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Evolutionary Audio Solutions
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Alcons Pro-Ribbon Immersive Experience Gains New Fans At ISE 2017

The Alcons Pro-Ribbon Immersive Experience has been a highlight of all the trade shows it attends and ISE 2017 was no exception, with a ‘full house’ at demonstrations that took place throughout the show. As an official ISE Technology Partner, Alcons systems also ensured that attendees heard every word of presentations in two of the main demonstration theatres.

Having made its ISE debut last year, this year the Pro-Ribbon Immersive Experience returned in expanded form, with immersive presentations for both the CEDIA/Residential and InfoComm/Pro-AV installation market visitors. The addition of Astro Spatial Audio (ASA) to the demonstrations also meant that, for the first time, the Pro-Ribbon Immersive Experience included demonstrations for a wide range of live applications.

Alcons worked closely with ASA, Barco, DreamScreen and Trinnov to deliver the demonstrations in an acoustically-optimised demo room. The audio system was a hybrid 9.X.8 immersive surround configuration, used to reproduce native and upmixed Dolby Atmos, Auro-3D and DTS:X content, as well as ASA 3D material using that company’s SARA II Premium Rendering Engine.

“ISE was a great success for Astro Spatial Audio and our participation in the Pro-Ribbon Immersive Experience was a big part of the reason why,” says ASA Director Bjorn van Munster. “The seminars we conducted were busy throughout the show and the reactions that we received were wonderfully encouraging.

“It was also a pleasure to once again work alongside our fellow Dutch manufacturer Alcons Audio. Everyone know that Alcons stands for quality and innovation, and we share the same philosophy. Our products support and enhance one another to create something very special, as shown by the success of the Pro-Ribbon Immersive Experience. We look forward continuing our cooperation in the future.”

“We have always said that the best way to experience the quality and power of our systems is to hear them for yourself,” adds Alcons co-founder Tom Back. “As well as working with our regular partners on the Pro-Ribbon Immersive Experience, we were very happy to team up with ASA to demonstrate immersive solutions for the live production market.”

The reaction from visitors was extremely positive to the various presentations and Tom notes that many residential visitors compared the different demonstration rooms and felt Alcons was the unofficial Best of Show.

“Audience expectations have never been higher and we again showed that, by working collaboratively, sound and vision manufacturers can deliver the very best in both mediums,” he concludes.

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Alcons Gets Aplauz For New Polish Distributor
Alcons appoints Aplauz Sp. Ltd as its distributor general products in Poland

Located in Łomianki, near Warsaw, Aplauz was established in 2003 and has grown to become one of Poland’s most renowned suppliers of professional audio solutions. One of the company’s guiding principles is choosing products by manufacturers who indisputably provide the highest quality products - a description which neatly sums up Alcons.

“We became aware of Alcons five or six years ago,” says Aplauz president and managing director Grzegorz Fotek. “We have watched as they have risen to the top of the industry, as people recognise that their pro-ribbon technology delivers the very best possible sound. Alcons is now one of the world’s leading audio manufacturers and everyone we speak to who listens to their technology is always very impressed.”

Last year, Aplauz and Alcons collaborated on a project that included a shoot-out between a large number of the very top loudspeaker brands, which really put Alcons on the map in the Polish market. This was followed by an event in Łódź which was the first official presentation of Alcons in Poland. It included a presentation by Alcons co-founder Tom Back on the background to the company’s pro-ribbon technology, with demonstrations of a nine cabinet per side LR18 system with BQ211 subs. The company’s VR series point source systems and QR series line-source solutions were also demonstrated.

“It generated a lot of positive comments,” says Tom. “All of the attendees were unanimously surprised about the clarity, detail and sheer output of the systems.”

Aplauz works with many house of worship projects. These frequently have very difficult acoustics, thanks to the large spaces and many flat, reflective surfaces in church buildings. Grzegorz has found that Alcons pro-ribbon technology is the perfect solution to taming them.

“We have supplied a system of QR24s, QM24s and VR8s to a company that does a lot of music productions in churches,” he says. “The pro-ribbon technology is breath taking, the result is breath taking too - the sound quality on this project was exceptional.”

With more projects in the pipeline, Grzegorz is looking forward to showing many more Polish venues and production companies the advantages of using Alcons systems.

“In my opinion there is no doubt that Alcons are the best,” he says. “Nobody else in the professional audio market has this kind of technology and we are happy to support them as one of the very top brands.”

“Aplauz has established itself as one of Poland’s leading and most trusted audio suppliers,” says Alcons co-founder Tom Back. “Bringing new technology to the professional market is not only about a great product, it’s about the people who locally put their reputation behind those products.”

