• Interview with Brock Adamson (Adamson Systems)

    In 1983, Brock Adamson founded Adamson. Over the next two decades, Adamson's research led to a number of patents in loudspeaker technologies being published. From those patented principles emerged sound chambers, driver units and rigging systems. Brock Adamson's passion for sound has driven the evolution of Adamson Systems Engineering from a small speaker shop to a company invested in its own factory, with a broad engineering base and a wide range of computer controlled manufacturing machinery. Presently, Brock Adamson continues spearheading the engineering department with new ideas and continues advancing Adamson's manufacturing facilities with automation and machinery. An expansion of the facilities is also in near future plans.

    His son Jesse (pictured below with Brock) has acted as his right hand man and has dedicated himself to growing the sales and global image of Adamson.

    We thank Mr. Adamson for kindly accepting to be interviewed by Doctor ProAudio. Questions combine forum users' suggestions as well as editorial ones.


    ¤ [Doctor ProAudio] - Let’s start from the beginning. How and when did you become interested in sound?
    ¤ [Brock Adamson] - When I was 14 years old a friend of the family gave us a pair of high powered 15” speakers and some 150W tube amps. I built some seriously bad looking plywood boxes with open backs like a guitar amp and plugged them in. I remember playing Foxy Lady from Jimi Hendrix at a ridiculously high level. They sounded great and I was hooked.

    ¤ [DoPA] - What does music mean for you?
    ¤ [BA] - I don’t mind canned music. But a band that can get up and captivate an audience will always impress me. I love live music.

    ¤ [DoPA] - What made you decide to pursue a career in sound reinforcement?
    ¤ [BA] - I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. There are great people and it is less conservative than many alternatives.

    ¤ [DoPA] - What were the early days like and how hard was it to get yourself the market share and reputation in the touring market that you have today?
    ¤ [BA] - The early days were exciting. The fundamental structure of our company today is based on the early development of our Kevlar Cone Technology and waveguide theory.

    ¤ [DoPA] - What is you approach to designing a speaker system?
    ¤ [BA] - Make it more powerful than those in its weight class.

    ¤ [DoPA] - Not that 21” woofers are a new thing, but somehow your T21 subwoofer seems to have created a market trend which seems to contradict the trend for lighter, more compact, systems. Why 21”?
    ¤ [BA] - We already had an 18” line array in the market that had one of the most powerful mid/high systems available. I figured that we needed to build companion sub that would push the boundaries of what people had previously experienced with bass systems. A very powerful 21” sub seemed obvious. Many people dismiss a 21” transducer as slow, under damped or sloppy sounding. But this is all relative to the B/L product of the driver and the mass of the cone. If the relationship between the motor strength and the moving mass are balanced, a 21” can be very effective.

    ¤ [DoPA] - Do you have plans for development of a cardioid line array?
    ¤ [BA] - No.

    ¤ [DoPA] - At PLS 2009, Adamson launched an installation series. Do you foresee that side of your business becoming significant for the company?
    ¤ [BA] - It has already become a major part of our turnover.

    ¤ [DoPA] - What’s your take on self-powered systems?
    ¤ [BA] - We have something coming, but we will let you use your imagination for a few more months …

    ¤ [DoPA] - What lies ahead for the Shooter software? Multi-array modelling, 3D?
    ¤ [BA] - Yes. See above.

    ¤ [DoPA] - We hear that there are new DSP settings in the works for Y-Axis? What improvements will those changes bring?
    ¤ [BA] - The new library is actually just an improvement on how our presets are managed. Version 40 will consolidate our other libraries into one coherent library that also includes Point Series settings.


    ¤ [DoPA] - Which side of the Atlantic would you say the best competitor products come from as far as sound and/or design?
    ¤ [BA] - The European side.

    ¤ [DoPA] - If you could not manufacture speakers, what we would you like to manufacture?
    ¤ [BA] - Maybe Architecture and high-end construction projects, or drive fast cars.

    ¤ [DoPA] - Which way will Adamson be going on in the future?
    ¤ [BA] - We plan to stick to the path we are on. It seems that our clients like what we do. The integration of electronics is our direction.

    ¤ [DoPA] - Which way do you see the industry going in the future?
    ¤ [BA] - AVB [Editor Note - Audio/Video Bridging, new standard that enables synchronous, low-latency, audio, video and data transport over Ethernet for consumer and professional use. The AVNU Alliance site has more info] clearly has clearly has everyone’s attention. And as an industry we need to get rid of all of these incompatible networks and offer full interoperability between different manufacturers equipment. There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors surround networking. But there are currently billions being spent on software and chip development for AVB devices. The big players are all into AVB. Broadcom, Marvell, Intel, Cisco, Xilinx, Samsung and Apple are all in there. Even the new G4 mobile backhaul networks will be 802.1AS compliant! (AVB protocol) Essentially the entire communications world is converging on one packet based (Ethernet) protocol which is AVB.

    ¤ [DoPA] - Any other thoughts you would like to share with our readership?
    ¤ [BA] - Pay attention to AVB!!! It is an inevitable next step.