Two novelties in the field of sound equipment manufacturing in Spain, W&dB creates a high-end large format product in its catalog for the first time, the other novelty is that this product is positioned at the forefront of this type of audio systems in Spain.
Nothing like this has ever been manufactured before in Spain, the level of quality in general far exceeds most of the “Line Array” systems currently available on the market, including some of the leading German brands, in our opinion, the GF Quatro is the best system ever made in our country and we can say this, after the results of the extensive tests this new system was put through.
In our test bench we have tested everything including the electronics that feeds this “beast”, for this, we have performed response measurement test, SPL, real wattage measurement of the amplifiers and a final listening with a live band, moreover, in order to carry out the foregoing we moved to the W&dB facilities in Vigo.
Upon our arrival, the technical staff of W&dB had the courtesy of showing us their facilities, the truth is that we were surprised, as we were not expecting to find such type of installations, these last cover an area of about 7000 sqm with all types of machinery, we have been able to check some manufacturing processes, such as wave guides manufactured with 3D technology or its modern carpentry with several CNC machines, we were also surprised by the huge metal laser cutting machine, in short, it was a pleasant surprise to see a national company with this creative and productive capacity.
We finally have in Spain a manufacturer that has managed to design and manufacture a line array system that is up to the challenge with the best product available in the market in this type of sound equipment, W&dB is one of the leading companies in the manufacture of electro-acoustic systems in Spain and Europe, in recent years, the company has been involved in different OEM and ODM projects for other audio brands in Europe, since last year, the brand was reactivated again with new facilities and using state of the art technologies enabling a total autonomy for the manufacture of practically everything.
W&dB was one of the first Spanish manufacturers to design at the end of the 90s one of the first fully functional line array systems. We refer to the Vento2 Pro system which was a product ahead of its time and that, today, still continues to be viewed as not really outdated, despite the fact this last was discontinued.
W&dB has bet strongly launching this type of product, the market of this type of equipment, is much more restricted than other “Line Arrays” of lower level, for several reasons- some are obvious- such as the cost, also, increasing the size results in a higher production costs as well.
In spite of this, the main purpose for introducing a product of these characteristics into the market is to be able to enter in the technical “Riders” which are vetoed by renowned brands, often justified by the quality they offer and, other times,its purely due to marketing issues which,although they may not sound too good, the fact of seeing certain logos in these products becomes an act of faith without any meaning, that is, a tax is voluntarily paid for products that could be bought much lower than the price sold. The GF Quatro is a large format for this type of sound equipment, with a relatively manageable size, the design has been thought avoiding it being a “mastodon”, there are other similar products that incorporate double 15″ transducers, in this case, this unit only incorporates a very high performance customized 15” neodymium transducer delivering 1300 W, with a very high sensitivity for this type of component, the cabinet is manufactured with a system of mechanized cells that give a total rigidity without increasing too much its weight, the format for this 15″ system is a bass-reflex which allows to obtain a precise and tuned bass.
The GF Quatro responds linearly from 40 Hz. that is, you can perform a concert without subwoofers but with a sub feeling.
For the mid frequencies a new 8″transducer was designed, this last features very high performance and sensitivity, quite unusual for this type of components, this last delivers 300 W AES and a sensitivity of 101 dB 1 @ 1m. Each GF Quatro incorporates two 8″ transducers of these characteristics, the performance of these two 8″ is equivalent to almost four similar transducers of 8 “with a lower sensitivity (for example, of 95 dB which is the usual), in order to correct the distance between the acoustic centers in the highest part of the crossover a phase corrector has been designed, this last allows to raise the cut-off up to 2000 kHz in a linear way in presets with high cut-off.
A conical semi-exponential horn has been designed for these two 8 “transducers worked in solid wood with 3D technology, this process is carried out in a new machining line that W&dB has installed this year with 5-axis milling machines. This soft non-resonant horn made of natural wood, gets2 dB more and avoids the problem of diffraction between the diffusers of the highs and the side walls, avoiding problems especially in the high frequency part of the 8 “and joining at the same level the external diffusers of the two wave guides.
The most critical part of any vertical alignment system is the waveguides, for the GF Quatro a new double waveguide system was designed based on the best principle that exists to manufacture this type of speakers, W&dB currently has a specific work place for plastic with 3D technology and subsequent plastic injection systems for final production
The subwoofer that accompanies the GF Quatro is the model BRSW221 the “best seller” of sub-bass systems in Spain. This sub-bass played for the first time in Galicia with the legendary macro orchestra Paris de Noia, since then, it has become the most sought-after subwoofer in our country, W&dB has managed to design a subwoofer that everyone likes, it’s a Bass-Reflex in symmetrical charge that has a brutal pressure, but note please, that it is not a mono note, as it defines the bass notes in a precise way and in all its tones, its SPL is impressive and the sum in phase is much better than any band-pass system or folded horn as we have witnessed during our visit.
As for the components, we have been told that Beyma is one of its main suppliers of transducers, for this new system they have requested to Beyma the different drivers components to equip this new model.
Two new customized loudspeakers have been designed in collaboration with the R&D of said manufacturer for this system, this is to say, a new 8 “and a new 15” transducer, looking for the very best response and maximum reliability.
This new sound equipment has been designed by Alejandro Diaz and Julio Dominguez in the mechanical part and general design, in the adjustment and electroacoustic part of the system we have had the collaboration of Daniel de Celis and José Cabadas.
There is an option to auto-amplify these systems with modules manufactured by W&dB, in this case, we spoke with Luis Alvarez who is in charge of the electronic division, he told us that they made the “Power Pack” with Pascal Audio modules and a DSP designed by W&dB with an Analog Devices chip, for this case, they use the XPRO 3 model which, in our opinion, is a great option for both; sound quality and reliability. The market of large equipment usually requires external amplifiers,however, they also offer to their clients the alternative to use self-amplified or active systems.
It was a cloudy day like the ones as it usually does in Galicia, the test we did in the esplanade that W&dB has in the area where they make the metal parts was not really the best place, however, it was enough for us to assess and draw our own conclusions, in such esplanade they were industrial buildings on the two sides and we did not have too much length, only 70 m in the farthest point, the widthwas alright, about 60 m. We were lucky that it didn’t rain that day, but was quite cold. The first tests were a response measurement, as expected, this measure was correct, then we made a listening test with music, the truth is that we were greatly surprised, especially, for the quality of the highs and even more for the general coherency in the mid-highs, we liked a lot the response of the low frequency of the subwoofer, we found a double 21″ transducer direct radiation, we also listen, in particular, the high definition and precision reproduced by the system, then, we increased the volume and it gave us a tremendous impression, including the subwoofer, the complete system seemed to us of first level, in the afternoon we did another test with live music.
In the afternoon, David Failde, (drummer), Manuel Abalo, (solo guitarist), Diego Grande, (2nd guitarist), Sito Muiños, (keyboard), Eder González, (Bass) and Bruno Pla, (singer),José Cabadas, (sound technician), all of them members of the “Grupo América de Vigo”, a rock band of versions, approached to make the mix, America had the kindness to lend us their mobile stage to perform this test, we were really surprised by the level of these musicians .
The live test was impressive, the mix looked like a CD playing, the drums sounded supernatural, we had never heard a bass sound as good as on this occasion and with such pressure, the perfect voices, the planes of all the instruments and voices were perfectly distinguished and, although we could measure constant 120 dB it did not bother us at all, the perfect coherence, the mix sounded the same everywhere, there was only the problem of the place with some bounces around the adjacent buildings, but except that, we give the highest rating, a 10 note!