“Grzegorz and his staff have chosen to communicate our commitment and belief in the benefits of pro-ribbon technology to their discerning clients in the Polish market. We feel a great responsibility to support Aplauz and the two companies will work very closely to help them achieve the success in Poland that Alcons is experiencing worldwide.”

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Alcons C-Series Is A Home Theatre Turkish Delight

While modern surround technologies makes truly immersive sound practical for home theatre installations, such projects are compromised if the loudspeakers cannot deliver high enough quality sound. This has been no problem for Istanbul-based movie enthusiast Murat Cuhadaroglu, whose bespoke home theatre system uses Alcons loudspeakers to deliver the ultimate in audiophile sound.

Murat built his first home theatre in 2001, moving to his current house 10 years ago where he built a better, 7.1 plus stereo, system. In 2016 he decided to replace it, removing the huge, two-channel loudspeakers and starting again with the latest technologies.

He spoke to Peter Montoulieu, proprietor of high end home cinema company Cineramax and self-styled ‘top cinema guru’. Named after moons of Saturn, Peter insists that each new system has to be better than the last. Having spent $6m USD on a four cinema R&D immersion deployment, Cineramax chose the Alcons C-series as the highest quality loudspeaker solution to the ‘Hyperion’ system he designed for Murat.

“The key aspect with the new immersive sound formats is to create a coherent, smooth 3D soundfield around the listener,” says Walter Fortmüller of Walter Fortmüller SAVO, who provided his acoustic measurement and system tuning specialist skills to the project.

“The outstanding dispersion characteristics of the C-series, together with close to perfect timbre matching, meant we could achieve this audio quality in every seat. The whole listening area literally becomes the ‘money seat’.”

Murat wanted enough dynamic headroom and impact to convey every part of even the most intense movie soundtrack. In many cases this would mean compression driver/horns, but they always compromise in other areas. In contrast, Alcons patented pro-ribbon technology delivers the dynamic range and SPL of the best compression driver/horn designs with unsurpassed finesse and transparency. “It really is the best of both worlds,” says Walter.

The Alcons C-series system for Murat’s installation features three CR3 in bi-amped configuration for the L-C-R front channels, powered by two four-channel Sentinel 10 amplified loudspeaker controllers. Ten surround channels use CRMS-SRIW reference surround speakers, installed in the room’s walls, with ten CRMSC-SRHOR used as the height layer, complemented by four CRMSC-SRIW ceiling loudspeakers. The surround, height and ceiling speakers are powered by six four-channel Sentinel 3s.

“It’s a special 13.1.14 setup, using four subwoofers, providing optimal channel mapping for all three major 3D Immersive audio formats: Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D,” says Walter.

Control for the system is via a Trinnov Altitude32 processor, which connects to the Sentinel ALCs through 16 channels of digital AES and 16 channels of balanced analogue XLR connections, also acting as video switch for all connected sources. The user interface is a WiFi VNC client running on an iPad, integrated with a Crestron system for central control of the entire installation.

With Alcons pro-ribbon technology, the sound signature and timbre don't change with dynamic shifts in SPL. Whether low volume background music, a rock concert or an action blockbuster, the output remains clean and without detectable distortion.

“This is a one-of-a-kind installation that pushes the boundaries of home immersive audio and there is no other brand of speakers that I would have rather used,” says Walter. “We are delighted with the results. This will be the benchmark to beat for everything we will design from now onwards.”

Murat also couldn't be happier. “When I first heard it, I was thinking ‘OMG, I've never heard such sound from any home or commercial cinema system!’” he says. “I can hear new sounds in movies that I never heard before and the intensity is so powerful. Things like explosions and laser blasts are scary at times, the subs really shake the seats, but they are always incredibly clear.”

He continues, “Every element is powerful, yet extremely detailed. The Alcons loudspeakers never show any sign of distortion and handle extremely ‘heavy’ sounds as easily as if they were playing soft music. I'm so happy that I went with the C-series!”

The Alcons C-series will also be demonstrated in the Pro-Ribbon Immersive Experience, at the ISE show on the Alcons booth 6H148.

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Alcons Brings Expanded Pro-Ribbon Immersive Experience To ISE 2017

ISE 2017 sees Alcons Audio returns to its ‘home show’ both as a an official ISE Technology Partner and with an expanded Alcons Pro-Ribbon Immersive Experience.

