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Discussion Starter #1
SpeakerHobby.com is proud to announce the distributorship of Audience's new A3 "true" full range loudspeaker driver!

Audience is the company that builds the AuriCap high end capacitors and have other lines of fine audio products as well.

I met the owner and we talked about making this driver they use in their speaker systems available to the DIY market.

Do you want to build a full range loudspeaker without a crossover? Then this is the driver to use!

Crossovers seem to be one of the DIY'ers most difficult task to handle when building a 2, 3, or 4 way system. I know this first hand because I've been building loudspeakers for over 14 years. The lack of a crossover eliminates the resistance of the components used in the crossovers and potential mistakes in the crossover's design. This allows the drivers to perform to their full potential.

The A3 3" driver has a usable xmax of 12 mm p-p and a mechanical xmax of 15. This is one of the most versatile drivers available to date. Presently being offered with a 16 ohm voice coil, you will parallel two drivers for an 8 ohm load. You can use a pair of these drivers for your home theater center, side surrounds, and center back speakers. Build them into your wall between the studs, in the ceilings, or even install a pair of them in the wall cavities on each side of your boat's main salon or staterooms!

Series and parallel the drivers to get the desired ohms you want to present to your amplifier and simply choose how large you want to build yours; 4, 8, 16 or 24 driver line arrays!

The 3 inch Audience A3 driver cones are made of an aluminum magnesium composite. The total moving mass of each driver is 2.5 grams, and with a massively oversized motor structure they are exceedingly fast and exhibit rise times similar to electrostatic loudspeakers resulting in ultra high resolution sound reproduction. The drawback with electrostatic loudspeakers is that while very defined they have limited dynamic range. The Audience A3 drivers, drivers being dynamic drivers provide the best of both worlds; high resolution plus dynamics. The 8 driver system, for example, can play at 123db continuous at distortion levels that one would normally associated with quality amplifiers. The result is stunning high resolution distortion free reproduction of sound.

The Audience A3 is a breakthrough full range loudspeaker driver design comprised of a patented motor structure, patent-pending suspension and patent pending basket. The A3 has an exceptionally flat response from 40Hz to 22Khz, and -20 at 20Hz with very high power handling and dynamic range. The A3 is built like a high power sub woofer driver using a large neodymium motor structure, big voice coil and suspension venting. The A3 is ultra responsive at 2.5 grams total moving mass providing state of the art resolution and dynamic range. The A3 sports 12mm of usable excursion with less than 1 dB compression at levels up to 95 dB SPL.

I've provided a couple of videos from the 2008 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas.

The first clip is an interview with John McDonald, the owner of the company describing some of his background, Audience, and the direction Audience is headed:
http://live.audiogon.com/events/the2008/vids/Audience_intv.html

The second clip has Roger Sheker, the chief engineer describing the 8 driver loudspeaker design they sell.
http://live.audiogon.com/events/the2008/vids/Audience_tech2.html

Roger explains that the speaker in the video is capable of 70hz on the low end. These are their ClairAudient line source array speakers but they are using their previous driver, the Bandor. The new A3 drivers will get you down to a flat response of 40 hz and -20 at 20Hz.

The list price for the A3 full range driver is $170 ea. For 8 or more drivers, I can discount them to $150 ea. Orders for 4 or more drivers, I will pay for your shipping to the lower 48 states.

Here is a link to the specifications of this fantastic loudspeaker driver:
http://www.speakerhobby.com/A3StatsGraph.pdf

Please visit my website for ordering information and find some useful tips on how to build your cabinets using the A3 drivers. More information will be added about the A3 driver, and updates on upcoming drivers with different voice coil configurations will be added as soon as they become available.

Thank you,
Mike

http://www.SpeakerHobby.com
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Audience's new true full range loudspeaker.

Interesting speaker. Is there a recommended cabinet size for it?
Very simple. 2 liters per driver, ie 4 cu. liter for two and so on. When building a line array you would keep four speakers per cabinet ie dividing your cabinet with 3/4" dividers. Keeping only 4 drivers per cabinet eliminates the pipe affect, or standing waves. A 3/4" cabinet material is recommended. A sixteen driver cabinet would have four compartment, 4 drivers, and 3 dividers. Keep them all sealed and simply series and parallel them to get your desired 4 or 8 ohm load. NO CROSSOVERS NEEDED! Recommended box size: 4 Liters. No internal bracing is required. Lining two walls with about a handfull of real wool is recommended.

I should have my first driver order in on Tuesday or Wednesday and I'll get some good close up photos of them posted.

At the CES show the owner and engineer were told several times that that is the finest small full range driver that the CES participants have ever seen. The frequency range is unbeleivable in a driver that size!

I've included a photo of their 8 and 16 driver versions. Cost for a pair of the 8 driver finished speakers is $23,000, and their 16 driver speaker sells for $35,000. The 24 driver pair is $47,000. There is quite a savings for the DIY'er to build their own. :jiggy:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: The A3 and XBL technology

Audience is proud to announce that they have licensed the XBL2 technology and is used in their build and design of the A3 loudspeaker driver, with 3 patents pending.

