History

Here you can see that it’s a long way from the early sound reinforcement leviathans to something as compact as the E0; from the legendary F2 to the incredibly versatile Y-Series or the extraordinarily dynamic bandwidth of the high powered J-Series. This chronicle of events show how d&b audiotechnik has covered the distance from the first 'black boxes' to today’s d&b System reality, from its first facilities in a garage in the German village of Korb to a company with offices and partners on every continent.

1981-1985

1981-1985

1981

Jürgen Daubert and Rolf Belz (the ‘d’ and the ‘b’) register d&b audiotechnik as a business on 18th April in the town of Korb, a well known wine region near the southern German city of Stuttgart. In that traditional garage, Daubert (right) and Belz (left) are seen constructing the first of those special loudspeaker systems.

1984

d&b moves to a former furniture shop in Steinstrasse, Korb. Somewhat bigger but still rather cosy. This year also sees the first ever d&b system connected to a recording studio in the legendary MAXIM club in Stuttgart.

1985

The first complete product line is put on the market: the F1/F2/B1 range. The 'black boxes from Korb' go into production and German rock star Herbert Grönemeyer takes them on tour.

1986-1988

1986-1988

1986

d&b develop a new loudspeaker especially for broadcast applications; the E1 quickly becomes popular for being manageable and visually discreet. Its usage extends to installations, industrial presentations and, last but not least, as a high quality fill loudspeaker.

1987

d&b changes from a partnership to a public limited company with the idea of allowing flexible and transparent participation by company co-workers.

1988

The 1220 is established as a reference for sound systems in the world of theatre and opera.

1989-1993

1989-1993

1989

Since the premises in Korb have become too cramped, d&b moves 25 km away to Backnang, known primarily as the leather capital of south west Germany. But it’s not just in Germany that d&b is expanding; the first venture abroad comes in the form of d&b Scandinavia. Claus Hansen takes on the responsibility for northern Europeans from a base at Aarhus in Denmark, while d&b is brought to the UK by Simon Johnston.

1992

With its Series 02 d&b presents an economical system with a wide bandwidth offering extremely compact packaging for high SPLs and excellent sound quality. The P1200 mainframe, also a new development, becomes another milestone in d&b product history with its modular loudspeaker specific control electronics. It gains the reputation of being the most reliable amplifier on the market.

1994-1997

1994-1997

1994

d&b launch the C4 system – formerly known as 402 – which quickly becomes established as standard touring equipment. The E1 success story in broadcasting and installation markets continues with the further development of the E3. These systems offer greater flexibility, higher sound pressure levels and even better fidelity. All this is achieved in even more compact dimensions.

1996

The MAX arrives. It’s a particularly versatile and efficient monitor for a wide range of applications. Daniele Tebaldi opens the d&b office in Italy, based in beautiful Ferrara.

1997

As a mono amplifier with an integrated controller, the E-PAC marks the entry of d&b into digital signal processing technology. The C7 system is launched, comprising the C7-TOP and C7-SUB.

1998-2000

1998-2000

1998

d&b risks the move into the New World; Colin Beveridge creates d&b audiotechnik in the USA.

1999

By this time d&b has already become a multinational company, and further development is afoot. Shinichiro Yonekura opens the d&b audiotechnik office in Japan. Meanwhile the premises in Backnang are splitting at the seams; it’s necessary to carry out some conversion and reconstruction work and build Factory II. Project demand from World EXPO 2000 leads to the creation of the installation specific Ci7-TOP, Ci7-SUB and CiSUB. The C-Series is the first product Series to offer an installation specific ‘i’ variant.

2000

d&b has redefined sound system standards again and again, and is now doing so in live monitoring with the introduction of the M2. Meanwhile more international offices are opening; Didier Lubin gives France d&b with the opening of the Paris office, while David Rosello heads up the Spanish office in Barcelona.

2001-2003

2001-2003

2001

The fact that d&b is a truly international company is mirrored with the appointment of three new directors: Frank Bothe as R&D Director, Simon Johnston as Marketing Director and Peter Tongue as Sales Director.

2002

The E0 is introduced at the Frankfurt Prolight + Sound show – it’s the smallest d&b loudspeaker to date. It offers an impressive 117 dB SPL and superlative sound for small, near field, delay and surround sound situations. At the other extreme the d&b range of loudspeakers now includes the longthrow additions to the C4 system, the C3 module.

2003

d&b launch the flexible Q-Series, which takes the industry by storm. At the same time the new D12 is the first d&b amplifier to drive all d&b loudspeakers. International market development continues with d&b partnerships in Mexico, Singapore and Korea.

2004-2006

2004-2006

2004

On the new product front d&b launch its phantom product, the Cardioid Subwoofer Array (CSA). Later in the year sees the release of the ROPE C graphical drag and drop software that, along with the d&b Remote network, provides central control and monitoring of its systems. Looking to the east the d&b audiotechnik China office is established, while in the west the renowned d&b C4 system performs for an audience of 1.43 million on the year’s number one North American tour, chalking up a total of 96 shows in 69 cities.

