The sound reinforcement loudspeaker market is competitive for manufacturers, but the French company is making its mark with its product’s directivity control, reports Guillaume J. Schouker
In the booming and harsh world of the live industry, many sound reinforcement loudspeaker manufacturers claim their products have precision sound, maximum directivity, flexibility, durability, ease of use and feature their sonic signature, whether it is for touring or fixed and permanent installation. In this very competitive market, the ‘best’ sound is the key word.
A French company has made its way, slowly but surely: Kyu systems. This SR loudspeaker manufacturer is located in Normandy, within the city of Caen, and was first created in 2010 by Thierry de Coninck, Romain Cahu, David Hoffmann, Jérémy Anne and Marc Weyant. Today, the company is a subsidiary of SAS Audiotech rental company.
Kyu systems managing director, Marc Weyant explains: “The name of Kyu is simply the phonetics of “Q” or quality factor, a term used by acousticians.”
He adds: “The company employs just two workers, with all the jobs concerning the manufacturing of the outside cabinet works being sub-contracted. Only the assembly part of the components, filters, loudspeakers and wave guide are produced within our workshops. I personally deal with the QT [quality control] before packaging. The R&D are carried out now mainly by David Hoffmann and me.”
Romain Cahu used to be part of the team, but has moved to other projects since.
”Other stakeholders are involved in specific jobs in research and development in particular, mechanics,” says Weyant.
He reveals that: “The principle of Kyu systems rests on the index of directivity “DI”, which wants to be the most homogeneous as possible and the most correlated with the frequency. All in all, any accident of directivity is avoided, so that the environment [of reflected sound] does not colour in a destructive way the sound emitted by the speaker.”
He adds: “A speaker system emits a three-dimensional field which depends on the nature of the transducers, the slopes and the cross filters as well as possible delay correction networks, which are electronic or DSP. This electronic correction acts only in one two-dimensional field, it would be vain to hope to correct an acoustic problem with an electronic solution. All our work is based on real measures in 2D and 3D, which we confront with simulations of BEM FEM [based on the structure of finished elements].”
He mentions: “Another important point which constitutes the DNA of Kyu systems is the research of the smallest denominator concerning the harmonic distortion of odd row. We do not select the transducers, which claim to have the most output, but those which display the lowest harmonic distortions. We prefer the polymeric diaphragms to the metal ones. In general the Klippel GmbH diagnostics in audio systems help us in decision making. »
Weyant states that: “The credo of Kyu systems company is the effectiveness and the speed of installation. We have the easiest and fastest line array systems to install whatever the environment, and this, by only one or two persons. Thanks to the patented polarisation actuator, it is the angles that are in conformity with the prediction and not the reverse. Because the angles are adjustable continuously with an accuracy of 0.25 degrees.”
He recalls: “Each manufacturer has developed their own acoustic wave guides, and we patented ours in 2005 – a convergent unicellular acoustic lens ‘UCAL’, which is the spinal column of our line sources. By the way, this one has inspired a very well-known European manufacturer.
“We do not make any difference in the development of the systems dedicated to the fixed installations such as concert halls, theatres, and that of rental companies. On the contrary, you may have noticed that our product range is very succinct, however it satisfies all the areas we carry from with the smallest to the largest stages. Why should we propose a plethora of acoustic devices if we can control directivity? The rest is only a question of scale.”
Last October, during the four-day Festival Nördik Impakt (pictured), an independent and electro music festival happening in Caen, Kyu systems were installed in two of the three concert halls. In Hall 3, one could see line arrays with 24 Kryter12, plus 8 Tk36 sub-woofers and 16 Xo15. In Hall 1 were placed 24 Kryter10, 6 Tk36 subs and 6 Xo15. In addition to those two large concert venues, Le Cargo hall also featured Kyu systems. Ro15 series are being added to Le Cargo’s permanent installation this month.
Weyant says: “More and more concert halls ask us for demonstrations of our diffusion systems in view of a replacement and this is very encouraging.”
Adding: “Curiously, Kyu systems technology arouses more great interest abroad then in France where the market comes down to three or even four major trademarks.”
Photo credits: Jacob Khirst