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Technomad Oslo Review

Oct 19, 2010 12:00 PM, By John McJunkin

A tough, weatherproof subwoofer for harsh environments.


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Technomad doesn't provide a lot of detail about the driver, other than that it's an 18in. ferro-fluided unit with a custom cone. And as I said before, the cone is very much custom: based on paper, but after treatment, more resembling plastic. The published frequency response is 32Hz to 300Hz, ¡¾2dB, so the output is pretty flat. The maximum continuous output is published at 126dB, and the maximum peak output is published as 129dB. Speaker impedance is 8§Ù. The speaker's sensitivity is rated at 96dB SPL/1W/1M, so it's not hyper-efficient, but it can handle 1250W continuous power, and peaks of 2500W. The signal is introduced via two Neutrik Speakon connectors in a recessed area of the rear panel. Technomad produces the PowerChiton weatherproof mono block amplifier, which fits nicely into that recessed area in the rear of the speaker. Amazingly, the PowerChiton sports a NEMA IP66 rating, which means it's completely dust-tight and can take powerful jets of water from all directions. It's not quite rated for submersion, but it's pretty close. It's available in 130W, 300W, 525W, and 1500W configurations, all at 8§Ù impedance. It is optionally pole-mountable; has an integrated two-line mixer; and offers Ethernet, wireless, and twisted-pair interface options to receive streamed MP3 audio.

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As to the quality of the sound from the speaker, it starts with a structural advantage, in that the various weatherproofing measures have no audible effect on the low-frequency range like they would on full-range speakers. Technomad does have several full-range loudspeakers available, and I'm not sure how it gets around this problem with those models, but that's another conversation. Certainly, all the polyurethane foam incorporated into the cabinet reduces the efficiency of the system, but to an extent, that can be overcome by sheer force. These woofers want to see 1250W with peaks of 2500W—and that does the trick. With appropriate amplification, these woofers provide very solid, full low end. I integrated them with upper-range PA speakers and found that they did precisely what they were meant to do: fill in the low end that smaller 10in. or 12in. woofers simply cannot. As to the quality of the signal, it is very good. Ported designs can suffer the "one-note bass" disadvantage, but these speakers are well-designed and do not have that disadvantage. They're not studio-monitor-quality speakers, but that's not the intention or goal of the manufacturer here. The goal is to provide substantial, decent-quality low end in extreme environments, and these speakers easily meet that requirement. If you have any applications that demand such a product, I can strongly recommend you consider the Technomad Oslo.


John McJunkin is the principal of Avalon Podcasting in Chandler, Ariz. He has consulted in the development of studios and installations, and he provides high-quality podcast-production services.

Product Summary

  • Company: Technomad
    www.technomad.com
  • Pros: Good-quality low-end audio for extreme environments.
  • Cons: None to speak of.
  • Applications: Low-frequency enhancement in harsh environments.
  • Price: $1,647

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 28.5"x22.0"x19.0"(HxWxD)
  • Weight: 75lbs.
  • Frequency response: 32Hz-300Hz (¡¾2dB)
  • Maximum output (continuous): 126dB
  • Maximum output (peak): 129dB
  • Sensitivity: 96dB SPL (1W/1M, swept sine)
  • Continuous power: 1250W (based on EIA test 426B)
  • Peak power: 2500W
  • Dispersion: Omnidirectional
  • Impedance: 8§Ù (nominal)
  • Connector: 2x Neutrik Speakon
  • LF driver: 18in. custom cone driver, ferro-fluided



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