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Amadeus Installs Massive Custom-Designed Speaker System for French ‘National Museum of Natural History’ in Paris

Over 180 Amadeus speakers installed in vast French ‘National Museum of Natural History’ space, new speakers specifically designed and hand-crafted by Amadeus for the updated 20th Anniversary re-opening — The Great Gallery of EvolutionParis, FranceOctober 15, 2014 – At the French ‘National Museum of Natural History‘ in Paris, September saw the 20th anniversary re-opening of the updated Great Gallery of Evolution space featuring an install of site-specific custom-designed Amadeus speakers. Based in France, Amadeus is one of the premiere manufacturers of high-end sound reinforcement systems and custom studio speakers in the world. The museum install features an assortment of Amadeus speaker and sub-woofer models to offer the public a Hi-Fi audio experience throughout the vast museum. Merging Technologies, Solid State Logic and Flux also added key ingredients to the new museum install to control the Amadeus speakers.

Amadeus’ Director of Research & Development, Michel DELUC, and designer Bernard BYK, created completely new speaker and subwoofer configurations for the massive, over 180-speaker, sound system install at the National Museum of Natural History. The new speaker design has extended the Amadeus PMX Series with a super-compact 4-inch coaxial driver model, the PMX 4. Bernard BYK and Michel DELUC also designed two new compact sub-woofers specifically for the install, the ML 8, and the ML 12 SLIM, with 8-inch and 12-inch drivers respectively. The ML 8 is the smallest of the Amadeus ML Series of subwoofers; likewise the PMX 4 is the smallest of its series. Custom-made product manufacturing, solving acoustical or technical issues, and addressing market demands, are all strong traditions at Amadeus, and the large and complex Museum of Natural History install is an excellent example.

Bernard BYK, co-founder and CEO of Amadeus comments, “I have been trained as an architect, and this training definitely influences both the products we develop and the projects we work on. I think that for an architect, the starting point is to decrypt the space and to think of the way to put one’s work in a cultural, social and environmental context. That’s the way we design our sound systems…. We think about their integration in different places, and we supervise this integration. Each space has its own acoustical characteristics and above all its own architectural properties. Our work is to take these phenomena into account to increase the transparency of our sound systems.”

The previously released PMX 5, 5-inch driver model, was also used in the museum install with special finishes of high-gloss ‘Oyster White’ for the cabinet and a ‘Pearl Gold’ finish for the AirTex fabric for the speaker protection grill to specifically match the color of the main ceilings of the Museum. Additionally, a modified ML 12 subwoofer, (named the ML 12 SLIM), was re-designed as a slimmer version to be built-in some of the museum’s high-walled cabinets that were not deep enough to hold the standard ML model.

Several of the new ML sub-woofers are installed in prominent locations that the public can see and feature an attractive natural Beech wood exterior, matching the paired PMX 4 speakers in Beech wood. All the updated or newly created products, including the PMX 4 and ML 8 subwoofer, are now available for other installs as standard parts of the PMX and ML series Amadeus product lines.

On the amplification side, Amadeus developed and launched two prototypes, the MULTIAMP and A Series, (both to be released in 2015) to match the needs of the museum install. These two new Amadeus Amplifier Series extend, complete, and perfect the ‘HI-FI’ dimension and sound of the Amadeus speaker products. They integrate carefully listened to and selected components from among the most efficient and transparent of the audiophile market.

“The National Museum of Natural History install is a high-point of the many years in speaker and amplifier design by Amadeus. It is a perfect example of the outcome from the Amadeus brand philosophy that is built on the long-standing, close and productive relationships we have maintained with talented designers and scenographers, both in France and around the world, for over 35 years.” stated Gaetan BYK, Marketing Manager at Amadeus. Originally designed for the National Museum of Natural History, following the request of French designer, scenographer and composer Marc PIERA, the new PMX 4, ML 8, ML 12 SLIM, MULTIAMP and A Series amps are the concrete expression of this ethos.

Marc PIERA, co-founder and CEO of Comportements Sonores and scenographer for the museum install explains in detail how the install came about, “I tested many small and light speakers (weight was a major security issue) sold by well-known brands. I then turned towards PA systems. Leaving aside the brands whose systems didn’t meet relevant specifications – dispersion quality, frequency range, and impulse response around the speaker – I finally got in touch with Amadeus, a company I already revered for its high-quality PA products. I didn’t know they made small speakers, but I had used Amadeus products as I gave training seminars about controlled directivity, and during many shows and concerts, not to mention an acoustical study for the auditorium at Chelles (a commune in the eastern suburbs of Paris).”

