In the same week that saw the return of London’s PLASA Show, in High Wycombe, Martin Audio opened its doors to the industry to give an overview of its entire production line – most notably TORUS, the brand’s recent constant curvature array. This was an ideal chance to catch up with the team and celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary.
Welcoming guests was Martin Audio Managing Director, Dom Harter. Prior to entering the venue, each attendee took a lateral flow test, with COVID-19 protocols continuing on entry. “Previously on these open days we used to take guests on a factory tour,” opened Harter. “However, through the past year-and-a-half, we’ve prided ourselves on being a COVID-safe facility, which is how we’ve been able to keep our warehouse open throughout 2020/21. We’d hate for it all to go wrong now.”
All guests were ushered to a cornered-off part from the main warehouse. En route, we got to walk through a museum of vintage Martin Audio products, dating back to the start of the company. In his opening speech, Harter paid tribute to Martin Audio’s Founder, David Martin. “He had a real vision to improve sound at live events,” explained the MD. “When he visited shows at the time, he was always disappointed with the sound quality and as such, set about modelling speakers that had different size transducers as well as different techniques for each frequency pass band. All this with the view of having speakers with more energy, higher sound levels and low distortion for clean sound at live events.”
Despite half a century having passed since Martin first created the brand around these principles, most if not all still hold true in the company’s current offerings.
Harter continued: “What has changed today is that we have a vast array of products with lots of different applications, but overall, the approach to having a low distorted sound, consistent coverage and control over where the sound is going has stayed with the brand over 50 years and remains very much part of our goal for live audiences.”
Taking over the session was Martin Audio’s Robin Dibble, who walked through the range of install products in the ADORN range, the company’s first true entry into the commercial marketplace. Moving our way up to the range of speakers, another notable highlight was a chance to hear TORUS.
“We realised we had somewhat of a gap in our products, so we spent the past few years looking at the constant curvature market and came up with TORUS,” explained Harter. “It was three years in the making with mathematical modelling of individual parts and lots of prototyping and refinement as we went through the design process with a view to push what is possible with this type of sized enclosure. The net result is delivering what we at Martin Audio think is the definitive constant curvature array.”
It wasn’t just loudspeakers that were on show at the open day as the team also demoed its latest beta software DISPLAY 3. This is the company’s latest 3D prediction software that the MD explained differs from others in the market for one main reason. “Many other prediction solutions on the market predict the sound coming from the grill of the loudspeaker, then work out how that interacts with the cabinets nearby, which gives you the shape. DISPLAY 3 on the other hand, systematically goes through every row of seats in a venue, calculating the sound arriving at each person and then coming up with the optimal FIR settings and angles to ensure consistency in the space.”
He continued: “DISPLAY 3 is going to continue to grow and incorporate more features and more of Martin Audio’s product lines. This means we can provide sound from small bars and restaurants all the way up to huge events such as BST Hyde Park.”
Stay tuned for further coverage of Martin Audio’s 50th anniversary milestone in the November/December print edition.