This year's NSCA show (www.nsca.org) took place at Nashville's Opryland Hotel, an antediluvian biosphere where attendees could lose themselves for hours looking for exhibits, their rooms or dinner. Your loyal scribe overcame injury and mediocre food to bring you a Top 20 of product highlights.
Ashly (www.ashly.com) expanded its Protea line of digital EQs with the 2.24PS and 4.24PS, 2- and 4-channel 10-band parametrics that have the same highpass and lowpass filters, full-featured compressors and digital delays found in the Protea graphic EQs.
BSS (www.bssaudio.co.uk) showed its new 9010 "Jellyfish" programmable palm-sized remote for SoundWeb, which has six touchscreen buttons, a rotary encoder, a built-in mic, plus an external mic input. BSS USA also distributes C-Audio amplifiers, including the new Pulse amps in a turbo shade of blue, filling the void left by the discontinuation of its EPC line.
Neutrik (www.neutrikusa.com) introduced Speakon NL2 two-pole connectors with a smaller parts count, making them competitively priced with phone jacks. The new NL2FC female connector maintains compatibility with the previous NL4MP male plug by picking up only pins 1+ and 1-. The new two-pole NL2MP male plug is intentionally incompatible with the old NL4FC.
Sennheiser (www.sennheiser.com) showed its Digital 1000 Series of 900MHz wireless systems based on technology licensed from X-Wire.
SIA Software's (http://siasoft.com) new SMAART Pro measurement software incorporates plug-ins to control many top equalizers. It now supports up to 24-bit digital audio, bigger FFTs, and 24-point-per-octave resolution. Version 3 can be purchased through SIA, EAW or JBL for $595; an upgrade is available for $99 by calling 877/SMAART3. Opcode's (www.opcode.com) SonicPort A-to-D ($249 list) allows USB connectivity to a W98 computer, reducing S/N by 30 dB over onboard converters. AudioControl's (www.audiocontrol.com) MP-200 battery-powered 2-channel mic preamp ($349, with measurement mic) includes pink noise and provides a portable solution for laptop-based measurement systems.
The Midas (www.midasconsoles.com) Heritage 2000 is a 12-aux, 12-sub, LCR dedicated FOH version of the 3000, costing about 20% less. Soundcraft's (www.soundcraft.com) new Series Four (in an SM-20 frame) costs 27% less than a Series Five and foregoes a few of its functions, while adding Amek's Showtime features, including Virtual Dynamics, without the Recall.
Peavey (www.peavey.com) celebrated its 2,000th MediaMatrixR installation by announcing a Remote Access MediaMatrix (RAMM) upgrade, which allows MediaMatrix system control over any LAN.
Mackie (www.mackie.com) launched a new division-Mackie Industrial-targeted at the contractor market, with dozens of products ranging from the DX8*2[superscript]TM rackmount digital mixer (scalable up to 48 inputs) and an array of speakers including the AE800SW 70-volt subwoofer and an 8-inch carbon-fiber cone co-ax for wedge/fill/under-balcony use.
Eastern Acoustic Works' (www.eaw.com) new MQ mid-high enclosures utilize the same midrange phase-plug developed for the KF-750. Five models are available in 60x40,Degrees 90x40Degrees or 60x60Degrees patterns, with either one or two 10-inch drivers.
Electro-Voice (www.electrovoice.com) offers several new X-Array installation enclosures employing Ring-Mode Decoupling, including the Xi-2181 dual-18 and the Xi-2122/42 mid-high, which offers 40x20Degrees coverage from pairs of 12s and compression drivers.
L-Acoustics' (www.coxaudio.com) compact two-way DV-DOSC enclosure has two 8-inch speakers plus the proprietary DOSC waveguide. They can be used as a V-DOSC array extension, but as few as three can construct stand-alone DOSC arrays, with frequency response from 100 to 18k Hz. The DV-DOSC has wider 120Degrees horizontal coverage and measures 27x18x9 inches (WxDxH)-half the height of a V-DOSC, and tapering to 7 inches at the rear.
Meyer Sound's (www.meyersound.com) UPM-1P is an improved, self-powered version of its UPM-1 speaker for under-balcony, front-fill or stand-alone use. The bi-amped enclosure has two 5-inch cone drivers and a 1-inch titanium dome on a symmetrical horn replacing the piezo tweeter. A companion dual-10 self-powered sub can be added for small 5.1 boardroom or home theater systems. Also new is a dual-12 DS-4P mid-bass companion for the MSL-4.
In other speaker news, Nexo (www.nexo-sa.com) introduced the PS8, rounding out its line of powerful two-way PS speakers, plus the three-way Alpha E Series. MacPherson's (www.macpherson-inc.com) Axia (axial inline array) is a horizontally oriented, stackable version of the Monolith, designed for building line-arrays. ServoDrive (www.servodrive.com), makers of the powerful BassTech7, introduced the Unity, a compact 100-pound, 22.5-inch three-way cube that uses 13 drivers to create a point-source image with 60Degrees dispersion and 100 to 20k Hz (+/-2 dB) response.