Sonifex Show New Rackmount Audio Confidence Monitors At AES2008
30th September 2008
Released at NAB but being shown for the first time on booth 419 at the 125th AES convention are the Reference Monitor range of 1U rack-mounted audio monitors. Each unit offers quality loudspeaker monitoring and accurate, high resolution metering of up to four or ten stereo audio sources.
Complementing the Reference Monitor range are 2 new, high quality 1U rack-mount audio confidence monitors: The RM-CA2 has 2 analogue stereo XLR inputs and 1 unbalanced RCA phono input and the same high quality three speaker system as the Reference Monitor range, with separate class-D amplifiers for each speaker. The unit has a front panel volume control, a balance control, stereo metering and a headphone output with source selector. The RM-CAD8 confidence monitor has all the features of the RM-CA2 together with 4 x AES/EBU, 1 x S/PDIF & 1 x TOSlink digital inputs.
There are also 2 new Dolby decode cards for use with the RM-4C8 Reference Monitor, which can take either AES/EBU or BNC digital audio and decode the Dolby E or Dolby Digital signal for monitoring purposes. The 2 cards are the RM-E1X and RM-E1B.
Managing Director Marcus Brooke commented: "Since their launch, the Reference Monitors have been extremely well received for the quality of their sound and also their outstanding feature set. They’re easy to use and the added 5 band parametric EQ allow you to alter the monitor’s response either to account for poor acoustics in the room that the monitor is mounted in, or to suit your particular listening tastes".
“Some customers have asked for the same audio quality, but with less features, so this is what we’ve announced with the confidence monitors. They have the same excellent sound, but fewer features and a lower price.”
The new confidence monitors will be displayed with a selection of other Redbox digital audio converters, word-clock, audio and headphone distribution amplifiers, microphone amplifiers, matching amplifiers, mixers, source select units, silence detect unit, limiters, a power controller and stereo to mono converters.
The three products in the Reference Monitor range are:
- RM-2S4 Reference Monitor 2 LED meter, 4 stereo channel audio inputs
- RM-2S10 Reference Monitor 2 LED meter, 10 stereo channel audio inputs
- RM-4C8 Reference Monitor 4 LED meter, 8 channel inputs, dual selectors
Each one is a 1U rack-mount unit offering quality loudspeaker monitoring and accurate, high-resolution metering of up to four or ten stereo audio sources (more with the addition of an optional expansion card). Sources may be in any mixture of analogue and AES/EBU digital formats, with sample rates up to 192kHz accepted.
The 5 band parametric EQ can be used to tailor the unit for the room it is mounted in. On testing the units, they are set up to give a flat response across the quoted frequency range, but the parametric EQ allows you to alter the response either to account for poor acoustics in the room that the monitor is mounted in, or to suit your particular listening tastes. Using the free of charge SCi remote control software, preset EQ settings can be selected, or different EQ settings can be created and stored.
Sources are selected via a front panel rotary encoder, with clear LED indication of the current selection. A pair of line-level audio outputs, configurable as analogue or AES/EBU digital, follow the selected source at either a fixed level or one mirroring the loudspeaker volume.
The level of the chosen source is displayed on either one or two pairs of bright, multicoloured 53-segment bargraph meters, with a choice of seven accurately modelled scales/responses to suit different applications and local preferences. A separate phase meter indicates channel correlation or phase error conditions. On the rear panel, open-collector alarm outputs provide hardware indication of sustained underlevel, overlevel and phase errors.
Six illuminated pushbuttons provide access to a range of audio 'modifiers' - instant dimming of the volume, muting of each audio channel, stereo-to-mono conversion, phase inversion and Middle+Side transcoding. On the rear panel, logic-level inputs allow direct remote access to the DIM and MUTE functions.
The three-way loudspeaker system is fed via a DSP-based active crossover and a trio of highly efficient Class-D amplifiers. Careful attention to driver selection, materials and case design, plus active DSP equalisation, has ensured a flat response and outstanding reproduction from such a shallow unit. Each unit can be accessed remotely via both USB and RS232 connections.
An optional addition to the RM-4C8 are one of four video input expansion cards, allowing multiple AES groups embedded within an HD-SDI or SD-SDI signal to be de-embedded and monitored, either with or without Dolby®* E and Dolby® Digital Decoding.
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