Audio-Monitoring Options on Display at AES
Monitor-product options for mobile broadcast grew in the past year, in terms of both brands and models, underscoring the fact that, while the physics of the limited space available in trucks remains immutable, the range of what audio mixers aboard those trucks want to hear remains as diverse as ever. And anyone interested in how complicated it is to make little boxes sound both loud and good would appreciate Sunday’s panel titled Small, Loud-Speakers: Taking Physics to the Limit at the AES Show in New York. Here’s a look at some of the monitoring products on exhibit.
The SX-Series Monitor System features ADAM Audio’s proprietary X-ART transducer technology driven by an ultra-low–distortion broadband A/B amplifier and new Hexacone woofers with a more linear excursion to optimize efficiency and accuracy. Models include the S4X-V/H three-way system with an X-ART tweeter, 6-in. midrange driver, and one 12-in. (V) or two 9-in. (H) woofers; S3X-V/H three-way near-midfield system (the more space-efficient/performance choice) with X-ART tweeter, 4-in. midrange driver, 9-in. woofer (V) or two 7-in. woofers (H); S2X two-way near-field system with X-ART tweeter and 7-in. woofer; and S1X two-way near-field system with X-ART tweeter and 5-in. woofer.
The cost-effective AX Series Monitor System — also featuring the X-ART tweeters driven with an A/B amplifier and carbon/Rohacell woofers driven with Pulse Width Modulation amplifiers — is suited to mobile- and remote-broadcast use. The series includes the A8X with 50-W amp for the X-ART tweeter and 150-W amp for 8.5-in. mid/woofer; the A7X with X-ART tweeter driven by a 50-W amp, a 7-in. mid/woofer driven by a 100-W amp; the A5X with X-ART tweeter driven by a 25-W amp and 5.5-in. mid/woofer driven by 50 W; and the compact A3X, measuring only 9.9 in. high x 5.9 in. wide x 7.2 in. deep and weighing 10 lbs. www.adam-audio.com
Blue Sky’s new digital monitoring system, combining its SAT 6.2D speakers and SUB 12D subwoofer with new Digital Audio Management Controller (AMC),delivers pristine, accurate, full-range near-field monitoring configurable in 2.1, 5.1, and larger for broadcast surround-sound applications. Each 500-W, bi-amplified SAT 6.2 features state-of-the-art A/D and D/A convertors with USB calibration input. Each satellite speaker deploys a 6.5-in. woofer with a radial magnet structure and 1-in. Scan Speak ring radiator tweeter. The SUB 12D woofer has a single long-excursion 12-in. woofer and a 500-W low-distortion power amplifier with state-of-the-art A/D and D/A and USB calibration. Blue Sky’s AMC provides analog and digital inputs with USB calibration and level control. www.abluesky.com
Air-6 monitors have onboard DSP, offering EQ to tune the speakers and user ability to select dispersion patterns to overcome anomalies faced in truck environments. The tweeter is an Esotec 1.1-in. soft-dome, rear-chamber, magnetic-fluid, 4-mm die-cast–aluminum–front, pure–aluminum-wire voice coil. The woofer is a 6.5-in., one-piece molded-polypropylene cone, 3-in. pure-aluminum voice coil, magnetically shielded.
