From Dune to done in $3'295/pr? That'll be Clayton Shaw's newest open-baffle speaker project after his departure from Spatial Audio. Caladan is a dual 12" Beyma mid/woofer 2-way with paper-cone drivers and Dayton Reference RST28 silk-dome tweeter crossed at ~1kHz/2nd-order all mounted to a baffle plank of surprisingly manageable 38×18" proportions with claimed bandwidth "into the mid 30s". No sooner had the ink dried on announcements that he'd left Spatial in capable hands—close observers remember him also from Evett & Shaw then Emerald Physics which today is operated by Underwood Hifi—word spread of at least one more passive OB from Clayton's mind. The first promotional video includes early 3rd-party comments vis-à-vis Clayton's earlier Sapphire model. Seeing them side by side also gives a first in-room show of size. Finish options are solid hardwood in four different species. An experiment in painted or lacquered MDF degraded the sound but experiments are underway to instead paint the solid Maple baffles should clients want colours.

If you're wondering about Spatial's future, the new owners "are committed to a measured investment and growth plan that ensures continuity of operations and building confidence in our ability to deliver outstanding value. Don Sachs and Lynn Olson are partnering with us to bring their Revelation Series 300B monos and preamp into production. Don will be personally training us to build these. Production is scheduled to begin in October with first deliveries in November." It appears Clayton didn't sign a typical non-compete agreement to so quickly launch a new brand with very similar product. Consumers could applaud the new option, current owners of Spatial speakers might be disappointed that their man has popped up elsewhere? How about the new owners of Spatial Audio Labs the company? Do they plan to take their brand upmarket as the new electronics suggest whilst Clayton services price points below theirs?

From Spatial on support: "As part of the purchase agreement with Clayton, he retained the liability for warranty and supporting all previous products. The only exception is the X4 as that had a backlog of orders to fulfill, we had the technical resources with experience making them and were able to get parts. I believe Clayton intends to help when possible and we too will provide help on a best-effort basis for older products. Also, we made it clear to Clayton that our interest was not to pursue products that fit the market at his new price point but as audiophiles, we are glad that he was able to put something together with a great deal of promise." That settles worried conspiracy theories. In fact, "we can confirm several pallets of drivers that arrived today waiting for the remaining components for assembly and shipping to eager new Caladan owners" spells out that Caladan manufacture occurs at Clayton's old company. It's all an amicable split; and split of responsibilities. "On our new Revelation Series project, the Blackbird started 25 years ago as a thought experiment: what would the most inherently linear amplifier look like? No feedback loops, no feedforward, no secondary signal paths, just the most linear parts used in the most linear circuit. And not as a paper experiment or white paper but an actual working amplifier. In principle, push/pull should be the most linear but it often sounds congested compared to single-ended. Why? Well, the vacuum tube 'phase splitters' in traditional amplifiers have their own colorations and the distortions they generate are not cancelled by balanced operation. Why not phase split with completely passive devices like transformers? That way all active circuits are made of balanced, matched pairs from input to output, and distortion is so inherently low that feedback is no longer necessary. All critical functions are done passively: noise isolation, distortion cancellation and output matching. Balanced pairs of the most linear vacuum tubes do the amplifying, with a signal path of nothing but transformers and vacuum tubes powered by silent 200-watt linear power supplies with 130dB of isolation from outside noise. 25 watts before clipping and minimal stress. Support for multiple driver tube options – 6L6/KT66/KT88. Flat from 20Hz to 30kHz at full power."