At Superyacht Technology Network, we don’t just talk tech, we touch it, we feel it, we experience it. Two of the team, Jack Robinson (Founder and MD) and Joanna Palmer (Head of Marketing & Operations), were delighted to get the opportunity to spend time with L-Acoustics Creations at their UK HQ in London yesterday.
In the leafy suburbs of North London, their offices are a stunning old post office in a residential street, very unassuming. But behind the doors is the most incredible showroom featuring not only their speakers but a noteworthy art collection curated by L-Acoustics Founder, Dr Christian Heil. As well as an immersive mixing studio, a huge assortment of awards and an upper floor full of tech wizards, coding new software.
Christian Heil earned a PhD in particle physics, but in the late 70s heard the siren song of Pink Floyd at a live concert and felt he could somehow use his knowledge of physics to play a role in how audiences enjoy music. At the same time, he befriended a live sound mixing engineer and realised that the sound in the mixing desk was far superior to other locations around the concert venue. He became intrigued by the technology he saw and heard and as a regular concert attendee, he wanted to make it better. This is where the idea to create sound systems which distributed sound more evenly and precisely began. In 1984, Heil founded L-Acoustics.
L-Acoustics is shaping the future of sound
L-Acoustics are well known in the pro-audio sound system sector but are reasonably new to the superyacht industry which is served through their network of “L-Acoustics Creations Certified Integrators”. However, the company’s dedication to innovation and product design excellence is shaping the future of sound with technologies that enable the listener to have heightened experiences. This now includes the residential and marine markets. For over 30 years L-Acoustics has been the choice of the world’s top clubs, music venues and artists on tour.
The introduction of V-DOSC line arrays in 1994 provided a lighter, more transportable speaker system which allowed an audience at a concert or festival to hear the same sound whether they were at the front or the back. The advent of the line array would change the whole experience of live music since screens could now be placed either side of the stage where previously a wall of speakers had been. The solution was also lighter, leaner, more powerful, and less costly than previous concert systems, enabling the exponential rise in large-scale festivals and touring.
Now a global company with 700+ employees L-Acoustics is poised to take the superyacht industry by storm with its division L-Acoustics Creations.
Feel the music
Just talking about AV systems is not enough, you need to feel it, to hear it. They have showrooms in London, Paris & Los Angeles with other demonstration spaces under development in the South of France, Vietnam & China. The showrooms allow you to test every residential and yacht system. Nick Fichte, the Director of Sales for L-Acoustics Creations introduced us to the ‘entry’ level sound system, Fiji 2.1, part of a product range in which systems are named after islands, or more specifically, archipelagos. Fiji 2.1 is small in size but huge in sound, and we were already impressed. The Archipel Sound Systems range is a selection of solutions suitable for the superyacht industry: professional-grade loudspeakers which are outdoor and marine-rated. Each system is specially designed to connect with your yacht environment and tuned to offer the very same sonic sensations as a festival or live show. Hawaii, Tahiti & Tonga systems are demonstrated in a stereo configuration, but we are told that many integrators use the multi-channel versions in home cinemas as well. The London showroom is controlled by a custom Crestron interface and each system streams music via Tidal on Bluesound Node streamers connected to L-Acoustics own DSP amplifiers.
Not just another loudspeaker company
You may not necessarily go to an incredible concert and think ‘these speakers are so good I want them in my yacht’, but with L-Acoustics Creations that same sound experience is now possible. Listening to Bon Iver live in concert through Ocean, an 18.1.12 immersive sound space, was so moving, it actually made me cry. On the train home from London, I text about crying to a friend and he said, ‘Technology has only made me cry when it doesn’t work!’. Being so overwhelmed with immersive sound and real audience noises was a really intense experience.
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, we were invited to kick off our shoes and lay back and relax, in Island Prestige. Island Prestige is a revolutionary listening lounge for 2-6 people, the ultimate entertainment space. It is a fusion of stunning furniture and state-of-the art audio into a technological masterpiece. The rotating living space can turn to face the sun, the sea or the screen to create a truly cinematic experience, but the real achievement is hidden within the completely bespoke carpentry embedded with 18 concert-grade speakers and two 18” subwoofers. The Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology is built on a 24-channel audio platform. For more full specs and to experience it yourself, please contact Nick Fichte to arrange a showroom tour firstname.lastname@example.org
Mach 10 and we are out of here
The final treat for us, Nick dimmed the lights and at the flick of a button the hugest screen I have ever seen released from the ceiling. We learned this was paired with a Barco Loki 4K Laser Projector and Kaleidescape Strato Movie server which is fed through a Trinnov Altitude 32 AV processor to decode the Dolby Atmos soundtracks to the speaker layout of Island Prestige. Suddenly, we took off with Tom Cruise to Mach 10 plus, with the intensity of being in the jet with him. We spent 2 hours in the showroom, we could have spent 2 days, time flew by as we felt and heard the beauty of L-Acoustics Creations technology.
Go along, you won’t regret it.