The Pro-Ribbon Immersive Experience was one of the highlights of ISE 2016 and returns this year in expanded form, having also enjoyed critical acclaim at the CEDIA home technology exhibition in Dallas last year. Taking place in an acoustically-optimised demo room on Alcons stand 6H148 in Hall 6, the company will be demonstrating systems for both the residential/home theatre and professional installation markets.

The residential/home theatre demos are taking place in co-operation with Barco, DreamScreen and Trinnov. They are the ideal way for ISE visitors to experience Alcons ability to deliver Hi-Fi sound at concert sound pressure levels in any size application, complete with high resolution laser projection. This kind of co-operation between manufacturers shows visitors the very best home theatre experience, combining exceptionally detailed, HiFi sound at concert SPLs with high impact, high resolution visuals.

For the professional installation (and rental) market, Alcons will be hosting seminars with Astro Spatial Audio (ASA), which will explore and demonstrate in depth immersive surround sound for live events. The Alcons system will be working with ASA’s SARA II Premium Rendering Engine, which harnesses patented Spatial Sound Wave (SSW) technology to deliver scalable and easy to use object-based 3D audio for a wide range of applications.

The audio system will be a hybrid 9.X.8 immersive surround configuration, comprising three (3) Alcons Cinema Reference Monitor Systems CRMS mkII (three-way, 15” LF, 8” MF and 4” pro-ribbon HF) as L-C-R screen channels, plus fourteen (14) CRMSC-SR systems (6,5” LF and 2” pro-ribbon HF) for base, height and top layer surrounds. Four (4) ultra-slim 15” CB151 subwoofers will be used as LF extension. This set-up is designed to reproduce native and upmixed Dolby Atmos, Auro-3D and DTS:X content, as well as Astro 3D Spatial Audio material.

The system will be driven by 24 channels of Sentinel amplified loudspeaker controllers, with ‘lossless’ digital feed of an AES3 96kHz signal by a Trinnov Altitude 32 processor. This also connects the media player with a Barco laser phosphor projector with native DLP chip set and up to 12.000 lumens output, projecting on a 2.35:1-formatted DreamScreen ultra-HD high-gain screen.

Once again, Alcons is also an official ISE Technology Partner, with systems in the Residential Solutions Theatre (Hall 5) and the Audio Solutions Theatre (Hall 7). The show floor theatres are an important part of ISE, featuring case-study presentations by manufacturers, distributors, systems integrators, content creators and other experts on many current key technologies and issues. The Alcons systems ensure that all attendees hear every word of every presentations in exceptional detail.

“We are very pleased to be an official ISE Technology Partner again and to present an enhanced and expanded Pro-Ribbon Immersive Experience at ISE 2017. It has been recognised as one of the stars of every audio technology show it has appeared at. The best way to experience the quality and power of our systems is to hear them for yourself,” says Alcons co-founder Tom Back. “Audiences for all types of live and installed sound are looking to enjoy the very best that the latest audio technology can offer. At ISE 2017 we will be pleased to again demonstrate that Alcons delivers that.”

Alcons systems will also be used at the InAVate Awards ceremony on Tuesday evening.

ISE 2017 takes place at the Amsterdam RAI from 7th - 10th February 2017, with Alcons Audio exhibiting on stand 6-H148 (Hall 6).

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Vue Alkmaar Cinema Award-Winning With Alcons

Delivering Exceptional Atmos Sound At Award-Winning Vue Alkmaar Cinema

Opened in first quarter 2016, the Vue cinema in the Dutch city of Alkmaar has been voted the best new-built cinema in Europe by the International Cinema Technology Association (ICTA). The quality of its three Alcons Audio-based Dolby Atmos systems has played an important role in the accolade.

Taken over by Vue Nederland in August 2015, the Dutch JT Bioscopen cinema chain was one of the first global adopters of Dolby Atmos immersive surround sound and already had several existing Alcons-equipped cinemas. Vue Nederland worked with cinema services specialists CinemaNext on the new installation, who have worked on projects with Alcons since the introduction of the company’s C-series cinema systems. CinemaNext’s first Atmos installation using Alcons products was completed in early 2013.

“Alcons products are very well suited to Atmos installations,” says CinemaNext regional manager Matthew Jones. “A key requirement of Atmos is that, when sound is panned, there must not be any perceivable difference in its volume or quality. It needs the loudspeakers used in the 3D array to have very similar output and dynamic range to those used for the front channels. Alcons makes very high quality speakers which, in terms of sonic uniformity, are ideal for this kind of array.

“The client wanted a very high end audio solution for Vue Alkmaar. We had done several Atmos systems for them using Alcons in the past, so they were happy to choose it for the new site.”

