Tag: Marine Audio

Technomad Upgrades Chicago River Sightseeing Boats

Technomad LLC, a leader in weatherproof loudspeakers and audio systems since 1995, announces that its Vernal weatherproof loudspeakers are providing audio for narrated tours by Shoreline Sightseeing of Chicago on the waters of the Chicago River.More than 80 Vernal loudspeakers are installed on 18 boats, broadcasting clear speech with supplemental background music on boats ranging from 15 to 50 feet in length.


Shoreline Sightseeing is the premier boat touring fleet in Chicago, operating tours on the Chicago River and the Great Lakes that give visitors a historical overview of nearby architecture and other attractions.According to Chad Rice, Director of Fleet Management for Shoreline Sightseeing, the live and pre-recorded audio narrations are significant to the tours, and the audio is intelligible from the shoreline as boats pass through the center of the Chicago River.

 “We take up to 300 people out at a time, and audio is the most dominant aspect of the experience,” said Rice.“Our customers pay to hear exactly what is happening, whether they are receiving live narration on the Chicago River tours or pre-recorded audio on the Great Lakes tours.The Vernals also provide great musical quality based on our special weekly tours with fireworks, which is the only time we use the loudspeakers for background music.”


According to Scott Voorhis at Tri-Electronics, a systems integrator for professional sound, video, communications and security systems, the owner of Shoreline Sightseeing wanted to replace their existing loudspeakers with systems that could withstand the harsh elements of the Chicago climate.

“This is a year-round operation, and they needed equipment that could survive the humidity, moisture and extreme hot and cold weather that comprises the Chicago climate,” said Voorhis.“The owner had installed ‘weather-resistant’ loudspeakers from another vendor prior to our involvement, and they were forced to repair components on a regular basis.The Technomad Vernals were implemented for their reliability to survive these conditions, in addition to their compact size and outstanding audio performance.We have had zero problems with the Vernals in this capacity: zero failures, zero replacements and zero complaints.”

Voorhis and his team designed the layout of the loudspeakers specifically for each boat, adding two Vernals to the smaller taxis and up to 15 on each of the larger boats.Mounting locations were carefully considered to ensure clear speech intelligibility, even pattern coverage, and to maintain exceptional audio quality.

Rice added that the weatherproofing aspect was a significant factor in Shoreline Sightseeing’s decision to upgrade to Technomad.They have slowly converted most of their fleet to Technomad for audio, with only one boat to go.

 “We constantly had to replace the older loudspeakers, which simply couldn’t handle the rain or moisture even though they were touted as weather-resistant,” said Rice.“We operate tours from March through November, and can run the Vernals year-round.They can also withstand the direct UV rays, which say a lot about their durability.We don’t even remove them in the winter months.They sound great, and their durability is very impressive.”

Each boat has between one and 15 Vernals depending on its size, as well as a dedicated mixer, amplifier, microphone and processing equipment for live narration and PA announcements.The clear speech emanating from the loudspeakers is also ideal for life-safety related announcements in the case of emergency.


Pro Audio Manufacturing a Successful Niche in a Challenging Industry

Technomad Centralizes Green Manufacturing Operations at New England Facility, Contributes to Local and U.S. Economy


Headlines around the world continue to broadcast the dire state of the U.S. economy, along with the associated business closings and job losses.  Manufacturing is one such industry that has been hit hard across the country, with seemingly new announcements every day about another company closing its doors for good.


While the big picture seems challenging at best, plenty of manufacturers large and small are reporting success in a variety of different businesses.  One needs to look no further than New England to discover a thriving local manufacturing scene among the professional audio industry, a niche business that has shown vitality in these challenging economic times thanks to creative, high-quality products and engineering.  Pro audio manufacturers are moving loudspeakers, signal processing equipment and other gear to a variety of customers; cruise ships, theme parks, and stadiums and arenas are among the more active segments.  Sales are steady-to-brisk both in the U.S. and internationally, further helping the bottom line for many companies.


Middle Tennessee University special ordered two blue Technomad Berlin loudspeakers to blend in with stadium and team colors.  The company offers 14 custom colors that do not fade in sunlight, one of many Technomad design features that keep customers coming back.
Middle Tennessee University special ordered two blue Technomad Berlin loudspeakers to blend in with stadium and team colors. The company offers 14 custom colors that do not fade in sunlight, one of many Technomad design features that keep customers coming back.



