Thursday, 9 August 2018

The Hadron

Bass reflex is an insufficient label to describe a speaker in a box with a hole in it. A wide variety of destinations await the traveler who buys a ticket with this country's name. Various alignments are available for a given driver with varying combinations of frequency response, step response, group delay and resonance. Some are named - Bessel, Bullock, Thiele/Small: B4, QB3, C4, etc... - many are not named

Rectangular boxes are easy to calculate and build and generally suck. Complex shaped cabinets are expensive and difficult to model and build but have the opportunity to transcend the compromises of flat surfaces and resonant construction. To design, build and measure complex cabinets, set fire to the failures and start over again to get better results takes persistence. Computer modelling reduces error but does not eliminate it. The difference between theory and practice is that in theory there is no difference while in practice there most certainly is.

Hadron Production Testing

A loud speaker is an ecocline of electronic, mechanical and acoustic interaction and thus resistant to accurate modelling - especially with complex cabinets across a broad frequency band. The way in which the rear wave propagates, reflects, and interacts with itself is but one of the facets of complexity. Each individual driver is different from the other, changes over time - even 
during each period of play - voice coils heat, suspensions soften, air density changes, etc... The variables are difficult to measure or estimate.

The cabinet is one of the most influential components in the performance of a loudspeaker while it is also the most costly, difficult and, often, least rewarding to experiment with.

Improved interior sculpting.

Many speakers are designed and built with modeling and built into rectangular boxes while the unquantifiable variables which can only be found with empirical data (verifiable observation or experience rather than theory or logic) are ignored because of cost and unknown results.

Frequency response is but one of variety of measurements which can describe a loudspeaker's performance but is often the only one communicated to indicate it. Step response, group delay, spectral decay, impedance also may indicate what the thing will sound like and still it is the listening which determines a loudspeakers success or failure - not the measuring. 
Nothing in the audio chain is closer to our ears than the loudspeaker while being one of the most complex. Acoustic, electric and mechanical measuring instruments assist us before bowing to the ultimate measuring instrument - the human ear.

Bass reflex alignments, like many other aspects of audio have been compressed into to poor examples by commercial and consumer interests. Smaller cabinets, 
easier to sell, are often chosen which have decent frequency response but often suffer poor transient response and thus have given bass reflex the reputation of “boom box”, "one note bass", "Monkey Coffin", etc... This has created a poor opinion much the same as horn loudspeakers when systems designed for stadiums were put inside living rooms - both less than optimal examples of the genre. 

The goal of the Hadron was to implement a bass reflex using alignments with proper transient response as well as low mass, low
 Q drivers (low loss) with fine quality paper cones, textile surrounds and field coil motors. These are much like the drivers used when Ultraflex and Onken bass reflex cabinets came into the world and are, in essence, drivers like they used to be made. They could be called: "new vintage drivers" to coin an oxymoron. While it is true that they do not have museum, collectors item or discovered buried treasure atmosphere they still perform as well in the real world and maybe after 50 to 100 years they will anneal themselves into the mystical.

Hadron Test Cabinets

Hadron development was heavily subsidised before being given to the business. The Hadron and its preceding iterations have been in development for over a decade and followed me around the world in my other career. Cabinets have been made in Dallas, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Modena and Bordeaux as it went along. Now, in the Mille Vache, amongst the cows, lavender and bumble bees the Hadron has come of age.

In previous posts there is some documentation of previous versions which shows the design and proportion. Differences now are:

1) Proprietary Driver - built with our specifications including field coil motors.

2) Horn designed especially for this application and driver providing physical time alignment in situ utilising Jean-Michel Le Cléac'h’s legacy of horn expansion.

3) Crossover network voiced with Thomas Mayer amplifiers to ensure optimum synergy when combined with these preferred devices. 

Thomas Mayer Amplification

4) Anechoic and resonant resistant, multilayer wood cabinet with resin impregnation.

 5) 100db efficiency for real First Watt operation.

The cabinets in these pictures are test cabinets. The Hadron is now in production with the same high calibre finished cabinets and styling as the Mojo (below) . Please email for inquiries, quotations and reservations.

Model One Mojo

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