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Uncompromising Classical Audiophile Label 2L Relies on Antelope Audio’s Zodiac Gold DAC to “Proof Listen” its High Resolution Masters

Oslo, Norway, February 28, 2012 — Morten Lindberg is well-known in the audiophile community as head of 2L (Lindberg Lyd), a recording label based in Oslo, Norway that has been exporting its premium classical and folk recordings from Scandinavia for over a decade. Lindberg, who insists on extremely high quality production values throughout the entire recording, manufacturing and packaging processes, uses the Antelope Audio Zodiac Gold to ‘proof’ the carefully recorded 352.8 kHz/24-bit stereo master files before they are ever duplicated or distributed to the company’s discriminating international customers.

2L has garnered no less than 12 GRAMMY Award nominations over the last six years — seven of them in categories including “Best Engineered Album” and “Best Surround Sound Album.” These releases, which feature Norwegian composers and musicians, are recorded in spacious concert halls, cathedrals and churches throughout Scandinavia. One of the greatest challenges is to ensure that performances are reproduced in the living room of the listener as accurately as possible, therefore, 2L is always exploring the best mediums, file formats and technologies available: including Antelope Audio’s Zodiac Gold DAC.

The Zodiac Gold is a D/A converter, pre-amp and headphone amp engineered to deliver pristine audio with keenly articulated pitch and a spectacular soundstage. The unique sound of Zodiac DACs is based on Antelope’s Oven Controlled Oscillator and 64-bit clocking technology used by the world’s top audio engineers.

“Working daily with the finest European AD and DA converters on venue recording, our standard is set to the extreme,” says Lindberg. “I was hardly prepared for the overwhelming moment when I found that the sonic qualities of the Zodiac Gold immediately recalled my memory of the recording sessions.” The Zodiac Gold, which is now a key component in Lindberg’s monitoring chain, is also convenient to use on-location. “With the USB, I am able to use the Zodiac Gold in true plug-and-play fashion with my MacBook Pro. This makes it perfectly suited for portable playback in workshop environments.”

“More than 50% of our total revenue as a label now comes out of Hi-Res FLAC file distribution, with international partners like Hdtracks.com, Highresaudio.com and e-ONKYO,” Lindberg continues. “The Zodiac Gold is a perfect match for domestic customers searching for the best sonic values in computer playback of these super-high resolutions.”

While still a relatively young recording label from a classical music perspective, 2L’s accomplishments are very impressive nonetheless. When 2L began its own studio operations 15 years ago, its core business was contracting recordings out to other labels such as EMI/Virgin, Naxos, Linn and Philips and others. Since 2001, there have been well over 50 recordings issued by 2L and among the highlights for 2012 will be a landmark release of TrondheimSolistene – SOUVENIR, which is being released in two parts and will appear on both vinyl and Pure Audio Blu-ray.

While nothing can replicate the exact sensory experience of listening to a recording session in-person, the Zodiac Gold DAC can help listeners come just a little bit closer: “There is no method available today to reproduce the exact perception of attending a live performance,” concludes Lindberg. “As recording engineers and producers we need to do exactly the same as any good musician; interpret the music and the composer’s intentions and adapt to the media where we perform.” For 2L, the Zodiac Gold continues to perform.

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Sennheiser and Paste Magazine to Present 33 Bands in Three Days for Ultimate Music Lovers’ Showcase at Stages on Sixth in Austin

AUSTIN – February 28, 2012: Audio specialist Sennheiser announced that it has partnered with Paste Magazine to present an ultimate music lovers’ showcase during Austin’s famous music week on March 14, 15 and 16. All in all, there will be 33 performances over the course of three days by an eclectic mix of new and established acts held at the Sennheiser-endorsed The Stages on Sixth.

The marathon lineup at Austin’s The Stages on Sixth will include indie rock veterans The Wedding Present, The dBs and Built to Spill, as well as newer acts such as We Were Promised Jetpacks, Blitzen Trapper and Lumineers. Each of the two indoor and outdoor stages will feature sound delivered by premium audio brand Sennheiser.

