Digidesign Unleashes Reference Monitor Series

Digidesign has unveiled their new Reference Monitor Series (RMS) monitors at the NAB show in Las Vegas. This is the concern’s first branded monitors. The new RMS bi-amped reference monitors were not the result of their acquisition of M-Audio, as most people would assume. Instead Digidesign developed the monitors with the UK’s PMC (Professional Monitor Company). The new RMS monitors unite Digidesign’s expertise in digital audio with PMC’s loudspeaker design skills.

Available as a 5.5-inch two-way (RM1) and a 6.7-inch two-way (RM2), the Digidesign RMS monitors incorporate innovation in almost every aspect of their design – from amplifier topology to acoustics and the deployment of advanced digital signal processing.

Digidesign RMS monitors employ PMC’s Advanced Transmission Line (ATL) technology, which combines sophisticated cabinet engineering, proprietary drive unit and crossover components, and patented absorption materials to deliver enormous benefits over sealed and ported designs. As a result, Digidesign RMS monitors deliver improved audio resolution with a higher sound pressure level, reduced distortion, flat frequency response, and deeper, more defined bass frequencies than other speaker designs of similar size. And since the frequency response remains consistent at all volumes, there is no need to crank the volume in order to achieve maximum bass response.

Although ATL technology provides a more accurate bass response than traditional ported designs, PMC and Digidesign engineers developed a unique Bass Port Emulation feature that allows the monitors to emulate the tonal characteristics associated with ported bass reflex speakers. As a result, the Digidesign RMS monitors make it easy to hear a mix as it truly sounds as well as how it translates to a ported speaker. With the Bass Port Emulation off, the frequency response is flat and free of any additional coloration.

Both monitors benefit from a 48-bit, fixed-point digital signal processing (DSP) engine that manages various tasks, including the monitors’ complex frequency crossover, speaker positioning EQ settings, trim level, and Bass Port Emulation.

The two-way, DSP-based digital crossover features revolutionary steep and pure filter designs that ensure an exceptionally clean transition, with virtually zero phase shift, between the two drivers’ response curves and roll-off rates. The net result is the ideal transition between the high frequency and low frequency drivers as well as superb phase response over a wider listening window.

Each driver in RMS monitors is powered by independent, analog-controlled, Class D amplifier, which combines the efficiency and size advantages of digital amplifiers with the precision, control, and sound quality of audiophile linear amplifiers. The power amplifier section within each speaker is 92% efficient in comparison with a linear Class A amplifier, which generally operates at around 50% efficiency. This means more power for the speakers and less escaping in the form of heat. And unlike typical Class D amplifiers that have a load-dependant frequency response, the specially-designed Class D amplifiers in Digidesign RMS monitors can sense the loudspeaker voltage directly and provide an extremely accurate frequency response regardless of the reactive load presented by the transducers.

Amplifier performance is further enhanced with the inclusion of a linear power supply, which provides two times the peak current headroom and better noise isolation than typical switch mode designs.

RM1 and RM2 Specifications:
• 5.5-inch (RM1) or 6.7-inch (RM2) LF driver optimized for the ATL design
• 1-inch soft dome, ferrofluid-cooled HF driver
• Independent, analog-controlled, Class D amplifier for each driver
• RM1: 80w LF, 50w HF
• RM2: 100w LF, 50w HF
• Balanced analog input (XLR)
• AES 3 digital input (XLR)—accepts 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96 kHz sample rates
• AES digital input (RJ-45)
• AES digital THRU connector (RJ-45)
• HF control: adjustable from -4 dB to +3 dB in 0.5 dB increments
• LF control: adjustable from -4 dB to +3 dB in 0.5 dB increments
• Channel Assign: select which AES digital input channel (left or right) to produce
• Gain Trim encoder: set the input sensitivity from 0 dB to -15 dB

The Digidesign RM1 and RM2 monitors will be available May 2007 at a price of $1,249 for each RM1 and $1,749 for each RM2. More information on the Digidesign RM1 and RM2 monitors.

Author: FutureMusic

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