This will blow your mind! well, maybe. at least it nearly blown my mind :)

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oldric_naubhoff

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Mar 11, 2011
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ok. people who know a little my attitude to hi-fi know that I'm no too much fond of box speakers with dynamic drivers. this is not some illogical, emotionally driven, "just because" kind of way hatred. as I was gaining more and more knowledge on how it all works together I came to conclusion that in order to reach my audio nirvana I have to try out other available technologies of sound reproduction. and since speakers are traditionally "the weakest link" I believe the search and research is a worthwhile endeavour. so, I couple of days ago I stumbled upon this thing here:

this rectangular steel frame doesn't look much like a speaker but it is a speaker nonetheless. it resembles nothing that's been invented so far. quite rightly so, it's not working like anything invented so far. I confess that I read the whole part describing how it works and still can't quite comprehend how it actually can reproduce music! I can acknowledge it can make some sounds on its own, but reproduce recorded sounds? but apparently it make quite good job. in fact, if it's as good as it's claimed on the web site this thing may be a bigger step in quality of reproducing music than Western Electric cinema horns from ca. 1930 were over phonograph's sound tube (note that those WE speakers can easily compete with modern designs in terms of SQ)!

there's not much details about its performance know to me yet, but they do attach freq response and phase graph on their web site. I wish they had some more usual speaker performance measurements in order to draw any meaningful conclusions. but this measurement alone inspires some optimism:

freq response from 20 to 20K Hz is simply put flat. and it's flat in good amps' performance terms, not good speakers terms. also there's essentially no phase shift from around 100 Hz to 10K Hz. and even phase shift for the full spectrum is still commendably low compared to most multiway speaker designs. this is always a good sign for perfect spacial resolution - i.e. imaging.

what's the list of strengths? here goes:

- this is a true full range speaker, so no need for any detrimental crossovers networks

- true omnidirectional principle for truer spacial reproduction (no need to spend $$$$$$$ for MBL omins any more)

- no box, so no box colouration nor any box reflections nor any baffle related freq response irregularities

- inherent phase coherence, as noted above an asset for better imaging

- the driver is incomparably stiffer compared to other materials drivers are made of (well it's essentially a steel rod with triangle cross section) so no problems traditionally related with finite driver stiffness like break-up modes or non-linearities at high x-max. this should translate to very good THD performance but let's wait for proofs.

cons? none. well, maybe, for some, the looks. but it's only the prototype so production version may look more WAF friendly.

I encourage you to take a look at the web site (I left the link at the top of the post). and if you don't fancy reading through all that techy flavoured blurb read testimonials at least. very interesting reading indeed...
 

MajorFubar

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It measures well, but that's only half the story. In fact imo not even half.

I think I'd rather have my speakers than what looks like part of some B&Q warehouse racking.

But I really applaud the 'blue sky' thinking behind it.

Wonder what it sounds like.
 

John Duncan

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Indeed. I think this is very exciting; anything that tries to reproduce sound in a different way from the norm is to be applauded. If I was Mr WHF Editor I'd be sticking somebody on a plane to hear them...
 

shooter

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Interesting concept though a little fragile looking, would be okay for a bachelor pad or something, wouldn't last 6 months in my place.

I'd like to hear them, if thats what you do.
 

CnoEvil

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Thanks for the link.

If you'd posted the picture, with a "guess what this is".....I'm not sure I would have!
 

alchemist 1

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John Duncan said:
Indeed. I think this is very exciting; anything that tries to reproduce sound in a different way from the norm is to be applauded. If I was Mr WHF Editor I'd be sticking somebody on a plane to hear them...
I wonder who ? :?
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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If it's spinning forwards and backwards thousands of times a second wouldn't it be dangerous to touch? You wouldn't be able to use it with children or animals around unless it had some sort of safety screen like a fire guard.
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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oldric_naubhoff said:
ok. people who know a little my attitude to hi-fi know that I'm no too much fond of box speakers with dynamic drivers. this is not some illogical, emotionally driven, "just because" kind of way hatred. as I was gaining more and more knowledge on how it all works together I came to conclusion that in order to reach my audio nirvana I have to try out other available technologies of sound reproduction. and since speakers are traditionally "the weakest link" I believe the search and research is a worthwhile endeavour. so, I couple of days ago I stumbled upon this thing here:
Brilliant post! I am keen on knowing and trying the various other possibilities in loudspeakers than the standard box designs.. Thank you@
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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steve_1979 said:
If it's spinning forwards and backwards thousands of times a second wouldn't it be dangerous to touch? You wouldn't be able to use it with children or animals around unless it had some sort of safety screen like a fire guard.
I suspect it oscillates rather than spins, the actual amount of movement probably wouldn't be enough to cause any injury, it would probably just tickle, like it does when you touch a speaker driver when it's playing.
I'm assuming the edges aren't razor sharp or anything! :)
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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Presumably, this idea, being around five years old or more now, would be past the prototype stage.

Does make me wonder why it hasn't made the big audio news yet.
 

oldric_naubhoff

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Mar 11, 2011
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I have no idea OD.

I don't know. maybe since the concept is completely different from conventional solutions more time was needed to make all things tick right. like maybe more time was needed to perfect the shape of the driver? or maybe some other things, completely unrelated to the design process put things on hold? only guessing now...

but one thing I know for sure. not always a breakthrough invention has an easy time surfacing. for instance; a couple of years ago I heard of a Polish inventor who designed a special car bumper which literally eliminates crash damage for speeds up to 60km/h. I saw a flick where some cheap and flaky Fiat 125p literally bounced back from the wall with no scratch! otherwise this car would only be fit for scrapping (it's worth pointing out that those cars have engines at the back). and yet, how many cars do you see now that can bounce back from the wall at 60km/h with no scratch? no-one bought the licence because, I presume, it was against corporate strategy. less defective car means less income from spare parts... another example is Tesla's invention. if it wasn't for steel manufacturer's lobbying we would be using wireless electricity long by now...

BTW. thanks everyone for input and sharing my enthusiasm :)
 
A

Anonymous

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I wonder if someone might be able to explain how this actually works? In laymans terms :)
 

busb

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Think of a Wankel engine rather than one with pistons! It's design is very simple. The triangular vertical omni-directional radiator doesn't rotate but oscillates or pivots around its vertical axis - a fixed magnet provides centring for the radiator at rest & magnetic damping at its resonant frequency. The angular displacement is proportional to input amplitude. The mass of the spindle would need to be almost zero & very stiff so that tortional forces don't cause phase errors from one end of the radiator to the other that would be frequency dependant. Maybe not a hoax but I can't see it being flat in frequency nor very loud. I'm not going to rush to invest - I'll pass on this one. If I'm wrong, I'm sure to be reminded! I'm also not sure if a 360 degree omni-directional source is a great idea in a room with reflecting surfaces such as walls. The proof will be in the pudding.
 
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