Professional Fidelity Systems (Prolight+Sound 2016)

Sottovoce Audio attended the trade fairs Prolight+Sound and Musikmesse 2016, celebrated in Frankfurt (Germany) from 05/04/2016 to 10/04/2016. These are between the most important professional audio trade shows in Europe, and (almost) any company was there as an exhibitor or as a trade visitor, like we did.

In these huge events, hundreds and hundreds of manufacturers are showing their best and newest products. From specialized manufacturers of audio components to system manufacturers, and to the very well known international brands, all of them share the same space for a few days. Even more, conferences, lectures and live demonstrations also take place, so you can be pretty entertained (as long as your legs let you)!

Inside all of this amount of information, we have realized a small trend inside the pro audio business, that we found very, very interesting. We can call it “professional fidelity”, linking together the professional audio and domestic high fidelity concepts.

This is a concept not so common as we could expect, since lots of professional equipment deliver a rather moderate sound quality. But trends change and, fortunately, we have found at PLS and MM 2016 a handful of companies showing their best on sound quality for public address, professional, sound reinforcement systems. We will show you a few of them, all related to loudspeaker systems manufacturers. There are some others as well that are not mentioned here so, please, do not take this as a closed list!

Prolight+Sound2016

From left to right, and top to bottom: KV2 Audio, TW Audio, TPI Sound and Dutch&Dutch.

KV2 Audio is a Czech company founded in 2002, that has been characterized by their particular electroacoustical designs. They bet on point source radiation when line arrays were just ubiquitous. At least since five years ago, they have been demonstrating in PLS their VHD 2.0 system with great success: precise sound reproduction throughout all the spectrum and low distortion, high output levels.

The German manufacturer TW Audio presented a new, mid sized line array from the Vera family: the Vera 20. It is surprising that the ear can judge, without the aid of any measurement and in few seconds, any sound system (being large or small) and get the right results! And the TW Audio showed, not only the faithful reproduction of voices and instruments that one may expect, but also an impressive, lifelike, dynamic range.

More interesting companies showed systems at PLS but, unfortunately, without live demonstrations. It is the case of the British manufacturer TPI Sound, with whom we had the great oportunity to share our thoughts about audio design and its goals. Alongside their studio range of loudspeakers, they have focused on mid sized public address systems. They were showing at Frankfurt their new, modular, flagship system: Totem. This system has an uncommon V-design to increase dispersion and is crowned by a nice looking carbon fiber horn. It would have been really great to have had the oportunity to listen to the system, since its design and the philosophy of the brand promised a very interesting experience.

To end the (short) list, we will include a very young company. It is amusingly named Dutch&Dutch and, as you would expect, it comes from the Netherlands. They were presenting a new line of small sized, sound reinforment loudspeakers, called Pro Fidelity. It has the particularity of a cardioid dispersion pattern, in the whole range of the system. Backwards radiation is therefore reduced (we tested it) and it provides higher direct-to-reflected sound than in conventional systems.

Many more interesting things happened at Prolight+Sound and Musikmesse 2016, during the last week. But from our point of view, the most exciting one was to find thesesystem designers that still work, like Sottovoce Audio does in its everyday work, to give the audience the better sound quality which can be achieved. The music deserves it.