Sennheiser Returns to Austin

Sennheiser will be sponsoring a showcase at The Stages on Sixth during Austin’s most revered music week for the second time in a row. Sennheiser will have its latest headphones on display, including the Amperior DJ-style headphones unveiled at CES earlier this year, as well as its famous evolution wired microphones. Following are details on locations and times:

· What: Sennheiser & PastePresent The Stages on Sixth, Austin
· When: Wednesday, March 14-16, noon to 6:00 p.m.
· Lineup (may be subject to change without notice)
o Wednesday, March 14: MyNameIsJohnMichael, River City Extension, Apparat, Caveman, Typhoon, The Chain Gang of 1974, Rich Aucoin, Hospitality, Tennis, Van Hunt, Ben Kweller
o Thursday, March 15: Dinosaur Feathers, Howler, Vintage Trouble, JC Brooks, Of Monsters and Men, The dB’s, Rubblebucket, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Blitzen Trapper, Japandroids, Built to Spill
o Friday, March 16: Barr Brothers, Crooked Fingers, Lumineers, The Belle Brigade, Reptar, Rhett Miller, Idle Warship, Alberta Cross, The Wedding Present, Punch Brothers, Glen Hansard

For more information and to RSVP, visit www.sennheiserusa.com/paste.

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Lady Antebellum Expands Tour and Sennheiser Endorsement

Old Lyme, Conn.– February 21, 2012: Few need an introduction to Lady Antebellum, who, in the four short years since its formation, has won six Grammys, scored six number one hits on country radio, has sold over six million albums across the globe and is currently on its 2012 Own The Nightworld tour. Sennheiser is supporting the tour with equipment, such as SKM 5200-II wireless vocal microphones and ew 300 IEM G3 wireless personal monitors, along with the expertise to ensure that no glitches ever distract from Lady Antebellum’s spellbinding performance. With an agreement brokered by Tim Moore, artist relations manager for Sennheiser USA, and Kristy Jo Winkler, Sennheiser global relations manager for the Americas and Canada, reigning Country Music Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards Vocal Group of the Year Lady Antebellum is now a Sennheiser Global Relations endorsed artist.

FOH engineer Brett “Scoop” Blanden was careful to select the perfect wireless vocal mic for the tour. “The stage setup includes a forty-foot runway that extends well in front of the house PA,” he said. “I needed a microphone and a capsule that would be well-suited to all six vocalists – who might all be on that runway at the same time! By using the same capsule, with the same frequency response and polar pattern, on all six mics, I am able to tune the PA without fear of the unpredictable interactions that can occur when different capsules are open on stage.” Blanden selected the Sennheiser MD 5235 dynamic capsule, which features a floating directivity that is super-cardioid at high frequencies and cardioid at low frequencies. The Sennheiser SKM 5200-II handheld RF transmitter completes the vocal setup, and two additional SKM 5200-II/MD 5235 combinations go to the opening acts.

Monitor engineer Peter Bowman organizes the RF channels for the show. “I have had zero RF issues since we made the switch to the Sennheiser 5000 series on vocals,” he said. “In addition, I’m also very happy with how useful the Command Function is for Lady Antebellum. Whether they need the guitar turned down or a cup of tea, they can communicate with ease from any point on the stage.”

Instrument mics include the Sennheiser e 901 on kick, the e 904 on rack toms, the e 902 on the floor tom, and a small diaphragm e 614 on the ride. “I’m particularly fond of the e 904 and e 902 on the toms,” said Blanden, who is himself a drummer. “I love the tonal picture of those dynamic mics – it’s familiar and comfortable to me. The frequency response and transient response are perfect. I can run those inputs flat on my channel strip because all the right color is captured by the mic. The convenient mounting hardware on the e 904 is also nice.” For all three guitar cabinets on stage, Blanden uses the classic Sennheiser MD 421-II. “What a standard! Even in my studio days,” he said, “I was always a fan of the MD 421 on guitars. It has the perfect combination of top-end bite and low-end growl to deliver the ideal rock ‘n roll guitar sound.”

In addition to the eight Sennheiser SKM 5200-IIs for vocals (and their associated command channels), Bowman manages eight Sennheiser EK 300 IEM G3 stereo wireless personal monitors, for a total of twenty-eight wireless frequencies. “I set them myself every day,” he said. “And with the scanning options available on both the G3 and 5000 series, that process is fairly simple. I love that when the monitor system is networked together, I have the ability to set all the transmitters to new frequencies using just one bodypack. I usually scan one bodypack during the day, even before I get power to monitor world, and then use it later to synch up all the transmitters.” For antennas, Bowman uses one Sennheiser paddle antenna and one Sennheiser A 5000?CP circularly polarized antenna. “Although I know there are several valid approaches, this system works well for me,” he said. “Our RF performance has been perfect.”

