PL+S 2012: EM Acoustics move into self-powered territory

UK loudspeaker manufacturer EM Acoustics presented a range of self-powered products at this year’s Prolight + Sound 2012 show, in a move that breaks new ground for the company.

Each of the new products are self-powered versions of existing products, with each utilising the same amplifier and DSP package. Denoted by the suffix ‘SP’, so far they include: X3-SP, X3-DFSP downfill, MSE-218SP, MSE-156SP and MSE-159SP.

Additional self-powered items are planned for the near future, retaining both the same features and design.

EM Acoustics operations director Mike Wheeler, commented on the company’s approach to its new direction: “Whereas many manufacturers would remove the passive circuitry within a self-powered product, our philosophy has always been that the passive crossover is an integral part of the loudspeaker. Therefore, a monobloc amplifier is used for any product containing a passive crossover, (the MSE-159 is the first powered product of this type) thereby keeping the passive circuitry. In this way, DSP processing is kept to a minimum and sonic performance between passive and powered versions is maintained as closely as possible.”

The choice of Class D amplifier technology was a crucial part in the development of the new products, while PFC (power factor correction) power supply circuitry is designed to ensure universal mains voltage operation, eliminating the need for market-specific products and related reliability issues.

Every EM Acoustics self-powered product contains the same DSP card, which handles high and low pass filters for MES-218SP, X3-SP and X3-DFSP, as well as dynamic limiting and compression functions to protect the loudspeaker in extreme conditions. They are also equipped with a user-selectable analogue or AES/EBU digital input.

The PC-based control software allows users to create custom DSP presets as required, whilst retaining the original. A Neutrik Ethercon socket on the rear panel allows remote monitoring and control via CAT5e Ethernet.

“We are extremely proud of our self-powered range,” noted Wheeler. “We’ve managed to develop extremely high class products in a time frame that frankly defies belief, yet all the while remaining true to our values and our philosophy that passive technology continues to deliver better results, even in an environment where you cannot bypass the need for DSP. We believe that we’ve managed to combine the two for outstanding results.”