Three of the seven screens at Vue Alkmaar feature Atmos and all are full Alcons installations. In terms of size, Screen 10 is the largest with 420 seats, with Screen 1 (223 seats) and Screen 8 (148 seats) being smaller rooms.

In Screen 10, the Atmos system features five Alcons CR4 large format, tri-amped loudspeakers with twin 15”, four 6.5” drivers and three RBN401 pro-ribbon, four CB211SL single 21” and four CB181SL single 18” shallow subwoofers for the main front channels.

Two CB362 twin 18” units are used for the rear subs, with the surround elements comprise 22 CRS12 12” + RBN401 pro-ribbon, eight CRS12GT 12” + RBN601 pro-ribbon and CCS8 8” coaxial units. The system is powered and controlled by 14 Sentinel3 and two Sentinel10 4-channel amplified loudspeaker controllers.

The Screen 1 system comprises three CR4, four CB211SL, two CB362, 26 CRS12, four CR12GT and eight CCS8, powered by 15 Sentinel3 and a Sentinel10. The Screen 8 system utilises three medium-format CR3 with twin 15”, twin 6.5” drivers and twin RBN401 pro-ribbon, five CB362 subs, 28 CRS12 and six CCS8, driven by 12 Sentinel 3 and a Sentinel10.

“Although Screen 8 is the smallest of the three Atmos installations, the auditorium is still 13m wide, so it needed a fairly large system,” says Matthew.

The key features of Alcons pro-ribbon drivers which make them so suitable for Atmos installations is their exceptionally low distortion, only a tenth of the THD of compression or dome drivers. A pro-ribbon driver does not have a compression threshold, meaning that it maintains the same tonal balance at all sound pressure levels. When these advantages are combined with the design benefits of Alcons cinema systems - which include advanced integration between amplifier and loudspeakers (actively compensating for the effect of long speaker cables), exceptional patented coverage control, slim designs and performance reliability - it’s clear that the high audio quality needed for Atmos can be more than satisfied by an Alcons system.

“The quality of Alcons loudspeakers is the highest available in the market. From my experience, they sound more crisp, accurate and have more dynamics than anything else available,” Matthew continues. “This is borne out by the feedback that we have received from audiences and our client. Everything we have heard is that Vue Alkmaar has the best sounding auditoriums in Holland.”

“The sound of Alcons systems is unbelievable, thanks to their revolutionary pro-ribbon technology,” says Gerrit Doorn, Chief Development Officer at Vue Nederland. “Because Alcons speakers and amplifiers deliver the highest quality sound, they have become an essential part of Vue cinemas across the country. Sound is every bit as important as visuals in the cinema experience and the partnership between Vue Nederland, CinemaNext and Alcons ensures that our audiences always enjoy the very best movie experience. We are very pleased that this has been recognised by the ICTA award.”

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Leipziger Musical Comedy relies on Alcons
Theater in Leipzig decides for Alcons pro-ribbon line array system

The Musikalische Komödie (“Musical Comedy”), a division of the Leipzig Opera and one of the highest occupied stages in Germany, has decided for a solution from the Dutch sound system manufacturer Alcons Audio.
The focus of the house, which is known far beyond the city limits as "MuKo", is on operettas and musicals, and increasingly also on ballet performances. As the sound system of the auditorium got old, a modern solution was being sought that would satisfy the needs of the 520-seating, acoustically demanding room and would match the stage program as well.

The company HFE professional studio technology from Leipzig was responsible as an advisory and executing service provider for the installation. Hans Hermann Hönsch from HFE explains: "I've known Alcons Audio for a long time and recommended the Alcons LR7, because the system is in my opinion particularly well suited for theater. Already in mid-2014, we organized a comparative listening session, whereupon the heads of the Musikalische Komödie unanimously agreed to Alcons. "

Hall system consisting of Alcons LR7, VR8 and SR9

The new PA system was installed under sporting conditions during the running season. It now consists of 6x Alcons LR7/90 (1x RBN401 4" pro-ribbon driver + 6.5” woofer) micro line-array and 2x Alcons LR7B (12" neodymium woofers) line-array bass as low frequency support per side. The center unit consists of a further 4x Alcons LR7 / 90. In addition, 2x Alcons VR8 (1x RBN401 4" pro- ribbon driver + 8” woofer) monitors have been installed on each side of the orchestra pit.

The auditorium can also be expanded to include 3x Alcons SR9 (1x RBN401 4" pro-ribbon driver) as frontfills - an option that the musical comedy is currently only using during microport performances. In addition, 2x BF362 double-18" subwoofers are available for particularly bass-intensive applications. The entire system is powered by 1x Sentinel10 and 3x Sentinel3 4-channel amplified loudspeaker controllers.

