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"Back on enforced evolution. Vifa eventually lost the tooling for our custom mid/woofer with its deliberately shallow profile, light paper diaphragms, light narrow diameter voice coils and light foam suspension terminations. We didn’t care to have our drivers made in Vifa's new Indian or Chinese plants. We wanted to remain with Danish driver manufacture but were faced with a fait accompli. Had I not been so very old-fashioned to sit on very substantial driver stock, we’d really have been in a pickle. It took about 9 months to get new delivery of many hundreds of drive units. First we had to reverse engineer them from the units we had evolved together with Vifa over the years. Prior to the financial crisis, we had been too small a business for them wanting to fulfil custom orders for a discontinued transducer. Ordering 500 units at a time wasn’t very interesting for them. Then in 2008 the world changed. Now they wanted our business back badly. Reverse-engineering our original driver was simply a painfully horrible thing to do. As it turned out, the redesign was better. It had evolved. But, we haven’t called the speaker R3 or R4 as a result. It’s still the OBX-R2. So when we became overexposed in the media, I didn’t have nor want an R3. I am very happy with the R2 as it is. If within this format of speaker I could make it better, I would. So we simply withdrew from having reviews...

"... with a 6.5-inch driver you can get seamless invisible integration with a quality 1-inch tweeter like our Scanspeak Revelator. Now put two of those drivers in parallel. Suddenly you’ve got the surface area of a 9.25" woofer. This gives better traction to go low with some air-moving capability yet the simplicity and legibility of a two-way remain.

"You also end up with half the excursion, half the IMD and twice the sensitivity. This moves up the spec for the mid/woofers such that our Revelator needs no series resistance to pad it down to match. As you know, in the catalogues of any driver vendor the HF units are always 3 to 4dB more efficient than the mid/woofers. It’s very difficult to burn efficiency in a tweeter without screwing up the sound. In our speakers, there's no resistor on the tweeters. The tonal balance relies on the paralleled mid/woofers by design.

"Our physical tweeter offset is for two reasons – no destructive interference on the front baffle by avoiding equal path lengths to the edge with a golden ratio location; and toe-in effects actual time alignment. With care, those speakers disappear. The single rear port is equidistant to both drive units. And yes, some of my customers want a more illustrious OBX-RW. What we currently have they call too cheap. I won’t raise the price because the speaker is what it is. Eventually we’ll simply need a bigger Avatar that’s more expensive because it’s demonstrably better.

"We cryogenically treat the binding posts, hookup wiring and capacitors of the R2 and RW models with a UK facility. We tested two firms with the very same parts. Nonetheless they returned sounding wildly different. Unfortunately both companies were quite cagey about details of their deep immersion processes. All we could do is have our chosen company guarantee that they’ll apply the identical process each time they process our parts. Back on the drivers, I know that they don't look slick but stamped baskets sound good. We’ve compared virtually the same drive unit in a fancy cast magnesium basket against a stamped God-help-us steel basket with all the bad connotations and unmarketability this entails. The stampers sounded fluid and powerful with quiet backgrounds. The Magnesium versions were bleached and gray.

"With our IBX versions for the two top models, you can hear an intimate grip with the crossover onboard. With the optional OBX outboard crossover you get a slightly looser sound—nothing objectionable—but you also enjoy the advantage of more space to properly lay out the crossover. All parts are 12 to 15 inches apart and rightly oriented. That sounds better than having them 9 or 10 inches apart which sounds better than 7 or 8 inches.

Auditorium at Definitive Audio with SME-30, Kuzma XL and SME-10 turntables with IOM cartridges and Kondo silver-wired tone arms and power supplies; Resolution Audio Opus 21 and Cantata digital sources; Kondo M-77 preamp; Kondo Gakuon II paralleled SE 211 monos and Canary Audio 300B monos on Living Voice G8 and Box Furniture Co. racks

"So we house our external crossovers in standard width boxes. You could place them in an equipment rack if you wanted. Not only does offboarding remove microphonic parts from the high-pressure environment of the speaker enclosure, you can also mount them on an elastomeric support structure. This gives a far quieter background for greater low-level ambiance retrieval, filigree and upper harmonics; better saturated tonal colors; higher textural differentiation; and a more heterogeneous presentation. It’s also calmer and more musically organized to become a net gain by some margin."

"Many two-ways fall apart when the going gets tough. They get confused because the crossover points start to drift due to improperly laid-out components. The inductance values change and the parts start talking to each other. You see a lot of speakers with their inductors oriented wrongly relative to each other and the capacitors and resistors. Impeccable crossover layout is vital. We’ve applied exhaustive mental illness to this subject to feel certain of its importance."