In the Model 100, you use a bass coupler not standard subwoofer approach. Can you explain the difference?
"I believe subwoofers work best for bass reinforcement not replacement. Replacement adds a crossovers to divide the bass frequencies between subwoofer and woofer. Bass reinforcement means that the subwoofer parallels the woofer to boost most if not all of its output. A bass reinforcement approach requires a subwoofer with flatter response across a wide range. I use a bandpass design for its excellent transient response of an acoustic suspension subwoofer but with the efficiency of vented designs to produce a flatter response over a broader range. In a bandpass design, the back of the woofer sees an acoustic suspension sub enclosure for quick accurate transient response. The front of the woofer fires into a vented sub enclosure to shape the response for extended linear bass."
Your cabinet here is of birch plywood instead of aluminium or MDF. Do you believe this delivers a more natural musical presentation?
"To me a well-designed plywood cabinet is sonically more euphonic than cabinets made from metal or MDF."
We talked in the past about your research contributions for social policy in your academic career. How and why did you start your own speaker company based on your own unique designs?
"I am trained as a quantitative sociologist/policy analyst and was professor at the City University of New York's Graduate Center. For a summer project I built a subwoofer/satellite system which an audiophile friend fell in love with. He brought over several other audiophile friends who over nightly listening sessions encouraged me to manufacture the system. At the time I was an antipoverty 'expert' who wanted to understand how to develop urban craft industries to create jobs. That coupled with my love for music drove me into the vortex of speaker manufacturing."
Can you explain the modifications you made in this iteration of the Model 100 over the first generation of your speaker?
"This generation is more time coherent because the tweeter assembly implements differently to involve repositioning of the assembly and changing tweeter polarity."
The Model 100 produces a soundstage very much like an omnidirectional design. It disappears and you are left with a holographic immersion in the space/time of the recorded music. To this degree I never heard a box speaker do this. What would your explanation be for how the Model 100 can replicate this type of spatiality?
"The performance of the Model 100 is a result of applying all I have learned on speaker design since 1990 which is informed by my background as an academic researcher. For me the main factors which limit speaker performance are crossover-induced phase irregularities, coloration and discontinuities; poor time coherence between drivers; poor cabinet construction and diffraction. I mitigate crossover problems in the Model 100 by using a broadband mid/woofer that covers the fundamental frequencies of instruments and a single capacitor to integrate it with the tweeter. The tweeter and woofer are perfectly time coherent. The front of the cabinet slants back by 2 degrees to align the acoustic centers of the drivers and eliminate standing waves in the cabinet. Isolating the tweeter in its own damped extremely rigid cabinet allows it to be positioned for physical time alignment. Speaker cabinets are the most expensive parts of loudspeaker manufacture. They are often made with cost-cutting compromises. My approach is to manufacture ours in-house without compromise. If you design transmission-line loudspeakers, you learn how important cabinet design is for shaping the response of a speaker system versus using corrective crossovers.
"Complex crossovers tend to cause phase abnormalities, discontinuities and colorations that degrade performance. In my opinion the perfectly constructed loudspeaker would have such good matching between its drivers and cabinet that it wouldn't need corrective filtering. The closer you get to this ideal, the less complex of a filter network you need. The single capacitor used to integrate the Model 100's woofer and tweeter shows it to be quite close to this ideal. To reduce diffraction, the edges of the cabinet are beveled and the woofer and tweeter surface mounted. Placing the transducers above the baffle as opposed to flush reduces diffraction off the baffle and improves the spatial performance. In sum, the Model 100's ability to replicate spatial cues is due to these factors and pair matching of all its components".
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