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New wave of RCF speakers sends (sound) ripples to the end of the earth

RCF have made a big comeback in the last couple of years. They have redefined the plastic box, renovated the Neodymium driver with higher than ever temperature capability, and for a speaker manufacturer, make some pretty good electronics. Add to this RCF is just about the last manufacturer to manufacture all their own speaker components. (That's to keep their trade secrets a secret) and it shows in the finished products, which were seen recently at the Frankfurt Pro Light & Sound exhibition.

New wave of RCF speakers

RCF had a big and well-patronised stand and it's hard to know where to start with the new release RCF products. There's so many of them and they're all different. New high tech amplifiers, new Neodymium driver technology and plenty of clever design mean this (still European) manufacturer is right on top of the game as far as compact pro audio speaker systems is concerned. So we'll just do a quick fly around the RCF stand and pick a couple of the most obvious products that stood out.

New wave of RCF speakers

The RCF Acustica passive box range is becoming popular in the installation and compact mobile markets. Previously the range went from 8” to 15 +2” boxes in wide and narrow dispersion boxes. Now it gets a whole lot louder with a collection of horn-loaded boxes that are smooth and very well built. This one is the 15” three way plus double eighteen-inch sub combo.

a grainy shot of the same thing in a 12” top and 2 x 23” sub
Here is a grainy shot of the same thing in a 12” top and 2 x 23” sub

One new development for RCF is the utilisation of a new type of amplifier that was originally developed in Denmark by B&O. Most people don't know that B&O have a professional division and they have recently come up with a new design Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) switching amplifier. It is the first of this type of design that has really good top end reproduction and it is set to make some waves of it's own. It's very lightweight, reliable and dissipates almost no heat.

RCF did not waste any time in incorporating this new technology into the new fully pro speaker range they were developing.

The end product has been badger RCF TT (Theatre and Touring) and it's pretty hot.

The range consists of a couple of ultra high powered compact boxes, 2 sub systems and a 15 degree flyable array box that can be a line array, a ground stack or the worlds loudest in-fill box. All powered and very light weight.

This compact powered TT series box can fill a lot of production holes.
This compact powered TT series box can fill a lot of production holes.
At 1,200 watts RMS it is a “killer” wedge, in-fill, FOH or cue monitor. Its big 15” brother has 1,500 watts of power into ultra efficient Neo drivers. Both boxes weigh as if they were plastic music shop products so you can hang them off “disco truss”.
At 1,200 watts RMS it is a “killer” wedge, in-fill, FOH or cue monitor. Its big 15” brother has 1,500 watts of power into ultra efficient Neo drivers. Both boxes weigh as if they were plastic music shop products so you can hang them off “disco truss”.

Next in the line-up there's a 15 x 100 degree dispersion array box is very interesting. I know your thinking, “not another line array!” but this is a little different. The difference is versatility. With the rigging system, it's easy to ground stack and it is horn loaded, self powered, very light weight and easy to use. Each box contains 7 neo drivers and you don't need a lot of them to cover a mid sized show. No processors required and very high output. Also it is very cost effective when compared to a conventional name brand array.

This array box has the amplifier modules on the back for easy access. Rigging is simple and fast
This array box has the amplifier modules on the back for easy access. Rigging is simple and fast
This array box has the amplifier modules on the back for easy access. Rigging is simple and fast

The TT sub bass boxes are a real eye (and ear) opener. A choice of single or double 18” powered boxes that can be easily flown is enough to cover any contingency. This system is a classic “Lego” PA ideal for an operator that has a wide variety of production environments.

A lightweight 2,000 Watt RMS sub powered by the new Danish built PWM
Have a good look at this. A lightweight 2,000 Watt RMS sub powered by the new Danish built PWM switching amplifiers running 2 x 18” 1,200 watt Neodymium drivers. Max output per box is around 139 dB. Switch it on and run!

This is only a sample. Also in the new products pile there was a new installation product called Monitor-Q, a very classy looking ultra-compact chic bar system, and a new conferencing system (Forum) that is also very clever.

Mr. X from Group Tech pictured (feeling very out of place), with some smooth dudes from RCF. You've got to admit it; Italy has the best-dressed road crew in the world. L – R Allesandro Manini the system designer, GT's Mr X, Federico Lugli Eastern export manager and Emanuele Morlini Prpduct Manager
Mr. X from Group Tech pictured (feeling very out of place), with some smooth dudes from RCF. You've got to admit it; Italy has the best-dressed road crew in the world. L – R Allesandro Manini the system designer, GT's Mr X, Federico Lugli Eastern export manager and Emanuele Morlini Product Manager

There seems to be no end to what these guys can pull off and the road looks clear for RCF to dominate that wide centre ground between the entry level products and all but the most stratospheric top end of the audio business. If I was at the top, I'd be watching my back.

Frankfurt Music Messe/Pro Light and Sound show 2006 Top of page
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