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Showing posts from tagged with: Qualtron

QUALTRON – audio sound isolation on superyachts

Article by Chris Clifford


Torsten Steinbrecher Qualtron GmbH

Torsten Steinbrecher from Qualtron dedicates this space to Neil Davidson of C-ATS, who explains the advanced and practical approach to the challenges of quality sound isolation onboard superyachts

Yacht Movie Theatre gets engineered acoustic design to minimise sound bleed. Soundproofing the room can make the difference between a superb experience and having Aunt Martha pounding a broomstick on the kitchen floor from above yelling to keep the noise down.

Sound is what separates a true cinema experience from simply watching TV. A dedicated and fully engineered room with effortless dynamics, pumping bass and fully immersive surround sound is a visceral, emotional experience. These qualities which make the experience are also the biggest challenge in cinema design – delivering the experience only to those in the cinema and nowhere else.

There are two distinct elements to optimising cinema acoustic to ensure that the maximum performance can be delivered regardless of the choice of speaker system; Acoustic Treatment and Sound Isolation. The improvements provided by each system can be complementary but by taking a dedicated approach to each, the best results can be achieved. In this article we will focus only on Sound Isolation.

Sound Isolation relates to the construction of the acoustic shell to maximise the attenuation between the cinema and surrounding spaces. We can tackle sound isolation by applying MAID – Mass, Air permeability, Isolation and Damping.

In Sound Isolation, it is important to dispel one myth at the earliest stage. Attenuating the level of sound transfer to a suitable level is our goal – completely preventing the leakage of sound from a high performance cinema is simply not possible making the choice of location very important. This difficulty is most apparent in bass notes which have a long wavelength that is extremely difficult to contain.

Luckily for us, human hearing is much less sensitive to low frequency sounds and this is reflected in the standards used to describe the spectra of noise and in the assessment of isolation performance.

It is convenient to use single numbers to explain performance but in sound that can only ever be a starting point to the overall system design. Understanding noise and isolation ratings is an article all of its own however!

QUALTRON - audio sound isolation on superyachts

The M A I D framework gives us the four elements that we can address when designing the optimal sound isolation solution. Let’s look at these in turn.

Mass is simply the weight of the sound isolation structure. As the mass doubles, the transmission loss improves by 6dB. It is pretty intuitive that a massive and dense structure will block more sound than a light weight one, but this also implies that the structure will use a considerable available floorspace. It is therefore tempting to use a very dense material such as metal panels however the rigidity of these materials actually makes them a poor choice. The rigid material tends to vibrate more releasing much of the sound energy back into the space.

Air permeability is a critical factor. Just as water will find the tiniest crack and seep through it, so will sound energy. Any gaps in the sound isolation shell will greatly weaken the performance and only real attention to detail can ensure that they are blocked during construction.

QUALTRON - audio sound isolation on superyachts

Obvious problems come from items such as doors and windows but much more difficult to solve can be hidden flanking paths such as around duct work or cable penetrations. These tiny hidden flanking paths can cost as much as 10dB decrease in transmission loss so play a huge role in the end result.

Isolation is an often overlooked factor in cinema sound isolation. When you look at that giant subwoofer that will create a 20Hz note at 115dB it should come as no surprise that the resulting sound wave has a huge amount of energy in it. When that energy hits the walls, floor and ceiling that energy needs to be converted to some other form – typically motion and heat – for it to be removed inaudibly.

That same energy however can easily be transferred into the structure at which point it can travel much further than when in air. By isolating the speakers so that they do not couple to anything in the space and isolating the walls, floor and ceiling from the structure you can prevent this transfer. It is much easier to contain the sound in air than it is if the sound couples with the structure.

Damping is our final element in the sound isolation framework. Heavy, rigid objects like metal panels, quickly release energy directing the sound both back towards the origin and outwards towards the rest of the vessel. The use of damping materials on these objects greatly reduces that tendency which results in a similar increase in the transmission loss. An even greater performance can be achieved by layering materials of varying rigidity. Using a so- called limp mass material between two more rigid surfaces makes a tremendous improvement.

