Loudspeakers

The topic of loudspeaker design elicits strong opinions. From the manufacturing companies, to dealerships, to customers, most folks have a view about what designs are optimal and which designs are flawed.

In all fairness, defining the underlying causes of not so great sound quality is often blamed on loudspeakers. In some cases it is a fair accusation, because some loudspeakers do sound bad, no matter what they are hooked to or how they are placed in a room. This is very few speakers though. The real cause of bad to mediocre sound is a combination of many parts in a stereo system, each with their own contribution to the sound for better or worse.

For example, power cords are the starting point for good and bad sound. I know, I know, power cords can’t possibly make a difference, right? Well, they do make a sonic difference and if you have never had he opportunity to hear a good power cord, you should seek a known good cord. And just in case you are worried that a good power cable is too expensive, rest easy. Some are around $100. We suggest trying the Shunyata Research Venom power cord to get started. A nice upgrade over a stock cord. From the power cable at the wall to all the power cables for each component, power cables can degrade the sound of what would be a very good system, when equipped with good AC cables.

The interconnects are as important as the AC cables, with more influence on the sound than most people realize. Some customers have used a certain type or brand most of their lives, being told by a dealership that they are the best cables to use. In very few cases, the cables will be matched up well with the system and loudspeakers being driven. In many systems, a better sounding interconnect cable and loudspeaker cable set could be used, taking a mediocre sounding system to world class sound. Preposterous claim, but again, please try some good cables before falling victim to the “wire is wire” philosophy.

As loudspeakers are the last piece of equipment connected to the system, they have an opportunity to add a large amount of distortation. Changing electrical energy into physical sound energy is hard work! Our philosophy at Aluminous Audio is unique in several ways and defies most of the trends in loudspeakers today. We do this to avoid distortions that plague most loudspeakers.

Our designs avoid pitfalls that most large floorstanding speakers cannot escape. One of the major pitfalls has to do with time alignment of low frequency drivers with middle and high frequency drivers. There is only one way to integrate the low frequency sounds with the middles and highs. That is active electronics AND proper placement of the low frequency drivers within the room. A passive low range driver cannot properly align itself in terms of absolute phase with the middle and high drivers, and simultaneously be placed within the listening room to avoid creating massive standing waves, dips, and cancellations. More on room acoustics in another post. In all cases, the additional benefit of physically separate and self powered low frequency drivers is the ability to choose from a much wider range of amplifiers to drive the monitors/main speakers. A sweet deal and you will not need to set aside additional money to pay the increased electrical bill from running a monster powered amplifier.