Ethos The fundamental character or spirit of our approach to design; the underlying sentiment that informs our beliefs, customs, practices and our dominant assumptions

 

                                 White Paper  

 “The typical loudspeaker product is designed to make money and not necessarily to provide accurate sound reproduction. Since customers prefer small, unobtrusive speakers and judge sound quality by the amount of bass that they hear and by high frequencies they had not noticed before, there is a staggering number of essentially identical designs on the market that meet these requirements at different price points. No wonder then that there is a generic loudspeaker sound and that you can always tell whether something you hear originates from a speaker or a live source. The marketing departments of the different speaker manufacturers are busy to point out differentiating features and breakthrough inventions when it comes to the highest price points, but in reality box loudspeaker design has come to a dead end and all you will hear are slight variations on the same theme. The fundamental problems of box re-radiation and non-flat power response in a room are at best only partially solved by these designs. “

“Sound reproduction is about creating an auditory illusion. When the recorded sound is of real instruments or voices there is a familiar, live reference in our auditory memory. The illusion of hearing a realistic reproduction is destroyed by distortion that is added anywhere in the signal chain from microphone to loudspeaker, but the speaker is by far the biggest culprit. Every designer focuses on the on-axis frequency response as if it were the all determining distortion parameter. Sometimes great attention is paid to the phase response in an attempt to preserve waveform fidelity, which at best can only be achieved for a single listening point in space. Ignored usually, though of much greater importance, is resonance in drivers and cabinets and the slow release of stored energy that goes with it.  Furthermore, the uniformity and flatness of the off-axis frequency response which we hear via room reverberation and reflections is rarely a design goal. You can check the naturalness of the timbre by listening from another room. Does it sound like a loudspeaker is playing? The imbalance in the speaker's power response between low and high frequencies gives it away.”  Quoted from Sigfried Linkwitz, noted speaker designer

Our Design Objectives

1 Low distortion - To achieve waveform fidelity.

Sounds exhibit waveforms. Distortion comes from waveforms that deviate from the output of the source; ie. amplifier power being poorly converted to sound power. A low distortion speaker driver typically has a large magnet (expensive) and a large capacity for movement. Our bass driver has a long throw (1" peak to peak), which is abetted by its extended voice coil. The magnet that drives the cone is huge, about the same size of the cone. This means it has a terrific ability to respond with dynamic weight, but also to remain linear, that is, to reproduce from the softest to the loudest sound without running out of headroom. Some designs that are good in many areas sound lifeless because they fall short in this very important requirement. Now, take a piece of piano, and hear the attack, the startle factor.

2 Avoiding Resonance

Most speaker boxes use resonance to make bass (ported bass refex). That sells more boxes (can you blame them?)  Here is the problem: A sound has a beginning and an end. Resonance cannot start quickly or stop quickly. Bass resonance is heard as a muddy, boomy one-note sound. Resonance causes all bass notes to seem the same, they lose pitch. Can you tell the bass instrument has four strings? Resonance also causes rhythm to become smeared. All music requires timing. Rhythm is timing. Weakening rhythm is taking away musical value, the feel, the connectedness, the beat of the music. 

3 Avoid box re-radiation

Once the sound waves have left the speaker and are on the way to you all is fine, right? Not quite. The energy whiplash of the cone sets up vibrations in the box. The vibrations are mechanical and also in the air in the box. These are slowly released over time as soundwaves that make their way to you to arrive just slightly out of sync with the ones that are desired. The result? A smear of musical detail and a reminder that you are listening to a “box”. We overbuild our boxes for rigidity to avoid vibration. We manage the flow of sound in the box to avoid re-radiation.

 

4 Improving the most important area - the mid range, by using a new, wide range tweeter

We use new latest in high tech drive units. These are arguably the best in the world.  Take the new 1" dual concentric (ring radiator) tweeter. This tweeter is very special. It reaches down to 2kHz, which is far lower in frequency than tweeters normally do. Most tweeters only go down to around 4kHz, which means the woofer has to reach all the way up to that frequency. This leads to "stressed and ragged performance in the range 2kHz to 4kHz. Hear midrange detail previously thought impossible. Violins and trumpets will emerge with a sweetness and detail that is very special. It also uses a "waveguide" to increase its dispersion (it also has the effect of changing the driver's first resonance above 44kHz). An instrument, take for example a violin, contains a fundamental note, and overtones that are related in a specific manner. You will hear the coherence between the different frequencies as a tunefulness, an ability to hear the melody. Prepare yourself for a major improvement in the harmonic balance in the middle and high registers on these new drive units.  

 

5 Improving Bass Musicality

The newly released bass unit is without compromise.

The multi-faceted 5.5" composite carbon-fiber cone midrange-woofer is damped by a butyl surround and housed in a cast-aluminum/magnesium frame.  Quiet? Some of the materials commonly marketed as "high tech" like metal, aluminum, titanium will extend the frequency range, but also ring with a "metallicness" Our materials are beyond those for accuracy because ours will instantly absorb the spent energy after the sound has been produced, leading to perfect inter-transient silence. Now you will hear the more subtle details. You will also realize that listening fatigue is non existent.

 5 Achieving a wide frequency range

The range of sounds we desire is to wide for one speaker unit to produce. Therein lies a problem. The range has to be split between different drivers (woofer, mid, tweeter), and the resultant split puts them slightly out of sync.  The timing error is described as a phase error. This causes many problems. Human beings use timing of sounds to tell the spatial positioning of sounds (that’s why you have two ears). Phase error reduces the accuracy of the reproduced sound’s position. Every instrument on a musical stage has a position. If you are in the third row you will be able to point at the instruments. With most speakers you cannot. Our speaker has the lowest phase error known in speaker design (for the technical, we use a first order crossover network). It means you have to sacrifice some bass output, because our speaker is a two-way design. In return, you may hear the magic of soundstaging of all but the very best speakers, at any price.

The phase error also causes the fundamental frequency produced by an instrument to be out of sync with the higher overtones. This leads to a drop in the ability to give precise tonal timbre to each note - and a drop in the ability to "play the tune"

Another problem caused by phase error is poor attack on transients. When the different frequency components of a musical event is reproduced with a time shift the sound is smeared, and becomes "soft" instead of dynamic   

6 Bringing it all together – about musical reproduction 

Music is built on three ingredients; Melody, dynamics, rhythm. All the tiny shadings of these components make up the vocabulary of the music’s communication.

In English the words we form are made with 26 characters of the alphabet.  How many words can we form, how much emotion can we communicate with words?

Music has an infinitely greater amount of vocabulary, because there are thousands of thousands of combinations of notes(melody), loudnesses (dynamics), and time patterns. Thus music can express emotion better than language, and is possibly the greatest art form of all.

This is the core of our offering to you – a loudspeaker that is more capable in communication. Not more sound. Sound isn’t music.