Mackie is unveiling a new family of passive loudspeakers that utilize design techniques originally developed for large-format touring systems to deliver greater pattern control and sonic performance than is currently possible with traditional two-way loudspeaker designs.
The new S400 Series are the first loudspeakers to benefit from Mackie Tetrad Technology, that was co-developed with the loudspeaker design experts at Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW). Tetrad Technology effectively challenges the commonly accepted compromise in traditional two-way loudspeakers designs-that a perfect sonic image will deteriorate rapidly as a listener moves off-axis or further away from the loudspeaker.
Tetrad Technolgy starts by replacing the single woofer found in traditional two-way Loudspeakers with four smaller eight-inch woofers, and then adds an unusually large horn in the center of the S408. The result is greater overall low-frequency driver surface area that can deliver more punch than a single 15-inch woofer and a horn that delivers far better pattern control in the upper mid frequencies.
Additionally, since four smaller drivers have a quicker attack (transient response) than a single 15-inch woofer, they can be made to deliver a much tighter and focused low-end with a great deal more impact. As such, this quad driver design is applied to both the S408, which features four eight-inch woofers, and the S410s subwoofer, which features four 10-inch woofers.
Pattern control for the S408 was further enhanced when spacing of the four eight-inch woofers was calculated so that the polar pattern of the drivers matched the polar pattern of the horn at the crossover-both horizontally and vertically. This consistency is important because when sound radiates from a loudspeaker, listeners will typically hear the direct sound first; then they'll hear the energy that is reflected back from the room. If the low-frequency directivity is wide, and the high frequency directivity is narrow, there will be a lot more reflected low-end, which results in a "muddy" tone. Careful attention to detail has eliminated this anomaly in the S408.
Taken together, the spaced woofers and central horn allow for a horizontally and vertically symmetrical design. This means that the off-axis frequency response is the same on one side of the S408 as it is on the other. This is particularly useful when the S408 is used as a stage monitor. As the performer moves, the sound remains the same.