"Indeed, Joshua has given me his full support and I'm grateful for this introduction. Thanks for a chance to having Aurel Bryan reviewed. It's an honor to have you as the reviewer. Maybe we start with the 8-inch standard double-ferrite driver in a ready-to-use cabinet? I just sent some plywood to my CNC workshop today to prepare a review sample. It's already in the queue and will be machined next Tuesday. The drivers themselves are ready. I have two impedance options, 8Ω and 16Ω. Which do you prefer? Or maybe I could send both, one pair installed, the other sent with separate driver packaging. It will take 3-4 weeks for complete loudspeaker production. Sea freight would be wise remembering that the speaker itself is quite big—120 x 32 x 43.5cm HxWxD—and weighs around 25kg each. So it will take another 2-3 month for delivery by sea cargo. We have 4", 5", 6" and 8" drivers complete with dedicated transmission-line cabinets. Then we have three motor options. Double ferrite is standard, then there's neodymium and finally field coil. All use the same dedicated cabinet of course which is based on the driver diameter."
Because I'd use transistors not tubes, I asked for 8Ω voice coils. Because in Cube Audio's Polish portfolio, neodymium upgrades ferrite, I asked Rudy's opinion on sending neo drivers instead or as well. Did his speaker models have proper names or just use driver diameters? How about pricing for flat-pack versus assembled cabs and the three motor options? That's before asking the obvious questions on Rudy's journey down the rabbit hole of single-driver design in the 21st century. As a reminder, here one driver attempts to reproduce the entire audible bandwidth virtually always without crossover corrections. It would be easy to insert at least notch filters between amp and voice coil but given the concept's inherent simplicity, virtually all its adherents scoff at 'cheating' with filter parts. Now all response linearization is down to mechanical solutions. Hello cabinet specifics of volume, shape, bracing and the usual hybrids between transmission line, folded rear horn or TQWT—in this sector ports are rare but Camerton and Omega embrace them—then driver parameters like variable diaphragm thickness, cone shape, whizzer geometry, surface ribs and surround, spider and voice coil execution. Rather than software to simulate a quick filter tweak, designers of wideband drivers must pursue iterative prototyping of their transducer virtually in the dark. The only light is their growing experience on how all driver parameters interact relative to their ideal target response once mounted into an enclosure. Since the latter is the second big variable, the single-driver design process tends to play long ping pong between driver/enclosure details. It's clearly no easy path. What had compelled Rudy to walk it thus add his name to a fringe establishment of names like Camerton, Cube, E.J. Jordan, Feastrex, Lii, Lowther, Rethm, sound|kaos, Voxativ and Zu? Then there are driver houses whose portfolios include widebanders side by side with traditional units like John Blue Audio Art, Seas, Visaton and many more.
Here are some numbers. "Neodymium does provide better detail and transparency than ferrite so will be ideal to review. I'll prepare the 8-inch 8Ω driver with neodymium motor. As requested, here is the pricing info for the raw drivers including worldwide shipping:
Aurel Bryan 4" diameter – type FR4DFe-Mk3 – double ferrite magnet – US $ 240/pair
Aurel Bryan 5" diameter – type FR5DFe-Mk3 – double ferrite magnet – US $270/pair
Aurel Bryan 5" diameter – type FR5NEO-Mk3 – neodymium magnet – US $370/pair
Aurel Bryan 6" diameter – type FR6DFe-Mk3 – double ferrite magnet – US $300/pair
Aurel Bryan 6" diameter – type FR6NEO-Mk3 – neodymium magnet – US $400/pair
Aurel Bryan 8" diameter – type FR8DFe-Mk3 – double ferrite magnet – US $350/pair
Aurel Bryan 8" diameter – type FR8NEO-Mk3 – neodymium magnet – US $450/pair
Aurel Bryan 8" diameter – type FR8FCM-Mk3 – field coil magnet with LC design power supply – US $ 1'700/pair
Aurel Bryan super Tweeter – type ST1.45PZO – piezo motor, dipole design complete with its dedicated crossover—selectable level and xover point—and housing so ready to use – US $270/pair
"Pricing for assembled loudspeakers (I don't yet have names for complete loudpeaker models, only the driver type/name is inscribed on the cabinet backplate):
4" – equipped with FR4DFe-Mk3 -94 x 19 x 24.5cm HxWxD – US $550/pair
5" – equipped with FR5DFe-Mk3 – 107 x 22.5 x 29cm HxWxD – US $750/pair
6" – equipped with FR6DFe-Mk3 – 114 x 26.5 x 34.5cm HxWxD -US $950/pair
8" – equipped with FR8DFe-Mk3 – 120.5 x 32cm x 43.5cm – US $1'250/pair
"For different magnet types, one adds the driver price difference. All finished models are floorstanding transmission-line designs. Finish is naturally oiled veneer of teak, oak, walnut, ebony or zebrano. These prices do not include shipping.
For flat-packed cabinets, the prices are:
TL4Cab-Rev3 -US $350/pair
TL5Cab-Rev3 – US $390/pair
TL6Cab-Rev3 – US $430/pair
TL8Cab-Rev3 – US $470/pair
"The cabinet parts are marine-grade plywood laminated in real wood veneer. All panels are cut and grooved by CNC router for precise easy assembly. Cotton stuffing, binding posts and internal wiring are included. The client provides the wood glue. These prices do not include shipping. From Indonesia, all sea freight has a minimum 2m³ cubic volume. The 8-incher only occupies ~0.7m³. May I also include the 4" and 5" models for subsequent reviews? There's no rush on my end. Sending the units together will simply save a lot on ship fees. As for the super tweeter, some may feel it unnecessary. It really depends on a person's individual taste and what model they intend to mate it with. I'll send you a pair so you decide for yourself."
Unusual about this story already are the four different driver sizes plus super tweeter. Most makers in this sector focus on an 8-inch Ø as the established ideal to put maximal bass and midrange on one cone whilst still hitting respectable treble. Few attempt to go much smaller. Zu run nothing but 10.3".
Covering from 4 to 8 inches across four stages is undeniably ambitious. Adding his own super tweeter puts Rudy in a category of his own so one needn't hit up the usual suspects at Fostex or pursue turnkey solution from Aperion to Avantages. Doesn't all that make you just a bit curious to learn more about his overall journey? It clearly couldn't have started just a few years ago. He's already come too far for that.
As for producing speakers on Indonesian soil, Hendry Ramli of Bali's Vermouth Audio has done so successfully for years as have SB Acoustics for raw drivers. There was no reason why Aurel Bryan couldn't do the same. What Rudy needed in Q3 2021 was more publicity and a lot more user feedback. The latter depended on people learning about the existence of his drivers. Et voilà, here we are for our readers. Hardcore DIYers will want a lot more specs. The most basic—each driver's resonance frequency—I already asked for. For the rest you have Rudy's email. My sonic commentary would use Cube Audio's Nenuphar as comparators. Aside from agreeing on single-driver diameters, that juxtaposition would fail cruelly on price. The Polish aces demand €16'900/pr. That's an extra zero plus a few thousand so a very different league. But one must roll with what one has. Reviewers don't operate retail shops with large brand catalogues and inventories. At least this comparison would also contrast neodymium with neodymium motor and whizzer with whizzer cone. If Aurel Bryan's 8-incher could stay in the same race and not be brutally lapped, this obscure speaker genre would really have something to talk about.
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