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British invasion at AES 137 as PMC and Solid State Logic plan new launches

The QB1 Active (QB1-A) is a large-scale, ultra-high-resolution studio monitor, while the L300 is the latest compact addition to the SSL Live series of consoles

Two high-profile product launches by British pro-audio manufacturers Solid Stage Logic and PMC will be among the highlights of the 137th AES Convention in Los Angeles next week.

Reference loudspeaker manufacturer PMC will unveil the QB1 Active (QB1-A), a large-scale, ultra-high-resolution main studio monitor with analogue and digital (up to 192kHz) inputs. Ideal for either soffit-mounted or free-standing use, each QB1-A incorporates the latest generation of PMC’s driver designs, Class-D amplification, ‘Advanced Transmission Line’ (ATL) bass-loading technology, DSP control and a quartet of 10″ carbon fibre/Nomex piston bass drivers to create what PMC calls a “single reference monitor that has the transparency, resolution, dynamic range, frequency response, forensic sense of detail and wide, consistent imaging demanded by the international audio élite. The QB1-A will be launched at booth 1628.

The QB1-A has its roots in an observation by PMC’s design team that there are “no large-scale active studio monitors on the market taking advantage of the latest developments in loudspeaker driver analysis and design and DSP-aided control”. This starting point, coupled with PMC’s own research into driver performance using opto-acoustic laser inferometry at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL), honed the design of the QB1-A. “We saw that there was a gap at the high end of the market,” explains Oliver Thomas, R&D project manager at PMC. “In the main, the current products on the market don’t offer the flexibility of analogue and digital inputs, and suffer from giving listeners an insufficient sense of resolution compared to what can now be attained with good Class-D amp design and DSP-aided crossover management.”

Another UK brand, Oxfordshire-based Solid State Logic (SSL), has announced a major expansion to its SSL Live console range with the release of the compact SSL Live.L300 console and v2.5 software. Released one year after the introduction of SSL’s first live console, the larger L500, the company says the new console and major new software update “signals [its] dedication to remaining at the leading edge of the live sound industry for many years to come”. The L300 will be shown on SSL’s AES booth, 1409.

Both the L300 and its bigger brother are designed for applications in touring, installation, houses of worship and theatre. “At SSL, we believe that offering a more compact console should not mean compromising and reducing quality or features,” says a statement from the company. “Both consoles offer the same immaculate, huge SSL sound and the same superb operator experience. There are no compromises in build quality and both consoles use and can share the same remote I/O.

“The L300 is physically smaller than the L500, so it is a more compact, lower-cost option, with no hidden performance compromises – it’s that simple. Compact it may be, but the L300 delivers the power and connectivity to handle large-scale productions, with up to 568 input/outputs, 128 processing paths (96 full, 32 dry), a 32 x 36 matrix, 36 VCAs and 48 FX slots.”

The 137th International AES Convention will take place from 9–12 October at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Read PSNEurope‘s full show preview here.