Something New is in (on) the Air

FM55andCat 420If the station across town suddenly starts to blow everyone else off the dial, blame it on the new FM-55 audio processor. We let the cat out of the bag a few weeks ago, and there’s no putting it back.

We put some interesting new circuitry in the FM-55, and there’s no question that our intelligent five-band AGC coupled to a multiband limiter is getting those highs, lows and mids to sing.

Frankly, even Jeff Keith, Wheatstone's senior development engineer, says he’s blown away by the sound. Much of the design that went into the FM-55 involved balancing out – in real-time -- large density variations found in so much of today’s source material. The processing intelligence needed for that kind of sound improvement historically came at a price, usually three to four times that of the FM-55. “This hasn’t been available at this price point before. That's the surprise factor," he comments.

During the FM-55’s introduction at the NAB spring show, both Jeff and fellow audio processing geek (a.k.a. Wheatstone processing engineer) Mike Erickson suspected they might have a hit on their hands. "We knew we were on to something when people went out of their way to come back (to the booth) and listen to it a second, even a third time,” says Mike.

Not until the processor started shipping to stations did the two know for sure, though. “We knew what it could do testing it in our audio processing lab, but there is nothing like getting it out in the real world.  The initial feedback has exceeded even our expectations,” adds Mike.

Next up for the team: Wheatstone’s new SG-192 stereo generator, which is expected to be out on the market in the next few weeks. You can contact Jeff or Mike for questions on the new FM-55 and SG-192. 

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