With the correct approach it is possible to deliver an isolation performance where any noise leaking from the cinema is reduced to that of the overall background noise of the vessel.

The MAID framework from Cinema Acoustic Treatment Systems can be used to optimise and improve almost any typical construction to deliver the best possible result.

To find out more about how C-ATS can enhance your onboard entertainment environment, please contact Qualtron.
T: +49 4331 43 79 057
E: superyachts@qualtron.com W: www.qualtron.com


Luxury audio with Sonus Faber & Qualtron

Article by Chris Clifford




Sonus faber multi-sensory experience

There are hundreds of loudspeakers brands, yet only Sonus faber can match best performance with luxury.

Our Maiden Voyage
Though our reputation for aesthetic design coupled with high performance was well established on land, we faced a fresh challenge on entering the marine market. A valued client, who enjoyed the beauty and performance of our exquisite loudspeakers in his luxury home, asked us to equip his new yacht to the same high standard. Of course, our technicians and craftsmen were excited to meet our client’s highest expectations. After thorough research and rigorous testing, we were confident of offering the same level of time-honoured craftsmanship and technical brilliance on land or sea. We bring a perfect marriage of heritage and innovation to the world’s most demanding clients.

The heritage of Sonus faber lies in the Italian artisans' know-how and in the values and processes unchanged over the years. Italian Violin making tradition and classic culture are parts of our DNA. Sonus faber creations are crafted like real musical instruments.

Qualtron and Faber

Musical instruments
Sonus faber honours the genius of the most talented creators of musical instruments of all times and the lute making tradition of Cremona – Italy.

Inspired by their genius and by their perfect technique, Sonus faber give life to loudspeakers that are pieces of art, seamlessly blending technology with uncompromising materials to achieve the most exquisite performance and style to create sublime beauty.

The result is a multi-sensory experience, that delights the ears, but also appeals to the senses of sight and touch.

Hand crafted in Vicenza - Italy, Sonus faber embodies Italian flair and luxury, enhancing the interior design of super yachts. Sonus faber also offer a bespoke service where most loudspeakers can be customised to suit the customer’s wishes with multi-layered lacquers to a choice of precious real wood veneers.

Even the in-wall speakers can be customised with wood veneers inserts enhancing their integration in the most exclusive interior decor.

Sonus faber creations are part of the highest ‘Made in Italy’ excellence, expression of our lifestyle. Every detail is important refinement to enhance both your experience and your décor .

Faber audio

Performance is not only about power. At Sonus faber, it also means the clarity of the vocals, and non-fatiguing sound. The use of natural materials, silk domes, cones made of a special compound of paper pulp and wood fibres, contribute to deliver a powerful and natural sound and recreate the power of live music performance. We refer to it as “The Voice of Sonus faber”

For music and movies
Sonus faber offer multiple high performance audio solutions for super-yachts Dolby Atmos theatre rooms, and music/movie/reproduction for living and party spaces.

Sonus faber is proud to be represented by Qualtron in the marine AV market with both companies sharing passion and attention to detail.

If you would like to learn more, please contact Torsten Steinbrecher CEO of Qualtron GmbH.

For more details Tel: +49 4331 43 79 057
Email: superyachts@qualtron.com
or visit www.qualtron.com

Qualtron and Aquavision

Article by ONBOARD Magazine


Qualtron and Aquavision


Qualtron partners with Aquavision in a very challenging project. CEO Torsten Steinbrecher explains how innovative technology delivered the best solution

It was a warm summer day in July 2021 when we were approached by one of our partners asking for a purpose designed 100 inch outdoor TV. What did they want?

A giant 100” television folding out from the deck, bright enough to handle the brightest of bright mid-day sun, but also perfectly viewable during the evening hours without burning your eyes. It is near silent in operation with complete bi-directional IP control giving a response to each command received by the television – and full thermal management, providing real time data of all internal temperatures, heaters, humidity, and cooling status, and obviously with an incredible 4K picture mounted in an IP66 rated enclosure and suitable for use in the marine environment!

