Launched in 2008 and installed in many OB vans and TV/radio rack-rooms around the world, the Sonifex Reference Monitor range of rackmount audio monitors has been updated with a new loudspeaker system.

Sonifex Reference Monitor‘We’ve had a lot of compliments about the sound of our Reference Monitor products and we’re constantly looking at ways to improve our designs and re-appraise our products,’ says Sonifex MD, Marcus Brooke. ‘Getting an even, balanced sound from a 1U rack based product isn’t easy, and we’ve looked at different methods of improving the sound since the products’ launch – different porting methods, different chassis materials, different damping methods, different crossover points, different EQ and also different speakers.

‘The new speakers are larger in size, allowing more movement and we’ve been able to get a flatter more natural response with them. The system offers a new clarity for monitoring in a 1U rack.’

As well as improving the speaker system, limiting has been introduced per speaker instead of across the mix of the three speakers, and this, together with a slightly higher power output allows the new system to be almost twice as loud as the previous version.

The Reference Monitor range of monitors is unique in that it contains a five-band parametric EQ, which is configurable via a USB connection, so the sound of the monitor can be tailored individually for the environment. The three-way loudspeaker system is fed via a DSP-based active crossover and three highly-efficient class-D amplifiers.

The monitors are 1U rackmount units offering loudspeaker monitoring and high-resolution metering of up to 20 stereo audio sources (and de-embedded/Dolby decoded audio from an HD-SDI stream with the addition of an optional expansion card). Sources may be in any mixture of analogue and AES/EBU digital formats, with sample rates up to 192kHz accepted.

Sources are selected via a front panel rotary encoder, with clear LED indication of the current selection. A pair of line-level audio outputs, configurable as analogue or AES/EBU digital, follow the selected source at either a fixed level or one mirroring the loudspeaker volume.

The level of the chosen source is displayed on a pair of bargraph meters, with a choice of seven accurately modelled scales/responses to suit different applications and local preferences. A separate phase meter indicates channel correlation or phase error conditions. On the rear panel, open-collector alarm outputs provide hardware indication of sustained underlevel, overlevel and phase errors.

Six illuminated pushbuttons provide access to a range of audio ‘modifiers’ – instant dimming of the volume, muting of each audio channel, stereo-to-mono conversion, phase inversion and Middle+Side transcoding. On the rear panel, logic-level inputs allow direct remote access to the Dim and Mute functions.

Each unit can be accessed remotely via both USB and RS232 connections.


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