Described as “the most advanced cinema subwoofer in the world”, with a frequency range extending from 18Hz to 120Hz and SPL peaking at 145dB, MAG Audio’s new MAG THOR has set out to redefine the cinema experience, by reproducing soundtrack low frequencies well beyond capabilities of conventional subwoofers.
It has achieved this thanks to a combination of ingenious engineering from the MAG Audio team and deployment of Powersoft’s innovative M-Force® M-Drive® amplifier. This has the capability of outputting an exceptional 5000W of nominal amplifier power and thus marks the entry of the Italian manufacturer’s ground-breaking technology into the cinema world.
When the engineering team at MAG Audio set out to design MAG THOR, they had only one goal in mind — to impress and captivate the cinema audience. “The entire history of cinema development is aimed towards that, and the sound system is no exception. The future lies in a smarter approach to whole system design — such as modern 3D immersive sound formats or in decisively new technology — and M-Force offers a giant leap forward”, commented Ivan Kuzmenko, Audio System Engineer at MAG Audio.
From the moment that Powersoft’s M-Force was announced he knew this would lead the Ukrainian company a step nearer that Holy Grail. “Because of its unique combination of massive SPL, subsonic frequency response and extremely low distortion this would give MAG THOR the capability of uncovering cinema soundtrack features that no conventional subwoofer can — detail which the film director and sound team intended while working in the studio but which are rarely available to cinema patrons.” And this is the message that MAG Audio’s sales team will impress on exhibitors looking to immerse their audiences in a new sense of realism.”
Explaining the role played by the innovative M-Force transducer technology, he states, “The Moving Magnet Linear Motor technology offers a totally different approach from conventional voice coil transducers, which have limitations. It creates the possibility of very high SPL while pushing the lower system frequency limit to the subsonic range. Furthermore, thanks to DPC technology, the MAG THOR offers dramatically reduced distortion compared to conventional voice coil based subwoofers.
“Simply put, we are replacing the weakest link, the voice coil. M-Force moves a lot of air through linear displacement — which is exactly what is needed for immersive subsonic effects with modern cinema tracks.
“Last, but not least, the transducer offers extreme reliability because of its rigid design as well as dedicated built-in amplifier with DSP, providing all necessary protection and system fine-tuning.”
But for all its technological wonder, M-Force still had to meet MAG Audio’s challenging requirement, as they had preset the MAG THOR to confidently play back down to 20 Hz. “It also had to outperform no less than two typical dual 18” cinema subwoofers in terms of SPL. With 18 Hz (-3dB) threshold and 145 dB of peak sound pressure, these were easily achieved,” Kuzmenko confirmed.
But with so much air displacement and compression, a further challenge was to assure the rigidness and structural integrity of the enclosure. Therefore MAG THOR involves harder and thicker materials and more internal bracing than a classic subwoofer of this size would require.
The new system can be retrofitted into existing cinema sound set-ups without need for a complete sound system overhaul, but due to the vibration clients will be advised to secure the enclosures firmly to the ground.
It is little surprise that MAG Audio pacted with Powersoft. MAG Audio has had much experience working with their rack amplifiers and modules over the years, enabling them to assess both reliability and performance. “Powersoft has a long history of bringing cutting-edge innovation into mass products, which is why we believe M-Force system will take up the leading place within premium class cinemas” explained Kuzmenko.
The whole development process leading up to the final production models was supported by Powersoft engineers — especially in the latter stages. This included visits from M-Force developers to MAG Audio’s factory to work on prototypes.
The baton now passes to Jérôme Michel, MAG Audio’s Business Development Manager to further exploit the cinema market, a segment for which they have already created a dedicated website. Although based in the Ukraine their outreach will go way beyond, and globally, they already have more than 300 cinema systems spread through 30 different countries.
To broaden their marketing they will demonstrate MAG THOR at all the important cinema tradeshows having first announced the new innovative system during the CinemaCon tradeshow in Las Vegas last month followed by CineEurope in Barcelona.
And Jérôme is equally optimistic. “The cinema market has been constantly evolving since the roll out of digital cinema projection more than ten years ago. Cinemas are looking more and more to attract people with technical innovation to compete with the advanced home cinema market. We already have a couple of very serious cinemas and private demonstrations on the agenda, and our first MAG THOR reference will be an important cinema in Greece, with a projected installation of September 2017.