Describing the audio for the exhibition areas, Marc PIERA reveals, “The audio sound tracks created by Frédéric ROCARD are based on natural ambient sounds, from thunderstorms to delicate ambiences, a tribute to the rich timbres and dynamic levels of all animal species shown in the Gallery; Dynamic margins between background noise level and reasonable listening levels is reduced. It was then mandatory to find how to best place the Amadeus loudspeakers to get an excellent covering in the public spaces, and to design a system with a high-quality stereo image faithful to the complex ambiences. Another key point to accomplish was that no spectrum changes would occur off-axis. In the end, 186 Amadeus sound sources were installed, including 28 subwoofers.”

Dominique BRULHART, Head Software Engineering at Merging Technologies describes their involvement with the install, “Merging was excited by the opportunity to work on this project, of an unprecedented scope for our product Ovation. We were equally pleased to note that the set-up, comprising 186 loudspeakers across seven zones, connected to two Horus converters, all handled by a single Ovation, worked without a hitch. We nevertheless learned a great deal from this installation and identified several ways in which our user interface could be enhanced. That’s the reason why these projects are so inspiring. We look forward to participating in many more alongside Amadeus in the future.”

“Management of the Amadeus speakers through Merging Technologies devices features specially designed Merging Technology software plug-ins for the museum install which can control dynamic EQ, expander/gate functions, as well as compressor and limiter capabilities for each of the Amadeus speakers individually. The Merging Technologies Loudspeaker Management System that was created is 100% Amadeus compatible and can easily be used in future installs,” adds Dominique BRULHART.

The ‘Grande Galerie de l’Évolution’ (Great Gallery of Evolution) is a more than 60-thousand cubic meter area. It is split into several public spaces: the first is 3,500 sq. meters by 2.5 meters high, the second, 2300 sq. meters by 15 meters high, plus 3 passageways – 1100 sq. meters each. Since the Gallery is a museum, there are many children’s groups and families attending, so the background noise levels are often between 55 and 70dB (A). The Gallery is also a conservation area-implying mandatory demands of integration of sound quality and other limitations.

Marc PIERA describes how he handled many of these issues in the museum space, “The Amadeus PMX 5, then the smallest speaker of the range, was too heavy to use everywhere. Amadeus quickly suggested that they design a variant offering the same sonic qualities but with a reduced weight. They created a prototype of the PMX 4, and after we tested and measured this new model in situ, it appeared it could be used to send sound in the passageways, with very high quality. Using a very tight distribution I got an incredible sound image and the finest details along these long corridors exactly as I had wanted.”

However, in some parts of the installation the existing PMX 5 model turned out to be best, “The PMX 5’s attenuation is even and its coaxial speaker shows an excellent impulse response which helps to reduce ceiling reflections,” continued Marc PIERA. “Eighteen Amadeus ML 12 subwoofers, distributed around the passageways, handle bass extension.” Referring to the tight space for some subwoofer positioning he says, “Amadeus was able to fulfill the integration needs with a thinner version of subwoofer, the ML 12 SLIM. We set the crossover frequency between the PMX 5 speakers and ML12 SLIM subwoofers at 90Hz, allowing us to reduce localization problems.”

Wrapping up his assessment of the National Museum of Natural History project, Marc PIERA concludes, “This kind of integration job, filled with aesthetic taboos and security issues, requires not only very high-quality products, but also deeply involved partners. Amadeus really was exemplary in that matter, and this contributed to the final success of the project. Their commitment even led the company to create specific RAL colors and wood finishes, putting the final distinguishing touches on this successful integration. And, as if all this was not enough, Amadeus even developed the amplifier system to deal with these 186 independent speaker lines. Solid State Logic interfaced the system, and Merging Technologies dealt with the programming side using their Ovation system, even adapting their product for us, on the practical and ergonomic side. The system filtering issues were handled by Flux, Merging Technologies‘ long-time partner.”

“In the end,” adds Marc PIERA, “I was able to stay as close as I wanted to the sound that I had imagined, specified and championed for this type of electro-acoustical mission: To get as much definition as possible in the sound image and the timbre. ‘Traditional’ systems like Amadeus PMX speakers remain the safest solution to work with difficult acoustics.”

About PMX 4 Speakers and ML 8 Subwoofers
Revealing his challenge for the museum install, Michel DELUC says, “We had to create a product matching the Amadeus sonic philosophy, starting from the PMX 5 format and trying to reduce its size by 50% without making any sonic compromise. The PMX 4 loudspeaker comprises a 4-inch (100 mm) neodymium woofer, with a 0,8-inch (20 mm) tweeter mounted in coaxial mode. It draws 300 watts peak from the line, under a 8-ohm impedance and produces 112 dB peak SPL.”