2005

The first months are very busy on the exhibition front with the launch of some very colourful Qi loudspeaker cabinets - the new installation variant of the Q-Series.

2006

One of the first things to be announced on the increasingly multilingual d&b website is the company’s infiltration of the large scale vertical array market with the launch of the J-Series. A brilliant opener to the year in which d&b, quite silently, celebrates its 25th anniversary.

2007-2009

2007-2009

2007

The worldwide presence of d&b grows significantly after gaining distributors for South Africa, Dubai, and the Indian subcontinent. The d&b Remote network experiences updates in the form of the new R1 Remote control software and the d&b R60 USB to CAN interface. Following the M2 success story is the M4 stage monitor, which can be driven passively or actively by the D12 amplifier.

2008

The year starts with the opening of the brand new office building and new production halls in Backnang. At the same time d&b welcome new, even more versatile loudspeakers to the E-Series as well as an addition to the heart of the d&b System reality, namely the D6 amplifier. Only a few months later the annual ABTT Product of the Year Sound Award is presented to d&b for the E8 with its innovative rotatable high frequency horn.

2009

The launch of the twistable T-Series causes a stir in the audio world thanks to its extraordinary flexibility. d&b has to admit that heavy bass still requires a rather large cabinet, an acceptance reflected in the introduction of the J-INFRA and B4 subwoofer. A prestigious partnership comes at the end of the year - the Sydney Opera House, the synthesis of the arts, now shines with a new sound system, made in Germany.

2010-2011

2010-2011

2010

At the beginning of the year the E3, hereafter alive and kicking for sixteen years, is succeeded by the brand new E6. Smaller and lighter, this powerful new loudspeaker equals or exceeds E3 performance in every way. In contrast the somewhat bulkier B4-SUB, employing patented passive cardioid technology, is launched and decorated three times. Judges are exceptionally impressed that, rather than using traditional DSP active technology, the B4 applies PSP, Plywood Signal Processing.

2011

At the age of thirty d&b proudly presents some considerable additions to its family of products, with two new loudspeaker Series for permanent installation. The xA and xS-Series comprise sixteen new loudspeakers, all designed for visual, physical, acoustical and electrical integration into permanent applications. Later in the year d&b loudspeakers shrink to teenyweeny proportions, not in output power but in dimensions: enter the E4 and E5. Shrinking however is not on the agenda when it comes to international markets; new distributors are appointed in Eastern Europe, alongside further expansion in South America, and Asia Pacific.

2012-2013

2012-2013

2012

d&b continues to grow. A new loudspeaker assembly line at the Backnang premises, with added machine shops and automated inventory handling facilities, all come on line at the end of the year. A new plant means new products, not least to contend with the worldwide success of the midsized V-Series line array system introduced earlier in March.

2013

Drawing breath after two big years, focus has switched to divide and control. The division between point source and line array loudspeakers has always been difficult to bridge; the launch of d&b ArrayCalc V7 simulation software at ISE in Amsterdam provides the ideal modeling tool to bring both types of sound propagation simultaneously under full planning control. New acoustic horizons open with spatial sound experiences together with German Robot Pop aficionados Kraftwerk. The end of 2013 also marks the introduction of the first four channel d&b amplifier, the all encompassing D80, providing a touchscreen and all new DSP platform.

2014-2016

2014-2016

2014

February sees the launch of the first column loudspeakers by d&b. The unobtrusive xC-Series is not just aesthetically pleasing, but offers unique performance characteristics thanks to passive cardioid behaviour in the horizontal plane. In July d&b appoints Amnon Harman to drive the success of the company from the newly created position of CEO. A couple of months later the Y-Series expands the product line even further, with point and line source solutions for small to medium size applications.

2015

Following the success of the flagship D80, d&b introduces the mobile D20 amplifier, alongside two four channel installation specific amplifiers, 10D and 30D, sending a clear message to the industry that d&b is serious about installation systems. The launch of ArrayProcessing, a new ArrayCalc feature for enhancing the tonal (spectral) and level (spatial) performance of d&b line arrays, quickly captures praise from the likes of New York’s Apollo and Carnegie Hall. By the end of the year the recently launched 3-way passive V-Series point source loudspeakers are causing a stir with their exceptional mid frequency performance, especially in the vocal range.

2016

In the year the company turns thirty five d&b kicks things off with the launch of the DS10 Audio network bridge; as the first d&b device to be positioned before the amplifiers in the signal chain it offers the seamless interoperability of Dante enabled devices with d&b systems. In the same month d&b presents the multipurpose omnidirectional B22-SUB - a new take on an old friend, the B2. Next up d&b NoizCalc is introduced to tackle the serious topic of noise disturbance at live open air events. The far field noise immission modelling software extends the predictability of d&b systems beyond the listening area to the surrounding neighbours, bringing much needed transparency to a complex problem. In May d&b adds to its global network of wholly owned subsidiaries with a new office in Singapore. Meanwhile ArrayProcessing approaches its first birthday with some well known friends: Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Muse, Coldplay, Take That and Madonna (to name just a few), all go on tour with a little something extra for their line arrays.