Even the band’s guitars and bass benefit from Sennheiser wireless technology. To navigate the tour’s large stage with the crowd-pleasing confidence that a wire won’t allow, every fretted instrument is equipped with a Sennheiser ew 572 G3 wireless transmitter, save for one acoustic guitar which uses an ew 572 G2 unit. There are eleven units in all. “Our RF performance has been absolutely flawless,” said guitar tech Steve Castro, who formerly worked with Sugarland. “We all work together to maintain clean channels. If someone gets stepped on, it’s a simple matter to use the scan feature to dial in a new clean channel.”

“The Sennheiser team has really gone above and beyond for us,” said Blanden. “Tim Moore has been there for us during the last four years. Throughout our trips to Australia, Europe and various television performances, Sennheiser is the gear we rely on for consistency wherever we are performing.”

Winkler added, “For decades, Sennheiser has supported emerging artists as well as mega-stars. All of us on the Global Relations team welcome Lady Antebellum to this special tier of artists and congratulate them on their creativity, musicianship, performance excellence, and industry dedication.”

(Photo Credit: © 2012 Adam Boatman)

Hollywood Casino Joliet Goes First Class with K-array Installation

Chicago – February 16, 2012: Offering the excitement of Hollywood just 45 minutes outside of Chicago, Hollywood Casino Joliet recently underwent a major renovation to its entertainment and dining pavilion, which was destroyed by a fire in March 2009. Hollywood Stadium, a sports bar/entertainment venue located within the pavilion, has since been completely rebuilt and now boasts the latest technology and audiovisual elements, including an 80 x 20-foot screen, over 40 flat-screen TVs and a K-array loudspeaker system, the latter of which is distributed by audio specialist Sennheiser.

“After the fire, we took the opportunity to bring our pavilion up to speed both aesthetically and technologically,” recalls Justin Sattazahn, audio-visual supervisor of Hollywood Casino Joliet. “In Hollywood Stadium, I was looking for a stealthy loudspeaker system that would provide great sightlines and high fidelity throughout the room.” He chose a K-array system, including two KK200 arrays mounted to poles on either side of the stage, four KL18ma subwoofers — each of which was mounted inside the stage — and (4) KF12 self-powered monitors.

A Non-Traditional Solution in a Forward-Thinking Venue
Sattazahn, who has a background in the touring industry and recently made the move to casino entertainment, knew that a traditional horn-loaded P.A. system would not be suitable for Hollywood Stadium — which presented both acoustic and visual challenges. The visual challenges included maintaining unobstructed viewing angles to the stage performers, the massive projector screen and the flat-screen televisions scattered throughout the room.

“My initial design was going to be your standard hanging J-style line array,” Sattazahn recalls. “However, since the sightlines were so important and since I was dealing with a room that was very acoustically reflective, the K-array was by far the best choice.” The room, which measures 60 x 125 feet, has 45-feet-high ceilings and is constructed primarily of concrete. “There were a lot of acoustic challenges that we had to overcome, not the least of which were all the reflective surfaces.”

The precise sound dispersion patterns of the KK200 — which have a horizontal throw of 110 degrees and a vertical throw of just seven degrees — helped Sattazahn and his team overcome the acoustic challenges of the venue while maintaining unobstructed sightlines towards the stage. Moreover, by installing the K-array solution, every seat in the house offers a pristine audio experience.

Smooth sounds in a small, powerful package
When it is not a sports bar, Hollywood Stadium is transformed into an intimate music venue that caters to smooth jazz, country, Top 40 dance music and everything in between. Musicians of all genres regularly pass through the venue, and Sattazahn says that so far, the loudspeaker system has gotten high marks: “One of the bigger regional bands that comes in here is called 7th Heaven. When they first saw the K-array system, they said, ‘Is this it?’ But by the end of the show, they had no doubt that the K-array could handle everything they had and a lot more!”

The new K-array system receives regular praise from both performers and patrons alike: “We get a lot of compliments that this is the best system that they’ve ever heard,” says Sattazahn. “Some bands describe the sound as ‘smooth’, and say that it’s as if they are listening to their performance through a set of studio monitors — but in a live setting.”

