In Memoriam: NEXO Speaker Designer Matthias Larrieu, 1985-2015

by Naomi Crews

Matthias LarrieuNEXO Speaker Designer Matthias Larrieu has passed away after a car accident. He was only 30 years old.

PLAILLY, France — The industry mourns the loss of one of talented young NEXO loudspeaker designer Matthias Larrieu, who lost his life in a car accident in June. He was just 30 years old. Larrieu joined NEXO in September of 2008 was a major contributor to systems such as company’s flagship STM Series modular line array. Larrieu had studied electroacoustics and environmental acoustics at IUT d'Angoulême, as well as the Université de Technologie de Compiègne, where he received his degree in mechanical engineering with a specialty in acoustics.

In his nearly seven years at NEXO, Matthias left a truly impressive mark.  A core member of the design team on the STM Series modular line array, he was also instrumental in the development of other groundbreaking NEXO products, notably the 45°N-12 inline stage monitor and the hugely popular RS sub-bass cabinets. His last project for NEXO was the STM M28 compact line array, which, in its first year on the market, is already set to become one of the company’s best-selling P.A. systems.

NEXO’s gentle giant, Matthias balanced his genius with great kindness and amiability. This most sociable of engineers liked nothing better than explaining the intricacies of his work to potential users from all over the world, and seeing the light in their eyes when they understood just what he had achieved. His enthusiasm made him widely loved by both colleagues and customers. NEXO director François Deffarges remembers the young Matthias, then aged just 23, putting perspective on the scale of an R&D challenge: “But François, if you can seethe mountain, it is no longer an obstacle!”

Most engineers would take decades to achieve what Matthias did in his short life. With his many patents shaping future sound reinforcement technology, his real legacy can already be found on concert stages around the world, bringing music and pleasure to hundreds of thousands of people.

He will be missed by his co-workers, family and many friends throughout the industry.