Thus, Tobias Finke, Tonmeister and sound department manager, considers the theater as "technically up-to-date". The acoustic challenges in the hall were not to be neglected, as Finke explains: "The Musikalische Komödie is a very early concrete construction, arc-shaped with facets in the interior. This creates a few strange reflections and other unique hall effects. In addition, self-resonances are an issue. The room is excited by the PA quite severely. "All this had to be considered and controlled as much as possible.

Refined and uniform coverage thanks to pro-ribbon drivers

"This is where the Alcons LR7 fully demonstrate their strength," adds Hönsch. "Especially the line arrays sound at low sound pressure levels as good as at high levels, which cannot be claimed by all sound reinforcement systems. With pro-ribbon tweeters you do not have this typical 'horn effect'; The speaker does not 'bellow' at you, but has a very refined and even coverage. But even if it has to be more powerful, Alcons plays very well. "

"Amazingly large" - the bass response of the Alcons LR7 series

Sound engineer Holger Weise adds: "In musicals, the location of the sound source plays an important role, and by arranging the frontfill and center, we have now solved our imaging problem very well. You do not have to drive at such high levels, which is very pleasant. What surprised me a lot is that we have two separate subs that can be selected, but you do not really need them even during shows with complete live bands. "

"In fact, we still did not use the subs!", confirms Tobias Finke. "We once ran them against the built-in basses and found the latter more pleasant for our purposes. They do not go down quite so deep, but on the other hand they do not excite the room too much. The bass response of the LR7 series is really amazing! "

There was also only positive feedback from the audience and employees, especially regarding improved sound imaging. "The clarity in the reproduction has been noticed by many people - from musicians to technicians to our guests," Finke concludes.

Thus, the road of success continues for the Musikalische Komödie Leipzig.

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Trøndelag Teater Celebrates 200 Years With New Alcons System

First opened in 1816, Trondheim’s Trøndelag Teater is the oldest Scandinavian stage in continuous use. A major 1990s rebuilding project saw the original auditorium, the Gamle Scene (The Old Stage), incorporated into a modern complex which added three further stages of different sizes. This year, further investment has seen an Alcons QR24/QM24 pro-ribbon audio system installed in the Gamle Scene.

The new system comprises five Alcons QR24 and QM24 modular, pro-ribbon column arrays per side, powered by two Alcons Sentinel 10 amplified loudspeaker controllers. Combining a natural, dynamic sound reproduction with very high peak power handling, the modular, scalable Q-series delivers superb intelligibility and throw in even the most acoustically-challenging environments.

Supplied, installed and commissioned by Trondheim Lyd, the Alcons system replaced an existing point source PA.

“When we were choosing a new sound system, it was of course very important that it sounded great,” says Jomar Johansen, head of production at Trøndelag Teater. “The room has a unique acoustic quality, while the other main factor was that we needed a system that could adapt to the style and be a modern part of a listed baroque stage from 1816, which is also used without speech amplification.”

“We use headset microphones for many of our productions and we don’t want to spend a lot of time dealing with feedback issues,” adds the theatre’s Erlend Aune. “We needed a system that was loud and clear but, at the same time, very clean. We have productions featuring both live bands and pre-recorded playback, so the system had to sound great through the entire frequency spectrum, with enough headroom for speech on top of the music.”

By using only two RBN high frequency drivers, which are each 12” long, the QR24’s active frontal radiation is close to 90%. This results in sharply controlled vertical dispersion, which delivers superb, SPL-independent intelligibility over distance, without the necessity of DSP-based beam-shaping. This was key to achieving seamless sound throughout the auditorium, while the shallow form factor and ACO™ colour option allowed for unobtrusive installation.

“The layout of the room is acoustically challenging and being able to effectively steer the sound around the balcony front, without losing the high frequencies, is not something all systems can do,” says Erlend. “The arrangement of an array of five Q-series per side avoids throwing high frequencies at the walls and balcony front, providing a complete array which doesn't reflect too much sound back to the stage.”

He continues, “As the room is 200 years old, it was also very important that the system looked nice. The Q-series is a slim, subtle design that blends very well into the décor. Everyone is really happy with the look of it and we are very happy with the way it sounds!”

The Alcons system was installed in time for the production of Begynnelser (Beginnings), a complex production in which music, text, film and theatrical performance art are juxtaposed in a narrative which examines activity in the brain at the moment of death. The show’s sound design was by the theatre’s Eskil Næss.