Based on the successful performance of the K-array system in Hollywood Stadium, Hollywood Casino Joliet is already planning on installation additional K-array equipment in other locations in the near future. “K-array fits our brand and the high-end feel we are trying to achieve in our casino, so we are looking at adding new elements within the casino and the nightclub. K-array is already at the top of my list,” Sattazahn concludes.

Antelope Audio’s Zodiac DACs with iPad Control Bring Extra Level of Convenience and Performance to Audiophiles and Music Lovers

Santa Monica, February 15, 2012 — Antelope Audio’s Zodiac D/A converters are now compatible with iPad, allowing music lovers to enjoy pristine audio of up to 384 kHz, played and controlled from their iPad through the Zodiac DAC.

It is easy to connect and operate. Simply plug an Apple(R) Camera Connection Kit jack into the iPad and then plug in a USB cable to the Zodiac DAC – that’s it. The devices are connected. Then swiftly tap the Music App on the iPad and play the track.

“The compatibility between Zodiac DACs and iPad makes it easier than ever to enjoy high-resolution music from just about any location,” commented Marcel James, Director of Sales and Marketing, Antelope Audio, USA. “As the market evolves and adapts to smaller multifunctional devices — such as the iPad — we want to ensure that we are able to help deliver the highest possible audio quality to all music lovers. We are proud we are giving the people the opportunity to experience the pleasure of pristine audio with just a simple set up of a PC, MAC and now even iPad.”

The Zodiac DACs are compatible with iPads running the latest operating system (e.g. 5.0.1 or later). The DACs support files up to 384 kHz and FLAC files through FLAC player up to 192 kHz.

Short video demonstrating the plug & play functionality of iPad and Zodiac DACs is available here or paste http://bit.ly/zYbAl0 into your browser.

About Zodiac Gold 384 kHz D/A Converter
The Antelope Audio Zodiac Gold is a sophisticated and powerful DAC, Pre-Amp and Headphone Amp engineered to deliver pristine audio with keenly articulated pitch and a spectacular soundstage. The DAC received the prestigious Audio Excellence Award 2012, Tokyo, Japan. The unique sound of Zodiac D/A converters is based on Antelope’s Oven Controlled Oscillator and 64-bit clocking technology used by the world’s top audio engineers. Zodiac Gold DAC is among the very few on the market with 384 kHz audio streaming capability thanks to the custom designed USB controller chip that streams digital audio up to 480 Mbits. A dual-stage headphone driver architecture unveils every sonic detail, while the relay based volume control assures superb stereo imaging at any listening level.

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Sennheiser Helps Renowned Winter Carnival in Minnesota Usher in its first Annual ‘Silent Disco’

St. Paul, Minn. – February 14, 2012 – At the Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival Craft Beer Festival in St. Paul, an annual event that hosts over 60 breweries presenting over 200 craft beers, participants are always looking for new ways to interact and have fun while frolicking in the freezing cold Minnesota air. This year, the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company of Chippewa Falls, Wis. sponsored its first ‘silent disco’ during the festival. The unique event featured 30 pairs of Sennheiser RS 120 wireless headphones for attendees to enjoy while shaking it up on the dance floor.

The silent disco, which lasted 4.5 hours on the evening of January 28th, was an instant success, drawing both eager dance participants and curious onlookers who found the spectacle entertaining to watch — even through bystanders could not hear the music. From a technical perspective, the event could not have been simpler to run, requiring just 30 pairs of Sennheiser RS 120 headphones, two Sennheiser transmitters, an Apple iPad and an Apple iPod Shuffle.

“People were skeptical at first, but by 8:00 p.m. when the disco closed, there were more than 100 people still waiting in line for their turn to dance,” said Matthew Kenevan, owner and founder of Beer Dabbler. “Everyone loved the silent disco, whether they were dancing or watching, and the Sennheiser RS 120 wireless headphones delivered excellent sound quality while making the technical side as simple as possible to run the event.”

The silent disco was designed and run by Full Compass Systems, a national leader in professional audio, video, A/V and lighting systems. In addition to the audio equipment that formed the basis of the silent disco, Full Compass Systems also provided the disco lighting (and disco ball) under a canopied 25 x 25-foot dancing area.

