Pic: NAS’s Shane Bailey and Stage & Audio’s Tim Buchholz at the dBTechnologies launch
by Julius Grafton
dBTechnologies have been around for decades but over the last five years have really hit their stride. Recently they were joined with EAW, RCF, and DPA, and say these brands will remain independent businesses that share technology. With turnover doubled in just a few years, the Bologna-based manufacturer will soon float the group on the Italian Stock Exchange.
With that background, a significant group of live sound professionals gathered on July 15 at Sydney’s cavernous Carriageworks Bay 20, to hear the entire range of dB and to meet the new ViO L212 full sized line array. Several I spoke to said the same thing – that this Italian brand has stepped up while priced at around 40% less than the market leaders.
When a larger line array system costs well into six figures once amped, cased, rigged and cabled, 40% is a lot of money. I overheard some discussions about brand placement – some operators were looking to move up and considering the various European, Canadian and American options but also looking hard at dB.
Some top line operators were there to consider an alternative to what they already own and to see whether dB meets the same or a different performance standard. So the level of interest was high, from both sides of the buying pool. And to dB itself, they told us that a few years ago 70% of their sales were what they call ‘retail’, with the balance split between concert sound and installations. Today it is flipped over – 70% is concert and installations.
At the launch function in Sydney, Marco Cantalu from dB showed the entire range, which spans small X point source (with 4 models) up to ViO which contains 8, 10 and 12” models. They also showed a sneak peek at an ultra-low profile wedge.
Here’s some of the claimed factors that seemed to resonate:
- Active two-way is now the preferred modality because the newer compression drivers can cross over as low as 950Hz and it is better to have less sources in the cabinets. So they port the low frequencies very close to the single central high transducers.
- The latest electronic designs enable more power at less weight. That is, of course a truism for most loudspeaker manufacturers!
- dB say that all ViO match up, the FIR filters allow the same phase response and sensitivity and coherency from each model so you can easily mix and match.
There was a whole lot of detail around rigging options, transport dollies and the one single wet weather raincoat, but I glazed over. Marco said the powerCON connectors are weather rated, and you can use the ViO range in the rain.
They then demonstrated the new top end ViO L212 full scale line array module designed for large touring sound reinforcement applications, which promises great sound pressure levels in one of the most compact and lightest active 2×12” line array enclosures.
At a time when immersive 3D audio is quickly taking hold, the market for speakers is on the up and up. dBTechnologies are right there, in 120 countries, and they are serious about our region.
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