Completely different from existing designs?
A sealed monitor with outboard crossover and 170mm Kevlar/cellulose dynamic mid/woofer mated to a 28cm² HiVi Research reminiscent magnetostatic tweeter certainly isn't. A dipole subwoofer is
rather more unusual but not unique per se. The Zugspitz Klang 3-way Seligkeit
I reviewed last month for example incorporates single 18-inch active dipole subs per channel. Running high-power low-impedance class D for subwoofers is about as common as it gets. No, the arguably most unusual bit about the Cygnus threesome is that presently, it's their only product but positioned as a statement effort. How many speaker companies do you know who propose a sub/sat set as a €20'000* ultimate achievement?
Personally, Christian's approach makes absolute and perfect sense. I've long said it and now practice it exclusively with pure two-ways and a sealed Zu Submission sub. For the home, the
most practical high-performance speaker solution for the money is a semi-active 2.1 combo. A compact two-way of the sealed kind eliminates a 3-way's high-pass filter for a purer midrange and simpler filter. It can be placed where it sounds and looks best. And by virtue of having been designed for external bass augmentation, it needn't attempt ported tricks or heroic efforts to force more LF from a small box than it naturally wants to give. A powered subwoofer with DSP control to counter the three dominant room modes and build in time delay is adjustable
to the room; nearly invariably packs more reach, power and linearity than a passive multi-way; is less placement critical; and won't play havoc with the main speaker's cabinet on vibrations or required size and weight. Anyone around the hifi block at least once knows it perfectly well. For a passive loudspeaker, the first 15 cycles of the audible bandwidth are the costliest to realize. They also know that little is as annoying as spotty boomy bass where the only adjustment is placement. That makes for an endless compromise between where the passive towers offend the least and sound the best over the rest of the spectrum.
Most people who follow the smarter divide-and-conquer approach of course must match mains with subs that weren't really designed together. Most subwoofers run generic plate amps with cheap 4th
-order low-pass filters of dubious precision that clearly aren't any final words on the subject. It's also obvious that for best results, the monitor's acoustic roll-off behaviour should really become a perfect mirror image of the subwoofer's roll-in and the handover frequency be low enough
to blend invisibly. Here the Cygnus proposition would seem to ask a simple question: what if
one approached this scheme with a no-compromise attitude and made cost no issue? And quietly, like a casual aside, it also asks what is actually required
for home playback. Here much of the High End pursues overkill specs particuarly for max loudness which no sane user ever taps. Overkill throws away money by the bushel just for hollow bragging rights.