“Begynnelser featured the band Motorpsycho and it needed a system that could make the actors headset microphones really cut through the sound of the band,” says Erlend. “It was the original intention that they would play with a drummer, which would have given us a hard time with the actors dialogue, as it was quite pretty low volume dialogues on stage. So the coverage and clear, distinct HF delivery of the Q-series made it ideal. All-in-all it has been a very good choice for Gamle Scene.”

“The Q-series is very easy to predict, install and optimise,” says Trondheim Lyd’s Arnstein Fossvik. “Alcons products are famous for their undistorted, natural, crystal clear sound with exceptional headroom and extremely accurate projection. These qualities makes the Q-series ideal for this venue. After optimisation, we easily reached levels over 130dBZ peak at 70% system capacity. That’s very loud for theatre!”

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Alcons LR18 thrills at "Rock im Bergbad"

Open Air in Bückeburg presents Rock 'n' Roll at its best with Alcons LR18 pro-ribbon line array
In September 2016, the Open Air festival "Rock im Bergbad" celebrated a successful premiere in Bückeburg in Lower Saxony, Germany. In the unique backdrop of the local mountain swimming pool, four high-profile acts performed in front of the landscape panorama of Harrl and the Weser mountains. Auditiv GmbH, based in Kassel, set up an Alcons LR18 pro-ribbon line array as technical service provider for the event.
The line-up of the festival consisted of the former Genesis frontman Ray Wilson, The Lords, the glamrock icons of Sweety Glitter & The Sweethearts and the local hardrock hero Jabba's Cortex.
For the sound of the approximately 35 by 55 meters large audience area, a setup of nine Alcons LR18s per side was used in combination with two Alcons RR12s as near-fills. The bass line was formed by six Alcons cardioid BC543 (3x 18" each). Seven Sentinel S10’s powered and controlled the system.
The compact LR18 3-way line source system combines the best possible sound quality with a very high sound pressure level and long throw. By applying Alcons' multi-patented pro-ribbon driver technology for mid / high frequency frequencies, an ultra-fast impulse response with up to 90% less distortion is achieved. The LR18 offers a completely intuitive linear reproduction with excellent speech intelligibility and uncompressed, absolutely faithful sound balance at any sound pressure level.
Timo Osterberg was on-site as the responsible sound engineer, took the PA into operation and at the same time supervised the FoH of Jabba's Cortex and Sweety Glitter. As a solid FoH man from Sweety Glitter, Osterberg always has the same desk and therefore can compare different sound reinforcement systems very well.
Headroom, Headroom, Headroom!
The special qualities of the Alcons system therefore occurred directly during the sound check: "What can I say? Headroom, headroom, headroom - that's what you immediately notice. The stereo image was fantastic, stereo effects extremely precise to locate. The low-mids of the LR18 are so convincing that I do not know when and if I've ever heard such a detail. The bass was very clean and tight. Even in very low frequencies, I could not detect any conspicuous resonances. "
In addition to the direct sound characteristics, Osterberg was also impressed with the system's throw and, last but not least, the remarkable ratio of size to sound of the array. "Interestingly, despite increasing distance to the system (over 40 meters), there is hardly any sound loss.
Sure, it gets a little quieter, but the sound is still there", the sound technician continues. "Pressure and resolution are not a problem with the LR18 at all. Where many systems only carry pressure, but not a nice sound, the LR18 remains extremely honest and faithful even at high levels."
Because of these characteristics, the prescribed volume limitation to 100dB was not a problem. The Alcons typical undistorted sound reproduction allowed to play on the average at 98 dB and still be really loud.
Timo Osterberg also enthused at "Rock im Bergbad": "One experiences an absolutely fatigue-free listening pleasure - despite Rock'n'Roll and high levels. That I really only know from Alcons! "
The artists themselves were no less impressed: "The sound at Rock am Bergbad was simply first class," confirms Stefan Jahnke, management of Sweety Glitter. "The purest madness what the sound system has confronted us with! The band and I are very, very grateful for this experience. "
Mathias G. Walter, associate of the organizer NORDHARRL-Concerts, is also more than convinced by what he heard in Bückeburg: "We have seen many concerts, including concerts of world stars in large halls or stadiums. Not infrequently the sound quality was painful - in the truest sense of the word: shrieking highs and completely overdriven basses, fragments of music wagging over the terrain. “
“All the more enthusiastic are we about the ultra-clean and smooth, “in-the-face” sound quality that we were able to experience at our concert "Rock im Bergbad" in Bückeburg. The guests were offered a velvety sound carpet over the entire area, with all frequency ranges presented consistently, despite the difficult terrain situation (ascending terrain, tree population) and the food and drink stands.