Coupled with the super powerful N45SH neodymium magnetic material used in this amazing driver's motor, you can only expect the best in the high end audio quality that Audience is so well known for.

XBL motors are useful for all audio transducers. While many applications have been focused on woofers, the advantages are also applicable for midranges and tweeters. In fact, the low inductance and moving mass of this motor are extremely beneficial in wideband transducers. Typically, XBL will halve the inductance of a comparable excursion overhung motor, which can result in adding a full octave of extension on the high end. Add in the lower moving mass from the short coil, and the driver designer has a greater degree of flexibility in driver creation.

Compared to the overhung designs, the shorter coil length means more mechanical clearance in the motor and higher tolerance of rocking, meaning dual spiders are not required for high excursions. Combine this with a flatter BL curve, lower inductance, and lower moving mass and the advantages of XBL over overhung topologies are readily apparent.

The A3's surround; patent-pending, is uniquely s shaped allowing for the surround to provide large excursions without shrouding the cone and with uniform resistance in both directions. The A3 spider was designed with special materials and design that provide for large linear excursions and is of a size usually associated only with much larger drivers.

"Our intent and design goal was to do a design suitable for multiple driver use so we weren’t limited with dynamic range or power handling; we just add more drivers".

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: New Driver Photos

I just received my order of drivers in today. I feel like I've received an order of Swiss watches. These loudspeaker drivers are a remarkable work of art. Look at the extra large pole piece venting! The neodymium magnets are much larger than I expected for a driver this size. Audience has put a lot of research and design work into this driver.

I'm posting a few pics today and hope to have some modeling done with both two and four drivers and will post my results with the next few days. I will also provide an updated chart for multiple driver use.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Update on the A3 driver

Audience just received this driver in December and I was one of the first to get an order of these drivers so we will be working together to keep you informed with recommended enclosures and specifications as tests are underway at this time. We now have an OEM speaker builder who has purchased a quantity of these drivers and have sent a few of them to a University in Canada for immediate testing for recommended box enclosures and performance graphs even though we have our own graphs suggested enclosures that we have received from our main speaker designer.

My ealier post for the 2 and 4 liter sealed enclosure is for a wall mounted sealed enclosure to eliminate baffel step problems.

Please follow my posts as our test results keep coming in. Vance Dickason has our drivers and is working on providing us his report on this driver as well. Audience feels that this is the finest full range speaker that is available in any market at the present time.

The following A3 frequency response is based on a 6L per driver enclosure and port tuning to 45 Hz:
 

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Re: Audience's new true full range loudspeaker.

Hello, your thoughts on a open baffle dipole line array.

Thank-You, Lee
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: Audience's new true full range loudspeaker.

Hello, your thoughts on a open baffle dipole line array.

Thank-You, Lee
These drivers could easily bottom out using an open baffel line array. You would not have the suspension a sealed or ported cabinet would offer. These have the very powerful neodymium magnets that were originally designed for a 6" driver.

I'm building a 20 liter ported cabinet tuned to 45hz with 4 drivers. 2" port by 4.25". 4 ohms, all parallel wired and no crossover. I'll show some more pics as I make some progress. Update: [Further factory tests proved that 5 liters per driver is too small. That number was raised to 6 liters per driver.]

The sound reproduction is supposed to be unreal with this new driver and the XBL2 technology. I'm so anxious to get the first one finished. I'm used to my large loudspeakers, so I'm anxious to be able to have a smaller speaker that can reproduce true high quality music in a smaller package.

We ran the numbers and they model very well with my design. A small handfull of real wool is recommended to add as well as lining the cabinet with a good dampening material. Adding and subtracting a small amount of wool is the tuning secret to these cabinets. According to Audience, wool has a sonic property unlike that of the conventional polyfil found in most speaker builds. I have some Romney loose wool ordered for the extra dampening. I'll be using the better 3/4" Sonic Barrier dampening material on the side walls. If this one gives me the results I like, I'll build a sister for her.

Here is the link to the specifications and output ratings for the ClairAudient speakers with the multiple drivers in their line array:
http://www.audience-av.com/loudspeakers/specs.php
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: Cabinet design

I'm still working on a design to take advantage of these great drivers.

I wasn't pleased with my first cabinet and the Sonic Barrier was way too much dampening for these drivers. It took away a lot of mids and bass. After a couple of cabinet modifications, I decided to 86 them and start over.

I've ordered two new cabinets from Parts Express.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=302-753

It is 1 cu ft (28 liters) but I'll add enough extra bracing or fill material to reduce the volume from the 28 to 24 liters recommended by Audience.

In addition to increasing the volume of my original design I'll be adding two 1" ports directly behind the drivers to eliminate baffel step and will fill the cabinet with a handful of loose "real wool" per driver and will not use any other dampening material.

I expect some fantastic results after all of this testing. I'll be using 4 drivers in these cabinets as well.

I'll post my results when my final driver order gets in and I can get them built.