“When we were approached about doing the silent disco, we immediately recommended Sennheiser RS 120 headsets,” said Manny Figueroa, national/international account manager at Full Compass Systems. “They delivered outstanding audio quality throughout the evening — even in 17-degree temperatures — with no additional battery charge required.” A Leinenkugel refreshment stand kept the dancers’ thirst quenched while they danced between the hours of 3:30 and 8:00 pm.

Following the overwhelming success of its very first silent disco, the Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival will now make this an integral part of the festival each year. Kenevan plans to double the size of the event next year, and will purchase twice the amount of Sennheiser RS 120 wireless headphones.

“We had a lot of good feedback on both the silent disco and the Sennheiser RS 120 wireless headphones,” Kenevan commented. “I was able to deliver top of the line audio quality for everyone who participated. I could not have been more impressed with the outcome. I’m looking forward to adding more next year!”

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Sennheiser and House of Blues Renew Marketing Alliance

Wedemark, Germany, February 6, 2012: Four years ago, audio specialist Sennheiser teamed up with the House of Blues – creator of a celebrated collection of intimate music venues. Sennheiser supplied a comprehensive set of its evolution series wired and wireless microphones and personal monitors, as well as Sennheiser headphones and Neumann microphones, to each of the House of Blues’ thirteen locations in the United States. The gear allowed House of Blues’ engineers to optimize sound reinforcement and provide robust RF solutions for the diverse performers that nightly take its stages. In addition, each company benefited from the cross-marketing exposure generated by the relationship. With such an obvious win for Sennheiser, the House of Blues, the musicians, and the concertgoers, both parties gladly renewed the marketing alliance.

Live music powerhouse Live Nation owns the House of Blues, which, in the two decades since opening its doors, has risen to become the USA’s preeminent live music venue for intimate shows. Each location is distinctively decorated with the world’s largest collection of folk art and serves top-drawer food and beverages. The fact that the House of Blues provides state-of-the-art sound reinforcement and lighting makes the venue a top choice of both local and national acts. Sennheiser’s Global Relations Manager for the Americas and Canada, Kristy Jo Winkler, worked with House of Blues to facilitate the renewal. “Our relationship with the House of Blues strengthens Sennheiser’s marketing at the MI and corporate levels,” she said. “Every night, musicians and engineers from around the globe experience the musicality and reliability of our microphones and RF equipment. We’re happy to continue such fantastic exposure.”

Matthew Scoggins, FOH Engineer at the House of Blues Los Angeles, commented, “No matter what the application, when clarity is of the utmost importance, I reach for a Sennheiser mic.” The House of Blues is set up with a full complement of gear, suitable for any of the diverse flavors of contemporary music that the House of Blues hosts. The kits include multiple models of evolution mics for backline and vocals, a couple of Neumann vocal mics and Sennheiser headphones. “The House of Blues prides itself on providing an ideal venue for both our artists and our guests,” said Dan Schartoff, VP Club and Theatre Productions for Live Nation. “Everyone loves the sound we’re getting with the Sennheiser gear, and we’re glad it will continue.”

Brian Fiegelman, A1 tech at House of Blues Dallas, agreed: “The Sennheiser e 900 Series mics are always my first choice. Their tailored frequency responses make it easy to mix everything from gospel to metal. In addition, the durability of their metal casings makes them almost indestructi¬ble… an essential asset that has allowed them to stand up to years of abuse on our Dallas stage!”

House of Blues Dallas production manager Thomas DeBeaudry said that Sennheiser’s robust performance often solves problems and makes Sennheiser devotees of touring engineers and bands. “We sit in a heavily saturated wireless environment,” he said. “On more than a few occasions, we have used our Sennheiser EM 2050 wireless package in place of a touring wireless package because of its ability to continuously scan and eliminate RF interference. We often find that the engineers and musicians prefer our rig due to its ease of use and its bulletproof performance. In addition, the smooth frequency response of the Sennheiser MMK 965-1 capsule generates a lot favorable comments.”

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New York City’s Masterdisk Counts on Antelope Audio Trinity/10M Combination for its Image Stability and Sonic Integrity

New York, January 30, 2012 — Masterdisk, one of New York City’s foremost mastering facilities, has installed several of Antelope Audio’s Isochrone Trinity Master Clock and 10M Rubidium Atomic Clock units in its mastering suites, to maintain stereo imaging and the overall sonic integrity of projects passing through its studios. Masterdisk is installing multiple Antelope Audio Zodiac D/A converters at listening stations throughout the facility for quality control purposes.