The entire concert was an absolute listening pleasure due to the high-end technology of Alcons Audio, which even enthusiastically inspired HiFi freaks! We are already looking forward to our next event – preferably with the same technology and the same team. "
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CinemaxX Mannheim extends Kino 10 sound system with Dolby Atmos and Alcons
With 700 seats, the Kino 10 of CinemaxX Mannheim is among the largest cinemas in Baden-Württemberg – with almost 280 square metres the screen is definitely the largest.
The Filmtheaterbetriebe Spickert Entertainment GmbH, the operator of the CinemaxX, already chose, with the Cinemarray pro-ribbon system in 2012, for a sound system of the Dutch premium manufacturer Alcons.
With the conversion to Dolby Atmos, the leading 3D Sound solution for immersive sound experiences in the cinema, an extension of the sound system was recently carried out.
The original sound system comprised three Alcons CRA30n and three Alcons CRA30w 3-way Cinemarray Pro-Ribbon screen sound systems, assembled in three stacks (L, C, R) of one CRA30w and CRA30n each; LFE was taken care of by four Alcons CB362 (2x 18”) high-output subwoofers. For the surround-sound 24 units Alcons CRS8 2-way pro-ribbon surround systems were installed. Three Alcons ALC2 2x 1kW and eight Alcons ALC4 2x 2kW Amplified-Loudspeaker Controllers – each with on-board SDP processor modules – drive and control the system.
„With the Alcons sound system, we have created in our Kino 10 one of the most modern cinemas in Europe. The professionalism and quality of Alcons has convinced us from the start, "explains Frank Noreiks, CEO of Filmtheaterbetriebe Spickert Entertainment GmbH.
Expansion with 32 Alcons surround systems
As part of the Atmos upgrade, numerous Alcons systems have now been added again. The surround system was expanded with two CB211SL 21” shallow subwoofers, two pro-ribbon CRS12GT (12” LF + 6” pro-ribbon), 14 pro-ribbon CRS12 (12” LF + 4” pro-ribbon) as well as six CCS12 and ten CCS8 (coaxial) surround speakers. Nine Sentinel3 4-channel amplified loudspeaker controllers with 36 channels, were also added to control and drive the system.
The speaker systems have been installed as top surrounds and wall surrounds, according to the Dolby-calculated design. This makes the CinemaxX Mannheim currently the only cinema with Atmos technology on this side of the Rhine in the Rhine-Neckar region.
With this upgrade, the operator of CinemaxX is responding to the increased expectations of moviegoers. Digitization also entered the cinema world and set a wave of technological evolutions in motion, facing theater operators with entirely new challenges. The modern, high-resolution media put strict requirements on the production chain in general and the performance of the theater speakers in particular. Complex sound impressions should be reproduced with the finest details at full dynamics - everywhere and in every conceivable application.
The unique Alcons pro-ribbon mid- high frequency transducers reproduce the original sound of a movie without signal summation, coloration or distortion of sound. And that in really any system size.
Frank Noreiks: "Today moviegoers specifically look for upgraded cinemas. To that extent the conversion to the latest technologies offers us a clear competitive advantage. Dolby Atmos for us is the logical development of the already existing Dolby systems in our cinemas such as Dolby 7.1", Noreiks continues. "The addition of additional audio channels creats an even more realistic sound experience for the viewer. It is noteworthy that it’s not about increasing the sound pressure level, but perfecting the sound experience to a higher resolution. "
Both for the initial and the subsequent installation of the loudspeakers Fours GmbH from Heidelberg was commissioned, under the project and installation management of Florian Iser.
On 13 July 2016, the CinemaxX finally celebrated the premiere of the new sound system with "Independence Day: Resurgence". Kino 10 is thus today one of the largest Dolby Atmos cinemas in Europe!
To do justice to its pioneering role and to make the movie experience even more immersive, the CinemaxX Mannheim went even one step further and installed "Thunder Seats, with which a woofer integrated into the cinema seat makes the movie experience even more intense and direct.
Finally noticed Noreiks: "Our Kino 10 is a cinema of the future - more cinema is not possible! With Alcons, we have the most competent partner on our side to make cinema as progressive as possible. "
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Alcons Delivers Audio Excellence At Versatile Verso
From its origins as a single wine store, San Francisco’s PlumpJack Group has grown into a multi-faceted hospitality and lifestyle business. In late 2015 it opened Verso, a premier event space and night club where exceptional sound quality had to be guaranteed for all events. PlumpJack wanted something better than what major US nightclubs were delivering, which made Alcons the perfect choice.
