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Bowers & Wilkins to unveil new Sound System loudspeaker at Primavera Sound Festival

Katharine Byrne
12 May 2014
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New system will bring hi-fi quality audio to festival venues.

Bowers & Wilkins has announced "Sound System", a new loudspeaker system that brings hi-fi quality sound to festival venues.

The system will be officially unveiled at Barcelona's Primavera Sound Festival that runs from 29th-31st May later this month.

It's a four-way active loudspeaker design and will comprise of four stacks, each of which is over 3.2m tall and encompasses 12 separate enclosures split into three frequency types. It will also be accompanied by 8x15in bass drivers, 8x10in mid-bass drivers, 4x6in FST Kevlar midrange drivers and 16x1in decoupled double dome tweeters.

Sound System

At the moment, it's currently a "one-off commission" designed especially for Primavera Sound, but Sound System uses a number of familiar Bowers & Wilkins technologies, including decoupled double dome aluminium tweeters (currently found in the CM10), Rohacell bass drivers based on those in the CT8000 Custome Theatre range, FST Kevlar midrange drivers from the 800 Series Diamond, Flowport technology to help bass loading, and each enclosure is constructed from birch plywood and braced with Bowers & Wilkins' Matrix strengthening system.

Crossover frequencies are 80Hz, 350Hz and 3.5kHz, with active DSP filters feeding multiple Class D stereo power amplifiers which will combine to produce a total output of 30kW. According to Bowers & Wilkins, a Sound System module of four LF enclosures is capable of producing a huge 120dB at just 8 metres, but the company will be deploying the system at a massive 1,000 capacity geodesic dome.

Sound System

Sound System also manages to overcome the problems of dynamic compression commonly found in traditional PA systems by adapting the acoustic design of Bowers & Wilkins' flagship hi-fi and studio speakers in an enlarged format. Conventional horn-loaded technology is replaced by hi-fi style direct radiating transducers, resulting in dramatically reduced distortion and a much cleaner sound.

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