This year’s ProLight + Sound show in Frankfurt sees a number of new product introductions by NEXO, covering all aspects of sound reinforcement – networking, amplification and system processing, and, most importantly, the first sighting of NEXO’s new STM Series of high-specification loudspeaker cabinets.
The STM Series is NEXO’s new proposition for the modern touring and rental company, the first scalable modular line array on the market. Its concept combines the best of NEXO Alpha functionality with the technical innovation of NEXO GEO waveguide designs to deliver a system that is both super-powerful, super-flexible and easy to use, and might actually make its owners some money! Scale Through Modularity (STM) is NEXO’s strapline, describing the STM’s ability to scale up or down to suit event audiences from 1,000 to 100,000.
Following extensive market research with some of the world’s leading PA providers, NEXO has turned its back on the dominant line-array trends, taking modularity as the central design principle for its new flagship. An STM system can be configured at will from four discrete loudspeaker elements; M46 main, B112 bass, S118 subbass and M28 ‘omni’ fill modules. System configurations might comprise arrays of main cabinets only, or main+bass, or bass+main+bass. The ability to add extra bass cabinets to the system in order to increase power and headroom without introducing unwanted phase anomalies makes STM unique, the first system to offer scalable LF. Deploying the dedicated subbass cabinets, either in the arrays or as ground-stacks, further increases the options, and the ‘omni’ fill speakers complete the coverage pattern, whatever the scale of the system.
STM Series’ target market is anyone who rents out a PA system, anyone who rents in a PA system, and venues with fixed installations for live performance. It will also be of real interest to tour and production managers, festival and other event organisers.
“The modularity of STM makes it truly all-purpose,” says NEXO’s concert sound specialist Stuart Kerrison, explaining that the badge STM stands for Scale Through Modularity. “ A rental provider can scale up his system from just 6 cabinets a side for a small event, to whatever is needed to handle an arena or stadium application. Even large flown arrays of main+bass+sub are so low-profile that they comply with sightline restrictions for broadcast concerts and events.”
A first for NEXO, the main, bass and omni cabinets are injection-moulded for maximum durability and weather-resistance. Technical Director Francois Deffarges is proud of the system’s bass and sub bass provision, this being one of NEXO’s traditional strengths. “Our extremely powerful Bass cabinet has a frequency response which overlaps that of the Sub and Main modules, providing a valuable increase in LF headroom. With the Sub, we can achieve a similar SPL output to our CD18 unit, using just one 18” driver. And there are advantages in use; two subs can be used back-to-back in cardioid mode, or side-by-side in omnidirectional mode.”
Specified by real-world users, the STM system has been designed for the warehouse, the truck, the roadie and the venue. It is as much about how it packs together for transport as it is about how it sounds; using a range of dolly and bumper accessories, the system can be prepped in the warehouse, loaded onto dollies for transport, and simply wheeled into a venue. All aspects of a sound system’s use have been re-engineered, and its PistonRig™ and REDLock™ rigging technology will allow a single technician to fly an arena system quite easily.
Another first, NEXO is supplying the system road-ready. The STM cabinets are paired with the Nexo Universal Amp Rack, or NUAR, which contains plug-and-play digital patches, real-time system monitoring and control network functionality in addition to two NXAMP4x4s, each of which can power up to 12 speakers, in groups of 3. The NUAR is full of innovation: the first dual-voltage version of the NXAMP, designed specifically for the international touring market: a new Digital Meter Unit (DMU), an intelligent input patch panel providing digital communication with the NXAMP: and a new Digital Patch Unit (DPU), an intelligent output patch panel.
For optional inclusion in the rack, NEXO is offering a choice of network card solutions; the NXES104 is NEXO’s long-established route to EtherSound network control, new at PL+S is the NXDT104 DanteTM audio plug-in card for the NXAMP, enabling NEXO loudspeaker systems to exploit the many benefits of a high-performance AVB-ready digital networking solution. The NXDT104 will distribute digital audio plus integrated control data, automatically configuring its network interface and finding other Dante™ devices on the network.
- it can receive 4 audio streams (24 bits/48kHz) in Dante™ format
- offers a dual port for redundancy and third port for additional remote control
- offers a direct connection to PC using the ASIO format
And, in a further enhancement of NEXO networking functionality, users will soon be able to download from iTunes the first release of NeMo, an app for the iPad and iPhone which provides remote control over a NXAMP network from anywhere in the venue.
In summary, STM inventory maximizes its opportunities to go out to work. It is suitable for a greater variety of jobs. And more jobs means that the cost of the system is amortized at a faster rate, not to mention a higher potential for profitable use. There are other savings designed into the STM system, such as lower crew costs, reduced by the extraordinary innovative rigging hardware. This enables suppliers to compete better in today’s highly price-sensitive rental market.
Specifications of STM Series loudspeaker cabinets
M46 Main Cabinet
Injection-moulded high-power cabinet with innovative components for enhanced performance. Flat-membrane drivers ensure completely even and full-range coverage over entire 90° horizontal dispersion. HF frequency range remains completely linear, using Ketone Polymer diaphragms that enhance tonal response and long throw.
- 4 x 6.5 inch LF/MF Drivers
- 4 x HF Compression Drivers
- 145dB peak SPL
- Frequency response: 85Hz-20kHz
- Dispersion 90° H x 0-10°V
B112 Bass Cabinet
Injection-moulded bass cabinet featuring a Neodymium high excursion 3000W 12″ bass driver with 4″ voice coil. It has the same format – dimensions, weight, gravity centre – as the M46. The hybrid horn-loaded design maximizes the efficiency of the driver, delivering 6dB more than a standard front-loaded driver in this frequency range.
- 1 x 3000W +/- 3cm excursion 12 inch LF Driver
- 141dB peak SPL
- Frequency response: 63Hz-200Hz
S118 Subbass Cabinet
Subbass cabinet featuring a Neodymium high excursion 3000W 18″ driver. A bandpass load ensures SPL output equivalent to conventional dual 18″ subbasses. Same width, double the height of M46 main cabinet, double height of main cabinet so the S118 can be flown in the array or ground-stacked in line. Can be run in omnidirectional or cardioid sub mode.
- 1 x 18 inch LF Driver
- 143dB peak SPL
- Frequency response: 25Hz-85Hz
M28 Omni Cabinet
Injection-moulded all-purpose loudspeaker cabinet which fulfils the role of downfill, providing 120° of horizontal dispersion and 0° to 15° splaying angle between modules. Same width as M46, 2/3 height, the M28 can also be used independently from M46 or B112.
- 2 x 8 inch LF Drivers
- 4 x 4 inch MF Drivers
- 1 x HF Compression Driver
- 140dB peak SPL
- Frequency response: 60Hz-20kHz