Your Speaker Focus Edition of audioXpress Is Now Served!

August 10 2017, 13:00
Loudspeakers and speaker building are at the core of audioXpress magazine. Every year in September, our Speaker Focus edition reminds us of our speaker builder tradition, with one of our most popular issues featuring a selection of articles on the topic. For the 2017 edition, audioXpress was privileged to combine superb content from leading authors in the speaker design field, addressing a range of speaker-related topics.

Our first highlight focuses on the review of the two new SB Acoustics Speaker Kits, which have recently become available. In this article, Oliver A. Masciarotte shares his experience with the surprising SB Acoustics Rinjani and Ara speaker kits, which feature the recent high-end Satori TW29R Tweeter, the MW16P-4, and the MW16P-8 midwoofers. Masciarotte had the opportunity to live for some weeks with the exquisite floorstand Rinjani speakers - a name inspired by the famous volcano mountain in Lombok, Indonesia, a place of immense natural beauty. He could also compare the Rinjani's performance with the smaller Ara two-way bookshelf speakers, sharing the same design concept and high-quality finish, typical of high-end speakers costing multiple times the price. Now that the kits have been publicly presented at the recent AXPONA show in Chicago, IL, are available (through Madisound for the US market), we are certain readers will enjoy this in-depth review.
Next up, in "True Bass in a Large Space," veteran Don Keele, Jr., reminds us of how things evolved in speaker design, revisiting a subwoofer project that uses an Electro-Voice 30W 30” woofer from 1975! As Keele writes, "Getting true bass in a small place is quite easy and straightforward today, but back in 1975, it was not!" Inspired by Thomas Perazella’s DIY article, “True Bass in a Small Space” (audioXpress, February 2017), Keele describes an equivalent solution from 1975 that provides about the same response and acoustic output but using a high-efficiency low-excursion 30” driver mounted in a massive 76 ft3 vented-box driven by a 60 W amplifier, with a total system weight that exceeds 800 lbs!
For the DIYers, this Speaker Focus edition also includes two great projects. We feature the Thinman Speaker by Ken Bird, inspired by the revival of 2.1 analog stereo. This variation of a thin speaker is 5.5" wide and 49.5" high, with a footprint of less than a square foot, in a three-way configuration, using an 8" woofer side firing in the ported section of the enclosure, with a dual midrange and dome tweeter in classical D'Appolito MTM arrangement in their own sealed enclosure. All drivers are Dayton (Parts Express) and MCM Electronics (Avnet/Premier Farnell).
Another fascinating project comes from Charlie Mimbs, and describes a Hybrid Electrostatic Speaker with Tailored Dispersion and “a really cool stator design.” As Mimbs explains, “This speaker is three generations evolved from my original ESL shown in the April 2012 edition of audioXpress. The tried and true beam splitter cabinet and woofer (10” Aurum Cantus AC-250MKII) were carried over from the earlier design. What’s new and completely different is the electrostatic panel, which now uses insulated copper wire stators and electrical segmentation to tailor its dispersion.”
And because this is a speaker focused edition, Shannon Becker interviewed Zoltán Bay, creator of the Bay Radial Speaker and audio designer extraordinaire. In this exclusive interview, Bay discusses his background and introduction to audio engineering, and how he eventually started making a living out of creating build-to-order high-end systems based on its own power amplifier design and, more recently, based on the unique Bay Radial Speaker (BRS, technology. With 35 years of experience, Bay has now reached a new level of audio recognition with his newly patented design, which has garnered high praise and is currently being considered for licensing. As Bay says, “I hope the BRS will find its way to many people and break new ground in serious music listening in the field.”
In this month’s Sound Control, Richard Honeycutt discusses "Acoustical and Electroacoustical Measurements on a Tight Budget."  Because there are always situations where we would like to take useful acoustical measurements and we don’t have the necessary measurement equipment on hand, or simply because we need to have a basic understanding of the acoustical challenges, without necessarily visiting the place. As Honeycutt explains in this useful article, there are lots of things that can be done…
And to break away from speakers, we also feature the RME ADI-2 Pro review by Bennett Prescott and Stuart Yaniger. The sensational RME ADI-2 Pro Bi-Directional Converter with Dual Headphone Amps is a feature-packed update to the original RME ADI-2, providing incredibly precise audio quality and a host of innovative features that will appeal to both mastering engineers and high-end audio aficionados alike. As Prescott found out - and Yaniger could attest with objective metrics - this is a very serious piece of equipment from a company that deserves wider recognition, outside its traditional recording market. 
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