In many ways entering the residential speaker category is like opening a restaurant. The food-service industry is famous for dashing the dreams of Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay wannabes, and the competition is just as high.
But that doesn’t stop people from opening new restaurants, and likewise these challenges aren’t stopping the Maine-based audio company Terra Speakers from stepping outside its comfort zone of outdoor audio and into the fire of two-channel and multichannel home audio.
Working with the Academy-nominated sound engineer Dan Wallin, Terra Speakers developed its Wallin Monitor Series of loudspeakers.
Terra Speakers president James Banfield recalls that Wallin contacted the company about its drivers. From there he says a relationship blossomed that resulted with the introduction of the new speaker line, which features a choice of two-way and three-way models.
“He’s worked on 'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,' as well as some Pixar stuff. He’s been in the music and film scoring industry for decades, and he’s received a number of Academy Award nomination,” notes Banfield. “He found us and tried our drivers out, and he used our speakers to score some movies.”
Wallin Monitor Series
The Wallin Monitor series currently features two models: the Wallin Monitor 2 and the Wallin Monitor 3.
Terra says the Wallin Monitor 2 is a two-way loudspeaker that incorporates a 1.1-inch inverted dome titanium tweeter, along with an 8-inch ACAD & MFCS tweeter, and the 8-ohm speakers is rated to produce a frequency response of 40Hz to 22kHz.
The three-way Wallin Monitor 3 employs a 1.1-inverted dome titanium tweeter, a 5.25-inch ACAD & MFCS midrange driver and an 8-inch ACAD & MFCS woofer. The 8-ohm Wallin Monitor 3 is rated to produce a frequency response of 35Hz to 22kHz, and it is 87dB sensitive.
Providing some detail on Terra’s proprietary drivers, Banfield says the ACAD & MFCS drivers utilize a spiderless design, while the tweeter features an inverted dome. The ACAD & MFCS drivers are manufactured in Maine, and the tweeter is manufactured elsewhere to Terra’s specifications.
Internally, the speakers use Transparent Audio cables, which are also manufactured in Maine. He says all of the speakers' cabinets are made locally too.
Banfield adds the Wallin Monitor Series speakers feature crossover networks with 12dB slopes and designs that are based on Linkwitz concepts.
“These drivers are very accurate so you can manipulate them to get them to what you want to hear,” says Banfield. “The cabinets are a composite material that is denser than MDF. The speaker cabinets aren’t light.”
Small Company with Big Plans
At CEDIA 2016, Terra Speakers is running live demos of the Wallin Monitor series and showing other products like its new Five series of outdoor speakers in booth 3722.
Providing some background on the Five series, Banfield says the line is supported by a choice of hardware solutions that enable integrators to setup the speakers in modular soundbar configurations and mini line arrays.
“Ground steaks are also available and the speakers are supported by Terra’s packaged options, or if need be, dealers can create packages,” Banfield stresses. “We can easily accommodate.”
Another noteworthy item from the company that Banfield wants to show CEDIA attendees is the company’s CAMM Series Custom Grilles. This initiative is driven by one of the many local partnerships the company shares in the Maine business community.
This newly introduced program, according to Banfield, provides dealers with the ability to choose custom graphics on CAMM series grilles, and he says it’s a nice way for dealers to offer simple marketing capabilities to their commercial clients.
“We just started doing this,” says Banfield. “We can make any sort of picture or any sort of art they [dealers] want. It stems from the custom world, and it is available for anything. Dealers send us the file, we bring it to a local partner, he scans the file, and he’s good to go.”
The company can respond quickly to dealer requests on everything from cabinets—through a partnership with Michigan-based Leon Speakers—and printing, and it can make just about anything within short order because of its many business partnerships without sacrificing quality.
“Our lifetime guarantee is a huge selling point. It’s exclusively possible because our products are made here in Maine. We know everything that goes out, and we are able to backup the guarantee,” adds Banfield.