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Alex's next e-mail documented the gestation assembly of the midrange arrays.


A plethora of precision-cut phenolic cabinet parts turn into a hexagonal column with triangulated sub dividers.


The time stamp of September 6 on the pix presaged the team's crunch to get ready for me and RMAF.


But Alex was chipper: "It's full steam ahead and pedal to the metal over here and many parts have been completed. By the way, all along we play G'n'R and S.O.A.D. at insane SPL while shouting trying to communicate. A bunch of wackos we are, I admit, playing air guitars while we think of how to cut or drill or draw new parts for our water jet guys.


"I've assembled the midrange housings today. They are made from composite phenolic plates cut on water jet. Good thing is that everything fits perfectly as expected and now we need to make the felt lining cutouts, wiring and cork wall damping for the empty sidewalls - but from the outside as there's no room inside and I like to have my midrange cabinet walls exhibit slower wave propagation speed than the speed of sound in free air as then, the layer that touches the surrounding air cannot engage the air into further propagating the sound.


"Speaking of which, the bronze for the woofers, even though it can engage the air to propagate sound, has a much higher resonant frequency than the woofers will ever play so we're deep into the safety zone there to have a dead cabinet as far as the desired bandwidth is concerned. Screwing woofers to it over foam gaskets adds a very nice damping effect so we end up with a "box" that has a high resonant frequency with low Q and less wall surface than speaker radiating area. I couldn't ask for more.


"We did a mock-up of the widebander mounting just to check things and take pictures. As the photos show, the li'l drivers couldn't pack together more tightly. I even had to design cut-outs in the dividing walls just to have them closer together. The thing here is that the front and rear radiation is separated. In other words, the front drivers can't play through the back drivers and vice versa. Some omni-speaker manufacturers have a hollow space in the middle surrounded by radiation area which creates comb-filtering trouble and time-domain smearing. Using felt- and cork-lined but stiff and inert dividing walls is the way to go in my opinion.


"The small widebanders are sounding great, a very adequate complement to the ribbons and then some. They pour out the dynamics and speed effortlessly and the planned bonus of course is that each of them has a nice piece of Neo magnet driving a 1" coil. That times 18 adds up to no power compression and endless SPLs. The whole idea was to make a speaker that will sound great from 2 watts to 500 watts of applied power. I'm an SPL freak who likes to have quality to his SPLs so that explains it. More updates in a day or two..."


The above photo creates proper scale to put the size of this array into perspective.