Technomad, a leading manufacturer of weatherproof outdoor loudspeakers and Turnkey PA systems since 1995, is one of these companies contributing to the success of the pro audio industry as well as the economy.  The company recently celebrated its 13th anniversary of boutique manufacturing in the U.S.A., and has shipped more than 23,700loudspeakers from its manufacturing facility in South Deerfield, Massachusetts.  And in a market where many firms are reducing product innovations and cutting budgets for research and development, Technomad recently introduced two game-changing new products: Schedulon, a new automatic mp3 player and recording system for pro audio and commercial security applications; and PowerChiton, a series of compact weatherproof outdoor amplifier modules that allows system designers to place amplifiers closer to the loudspeaker in challenging indoor/outdoor installations.


“Technomad is proud to contribute to the long-standing tradition of New England manufacturing.  New England has long been recognized as a prominent region for the production and export of electronics including pro audio equipment, and Technomad is just one of many companies that play a role in this ongoing success,” said Rodger Von Kries, Vice President of Technomad.  “We’re also committed to manufacturing all of our products in the U.S.A. to ensure the careful craftsmanship of all Technomad loudspeakers and pro audio products is centralized in our Massachusetts facility, while also contributing to the local, regional and national economy.”


The manufacturing side of the business employs small teams to work on the same hand-built loudspeaker from start to finish, with multiple quality checks along the way.  This process creates a highly consistent production environment that ultimately reflects the cost and quality of the loudspeakers.  Performance data for each loudspeaker is recorded, which consultants and design engineers often use to plan installation points and audio directivity throughout a new venue.  This includes the new GLL (Generic Loudspeaker Library) format, of which Technomad is an early adopter.  GLL format data gives design engineers, consultants and contractors more options in positioning and simulating loudspeakers in large sports, entertainment and other venues that require array or clustered installations.


The new Berlin HiQ models, offering a narrower dispersion pattern in 90x60 and 60x60 versions.
A close-up of the latest loudspeaker product introduction from Technomad: The new Berlin HiQ models, offering a narrower dispersion pattern in 90x60 and 60x60 versions.



The company also employs a green approach to its manufacturing approach, using 100-percent recycled plastic for its black loudspeakers and eliminating lead from the soldering process to comply with strict RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) regulations in Europe.  RoHS compliance has raised Technomad’s profile in Europe and elsewhere overseas, and the company has begun to stock its products overseas to enable faster response times to European orders, and more cost- and time-efficient deliveries.


Technomad’s use of recycled plastic and localized manufacturing operation has led to an increase in LEED-certified projects in recent months.  Functional Devices, a MUZAK affiliate in upstate New York, is one example; the company recently ordered 42 Technomad Vernal loudspeakers for a LEED-certified installation. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction.


Technomad was the first professional loudspeaker manufacturer to introduce Mil-Spec weatherproof loudspeaker systems with exceptional voice intelligibility and superior musical output for the professional audio industry.  All Technomad loudspeakers also have an IP56 rating from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for maximum protection against hazardous materials, shock, and dirt and water ingression — meaning it can survive outdoor elements in the harshest of conditions.


“Pro audio manufacturers in general put a large amount of care into product development, which has allowed our industry to persevere through economic downturns,” said Von Kries.  “Technomad has always been careful to support research and development efforts, and maintain a specific production process that results in a consistent product.  This careful attention to detail is important to our growth as a company, and niche manufacturers such as Technomad, although not household names, are working hard to contribute positively to the economy — in New England and beyond.”


Technomad Paris 616 Speakers Installed on Private Cruise Ship

Technomad Paris 616 loudspeakers were chosen for a small cruise ship which specializes in trips up and down the Intercostals Waterway near Miami, FL. Piper Systems Designs, Niceville, FL, was chosen for the design and implementation of the sound system for the cruise ship, which needed to be rugged, durable, and have sound quality which equaled the aesthetics and “feel” of the ship.

