Hey guys, This is Brendan whom I’ve spoke with you guys before over e-mail -
I’m super, like beyond incredibly excited for this project and would love to inject as many helpful thoughts and ideas as possible to make it the best it can be to the very end. First off, a few principle design aspects and cues I’d suggest are -
- Full range drivers, if not co-axial drivers, like my a long shot. Since these are going to be primarily designed and used for near-field listening, nothing comes close to the coherency and ‘3D’ like imaging and sound-staging of a full range driver. Take the BeoPlay S8 for example, of which I owned which is essentially a premium build quality version of Bose’s ‘cube HT systems’ type design, and the sound practically tickled your ear, without and fatigue or driver coherency issues due to not having to have the mid-range and tweeter blend perfectly - because there were none, but simply an incredibly high quality full range driver that extended all the way up to 20Khz, and had plenty of mid-range umph down to the sub which reached down to 20Hz flat. It was sublime.
- Another example of this being more or less perfectly executed (though perfection is subjective, but in this case it’s the best it can be) - is the Gallo Acoustics line-up of Micro SE and A’Diva speakers; pure full range audiophile sound quality, and they even mention using their speakers for Hi-FI PC Gaming, yeah you read that right, and they love bragging about the very real fact they knock it out of the park, because again: Full range drivers are perfect for near-field.
- Final example - well two actually: Are the Orb Audio orbs (one being actually used in Abby Road’s studio supposedly to check vocal coherency and performance, because again… without a crossover network muddying things up, no matter how pristine or high quality the CO network may be, nothing beats vocals being reproduced on a full range driver, which is why even the hardest core of Bose skeptics will admit vocals sound remarkably coherent on their systems at the worst of times) - second being Razer’s Nommo speakers. Simple yet beyond amazing sounding for two full range drivers. Like stupid clear and precise.
Second concept I’d like to inject would be: Focus heavily, I mean HEAVILY on pure clean powerful depth of depth bass performance. If you guys are even remotely serious about making the BEST computer speakers possible, you’ll have to beat the Paradigm Millenia series which can still be bought, the Razer Nommo Pro and something like the Klipsch iFi which reaches down to 27Hz - not being made anymore but still can be had for cheap on eBay. My bottomline spec would be 25Hz at least. If not down to 20Hz flat, like the beoplay S8’s.
- To achieve this, 2 possible solutions: dual 8 or 9" isobaric subwoofer driver design, or a super high excursion 10" - preferably down firing, or possibly even up firing like the Bose Bass Module 700. Now again, as quick aside, I’m a huge audiophile, but I also love Bose for their engineering prowess and especially their later stuff - that’s a pretty divisive opinion, but there are many audiophiles with Bowers & Wilkins 802 Diamons w/ McIntosh amps for example that have a Bose Lifestyle system in their mane cave and absolutely love it, I’m one of those types.
– So again, back to bass performance: This is the make it or break it area for the whole foundation: Shitty bass performance, to be quite frank, will kill the system. Sure a sloppy bass kick here and there and some boom will impress the millennial or Beats by Dre fart can users, but for serious audiophile quality, we’re talking deep, powerful musical extension.
---- To top it all off, I’m hoping for some kind of ‘room analysis tool’ to optimize the audio quality to your room. Something super simple - possibly a USB mic connected to your PC or Mac, the system taps into an app on your computer and plays a series of tones, and optimizes its frequency response for best performance based on its location and setup. Would absolutely make a world of difference and be a massive selling point.
For some design aesthetics - I’m thinking BeoLab 14/S8 - though maybe a little ‘rounder’, like the Focal Dome Flax’s or Elipson Planet M’s - or the Gallo Acoustics series; I think a flat front grill rather than a full rounded ‘orb’ look would be best, but the actual enclosure would be a polished internally damped metal sphere. But ofocurse the external look and design could be anything in the end - the internal cabinet volume and anti resonant properties are what matter the most.
If you guys aren’t going to be developing your own drivers which, let’s face it, many don’t (though many do), and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that if high end ones are used, say from Scanspeak or Philips, then I’d suggest Tang Band, Fostex or something really nice like Scanspeak. They’re out there, and maybe you can get something custom fabbed from a speaker driver manufacturer.
— Also have the cords be a really, really clean ‘Apple-like’ look and connection; no gaudy ‘clips’ or zip-tie like junk speaker wire, but something like the white, clean cabling of the BeoPlay S8’s, or think Apple lightning cable or RAZER braided cables - and maybe offer them in a variety of colors? Detachable cables are a must, but have them going into the speakers in a very flush, clean like fashion. That can completely ruined the final touch aesthetic of the system and bring down the whole feeling a notch or two as a whole.
And finally: Reliability; holy hell is this important. Last thing you want is your system blowing up in your face, nearly making you deaf and causing smoke to shoot out of the sub - BIG BIG BIG THING TO CONSIDER: Amp driven and active DSP design to prevent over excursion and driving of the speakers.
Basically: Make the system so it can’t be damaged or be blown. Like what Bose does (another huge plus regardless of their other ‘issues’ may one have with them) - Do that, market it if it’s 100% rock solid of a feature, and you’ll be swimming in fans and support.
Couple nips and tucks -
High end USB connectivity (high quality internal DAC etc.)
Don’t bother with gaudy gimmicks like ‘fake 5.1’ or some crap; absolutely horse sh*t, hate that nonsense
No need for a on desk controller ‘puck’ IMO - but that’s entirely subjective, maybe make it optional? I prefer everything being done in app; makes for a far cleaner desk for most purposes, and is now I have my paradigms setup for my Mac music workstation.
Remote control? Forget it. Don’t bother, guarantee 90% of them will get lost.
And that’s about it for now. Seriously, can NOT wait for something like this to happen. I’m glad I’ve got my two sets of Paradigms, had the BeoPlay (selling it is one of the biggest regrets I’ve ever done), and the RAZER Nommo Pro’s look cool, but reliability is a huge risk with RAZER - I don’t work for any of their competitors nor am I bad mouthing them, I love their stuff, but I’ve personally deal with them on this level, and it’s a total PITA.
– Customer service: Make sure you guys kill it in this regard, and it seems like you would.
– Don’t bother with gimmicky THX ratings. Pointless.
Looking forward to any new advancements. Will keep myself posted,