PlumpJack Group’s business now includes award-winning wineries, luxury resorts, restaurants and clubs, as well as retail outlets. Established in a former printing works in San Francisco’s Mission Street, Verso is a high quality space designed to switch quickly and seamlessly from hosting events to a nightclub.
Bradley S. Katz of the city’s JK Sound had previously worked with PlumpJack on another venue, MatrixFillmore, and was asked to look at Verso as a result of that venue’s success.  “Verso was to be a more ‘serious’ venue and the AV design had to reflect their vision of a truly unique experience,” he says. “We won the design and installation contract for the sound and lighting after a series of demos, and I personally saw the job through to completion.”
Brad first heard Alcons pro-ribbon systems at a demo by David Rahn of Alcons US. “I was thoroughly impressed. The sound quality stuck in my head and made me really want to work with them,” he says.
Brad and the JK Sound team set up two demos, one of which was at a PlumpJack company party in the unfinished Verso venue. “We set up a few systems and it gave everyone involved a chance to listen and compare them,” he continues. “Alcons came away the clear winner.”
He continues, “One of the key design elements was that the space had to move seamlessly from a corporate event to a full-on nightclub experience, without re-configuring it. Every seat was potentially a ‘big money’ seat and every bit of floor had to be able to be part of the immersive nightclub or corporate party experience.”
To achieve this, Brad specified a four corner dance system comprising four Alcons pro-ribbon VR12 loudspeakers as flown main loudspeakers, with two Alcons BF302 MKII dual 15-inch units for bass and four BQ211 21-inch subs.
Compact VR8 pro-ribbon units were installed as fills for the dance floor and DJ monitors, with TS7 ultra-compact, two-way loudspeakers to cover the seating areas. A Sentinel3 and two Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers were provided to power and control the system.
“One of the bigger physical challenges was working around the floor-to-ceiling beams and retrofit A-frame steelwork for earthquake protection,” says Brad. “The solution was to install the main Alcons system at the corners of the main dance floor, making a compact yet powerful space. I then covered the fill zones with stereo pairs, the idea was to both concentrate the energy in the centre and radiate outward.
“Club-goers need to feel clean bass as much as hear it, so I used the combination of 15-inch drivers for punch and 21-inch units for depth. The whole system was engineered to have enough headroom that meant it could run at even its maximum level without adding distortion or negative harmonics.”
A combination of Alcons brackets and custom rigging ensured that the system is both safe and aesthetically pleasing, while bespoke movable mounts help the VR8 DJ monitors to always be in the right place.
“The DJ booth is small and its configuration changes with almost each artist. The compact Alcons VR8 were a great fit, they just needed a small custom stand that could easily be moved and adjustable, thanks to the slick Alcons bracket,” says Brad. “By keeping everything very compact, we got the monitors down low and angled up, creating great sight lines which match those throughout the venue.”
A custom audio processing setup ensures tracks on MP3 files, older and lo-fi mastering all sound superb and the Alcons system is the final link to ensure that Verso customers enjoy the ultimate sonic experience.
“The audio chain is a mix of ultra-clean digital master clocks and conversion with a studio-grade tube stage to add depth. But of course none of that matters if your speakers don't have the resolution to hear it - and this is where Alcons really shines,” says Brad. “With Alcons you hear everything, good and bad, so you better make it great! It pushes you to make the rest of the system sound equally good.”
The system has proved so successful that, when DJ Tiësto was booked to play Verso as part of the San Francisco Super Bowl 50 celebrations, Brad and David Rahn used Alcons products to provide a very powerful yet compact monitor rig.
“We mounted two Alcons LR14s per side with a yoke bracket on the custom monitor stands and set two Alcons BF151 MkII on the floor of the booth. Once we turned it on, I knew we had something special,” says Brad. “It was huge and crystal clear, by far the best monitor rig I've ever heard. The ultra-low latency of Alcons processing is a huge asset for DJ's, as it has to match their zero latency headphones.”
DJ Tiësto, his audio engineer and all the other performers that used the system were so impressed with it that the team at Verso quickly realised it was a big enough asset to the venue to purchase the rig as it stood.
With a happy client, Brad is unequivocal in his praise for Alcons systems. “The client has been thrilled with both systems. I consider Verso a cutting edge showroom of what’s possible in venue design… and we are just getting started. Alcons has exceeded all expectations.” he says.
“The client has suggested there was a little too much low-end from the monitor system subs - but coming from only two single 15” loudspeakers that says a lot! You really have to experience it all to understand just how good it is. It’s what I consider a whole new paradigm!"
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