Feel the Pulse Of the Loudspeaker Industry with Voice Coil November 2018

October 26 2018, 04:00
Celebrating its 32nd anniversary, Voice Coil is back with its November 2018 edition where Vance Dickason revisits the origins and the many accomplishments of this editorial project. 
And while the long life of an industry's reference publication is certainly reason for celebration, this edition of Voice Coil carefully looks at future prospects, starting with an interesting overview by Mike Klasco of the neodymium supply chain and its implications for the loudspeaker industry. As Klasco alerts, neodymium magnets (also known as NdFeB, NIB, or Neo) is a sensitive issue for quite a number of our readers, as the future depends on the consequences of the escalating skirmishes over trade tariffs with China. "Price manipulation of neodymium magnets by China as a strategic tool is a given and the lessons learned from our 2011 experience should not be forgotten. The Chinese government does not have to directly touch pricing, only limit its neodymium export quotas, and supply and demand will take care of the rest," warns Klasco.
No loudspeaker professional can live without a high-quality measurement microphone, and Voice Coil November 2018 includes the latest industry Directory of vendors in this class of products. Compiled by the well-travelled and experienced team at Menlo Scientific (Mike Klasco and Nora Wong), the Measurement Microphones update directory lists key suppliers with products ranging from lab-grade reference instrument microphones to hobbyist and field testing mics. As the directory introduction highlights, while true condenser mics are still at the top end of the market, these days pre-polarized measurements microphones can be quite respectable, and we shouldn't forget that microelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS) measurement microphones are now progressively penetrating this market as well.
This month, in Acoustic Patents, James Croft reviews an interesting patent for an "Acoustic Filter for Omnidirectional Loudspeaker," recently awarded to Lakshmikanth Tipparaju, Allan Devantier, William Decanio, and Andri Bezzola, on behalf of Samsung Electronics. This is effectively the audio research team that Samsung promoted in Valencia, CA, before taking over Harman International, and which produced an interesting series of omni-directional loudspeaker designs, unfortunately largely ignored by the market and Samsung itself. The fact that Devantier has worked for more than 21 years at Harman, and now gets granted this important set of patents for Samsung is an well-deserved recognition of Devantier's and his team's work.
As usual, Croft reviews the awarded patents from an historical and prior-art perspective and looks at the different approaches the industry has attempted to achieve a successful implementation of acoustic radiation closely coupled to a boundary surface for omni-directional and subwoofer applications - unfortunately, mostly plagued by resonances generated by the waveguide or reflector surface. As Craft notes, the new approach followed by Devantier's team, "not only appears to be an effective solution to the specific application of Samsung’s omni-directional sound systems, but it should also be a useful approach to solving resonant cavity issues with various forms of slot loaded and boundary coupled loudspeaker systems." 
And this month, Vance Dickason takes two full-range drivers from Eastech’s Punktkilde line to the Test Bench. Specifically, two neodymium full-range drivers “designed in Denmark” from Punktkilde's line of compact full-range 1.5” to 2” drivers - the 1.5” FSB611015-1400, and the 2.0” FSA621520-2300. As Dickason explains, these drivers fit into the growing application segment of drivers that can be applied in smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, portable speakers, soundbars and desktop speakers. And for those less familiar with Eastech and Punktkilde, it should be enough to say that this is the parent company of Scan-Speak, a global group founded in 1971 with approximately 6,000 global employees and acoustic research facilities in Denmark, the United Kingdom, and China. Read on and find out why even Dickason was positively surprised with what this extremely compact and extremely well-designed drivers are able to achieve!
Finally, in Industry Watch, read about Audiomatica's latest updates for the CLIO audio measurement range, news from the Wireless Speaker and Audio (WiSA) Association, and Association of Loudspeaker Manufacturing & Acoustics (ALMA) International. All great reasons to download Voice Coil November 2018 now"! 
This edition is available for download and already on the mail for print subscribers. Subscribers can just go to - www.gotomyvcoil.com - to download this issue.
Remember, Voice Coil is available in print and download for all registered subscribers, free for industry professionals. To qualify for a free subscription to Voice Coil, or renew your subscription, go to: audioxpress.com/page/Voice-Coil-Subscriber-Services.html
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