According to owner Scott Hull, Masterdisk’s mastering suites were constructed with very high quality acoustics and solid grounding, and were already well clocked —therefore they did not appear to be candidates for improvement. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” he says. Yet, the Antelope 10M — which incorporates a reference generator that is 100,000 times more accurate than the quartz oscillators in most equipment — and the Trinity, which offers 64-bit DSP and up to 384 kHz audio streaming, have had a noticeable impact on performance clocking the digital audio converters in the rooms.

“Image stability can’t be generated, and it has to be maintained through the process,” explains Hull. “You can undo certain effects or jitter but you can’t ‘reimage’ something; you can’t get that image back once you lose it.”

As he further elaborates, any component within the signal chain has the potential to degrade the accuracy of the soundstage. “A lot of processors and many, if not all, workstations give you something back that isn’t quite as stable, as rock-solid, as what you put in,” says Hull. However, driving every component in the system from a high quality master clock can reduce the likelihood of any degradation. “Workstations simply work better by being clocked with a more stable clock. Every step along the way where you can give yourself a tenth of a percent, it adds up to something pretty noticeable at the end. And there’s a marked and audible improvement in the final product when everything is Antelope powered,” he states.

Keeping True Quality Control at the Helm
Hull believes that true quality control at the mastering stage has become increasingly overlooked as budgets have become tighter and clients’ time and involvement have decreased. “We really have to know exactly what we’re sending out the door. We have to have at least two sets of ears on every product that we send out. So we’re putting Antelope Zodiac DACs into several listening stations in our facility just to facilitate quality control passes. Suffice it to say we consider that to be one of the best and most open and accurate DACs we can get. Coupled with the headphone amp, this gives us really good functionality for hearing exactly what’s going out the door at 192 kHz or 96k or 44.1.”

As Hull recalls, one of his mastering engineers initially heard about Antelope Audio’s clocks from his clients, and had a unit brought in to evaluate. He also notes that veteran mastering engineer Vlado Meller, who joined Masterdisk when Universal Mastering Studios closed in mid-2011, was a longtime Antelope Audio user. “Once we’d worked with it and got more of the boxes in more of the rooms we came to like what it did,” Hull reports. “The integrity and sonic experience was better overall, and everyone was happy.”

What matters, he continues, is the integrity of the system from beginning to end, and utilizing a high definition master clock can make a difference to the end result. “Sometimes it’s analog, sometimes it’s digital, sometimes it’s digital and analog. But they do like to play together better when they’re locked to a common master reference. When you’re working from a 96k file or a digital device at 96k, through an analog console and back out to a CD master at 44.1, the fact that everything is resolved to a common reference seems to work.” He comments, “I’m just trying to get to an end result that makes the client nod their head.”

“Mastering Your Favorite Records Since 1973”
Established in 1973, Masterdisk has handled projects by a who’s who of the music business over the years, including – to name just a few mastered by Hull – Bob Dylan, Sting, Lou Reed, Steely Dan, Bruce Springsteen, Panic at the Disco, plus many, many others. Hull recently mastered “25 Years”, a retrospective 4-disc box set from Sting, and Vlado Meller recently mastered new albums for Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction — including iTunes-optimized masters to go along with the vinyl and CD.

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Sennheiser Opens its Technology and Innovation Center in San Francisco: “The Future Made Right Here”

San Francisco, January 26, 2012: For more than 60 years, Sennheiser has stood for the highest quality audio products across all areas of sound recording, transmission and reproduction. This month, the company announces the official opening of its San Francisco- based research lab: SFTC (Technology and Innovation California). The opening ceremony was attended by more then 100 guests from the audio community in the Bay Area. The new research facility — which relocated from Palo Alto in November 2011, is focused on improving the customer experience through digital signal processing (DSP) technologies and combining this with Sennheiser’s world-renowned expertise in electro-acoustics and wireless transmission.

As a research hub for Sennheiser, whose slogan is “The Future Made Right Here,” SFTC creates knowledge in selected areas of DSP and facilitates knowledge transfer to Sennheiser’s product teams around the world. Many of these ideas and technologies are then adopted and integrated into Sennheiser’s consumer, professional or installed sound divisions.

