Electronics aren’t immune either!

There are many multi-driver speakers, but few that go floor to ceiling like the IRSV. Floor to ceiling multi-driver speakers are called a Line Source. What’s counter-intuitive about a line source is how specific the imaging can be. With that many drivers, one would think the image would be tall, rather than lifelike, when the opposite is true.

Audio equipment design seems to come in trendy waves. Take for example loudspeakers. The sloped time aligned baffle, the damping of the baffle, narrow cabinets, wide cabinets, round, triangular, square, rectangular and unseen: multiple enclosure boxes hidden behind speaker cloth socks. There are horns, flat panels, tiny cubes, in-wall, on-wall, multiple, dual, single, on-ear, over-ear, in-ear, to name a few.

Electronics aren’t immune either. Systems in cabinets, separates, tubes, solid state, analog, digital, wires, wireless, receivers, integrateds, portables. There are hidden, in-wall, on-wall, cloud-based, home-based, computer-based, personal, whole-house, and more than I can remember.

Like clothing, jewelry, watches, cars, food, and architecture, how we interface and relate to our music systems is an ongoing process of fashion in service to bringing music into our lives.

I smile when I see hand wringing over the latest trend—remembering always, it’s a choice—and a fun one at that.

From time to time we place new speakers in Music Room One. No, we don’t move out the behemoths already there. Moving the IRSV is an all day affair involving many strong backs and a forklift. What we do is simply plunk down a set of speakers and play.

What’s remarkable to me is the depth any speaker pair placed in the room enjoys. Even speakers normally displaying little soundstage width or depth present something quite extraordinary in Music Room One.

The reason is simple. It’s the room.

We configured the room and its acoustics to offer the best sonic performance for any loudspeaker. From the RPG diffusers, the forest of acoustic tubes, to the angled front walls, everything we did contributes to the sound.

Rooms and their treatment play as big a difference as the speakers themselves.

If you’re interested in how we did all this you can watch our video series of three years ago, starting here. There are eight parts to this series including the intro. The two most popular videos are seven and eight, (labeled inaccurately as six and seven). The last one has been viewed nearly half a million times, though for the life of me I don’t know why.

You might find some of the information valuable to apply to your own room.

Have fun.

Line source speakers have a cylindrical wave launch where the sound radiates outward in an expanding cylinder, as though from a line in space. Its radiation pattern is such that it hasn’t any floor or ceiling bounce, as do conventional speakers which are closer to what we might call a point source.

Few among us can afford the cost or the real estate of speakers dominating the room from floor to ceiling, but if you ever have a chance to experience the effortlessness and pinpoint imaging of a true multi-driver line source, grab it.

It’s a real ear opener.

Paul McGowan

EDITORIAL NOTE: The opinions expressed in the above post do not necessarily reflect those of our editorial team – just in case you wondered. Neil McCauley

 

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