No small ask for this project given the constraint that the client asked for delivery in two months. My initial reaction was, leave it with me, we have the right partner to work with. I called Alastair Benn, owner and Managing Director of Aquavision with whom we have realised several other projects. He said, “no problem” and after an ample discussion with him and his team, lots of technical calculations and drawings later, we received a tangible proposal.

But let me pass the word to Alastair now to provide some background information of this interesting and challenging project.

“At Aquavision we already manufacture a 100” outdoor television to a similar specification, so we were straight onto ‘2nd base’. The design of the main project was standard, so we focused on the job specific items. Our normal screen was 2000 cd/m2 (standard screens for home use are 200-500 cd/m2, and some supposedly high bright screens are only 800 cd/m2) so as this was to be right in the middle of the sun deck, we suggested increasing this to 3000 cd/m2. As all “standard” LCD panels pixels invert (go black) when the internal screen temperature reaches 55°C, we had to use a specialist panel capable of handling internal temperatures of up to 110°C. Again, this is no problem for Aquavision as we only ever use these types of panels in our high bright screens, whereas many outdoor TV’s can only be used in the shade!

A 3000 cd/m2 panel is not a standard product, so we had one made through one of our screen partners, built to our exacting specification. This then obviously increased the size of the power supplies that were needed. All good power supplies need thermal cooling, so on a job like this, it was agreed that all power supplies had to be remote mounted so any noise from the fans, and hot air, was ducted away to a different area. Again, no problem as we manufacture everything ourselves in our UK factory.

We then needed to look at the application in more detail.

Most manufacturers of outdoor televisions supply their ‘standard’ products into a marine application. At Aquavision we certainly don’t do this! Standard products are built of mild steel, sometimes Zintec or Galvanised, certainly not capable of handling the salty environment of a marine superyacht.

Qualtron and Aquavision

Aquavision are the only company known to offer a ‘marine specification’. This replaces all steel components, fixings etc with 316L grade stainless steel ones. All areas where different metals touch is coated in Tef-Gel, the enclosure is then zinc plated, and has two layers of specialist marine grade powder coating applied to it for extra protection.

Extra fixings are then added to the chassis and VESA mounts to enable the television to cope with the constant pounding of the boat on the waves.

None of the connectors and sockets are standard. We use IP66 rated connectors. We offer this facility as standard specification on all our outdoor televisions.

This particular television needed an even stronger chassis as it would hinge up/down and then travel face down when not in use. This is not how a standard television could be stored if you wanted it to last more than a few months, so further strengthening of the enclosure and chassis were specified.

Regarding the auto brightness and full IP controlled thermal management that was requested, this is all standard with Aquavision Horizon outdoor televisions. So, wherever you are in the world (subject to internet access and permissions etc), your engineers can examine each television remotely, check all the ambient temperatures, adjust any settings they need to, all while the client is blissfully unaware and sunbathing in front of it.”

A big thank you to Alastair Benn for explaining the finer detail. So, however challenging your design specification, we offer the right solution for the right environment.

For more details:
T: +49 4331 43 79 057
E: superyachts@qualtron.com
W: www.qualtron.com

Superyacht AV technology

Article by Chris Clifford


Torsten Steinbrecher

Qualtron is proud to represent innovative technologies in the rapidly evolving marine AV market. Torsten Steinbrecher, CEO says, “It is with great pleasure we dedicate this space to Innosonix, a pioneer in disruptive AV technology.”

Ideal for superyachts
With a driven passion for audio, Innosonix was founded in 2009 as an engineering office for audio science and research. Their focus on high-class signal processing and audio amplifiers created many projects with high-channel count applications, ideal for superyachts where demand is high. So, the next step was obvious – that technology should come out of R&D and be made available for demanding environments including multiroom and ambisonic applications.

