GGNTKT Model S1 Self-Powered In-Wall Loudspeaker for Full Multichannel Immersion and Dynamics

December 16 2020, 00:45
GGNTKT (the name stands for "Gegentakt" or push-pull) is an interesting new loudspeaker company with a refreshing attitude towards high-end audio. The company's new product, the Model S1, is a self-powered, in-wall, 2-way custom installation design for home theaters. The GGNTKT Model S1 is a high output design for front/LCR and surround channels of small to medium-sized home theaters and professional multichannel monitoring in studio facilities.

Based in Meckenheim, Germany, GGNTKT was founded in 2018 by a young team of acousticians, electrical engineers, industrial designers, software specialists and craftsmen, focused on developing self-powered loudspeakers for immersive sound experiences. Applying the latest research and validated scientific findings in combination with the best available technology, methods and design, GGNTKT focuses on adapting its designs with a wide range of options, including for individual aesthetics. The speakers are developed based on advanced simulation tools and using Klippel measurements across the characterization and evaluation of every model. All products are also designed to accommodate future upgrades and regular updates.

The company first launched the Model M1, a compact 2.5-way active speaker that can be used in multiple listening environments, including professional studios and high-quality home theaters. A very interesting design, the M1 uses 1.75" compression driver with a titanium diaphragm in a waveguide seamlessly integrated into the baffle to shape the high-frequency radiation, matched to the bass-midrange 6.5" driver, in order to maintain an horizontal constant dispersion at 140°. This enables a wide sweet spot with precise image, while in the vertical plane the radiation is asymmetrically shaped 60° upwards and 40° less downwards to reduce ground reflections. The controlled dispersion up to 250 Hz is achieved with two additional 6.5" rear-cancelling woofers, helping to generate an hypercardioid response.
The GGNTKT Model M1 speaker, front and rear.

For better integration into existing audio chains and for more compact loudspeaker housings, the entire M1 electronics are housed in an attractive, passively cooled aluminum enclosure. This enclosure contains three highly efficient Class-D amplifier modules from Pascal, with patented UMAC technology, dividing the six amplifier channels into three mono segments, with the right and left channels and the rear woofers each separated by their own power supplies. The electronic unit contains a digital signal processing platform using 4th generation SHARC DSPs with 32-bit floating point accuracy plus AD/DA conversion.

The separate enclosure also allows the power and signal cabling to be centralized, especially in multi-channel applications, and various settings can be accessed via USB and the system software, and room calibration can also be carried out in this way. The company is preparing to launch a new Model M2 design, with bass extension, early in 2021.

Leveraging the experience in these designs, GGNTKT announced a dedicated self-powered loudspeaker system for home theaters with improved reproduction qualities and controlled dispersion characteristics. The new Model S1 2-way custom installation system was optimized for front/L-C-R and surround channels of small to medium-sized home theaters and professional multichannel monitoring rooms. Like in the M1, the carefully sculpted dispersion pattern, combined with the flush in-wall installation ensures consistent coverage throughout the room, providing an immersive listening experience at all listening positions.

"With Model S1, we have taken our first step into the home theater and installation market and set a new standard in this compact size in terms of controlled directivity, low distortion and high dynamic range," commented Roland Schäfer, the owner of GGNTKT.

"By uncompromisingly optimizing the coverage pattern, we have solved a major problem of every home theater – propagation losses at different distances and non-consistent coverage. In addition, we can deliver almost distortion-free short-term SPL of 120 dB, which was previously reserved for PA and sound reinforcement loudspeakers, without compromising accurate reproduction and detailed microdynamics,“ he adds.
Key to the Model S1 design is again the use of efficient methods to control the dispersion pattern. In the high frequency range, a 6.9-inch (175 mm) long air-motion-transformer (AMT) driver operates as a vertical line source in a compression chamber, connected to a computer-optimized and CNC-milled waveguide. Its 8.5-inch2 (55 cm2) – that’s seven times the dispersion area of conventional dome tweeters – delivers the lowest possible distortion and thus several hours of movie and music enjoyment without the typical strain and fatigue. 

In the low frequency range, two 6-inch (155 mm) long-excursion midwoofers are mounted in a closed cabinet. Due to their tight vertical arrangement, directivity is extended towards lower frequencies while preventing acoustical interference. With peak level capabilities of up to 120 dB, both drivers provide uncompressed reproduction and thus meet the extended headroom requirements of multi-channel sound formats, such as Dolby Atmos, even at listening distances of over 16 feet (5m). 

As GGNTKT details, "this was only possible with cutting edge self-powered and digital technology, since a very low and steep transition using linear-phase FIR filters was necessary for the required performance. As a result, Model S1 provides a constant directivity pattern in the horizontal plane, as well as a very broad coverage pattern with 180°. This means that it is no longer necessary to point the loudspeakers towards the listener, since all frequencies are radiated with the same sound pressure in a semicircle around the loudspeaker. In the vertical plane, directivity is controlled and evenly rising to a high degree (75° to 10°) to reduce floor and ceiling reflections. This also results in a homogeneous coverage and thus high immersion at all listening positions." 

Like with the Model M1, to facilitate system integration all electronics for the two speakers are assembled in a single 19-inch 1U aluminum enclosure, containing four efficient Pascal Class D amplifier channels with a total of 560 watts. Again, a dedicated SHARC DSP board with look-ahead limiters drives each loudspeaker pair and can be managed via USB. Audio signal can be analog balanced to suppress any interference or digital (AES).

The front baffle in the S1 cabinet is CNC-milled from Valchromat (30% stiffer than usual MDF) and finished with natural oils and waxes. A rigid metal cabinet made of steel and additional Alubutyl damping allows the 3.8-inch (96 mm) shallow structure to be easily fitted on- or in-wall. GGNTKT ensures the cabinet is mechanically solid to sustain the highest sound pressures up to 120 dB without any rattling or vibration.

The Model S1 was also design to allow for flush-mount custom installations in drywall, so-called baffle walls, as well as in-wall mounting. A mounting frame for on-wall usage is also available as an optional accessory, allowing the speakers to be integrated in the best way possible for high-quality home theaters.

The GGNTKT Model S1 self-powered loudspeaker system will be available in the first quarter of 2021. Pre-orders can be placed at favorable rates.
Apparently, GGNTKT is also working on a more powerful version of the Model S1, using the same AMT and waveguide structure, combined with an array of three identical 6" woofers.
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