“The Sennheiser culture has always been rooted in innovation and exploring what may be possible in the future,” commented Daniel Sennheiser, president strategy and finance, Sennheiser. “Our new facility in San Francisco leverages an extensive ecosystem of talents that includes not only our own visionary thinkers and researchers, but world renowned academic institutions and corporations. In this environment, our engineers are free to experiment and play with technology and processes that may eventually find its way into various consumer, pro and installed sound applications.”

“Concept Tahoe”
After it finishes developing and testing a concept, Sennheiser may choose to introduce a prototype model to test its market value and gauge end-user interest.

For example, last year at the prolight+sound and NAMM trade shows, Sennheiser unveiled a project that was under development at its SFTC research laboratory: “Concept Tahoe.”

This wireless microphone prototype — which drew a lot of attention by trade show attendees — is not only able to function as a high quality, professional wireless microphone, but also as an effects and processing controller — providing an unprecedented level of creative options to DJs and performers. This functionality is facilitated by the transmission of control data to a receiver, which can control any number of effects or plug-ins in real time using the MIDI protocol. The microphone can also be transformed into a tambourine or a shaker at the press of a button. By using an accelerometer and a rotation sensor, it measures how quickly it is moving and at what angle in space it is currently located. This prototype was demonstrated during the SFTC opening event, and showcased by beatboxer entertainers Butterscotch and Eklips.

“By moving the location of the SFTC to the Bay Area, our team — and by extension the entire Sennheiser organization — is able to leverage our proximity to the technology industry’s leading innovators, product designers and thought leaders. These include other multi-national companies as well as a unique network of start-ups and highly regarded institutions such as UC Berkeley and Stanford University,” commented Veronique Larcher, director of research, North America, for Sennheiser. “At SFTC, our researchers have access to an enormous pool of talent and imagination; risk taking and the cross-fertilization of ideas is strongly encouraged.”

Sennheiser launched its SFTC in 2006 and since then, its research and development work have been manifested in Sennheiser’s groundbreaking products — including the IS-ADN conference system.

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Sennheiser launches “no worries” RF wireless systems

Anaheim, Calif. – January 19, 2012 – Audio specialist Sennheiser is launching its brand new XS Wireless Series at the 2012 NAMM Show. Designed for users who want to easily go wireless, this entry-level series offers complete sets with sturdy units, simple operation and high quality sound. The transmitters have a battery life of up to 10 hours, while a switching bandwidth of up to 24 MHz allows for flexibility in the choice of frequencies. The series is comprised of two vocal sets, an instrument system and presentation sets with clip-on microphone or a headmic.

“With the XS Wireless Series, Sennheiser offers reliability and quality sound at an entry-level price,” explained Martin Fischer, Product Manager for Sennheiser’s wireless systems. “It offers good value for money and will benefit small event and conference venues, houses of worship as well as bands, vocalists and musicians.”

Wireless without fuss
The designers have focused on ease of use: the systems are operated via intuitive menus, they automatically search for free frequencies, and transmitters are synchronized with their receivers via a wireless link. “We wanted to make sure that users can fully concentrate on their performance, their speech, etc. without having to worry too much about the set-up and technology,” Fischer said.

Extras for bands…
XS Wireless includes two systems for vocalists and one instrument set for guitarists. Vocalists can choose between a handheld with a super-cardioid condenser capsule and one that includes a genuine dynamic e 835 capsule. “The XSW 35 system takes the assertive sound of the cardioid e 835 to new user groups,” Fischer added.

… and speakers
For installed sound applications and presentations, users can choose between systems with a handheld transmitter or a bodypack transmitter with either a head-worn mic or an unobtrusive clip-on microphone. Mute buttons on the handheld and the bodypack ensure that speakers are in control of the transmission.

Ruggedness and flexibility
To withstand the rigors of daily use, the true-diversity receiver is housed in a sturdy metal case. In the transmitters, one set of batteries will last for up to 10 hours—not only good for energetic stage shows, but also for long events and conferences. The systems feature freely tunable frequencies within a switching bandwidth of 24 MHz (13 MHz for the E frequency range). This allows up to 12 wireless links to be operated simultaneously, ensuring trouble-free operation even at somewhat larger events.

Visit Sennheiser at NAMM, Hall A, Booth # 6579.

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