Sunday, 26 February 2017

Hadron moves forward

Hadron in production.

The Hadron loudspeaker has been in active development since September 2016. After testing and tuning we are now in production prototype phase synchronising theory with reality. This is the most work intensive phase which coordinates computer design, computer manufacturing and skilled assembly.

The design and construction methods are advanced being more like ship, aircraft or musical instrument building rather than standard carpentry. No nails or screws are used in bonding the elements which combine into a light and rigid structure. A man can jump up and down on them with no effect. The cabinet makers were impressed when this was demonstrated.

When I worked for a helicopter manufacture production prototyping was the most critical stage where proving processes included stressing parts past failure and developing operating envelopes with experimental testing. The joke was that we were crash rated. Fortunately testing loudspeakers is less stress prone. It has been rewarding to see the production cabinets improving on the test mule performance.

Not only have new design elements been implemented from what was learned with the test mules but the construction is now more comprehensive and relies less on the stressed element load path - the rigidity of the metal framed driver.

This is still incorporated but now augmented with a greater number of load paths to the cabinet from the driver. The moving element is held rigidly by a light and strong frame with great stability along the axis of motion.

It is worth mentioning the "Onken" for a moment here. It was developed for the same drivers which we are now using - the Altec Alnico 414 and 515. Future posts will feature details of these.

These Onken tunings were developed for solid state amplifiers where cabinet and port tuning includes the Rg - resistance of the total components: crossover, coils, terminals, wire, amplifier etc... . This is a large factor in the calculations and in the tuning of listening and adjusting. The L'Audiophile articles indicate clearly that while the triodes were often the amplifier type on the rest of the system the bass cabinet was driven with solid state.


The Hadron speaker was conceived by the desire to have full range deployment of SET triode power - as little as two watts of it. Dampening factor is significantly different for solid state and tubes (valves) especially SET - single ended triode amplifiers. It has been common practice to use solid state in bass amplification in mostly triode systems and thus much of the nuance (micro linearity) which a triode can provide is lost.

Most importantly, when this cabinet is tuned for solid state it is not tuned for triodes and so the traditional Onken tuning is not optimal with triodes. The best multi amp systems use identical amplifiers throughout and for us that means triodes top and bottom. Our speakers work easily with low powered triodes and not only can fill a room with bass but with with all the nuance and depth triodes provide. I am often amused when asked where the bass amplifier is when there isn't one. So few speakers are tuned for triodes that people are not used to them providing the kind of bass they are actually capable of. The Hadrons can easily run on low powered triodes and be bi-wired or bi-amped. They are better than 96db efficient and provide and easy and stable load to the amplifier.

Following posts will show installation of drivers and crossover components. 

First public showing will be Munich High End in May of 2017.


  1. Hi Chuck,
    Great post!
    I am looking forward to hear them!


    1. Hi Thomas,

      thank you. I will call this week.