000 W at 4 Ω. The four channels are controlled via integrated DSP providing a “hyper-detailed” beam steering ability to meet any demanding setup requirement and control sound spillover. K-array says that for theatres and similar just a few slim-profile KH7s are needed deliver a full audio system – without obstructing views of the performance.

Kling & Freitag is to show three new product lines: the VIDA steerable array, new power amplifiers, and additional subwoofers in the PASSIO series.

VIDA stands for Versatile Intelligent Digital Array. The VIDA L model is a scalable, controllable and full-range-compatible line array system. Equipped with 48 DSP channels and 48 class D power amps, the VIDA L uses three different speaker paths, with six 6.5in drivers, 12 3.5in drivers and 32 individually controlled 1in dome tweeters arranged coaxially on a waveguide within the slim aluminium body . Up to eight 1m modules can be connected together.

The manufacturer states that the very high number of high-frequency drivers and their short mounting distance enable controlled and uniform coverage, even in the upper frequency band, giving VIDA L a completely new quality in beam steering.

Optionally, the 3-way module can be extended with a cardioid module (VIDA C), which significantly improves performance in the low-frequency range and in rear attenuation. The signal feed can be analogue or digital via AES 3 and Dante, with the option of redundant cabling.

Kling & Freitag will also present a new set of system power amps based on the new PLM+ and D series from Lab.gruppen. The K&F D80:4, K&F D120:4 and K&F D200:4 are mainly suitable for installations, while the K&F PLM 12k44 and K&F PLM20k44 are designed for live performances and touring. RPM (rational power management) provides the flexibility to assign different power to each of the four output channels – this removes the need for a bridge operation later on. Other features include PFC (power factor correction), universal power adapters and various inputs – Dante (primary and secondary), AES and analogue.

Based on the newly developed Lake core modules and exclusive K&F module pre-sets, the high-performance power amps that are fitted with red front panels will be able to operate all standard K&F systems in future. The new K&F system power amps will be available from early May 2015.

Two new compact subwoofer models, PASSIO SUB 12 and PASSIO SUB 15, round off the PASSIO series. Two aspects that characterise the new systems are a passive crossover and high degree of efficiency. In addition to the combination with PASSIO (two 5in/1in), both models can also be operated at a reasonable cost with Gravis 8/12 and SONA 5/6/ 8 via the Lab.gruppen IPD-2400 system power amp. The corresponding K&F presets are available for download on the Kling & Freitag and Lab.gruppen websites.