The Amadeus PMX 4 speaker used in the museum install is designed for sound professionals wishing to combine high sonic fidelity with ultra-compact format for space-limited installation or live use. This new speaker, the most compact in its line, completes the Amadeus PMX Series speaker line which includes the 15, 12, 10, 8 and 5-inch models, each available in passive, self-powered and EtherSound-enabled versions. Initially available in a highly resistant black (water-soluble) paint finish, the PMX 4 is also available in several different standard colors. Every PMX 4 can also be ordered in a ‘made-to-measure’ finish, based on registered or non-registered colors and/or materials. It can be manufactured in standard premium-grade Baltic Birch or in special woods such as Wenge, Wacapou, Wamara, Ebony from Africa, and more traditional timbers such as White Sycamore and Oak. The Amadeus PMX 4 speaker is priced at 490.00 € each (VAT excluded).

Adding background on the new Amadeus ML 8 Subwoofer design, Michel DELUC says “We started to develop the ML 8 from the ML 12 ultra-compact format and tried to reduce its size by 25% while preserving both the sonic clarity, the real tonal accuracy and the extreme precision of the lowest frequencies specific to Amadeus LF loudspeakers. We achieved this through a quite complex internal structure, hosting several tuned notch resonators and a terrific 8-inch (200 mm) transducer with a 3-inch (75 mm) ventilated voice coil, designed to reduce all forms of distortion and coloration to a bare minimum.”

The ML 8 draws 600 watts peak from the line, under an 8-ohm impedance, and produces 118 dB peak SPL. The subwoofer is available in a highly wear resistant black (water-soluble) paint finish, but is also available in several standard colors. Or the ML 8 can be ordered in a ‘made to measure’ finish, based on registered or non-registered colors and/or materials. To offer more possibilities, the cabinet and the acoustical fabric covering the front grill can each have a different color. The Amadeus ML 8 is priced at 890 € each (VAT excluded).

The Amadeus speaker models installed at the Museum:

PMX 4 ultra-compact 2-way coaxial loudspeaker (4” LF + 0,8” HF) in natural Beechwood finish: 16 units
PMX 4 ultra-compact 2-way coaxial loudspeaker (4” LF + 0,8” HF) in Traffic Grey finish: 36 units

ML 8 ultra-compact subwoofer (1 x 8” LF) in natural Beechwood finish: 5 units
PMX 5 MKIII ultra-compact 2-way coaxial loudspeaker (5.25” LF + 1,5” HF) in Oyster White & Pearl Gold finishes: 106 units

ML 12 MKII high-power compact subwoofer (1 x 12” LF): 2 units
ML 12 SLIM high-power compact subwoofer (1 x 12” LF): 18 units

Amadeus amplifiers models installed at the Museum:

MULTIAMP 4X (4 x 190 W/8Ω + DSP): 8 units
MULTIAMP 6X (6 x 190 W/8Ω + DSP): 7 units
MULTIAMP 8X (8 x 190 W/8Ω + DSP): 13 units

A10:1 (1 x 1000 W/8Ω + DSP): 2 units
A20:2 (2 x 1000 W/8Ω + DSP): 9 units

About National Museum of Natural History
The Museum is a public cultural, scientific and professional establishment under the double authority of the French Ministry of higher learning and research, and the Ministry of ecology, sustainable development and energy. The museum comprises fourteen sites throughout France with four in Paris, including the original location at the Jardin des Plantes in the 5th arrondissement. The galleries open to the public are the Cabinet d’Histoire du Jardin des Plantes in the Hôtel de Magny, the Gallery of Mineralogy and Geology, the Gallery of Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy, and the famous Grand Gallery of Evolution. For more visit:

About Amadeus
Amadeus develops, manufactures and sells a wide range of high-end sound reinforcement loudspeakers, studio monitors and various signal processing interfaces that combine its own custom innovative technology with stylish design, for the professional audio industry. Created in 1992 from the collaboration between the French designer Bernard BYK and the scientist and musician Michel DELUC, the Amadeus brand has grown to become a leading supplier of high-end audio solutions and services for theaters, opera houses, museums, recording studios, research centers and touring concert sound rental operations. All development and product manufacturing is centralized in Amadeus headquarters in France, with field offices and authorized distributors located in Europe, Asia and UAE.

Contact Amadeus at [email protected] or visit

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