Proel embarked on a six-month long demo tour in the summer aimed at promoting its new Axiom AX800A compact powered line array system. Starting in June, the tour officially kicked off at Proel dealer GM Music in Salice Salentino and went from there to Sicily, and will touch every corner of Italy from north to south taking in many urban centres, aiming to meet technicians and rental company owners and introduce them to the features, technologies and capabilities of the new line array with a realistic system demonstration in typical outdoor venue conditions. So far the demo tour has visited many regions from Puglia and Sicily in the south, to Tuscany and Latzio, taking in Lecce, Rome, and Florence aong the way, with three demos hosted at Palermo, Syracuse, and Catania in Sicily alone. Organised by Proel's domestic sales manager Damiano Formiconi, the tour is supported by area sales manager Rocco Camerlengo and also at times by audio designer Mario di Cola.
The AX800A features two 8-inch low frequency drivers and a 1.4-inch high frequency compression driver in a moulded polypropylene enclosure with integrated Class D switchmode amplifier, offering the most advanced technical solutions to be found in this class of product.The low frequency drivers are back loaded by an acoustic transmission line for a significant reduction in low frequencies at the rear of the cabinet, creating natural cardioid behaviour and therefore clean mid-bass reproduction. The AX800A delivers an impressive 132dB maximum SPL, with a frequency range of 85Hz to 16.8kHz over a horizontal coverage angle of 100°, and is designed to partner with the dedicated dual 18-inch powered manifolded bandpass SW1800A in both portable and permanently installed applications. Both products are networkable using Proel's proprietary PRONET software, which enables editing and remote monitoring of a range of operating parameters such as levels, EQ, delay, and compression from a single remote location.
Without a specific planned itinerary in mind, the intention of the demo tour was to respond to customer interest in Italy following the successful launch of the AX800A at ISE Amsterdam and at PL+S in Frankfurt earlier in the year, supported by social media activity on Facebook and Twitter. Dates and locations are fixed on a day by day basis as customers get in touch to register their interest in the products. "We made it known through our dealer network in Italy and social media that we are promoting the AX800A system, and we can respond straight away when people call us and ask for a demo," says Formiconi. "We can either load a van with a small system of eight tops and four subs, or a larger truck carrying 12 tops and four subs depending on what size system would best suit the customer."
Mostly choosing outdoor locations in order to eliminate room effects, preferred venues have typically been outside the warehouses of Proel's rental company partners, where up to 30 people at a time have been able to listen in detail to the sonic qualities of the AX800A system and understand its technical background. The typical equipment setup on this demo tour is either four or six AX800A cabinets flown per side at around six metres and aimed to cover to around 50 metres with the help of EASE Focus3, depending on the dimensions of the locations. Again depending on the location, either four or six SW1800A subwoofers are usually placed altogether in a block in the centre, aligned with SMAART software to give the most even low frequency coverage. Cardioid subwoofer configurations have also been demonstrated, which have proved to be not only highly effective but extremely popular.
"This demo tour has been very successful at reaching out to many of the guests who are either sound engineers or work in rental companies as owners or technicians, who we didn't know previously," says Formiconi. "Many people have been invited by our partner rental companies or their colleagues and so we have made a lot of new friends. When we are asked for a second demo we will then go and visit the premises of the rental company and make an ad-hoc demonstration specifically for them.
"Many of those who attended commented on the high SPL and frequency range that AX800A delivers. The smaller companies work mainly with live music and so are choosing the AX800A as their main system, while the larger companies are looking at the AX800A as a kind of sound reinforcement 'swiss knife' – being very useful and adaptable for many different kinds of applications.
"With this demo tour we are giving the AX800A great visibility and showing that Axiom is a growing brand. We are very pleased to be completing the first system sales already."