The MAxx multi-channel power amplifiers set an unprecedented standard for high-end audio installations in residential, science, industry and many other applications where high channel count is required. Paired with an unseen low power consumption per channel, the MAxx series perfectly fits the modern world’s requirements to reduce CO2 emissions.

Highest channel density
Rackspace is at a premium in modern super yachts, so why use those square meters on countless amplifiers if up to 32 channels can be packed in only 1 or 2 RU? Besides the rack space, even switch ports, networking and mains cable can be reduced with these highly packed amplifiers.

Ultra-low idle power and pure signal waveforms
This groundbreaking technology is designed to save energy, reduce carbon footprint and offers uncompromising quality. With the custom installation (CI) market in mind, the MAxx² generation is built from scratch based on eGAN (Enhancement-Mode Gallium Nitride) FETs in the power stages of the amplifiers. Thus, the idle loss is reduced by 35% compared to the previous version, resulting in great energy savings for 24/7 installations while reducing carbon footprint.

The low package inductance of those modern transistors gives a clean switching waveform which leads to a nearly perfect switching voltage and, therefore, better linearity. This results in a reduction in harmonic distortion of almost 6dB, so customers enjoy audibly improved audio quality.

Developed and build in-house
Steffen Bätz CEO at Innosonix explains; “To achieve the highest reliability and flexibility when it comes to customer integrations, we develop and build all hard and software in-house, that allows us to satisfy integration needs. The close loop between development and in house production offers a continuously improved quality standard. All amplifiers use a documented ‘RESTful-API’ which we also use as the main control entry, so no hidden commands are implemented - we are open for control for everyone.”


Advanced signal processing
Unlike traditional reliance on dedicated DSP processors, Innosonix opted for FPGA (field- programmable gate arrays) to achieve the highest flexibility since the actual DSP engine is created at every  bootup in hardware and can be easily exchanged with every firmware update. This guarantees low latency and massive parallel signal processing for those high channel counts.

Acoustic designers and Integrators welcome the flexibility offered by their unique FIR (finite impulse response) solution. Besides all the classical processing elements like EQ, the ability to load FIR-filter with up to 2048 taps per channel allows acoustic designers to fine-tune each room for optimal performance. The FIR filters are convoluted at a sample basis, to achieve low latency if desired and not on a block basis. The total FIR calculation power results in almost 4 Giga MACs/sec and about 202 Gigabit/ sec memory bandwidth which can be easily handled by the FPGA DSP core.

In addition to the user-controllable DSP chain, an additional speaker-dsp-chain allows you to load prepared speaker corrections from manufacturers or even build your own library to speed up the deployment and tuning process of hundreds of speakers.

Innosonix also offers a service to create custom speaker presets for any provided speaker type. The goal is to provide integrators with the DSP settings they need to optimize their system performance for speakers that pair with their amplifiers.

A shorter FIR-filter of 512 taps can also be placed inside the speaker-dsp to phase linearize any tweeter and still leave the full room acoustic FIR-filter untouched.

Monitoring and maintenance
Ease of monitoring and maintenance is vital in a challenging marine environment. Innosonix offers a comprehensive set of self-diagnoses in each amplifier to guarantee remote management and predicted maintenance. Each amplifier output sampled back with 24-bit audio grade ADCs to measure the precise output voltage and current of each connected speaker.

The measured voltage is compared to the desired output signal to guarantee its correctness. In combination with inserted pilot tones, the line integrity can continuously be observed. An exciting new feature that will be released in Q3/2022 - impedance monitoring of the connected speaker by calculating the impedance magnitude and phase curves based on any available audio output signal.

Thus, even a broken or altered midrange speaker can be detected by playing music which isn’t normally possible by simple pilot tones.

The values and ethos of the team at Innosonix are shared by Qualtron and our partners. Both companies seek to realize our clients’ dreams with meticulous attention to detail at every stage.

For more details
T: +49 4331 43 79 057
E: superyachts@qualtron.com W: www.qualtron.com