Mike
 

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Re: The A3 and XBL technology

The A3's surround; patent-pending, is uniquely s shaped allowing for the surround to provide large excursions without shrouding the cone and with uniform resistance in both directions.
Do you have any bigger pictures that show the surround in detail. In the small pics you posted it looks no different than some of the surrounds made by Radio Speakers of Canada in the '70s.

dave
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: Audience's new true full range loudspeaker.

Hi Dave,

Those are the closest pics I could take with my digital camera. In one of the pics I display in a previous post, you can see one of the rolls of the surround from the backside. If you need a more detailed pic or cutaway view of the surround, I will try to get one from Audience for you. The pink noise break in shows their great cone excursion.

I've just finished up this four driver array. The cabinets are now 24 liters, have 2-1" ports, and the cabinet walls lightly lined with real wool. I used Audience's Auric hook up wire for optimal sound quality. They are very detailed in sound out of the box with no break in. They have a very high quality sound for such a small full range loudspeaker.

I have them in my shop to finish running Linkwitz's pink noise CD for break in for 48 hours and then will take them into the home and set them up with my home theater with my NAD AVR. I'll know better how they integrate with the system, both in home theater and stereo modes.

Let me know if you need more details from the manufacturer.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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Re: Audience's new true full range loudspeaker.

...If you need a more detailed pic or cutaway view of the surround, I will try to get one from Audience for you.

Let me know if you need more details from the manufacturer.
Yes that would be good. As much as i'm a cheerleader for Dan Wiggin's work, i hate to see a patent granted for something that has already been done, and it would be nice to see the detail that makes this surround unique.

As these are not a true line source I'd also like your take on the combing issues, althou with 4 units it, in theory, shouldn't be as bad as the longer lines.

dave
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: Audience's new true full range loudspeaker.

Dave,

Concerning any combing issues, I don't notice any. If the drivers had more spacing between them, then there might be a combing issue.

In regards to the patent, I'm sure there aren't any issues with this design. I have forwarded your concern on to Audience for their review though. I'll see about the surround detail if they are willing to release it. Not all manufacturers are willing to give up their critical design information. If I designed something, I don't know if I would do that either.

Mike
 

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Re: Audience's new true full range loudspeaker.

Hi Dave,

There are two very distinct features of our RevSurround design, which are quite novel (and make the surround operate in a much more linear - and better terminating - manner):

1. The angle of attachment at the cone and the basket is 90 degrees or less; the sharp angle is important, and is a distinct difference from that shown by the speaker you picture.

2. The area of the two rolls is equal; the diameter of the inner (negative) roll is equal to the area of the outer (positive) roll. This means the diameter of the two rolls is necessarily different.

These two reasons are why the design is unique, and is currently patent pending.
 

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Re: Audience's new true full range loudspeaker.

With only 4 drivers, if you get far enuff away, it shouldn't be a big problem. Most of the 4 driver arrarys (not many) are using 2" drivers and some of those allow for turning off the outer 2 above a certain frequency.

With 3" driver spacing, lambda ~ 4500, Griffins paper indicates that the array will transition from a virtual line array to individual point sources and will start combing above this. You need to get into the far field to avoid the worst of it (about > 10 ft for your 4 driver array)



Griffin paper
http://www.audiodiycentral.com/resource/pdf/nflawp.pdf
and Taylor's earlier paper
http://homepage.mac.com/planet10/TLS/downloads/taylor-line-array.pdf

I'm really interested in hearing these, but i suspect they will be their best used 2 or 4 at a time, or in novel ways that minimize the combing.

dave
 

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Re: Audience's new true full range loudspeaker.

Thanx Dan. At least the 2nd is different than anything i've seen.

dave
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Re: Finished 4 driver array

I'll have some "ear test results" this week although they sounded fantastic in my shop with a very cheap receiver. I won't be able to get some graphs done until my friend with his REW gets his microphone and new board. What an awesome driver!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, I have them in the home and hooked up to my NAD receiver and was astounded by their clarity and presence. They really shined in the midrange and upper frequencies. I used my subwoofer assist with only four drivers per cabinet and the imaging and music reproduction is fantastic.

Audience, and myself now, recommend that a two or four driver cabinet should be sealed, losing a bit of the low end, but suppliment these speakers with your subwoofer and you will be very pleased. You will be able to increase your spl as well.

I have them sitting next to my large mains in my system they have better clarity than my big mains with the Scan Speak dual midranges and HI VI RTII tweeters in the midrange and upper frequencies. My main's low end is of course better.

These would be an ideal speaker for home theaters with limited room to place speakers too, but yet still able to enjoy very high quality audio. I would recommend a minimum of four drivers for the mains, and the surrounds to have at least two drivers. The more drivers, the higher SPL and better presence will be noticed with less chance of overexcursion.

The following A3 frequency response is based on a 6L per driver enclosure and port tuning to 45 Hz. I built my pair using their original ported build specs and the following response graph should apply to my cabinet x 4 drivers. I need to verify with Audience how many drivers they used when modeling this graph.
 

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