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AX November: Inside Audio: Loudspeakers for PCs, ESL Design, & the Tubes vs. Solid State

October 15 2012, 13:01

The first issue of Circuit Cellar magazine—a sister publication of audioXpress that’s focused on embedded computer engineering—was printed in 1988 with a now-famous quote on the cover: inside the box still counts. Since then, engineers and innovators have used the line to educate their nontechnical peers about the amazing technologies inside the devices they use every day. The line was on my mind as I chose articles for this issue. When it comes to audio systems like speakers and tube amps, the quality and design of the technologies inside the cabinets and enclosures are essential.

Turn to page 12 to learn about the technology Ton Giesberts implemented to improve his PC’s sound. It’s the first article in a series about an active loudspeaker system.

Two-way active speakers for your PC

On page 22, Giovanni Bianchi elucidates some theory, math, and science behind loudspeaker sound. He details the Linkwitz equalizer and its limitations, and then proposes a possible solution.

The inside the box theme continues with Mike Klasco and Steve Tatarunis’s article on ribbon and planar magnetic loudspeakers (p. 8). They provide thought-provoking details about topics ranging from “pure” ribbon topology to ribbon transducer manufacturing.

As usual, Vance Dickason puts a speaker to the test. This month he presents what he learned about Faital Pro’s FD371 bullet-type, high-SPL tweeter (p. 18).

Faital Pro FD371 bullet-type tweeter

For more about loudspeakers, check out Part 3 of Richard Mains’s series on experimenting with electrostatic speakers (p. 26).

Richard Mains mounted the ESL series resistance in the cabinet’s base

Richard Honeycutt wraps up the issue with “The Differences in Amp Sound” (p. 31). What goes on inside tube amps and solid-state amps matters. Richard weighs in on the debate that will likely keep audiophiles arguing for decades to come.

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