Two (2) of the four (4) Technomad Paris 616 loudspeakers installed on the ship

A view of three (3) of the four (4) Technomad Paris 616 loudspeakers on the ship


» Paris 616 Loudspeakers
» Why are Technomads so Weatherproof
» How Technomads Are Made
» Customer Comments

Technomad Articles: Technomad onboard the Carnival Victory Cruise Ship

» More Information on Marine Audio Systems

Miami, Florida – An interesting example of a Technomad cruise ship installation, featuring a mixture of the fully weatherproof Berlin and Cairo loudspeakers.

System Design and Specification by:

TSG Design Solutions, Inc. (marine audio experts)
West Palm Beach FL 33406
P: 561 967 4511 F: 561 967 1689
Website Email

Thanks to Phil Trau of http://www.pureenergyproductions.com/, who took this photo while on vacation.

Technomad Aboard Cunard Cruise Lines

EL SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA – Wavelength Systems and Design, Inc., finds success with Technomad loudspeakers for on-deck cruise ship entertainment systems. Wavelength recently installed an aft-deck entertainment system, consisting of four Technomad Weather Tech Noho/C Installation model full-range loudspeakers, aboard the Cunard Cruise Lines, Vista fjord. Installed three decks above the main aft entertainment deck, the Noho/C loudspeakers deliver crisp, clear and articulate sound over the complete multi-level area. The Nohos cut through the noise of the environment, without harshness, and due to their ‘EQ compliant’ design, deliver a solid, imp active low-end response that does not weaken or diminish over great distances.

Mr. Greg Dunn, Vice President of Wavelength Systems and Design, notes, “We have been designing permanently installed Technomad systems where the lids for the loudspeakers are easily accessible, so the loudspeakers can be quickly covered prior to wash down. The power and processing rack, which is the equipment that is most susceptible to the elements, is rolled out independently, and the technician just plugs into the Technomad’s jacks. These Technomad systems are usually going out on the fore, aft or pool deck entertainment areas. It’s also nice to get the Technomad loudspeakers in the white, as well as 13 other colored enclosures, which is a feature other manufacturers are not able, or unwilling, to provide in their weatherized speaker models.”

Technomad loudspeakers go into some of the harshest and abusive environments on a ship and, according to Mr. Dunn, “No one ever complains about them. We normally hear back about every piece of equipment we install on a ship, but we have to ask, ‘How are the Technomads holding up?’ and the answer is always, ‘they are working great.’ The comfort level with Technomad is definitely there.

Mr. Dunn continues, “Aside from the weatherization characteristics of a Technomad, if you look at the logistics of the Technomad cabinet construction alone, you can literally ship a Technomad without any packing material. So in terms of using them for ‘bang around’ outdoor, portable, on-deck systems, as well as permanently installed systems, I have never heard any negative comments.”

Derek Warner, freelance audio/video consultant with cruise line entertainment technology specialists, C-Deck 731, of Santa Monica, California, has worked with Technomad sound systems installed aboard the American Hawaiian Cruise ship, Independence, and most recently, the new Technomad system installed aboard Cunard’s, Vista fjord.

During the month Mr. Warner was aboard the Independence, he became familiar with a Technomad system consisting of two Berlin loudspeakers that are permanently installed on the aft entertainment/pool deck, facing into the wind. After he learned the two Berlin loudspeakers had been installed over 18 months earlier, Mr. Warner’s initial comment about the durability of Technomad loudspeakers was simply, “These things are unstoppable!”

Transferring to the Cunard, Vista fjord, Mr. Warner comments on his second Technomad experience. “The Technomad system of four Nohos is sub-mixed from the disco, which overlooks the Vista fjord’s aft-deck. Our first test of Technomad system was for the Easter Morning Sunrise Service. I know not exactly a stunning way to show off the new loudspeakers, since all we were doing was standard vocal PA. But, the DJ and I gave the system a thorough test later that first day at sea. The DJ thought the Nohos were too small to cover the whole deck. Let me tell you, those little Technomads blew everyone away. He’s a believer now; you’ve got yourselves another satisfied customer.”

For more info about the services of Wavelength Systems and Design, contact Greg Dunn, 721 East El Segundo Blvd, El Segundo, CA 90245 Tel: 310-322-9075 fax: 310-322-0720

For more info about the services of C-Deck 731 (since he is never home) reach Derek Warner at derek731@aol.com.