The system’s design is both beautiful and contemporary featuring the Merlin digital amplifier, Bluetooth apt-X streamer and the unique Merlin 1 speakers. The loudspeakers have a subtle elliptical shape with very fine finish in a choice of red, black or silver. The amplifier has a custom made extrusion, beautifully machined top form and elegant front panel while the turntable offers a simple, minimalist style in a high-gloss red or black finish.
The complete system has been designed to Musical Fidelity’s bespoke specifications and features the highest-grade components, many found in the company’s more expensive audiophile products. The Merlin 1 system also debuts some unique Musical Fidelity technologies, featuring two 24bit, 192Khz DACS and twin high grade amplifier modules - running as completely separate monoblocs to minimise unwanted noise and distortion.
Peak power into the Merlin loudspeakers is a comfortable 50 watts per channel, allowing the system to replay music with high resolution, fast dynamics and accurate transients. The integrated headphone amp is also of a very high quality - being based on Musical Fidelity’s dedicated audiophile V90 HPA model. System inputs include phono, USB (isochronous for updating the system or connecting to a PC), Bluetooth aptX and a line input (digital or analog). The system also includes an ADC and a specially configurable output - analog or digital, fixed or variable – which allows direct connection to a computer so that any of the Merlin’s inputs can be ripped to the hard disk – including LP. Alternatively, it allows for the addition of a subwoofer or the connection to active loudspeakers - either digital or analog.
The Merlin Loudspeakers also include a new Musical Fidelity innovation via the company’s exclusive diffraction multiplier system that allows the relatively compact speakers to offer a huge but accurate stereo soundstage. Rather than the normal flat front baffle, it features a multi-stepped baffle which combines with a single wide-dispersion BMR driver in each speaker to offer near-field flat frequency response and low distortion. The impression is of a far larger system, with the sound seeming to be omnidirectional, giving a feeling of space and air whilst still giving a very wide but very focused image.
New Parrot MINIKIT Neo 2HD
Tectonic Elements has also partnered with Parrot on the next generation MINIKIT Neo 2HD automotive telephony system for in-car phone management. The MINIKIT clips to any sun visor and provides hands-free access to Android and iOS smart phones with advanced hands-free control and superior in-cabin audio performance.
Tectonic’s TEAX14C02-8 exciter was selected for its compact low-profile design, its ability to provide wide directivity, and intelligibility. “Our exciter solution has enabled Parrot to create a compact, slim design”, explains Neil Robb, Tectonic Elements Sales Manager. “With the form factor of the Tectonic exciter attached to a resonating surface, which has been architected to maximise performance, there is no need for a speaker grille, so we can easily accommodate the clean industrial design goals of the MINIKIT Neo 2HD.”
“HD Voice, and wideband audio, is the next-generation of voice quality for automotive telephony audio and other consumer applications" explains Guillaume Pinto, Parrot CTO. “It provides a higher definition and more accurate reproduction of the human voice.”
HD Voice refers to the latest generation of superior voice for telephony audio. It provides high definition voice quality compared to standard digital. This higher quality is made possible by extending the frequency range of traditional narrowband voice calls (300 Hz to 3400 Hz) out to wideband audio ranges (50 Hz to 7000 Hz). As a result, the reproduction of the human voice is more accurate and true.
The Parrot MINIKIT Neo 2HD combines leading Bluetooth connectivity, mobile device operability, DSP voice recognition and playback processing and wide dispersion speaker coverage. This product will be widely available from November 2014.
New Rectangular BMR Drivers
Tectonic Elements introduced the new TEBM130H rectangular BMR driver with extended frequency response and wide directivity, ideally suited for thin audio applications that require a full-range, high performance speaker but in a compact, slim-line form factor.
“The TEBM130 is ideal for use in flat panel TVs, sound bars, sound stands and whiteboards”, states Caroline O’Brien, Tectonic Elements Managing Director. “Its extended frequency range of 100Hz - 20kHz and very wide sound coverage is achieved from a single unit with dual motors. Similar performance from conventional speaker technologies would generally require multiple drivers, cross-overs and would be deeper than a BMR.”
Conventional cone designs have narrower coverage and ‘beam’ as audio frequencies increase, and therefore limit optimum listening to a smaller ‘sweet-spot’. BMR’s deliver full range audio to the entire space while maintaining a clear stereo image. The driver is currently available in 8 ohm, with a thickness of less than 30mm in depth and width, and gives up to 180 degrees of sound dispersion. Custom variations are possible.
New 3-inch BMR
Tectonic Elements also recently announced the latest addition to its family of Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) speaker drivers. The TEBM46C20N-4B transducer is a 3 inch (75mm) round neodymium audio drive unit for high performance audio applications.
This latest BMR loudspeaker combines all the benefits of NXT patented bending-wave technology with pistonic modes of operation. The new TEBM46C20N-4B BMR driver delivers extended frequency range and wide audio dispersion from a very compact audio transducer.
“Our new BMR speaker enables audio system manufacturers to more affordably develop compact, high quality sound systems”, says Caroline O’Brien, Managing Director of Tectonic Elements. “This new model delivers exceptionally detailed sound and output volume for home-theatre, computer, mini hi-fi speakers and other compact audio applications.”
The unique audio characteristics of Tectonic BMRs make the acoustic driver perfect for small portable systems such as wireless speakers, sound bars, table digital radios, docking stations, and compact surround-sound satellite speakers – all of which require excellent bass and clear, room-filling audio dispersion.
“Tectonic Elements BMR drive units can reproduce full range audio at exceptionally wide angles of coverage”, explains Neil Robb, Tectonic Elements Sales Manager. “Unlike conventional cone designs that increasingly narrow their coverage or ‘beam’ as audio frequencies increase and therefore narrow a stereo image to a single perfect listening location or ‘sweet-spot’, BMR’s deliver full range audio to the entire room while maintaining a clear stereo image.”
Measuring just 34.7mm deep and weighing a mere 194g, the small form-factor TEBM46C20N-4B delivers a sound pressure level at 1W / 1Meter of 86dB. Nominal frequency range is 150Hz to 20kHz. The driver has a nominal impedance of 4Ω, 20W continuous power handling and is compatible with all amplifier topologies.
Tectonic is sampling the TEBM46C20N-4B speaker driver with key customers and it is available in mass production quantities.
Tectonic Elements, headquartered near Cambridge in the UK, designs and manufactures audio transducers, primarily BMR speaker drivers, coupled with its own proprietary amplifier module technology - a novel ultra-efficient audio power amplifier module - which provides consumer product designers the opportunity to develop top quality loudspeaker systems that consume a fraction of the power of conventional Class D amplifier designs. The combination of compact size and increased efficiency enables the creation of new categories of audio products. Tectonic Elements is a wholly owned subsidiary of Flat Audio LLC, who acquired certain trade and assets from HiWave Technologies (UK) Ltd in July 2013.
Tectonic Elements - www.tectonicelements.com