In a 6.7- x 10.2- x 9.3-in. footprint, the Dynaudio BM5A Compact achieves a frequency response of 55 Hz-21 kHz bi-amplified with 50 W for the 5.7-in., one-piece molded-polypropylene–cone woofer and 50 W for the Esotec 28-mm/1.1-in. soft-dome tweeter. The speakers are crossed over at 1,500 Hz, with a 6-dB/slope. The newer BM5A MkII, for the same price, takes frequency response from 45 Hz to 21 kHz with a 7-in. molded-aluminum-frame woofer, one-piece thermo-formed MSP cone, 75-mm pure-aluminum–wire voice coil; and 28-mm soft-dome, rear-chamber, magnetic-fluid, 4-mm aluminum tweeter. www.dynaudioacoustics.com
The 8000 Series’ innovative enclosure delivers a wide frequency response with superb imaging qualities. From the compact 8020B (bi-amp, 4-in. woofer) through the self-calibrating DSP 8260A (tri-amp, three-way), all models feature an entirely aluminum MDE design with integrated Advanced Directivity Controlled Waveguide (DCW). All models offer all-aluminum, minimum-diffraction enclosure (MDE) design, with large internal volumes, curved edges, and high mechanical strength. All 8000 and 8200 systems are magnetically shielded for use in environments where video monitors are in close proximity. www.genelec.com
The LSR2300 Series addresses the demand for cost-effective, high-performance studio monitoring systems, driven by the proliferation of affordable, computer-based production and mixing systems. The LSR2300 Series comprises the LSR2328P bi-amplified 203-mm (8-in.) studio monitor with 165 W of amplification; the LSR2325P bi-amplified 133-mm (5-in.) studio monitor with 90 W of amplification; and the LSR2310SP powered 254-mm (10-in.) studio subwoofer with an integrated 180-W power amplifier. www.jblpro.com
The first in its relatively new line of studio monitors, the KH 120 studio monitor offers a Mathematically Modeled Dispersion (MMD) waveguide, flexible acoustical controls, analog class-AB amplifiers, a large-headroom analog input, and an extensive range of mounting hardware.
The recently launched KH 310 three-way active tri-amplified monitor also features MMD, flexible acoustical controls, various input options, and an extensive range of mounting hardware. The KH 310 is designed for use as a near-field monitor, as a front loudspeaker in midsize multichannel systems, or as a rear loudspeaker in a larger multichannel system. www.neumannusa.com
Reveal 501a and 601a monitoring solutions have a matched 60-W integrated amplifier with a 5-in. LF/MF driver and 1-in. soft-dome tweeter. The 601a uses a larger, 6.5-in. low/mid-frequency driver and 1-in. soft-dome tweeter, with total power output of 90 W. Both monitors feature front-firing reflex bass port to negate boundary coupling, a bass unit developed to minimize offsets and linearizes the suspension components, wideband tweeter design extending the amplitude response beyond 20-kHz audibility to 30 kHz to improve the phase response from within the audible band, and sculpted-and-rigid front-baffle design to minimize diffraction. www.tannoy.com
The MSP7 monitor has a 6.5-in. cone woofer driven by an 80-W power amplifier. Tweeter has its own 50-W power amplifier for low-mid and high frequency ranges. Low-reflection die-cast magnesium baskets maximize mechanical precision while minimizing unwanted coloration. The 1-in. tweeters feature titanium domes with precise reproduction up to 40 kHz. Waveguide achieves uniform high-frequency dispersion of 120 degrees. Balanced XLR-type connectors for input are included. The MSP5 features a 5-in. cone woofer driven by a 40-W amplifier and 1-in. dome tweeter driven by 27-W amplifier. Waveguide horn achieves broad, uniform high-frequency dispersion over 120 degrees. Features include advanced driver and enclosure design, uniform dispersion across the system’s full reproduction range, flat frequency response out to 40 kHz, balanced XLR-type input for direct compatibility, and unbalanced ¼-in. phone-jack connector.
Yamaha has also added a second-generation HS Series powered studio monitors. The new lineup includes a 6.5-in. full-range speaker that brings more depth and flexibility to the series, making it easier to select the best monitor for an even wider variety of applications. The new HS Series comprises the 5-in. HS5, the 6.5-in. HS7, and the 8-in. HS8, along with the HS8S subwoofer. The monitors come equipped with newly developed transducers featuring an advanced magnetic-field design that regulates the flow of magnetic response to provide natural, seamless sonic transitions. Each component’s materials have been optimized to significantly improve the accuracy of signal reproduction throughout the audio spectrum. All HS Series full-range models are two-way bass-reflex bi-amplified and feature a new high-resolution 1-in. dome tweeter designed for extended high-frequency response with very low distortion up to 30 kHz. Also equipped with a newly designed high-power woofer, HS Series monitors deliver clearly defined bass even at the highest output levels. Amplifier units are matched to each model’s dedicated transducer, delivering accurate frequency response across a wider range of bandwidth. www.yamahaca.com