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RCF Shine at Messa 2005

The Prolight and Sound/Music Messa show in Frankfurt, Germany is the world’s largest audio, lighting and music show. The Frankfurt Messa complex occupies several square kilometres of prime Frankfure realestate. The exhibition is a worthy Mecca for anybody who has an interest in sound and lighting production and wants to make the gear-junkie trip of a lifetime. Just be ready to pay double the normal rate for a hotel room! Yes, it is popular.

Just One of the Twelve Halls Full of Production Goodies Just One of the Twelve Halls Full of Production Goodies

Boeing hangers full of every kind of truss and DMX lighting, acres of PA gear, gig electronics, full-colour lasers, foggers that could hide Sydney – you name it, plus plenty of things you never even thought of. The difficult challenge for any manufacturer in this giant cauldron of gear soup, is how to stand out, when even the biggest names are dwarfed by the mere scale of the show and the 200,000+ visitors.

Lasers for Days!
Lasers for Days!

Bring on the Smoke Machines
Bring on the Smoke Machines

It takes about 4 days of solid walking to get around the whole show, which in the past has been host to many great products, but noticeably absent this year was exactly that – the loads of new products we come to expect each year. There was plenty of the ‘painting and renovating’ of current products, but apart from the curiosities, most manufacturers were just building on products they already had. (Barbie’s got a new hat).

One notable exception was RCF. The last Pro Light and Sound in March 2004 saw a new product range from a relaunched company fresh from a management buyout from Mackie, and most of the products on display were only just going into production as the company had been closed for months. As the RCF staff was now part owners of the company, the motivation was high to bring to market a ‘killer’ product group that would make up for their losses under the previous management. Well 12 months later the new RCF enterprise turned over it’s twenty-five millionth Euro Dollar and was set to make a big impression at the 2005 show.

RCF were not just resting on the worldwide success of the new Art series, exciting new product groups were being prepared for production that would put the revitalised company at the fore front of the pro audio market. There was a couple of very positive ‘hangovers’ from the previous management regime; a great deal of investment had been pored into developing a custom loudspeaker driver range of neodymium drivers. Power handling would chart new territory and weight and frequency response would bring sonic fidelity to a new level from a PA enclosure without loss of reliability. These drivers were originally destined for EAW but now this technology would be applied to the new RCF powered and passive speaker systems under development. The results speak for themselves to anybody who listens to any new RCF Art series box.


RCF 4PRO 7001: It’s new, and at 138dB, it is really up there with the loudest array systems


Hey, it’s powered too.

But they didn’t stop there. On the 2005 RCF stand, there were three new product ranges and some handy additions to the present line up. First up, a timber-powered range (4PRO), released after the Art Series gave the best ‘quality bang for buck’ you can load in to a gig. Demand has been high and production has struggled to keep up. Some new models will no doubt add to the backorders but from what we heard, they are well worth the wait.

“The fact that RCF has been one of the world’s leading driver manufacturers for something like 65 years gives them an “experience pedigree” that is hard to equal.”

Additionally, a very compact 10” + 1” all neodymium driver, 360 watt powered box (Art 310a) made its début to considerable acclaim for it’s lightweight, power handling and amazing output for its size. Louder and smaller than the old model Art 300a: FOH or fold-back wedge, it will be one of those ‘killer’ products that will fit in to a million handy production roles. The fact that RCF has been one of the world’s leading driver manufacturers for something like 65 years gives them an experience pedigree that is hard to equal. Every speaker box in the range is equipped with custom-made drivers. With that degree of flexibility, small details of design can make a big difference in the final product.

RCF Art 310: It hammers most 12” boxes, yet is lighter and smaller. It also makes a ‘killer’ fold back monitor
RCF Art 310: It hammers most 12” boxes, yet is lighter and smaller. It also makes a ‘killer’ fold back monitor

 

RCF Art 310 and the 705AS Sub: An awesome combo
RCF Art 310 and the 705AS Sub: An awesome combo.

To write a complete review of the Music Messa/ Pro Light and Sound Show would take about 300 pages so we’ll stop at the RCF stand. Over the next few editions of Filter, some of the new models will be examined to see if the expectation meets the current RCF users expectations. After the new models will have to be good, any RCF user will tell you how much they love their old ones.


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