"This should be the first true omni tweeter executed in a solid block of aluminum. Above all it creates true specialization of the HF. Now a cymbal disperses in all its percussive metallic glory like in real life with in-phase not the counter-phase dispersion of an ESS air-motion transformer run dipole. For tone and speed, you already know my standards from the M1. Now Zero Junior encapsulates all of my knowledge: an omni system with front/back tweeter in a floating horn; a horizontal quarter-wave line for dipole midrange operation; and truly optimal band-pass bass all packaged into surprisingly small cubic volume. My goal with this design is to leave a mark in the audio world as an honest and creative man."
The only other production speaker I knew of just then which would share certain core items with Junior was Sven Boenicke's pending W22. It too proposes a bipole tweeter executed with front- and rear-firing units; and a Supravox. However, its French driver goes the full 11.2" diameter to work as a joint mid/woofer loaded by front-firing port.
Alain's Supravox is smaller and runs open-backed as a dedicated dipole. It's 3-way vs 2-way. By virtue of its hidden woofer, Junior's driver stack nets a narrower front for a slimmer look. Still, it's interesting to see two designers champion Supravox as a supplier of top-shelf current drivers for flagship speaker projects.
By now thinking readers will wonder. Why does Alain combine a bipole tweeter (in phase front/back) with a dipole midrange (anti phase front/back)? Wouldn't his omni concept work more coherently if the bipole pattern continued with twin mids all the way down to where the woofer kicks in whose long wavelengths wrap around the enclosure in phase to then propagate omni? "The real directivity issue is the beaming in the treble. The horizontal TQWT dipole loading of the Supravox simply generates the same response in any situation. I'll explain this in more detail later."
October 26th. In the wake of my M5 review, Alain commented: ""I just read everything with care and pleasure. We 100% agree on all points. What more can be said? You listen like me. This is a very strong speaker. You can listen at solid SPL and that's nice. Now we are going to get serious. If logic follows, you should find Junior tw2 really interesting because with it you'll have the sound I prefer under all circumstances. You'll see that it's still another world. Cyrille Pinton, development engineer at Supravox, agreed to produce my special 25cm/10" woofer in carbon for the lowest possible distortion rate. The Junior you will review will be at the top of my art which is to say, with two back-to-back tweeters on top for the most homogeneous omni dispersion; and my own 25cm neo carbon woofer which must be the ultimate for my 4th-order band-pass application. It just won't be next month because we're overwhelmed by work. I hope for January. A thousand thanks for your wonderful work and constructive honesty. You confirm to me what I feel when listening."
"Now I'm also working on the Model Zero for Simon with the 245mm Supravox and ESS air-motion tweeter. At 98dB sensitivity, this will have unbelievable life, power and energy. I want to make Junior and Zero into two historic models for thrills without compression and my own carbon woofers. That's my next step."
By January 18th, "Junior is going to be a little late. ESS has gone bankrupt so I decided to make all of my own drivers. That means two new 10-inchers, one carbon-fiber woofer, one paper-pulp midrange. I will merge Zero and Junior into one model with my double tweeter array on top."
The ESS foreclosure and potential pandemic knock-on effects on other vendors had clearly motivated Alain to get self-sufficient for his drive units. "The Audio Technology 12" woofer is the best to market for small cubic volumes but their plastic cone isn't a good idea. For bass, my favored membrane is carbon. So I'll use AAC/Audax's last carbon cone as the most high-end I can locate which works as a true piston from 30-300Hz. For my midrange I'll start where we left off with Supravox. I want to create a 25cm paper cone with 38mm Nomex voice-coil former and fabric suspension that's not treated with latex but a totally inert new substance to become even more efficient in all parameters plus exhibit a ridiculously low rate of distortion. Supravox's research engineer resigned due to issues with his boss. We simply worked together on this driver for already two years so he wants to help finalize it. The twin tweeter is done and works brilliantly. This summarizes 6 years of work. Simon already sold two pairs of Zero this month and just took delivery of 50 pairs of M84 kits special to his market. I'm also aiming to make a low-cost M3 version for younger less affluent people."
A few days later, Alain's "I've never understood American bankrupcy laws" email reported that ESS had resurfaced and that his order of AMT1 tweeters would ship after all. With continued access to this 2'000-22'000Hz driver he adores, perhaps the original Model Zero could continue? "Not easy to plan business under such conditions" was his relaxed retort. At left a new cabinet for Zero Junior now with a front-facing mouth for its 4th-order symmetrical bandpass woofer. "Like Magico, I'll now work with my very own drivers. Not bad for a former merchant-marine captain."
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