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All posts tagged Public Address and Voice Alarm (PA/VA) systems

French loudspeaker manufacturers Active Audio and APG announced the signing of a strategic alliance at ProLight + Sound 2016 this week. While both brands will remain independent in their respective activities – and through distribution channels – Active Audio will continue to focus on the Public Address (PA) market, while APG will still cater for live events and large venue installations.

The decision to join forces will foster critical synergies between both companies in R&D, production, financing and ultimately global reach.

As a result, Régis Cazin, steps up as CEO of both Active Audio and APG with immediate effect. Active Audio will now hold 60% of APG shares, while APG’s historical shareholders, Jean-Luc Moncel, Philippe Frarier and Grégory Dapsanse, will hold the majority of the remaining shares.

Commenting on the agreement, Cazin enthused:

All stakeholders at APG and Active Audio feel elated to have this new alliance in place. This immensely reinforces the potential of both companies, and will prove a tremendous development accelerator for us all.
Although Active Audio becomes a major shareholder in APG, we recognise APG’s strong reputation in the market, backed by many dealers and end users who have invested a lot of trust in the company. We wanted APG’s historical shareholders to remain significant shareholders in order to be actively involved in both strategic and operational decisions. We are adamant to preserve both brands and their respective strengths.

Both companies will also keep their existing network of distributors and capitalise on their respective local relays to promote the other brand where only one company is active in a given territory.

This alliance is the result of a common vision and strategy: Active Audio was looking for external growth, while APG France was seeking an investor or industrial partner in order to strengthen its resources. With this alliance, both companies reinforce their position as a challenger to current industry leaders.

Discussions only started in November 2015, and both companies quickly found a number of strategic and operational synergies, with complementary product lines and virtually no overlap: a great opportunity for existing distributors of both brands, which will also benefit end users. According to Cazin:

…sound designers have to manage both the low and high audio power levels in their jobs: With Active Audio products going up to 95dB range and APG’s above this level, we are ideally positioned to offer a whole range of solutions to cater for every need.

Grégory Dapsanse, who becomes Marketing and Business Development Director for APG, will continue to define the product strategy for the brand. Drawing a parallel between both companies, he commented:

The similarities between us are quite amazing: Not only do we have a similar size and structure, but our philosophy and approach of the acoustic world is a perfect match.
Here you have two true French speaker manufacturers who are both designers and assemblers, and whose common goal is to develop high end audio systems. Our core goals are acoustic restitution, directivity and signal management, so the possibilities for a collaboration were perfectly obvious and made so much sense.

Both companies will keep all existing staff. In fact, in light of this alliance, Active Audio and APG have already started recruiting key personnel to support this new business strategy. Last month, APG hired two engineers (support and product) and are in the process of recruiting a sales manager dedicated to the French market as well as a sales assistant, while Active Audio has recruited two people to support their distribution channel and communications.

Summing up this announcement, Cazin said:

I am confident that the strong electroacoustic savoir-faire of our companies, along with the synergies produced by this alliance, will help us continue to develop the specific technologies and solutions that the industry can expect from us and set us aside from the competition.

APGlogo Acitve Audio logo vectorised

Following in depth consultation and acoustic measuring, PEL Services has provided Celtic FC with a modernised Public Address and Voice Alarm (PA/VA) system, without disrupting the day-to-day activities of the stadium.

Celtic FC is the top football club in Scotland and its stadium, Celtic Park in Glasgow, regularly hosts big European occasions to a maximum capacity crowd of 60,000.  The stadium not only hosts matches, but also daily activities in the hospitality suite. Replacing the crucial safety systems therefore had to be phased to prevent disruption, taking advantage of the limited down time between football seasons. This also allowed some efficient spreading of the capital expenditure budget implications too.

Initially, PEL conducted acoustic measurements (crowd noise levels) during a capacity-crowd UCL match, using the services of Acoustics Plus (an independent acoustic consultant).  It identified that crowd noise sound pressure level (SPL) can consistently reach 99dB (A) for at least 10% of the measured period and can reach 112-115dB (A) during goal celebration!

Phase One has now been completed with the existing analogue PA/VA system replaced by PEL with a Bosch Praesideo digital amplification and control system for back-of-house, combined with an Electro Voice (EV) Netmax system for the main stadium bowl area, all connected on a Dante network controlled from Celtic FC’s IT Department. The Equalisation (EQ) of the system was handled by two Sound Web Digital Sound Processors (DSPs). This work has already improved output quality, despite the outstanding need to address speaker types and configuration in Phase three. The new racks not only increase power and quality of signal, they are more compact, more reliable and have power-saving characteristics which will save Celtic FC considerable energy expenditure.

In the design process, looking at a layout which has grown and developed successively in recent years, PEL’s experts identified and advised the Stadium Manager on additional opportunities to enhance the visitor experience as a by-product of essential works.

Phase Two is already underway, with a new match-day entertainment system being installed.

David Howell of Celtic Football Club said: 

We have been delighted to work with PEL once again on a project which we feel has brought great benefits to the Club and our supporters.

PEL Services has considerable experience in providing sound solutions for stadiums, having worked with Aston Villa FC on its Holte Stand and Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow, which played a major role in the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

For over 35 years PEL Services Limited has been a leading UK systems company, designing, supplying, installing and commissioning sound, fire, security & audio visual solutions. In addition, PEL provides a range of service agreements including routine maintenance and fully comprehensive cover, on third party equipment as well as PEL systems, throughout the UK and Eire.