INTERVIEW: L-Acoustics’ Stéphane Ecalle and Jochen Frohn

Audio Pro International editor Daniel Gumble chats to L-Acoustics’ marketing director Stéphane Ecalle and business development director Jochen Frohn about the company’s new products, as well as its plans for the remainder of 2012…

How has L-Acoustics fared so far in 2012 in light of the current economic climate?

L-Acoustics’ business has been on a two digit growth trend for more than 12 years now. The current trend for 2012 is in line with our long-term growth rate.

Have you taken any particular measures to deal with the economy?

We follow a long term strategy in all domains of product development, commercial and sales approach. Actually, strategy might not be the appropriate term; it is more a business philosophy based on product design with benchmark performance and rationalised lines. We try to understand where technology will effectively meet customers’ demand and communicate about content rather than appearance.

On the commercial side, our objective is to value and reward the long-term relationship with our Certified Providers, which is essential for products with a high density of technology and service that requires a long term focus and expertise. Our major concern with the current state of the economy on the customer side is the increasing difficulty to access financing, and on the purchasing side the rare earth commodities’ current uncertainty. 

What have been your key products during this time?

We offer three product lines dedicated to specific applications:

• Coaxials (XT/XTi and P series) for short throw applications,
• Arrayable Constant Curvature line sources (ARCS series) for medium throw
• Variable Curvature line sources (K series) for long throw applications.

All three equally contribute to our growth.

Is there anything you can tell us about the release of new products this year?

Two constant curvature line sources, ARCS WIDE and FOCUS were introduced at PL+S, which are shipping in Q3. These bring the L-Acoustics sonic signature and the flexibility and the performance at a price point that no one would have expected from us. At InfoComm we previewed the 5XT, an ultra-compact and high performance coaxial and the SB15m, an ultra-compact, flyable subwoofer featuring our laminar venting technology. It is also compatible with our KIVA line source to extend its LF resources and range of application to today’s music, with a true reinforced LF contour. The dV-SUB fans will appreciate this one… but…we cannot tell them more at this point, they will have to come to one of our Certified Provider demos to get the picture!

You recently debuted the ARCS Wide and ARCS Focus systems in the US at InfoComm 2012. How do you see these products performing in that region with regards to sales?

ARCS WIDE and FOCUS are the first constant curvature products in the market in the 12” format. Passive enclosures, easy to array and seamless in terms of dispersion with no comb filtering effects. They are ‘no headache’ products in mobile setup and will bring a new level of performance to installed sound. They are attracting all regional and both vertical markets.

Will you be exhibiting at any of the other trade shows this year? If so, which ones, and what will you be showcasing?

We will be present at most trade shows, either directly or represented by our Certified Providers-Distributors or exclusive distributors. But our presence will be multiplied in the field with an extensive demo programme during fall and winter in collaboration with our Certified Providers.

What are the company’s main goals for the rest of the year?

ARCS WIDE and FOCUS will start shipping end of Q3, by the end of the year we will ship 5XTs and SB15M. We will introduce all those with our network of distributors and distribution CPs to the market supporting special local events such as demos, training, and shows.

We would also like to add that we are very thankful to our brand supporters, the certified providers, whether they are integrators, rental network agents or distributors. And, of course, thankful to consultants and sound engineers who specify or use our products on a daily basis. We will try to live up to their expectations and trust by bringing the best ‘toys’ for the future. This industry is about fun for the audience, but behind the scenes our sound professionals also love to have fun at work.

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