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Brawny 700-HP Takes Musicality to New Depths

Meyer Sound?s 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofer shakes up marketplace (October 08, 2004)

 
Meyer Sound's 700-HP

Meyer Sound's 700-HP

At its Frankfurt Messe debut last March, Meyer Sounds 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofer shook up the marketplace with its remarkable power-to-size ratio and tour-ready design. In the months since, the self-powered 700-HP has generated widespread industry buzz along with record-breaking sales on the basis of a more subjective characteristic: musicality.

"Certainly the 700-HP is capable of producing extreme low frequencies with clarity and definition," says Brian Lumb of Pro Audio Systems (Bradford, Yorkshire, U.K.). ?Moreover, you hear musical bass lines, and not just a loud thump. The 700-HP is like Meyers 650-P in that regard, only its significantly more powerful.

Lumb reports that his companys twelve 700-HP units have been hard at work at a variety of events, both indoors and out, with styles ranging from liver-shaking urban/rap to light opera. ?The 700-HP has produced staggering results at all the events where we have used it, he maintains, ?and were getting glowing compliments from artists, clients and audience members alike.

The 700-HP incorporates dual 18-inch cone drivers designed and manufactured by Meyer Sound, signal processing, and a two-channel amplifier with total peak output of 2,250 watts. Operating in the 28 Hz to 150 Hz range, the 700-HP was designed to provide high-level reproduction of drums and other percussive material in popular music with extreme peak-to-average signal level ratios, while meeting crucial touring needs such as efficient truck packing, and the capability of being flown or ground-stacked.
 

The 700-HP certainly had both a musical and visceral impact at this years edition of the Isle of Wight Festival, where the principal sound provider, Londons Canegreen, Ltd., employed 24 700-HPs to create a horizontal, low-frequency line array. The ground-stacked cabinets were spaced in a row to effectively narrow the horizontal low-frequency dispersion pattern and thus contain most of the bass energy well within festival grounds. Canegreen project manager Pete Hughes, echoing the sentiments of Brian Lumb, also found the sound to his liking. ?We first used them at the Royal Albert Hall, and I went down for a listen. I was incredibly impressed with?these beautifully musical low end notes coming out of the box.

Sales of the 700-HP are also surging from corner to corner of the European continent. Toward the East, leading hire companies in Slovenia, Hungary and Turkey are supplementing their inventories with new 700-HPs. In Spain alone, more than 90 units are now in service. Up in Scandinavia, Asle Nilsen of Norways AVAB-CAC has a firm order in for a half dozen with more orders likely soon even though he has yet to hear a 700-HP in person. ?A few of my guys heard them at a jazz festival and came back raving about the experience, he says. ?They were simply astonished by how powerful and good-sounding these subwoofers are.

Europes club scene also is feeling the punch of the 700-HP, with a quartet of the cabinets (installed by the Austrian design-build firm Kraftwerk) anchoring the sound in a prime venue at the new World of Nightlife, a sprawling 6,000 square meter entertainment complex in Graz, Austria.

Moving across the Atlantic, enduring British pop-rock icon Rod Stewart toured America and serenaded fans through a system from Sound Image (Escondido, Calif.) based on the MILO high-power curvilinear array loudspeaker. Low end for the system packs a double punch, with a dozen flown M3D-Sub directional subwoofers working in tandem with an equal number of 700-HP cabinets.

Also stateside, the first big festival of Americas summer season Bonnaroo, in Manchester, Tennessee kicked off with help from eight 700-HPs holding down the bottom for a MILO system at one of the events multiple stages. ?These are great multi-purpose subs, says Robin Magruder of Crossroads Audio (Dallas, TX), system subcontractor for that particular venue. ?They are capable of hard-driving thump and smooth, warm depth. With only four per side, they filled a space holding 10,000 people with definition, transient impact and headroom to spare.

Down in Birmingham, Alabama, Robert Hawthorne of Muse Productions planted a pair of 700-HPs on stage as side fill and quickly had a pleasantly shocked client on his hands. ?I never thought the word ?damn! would be something I wanted to hear from a client, he says with a laugh, ?but that seems to be a recurring term. Everybody who has used them has been most impressed.

Scientists in Tennessee might think there has been an upsurge in earthquakes there recently, but, in fact, theyre just detecting the huge complement of 700-HPs purchased by Goodlettsvilles Blackhawk Audio. "We bought 60 700-HPs. You could say that we like them! laughs Blackhawks Rick Shimer. ?Of course, the self-powered aspect is important to us, but, to tell the truth, the real selling point was their sheer brute power."

Another term that echoes from the Deep South to the Northwest regarding the 700-HP is ?bang for the buck. For both Hawthorne and George Relles who operates a thriving regional hire company out of Eugene, Ore. a key factor is the ratio of decibels of bass per cubic foot. According to Hawthorne, ?Its all about truck pack density, and with the 700-HP we get a denser pack. We sent our 700-HPs out with a MILO rig for a big gospel convention, and I looked in the truck and wondered, ?Wheres the rest of the rig? But it was all in there.

For Relles, it almost boils down to a one-for-two formula. ?Ive been in several situations where Ive used one 700-HP per side when I would normally use two 650-Ps, he confesses. ?One was a Cyndi Lauper show with my MILOs, and I was surprised myself at how well it worked. Im really impressed. It makes the low end totally effortless.

The north woods of Minnesota are home to Jon Young of Heroic Productions, whose twelve 700-HPs are spent much of their summertime in an outdoor amphitheater at the Jackpot Junction Casino and Hotel. His impression of the subs: ?Absolutely awesome! They are super clean, and deliver a kick-butt low end.

The musical fare at the Minnesotas casino tilts toward hard rock veterans and country superstars, whereas out in Massachusetts, at the Cape Cod Melody Tent, the local gentry find more appeal in Kenny Rogers, Tony Bennett and the Beach Boys. But the 700-HP is here as well, with a quartet of cabinets supplied by Rainbow Concert Productions of Hampstead, NH.

The 700-HP demonstrates considerable flexibility in all these applications, encompassing varying musical styles and coupled with different Meyer Sound full-range systems both M Series arrays and conventionally arrayed products. Whatever the situation, the same recurring theme resonates across the Atlantic, whether articulated with Brian Lumbs Yorkshire accent or as here in Robert Hawthornes Alabama drawl: ?The 700-HP is not simply uncontrollable punch. For example, we used a pair per side on a Bonnie Raitt theater show, and they were exceptionally musical. You can dial up as much low-end power as you want, or dial it back for a sweeter, fuller sound.


About Meyer Sound
Meyer Sound Laboratories, Inc. designs and manufactures high quality sound reinforcement loudspeakers, studio monitors, equalizers and sound measurement tools for the professional audio industry. Founded in 1979 by John and Helen Meyer, the company has grown to become a leading worldwide supplier of systems for theaters, arenas, stadiums, theme parks, convention centers and touring concert sound rental operations. Meyer Sounds main office and manufacturing facility are located in Berkeley, California, with field offices and authorized distributors located throughout the USA and around the world. More information is available at Tel: +1 (510) 486-1166, Fax: +1 (510) 486-8356, e-mail:
info@meyersound.com, or by visiting www.meyersound.com.

 


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Related Keywords:700-HP, subwoofer, Meyer Sound, Brian Lumb, Pro Audio Systems, Canegreen, Pete Hughes, Asle Nilsen, Sound Image, MILO, M3D-Sub, Robin Magruder, Crossroads Audio, Robert Hawthorne, Muse Productions, Blackhawk Audio, Rick Shimer, George Relles, Jon Young, Heroic Productions, Rainbow Concert Productions,

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