Audio Precision Announces APx Audio Software v4.6 with Chirp-Based Measurements for Smart Device Testing
Audio Precision announced the release of APx audio measurement software version 4.6, with a first public demonstration planned for the 144th International AES Convention in Milan. Included in this latest edition of the popular test software will be the ability to perform measurements using the log-swept sine chirp - such as acoustic response - in an open-loop configuration, an enhancement ideally suited to the test and evaluation of smart devices (e.g., smart speakers and smartphones)Read More

IsoAcoustics New ISO Series Line of Acoustic Isolation Stands Now Available Worldwide
IsoAcoustics announced that its latest line of acoustic isolation stands, the ISO Series, designed for professional audio speakers and subwoofers, is now available worldwide. The new models, which include the ISO-130, the ISO-155, the ISO-200, and the ISO-200SUB, feature a new contemporary design, a lower profile and all new isolators - offering the acclaimed acoustic isolation performance for which the company's multiple award-winning legacy stands have become famous.   Read More

Meyer Sound Debuts Svelte, UP-4slim UltraCompact Installation Loudspeaker
Meyer Sound has introduced the UP-4slim ultra-compact installation loudspeaker, a slender new solution for applications that demand superior performance and power-to-size ratio together with elegant aesthetics. The UP-4slim incorporates Meyer Sound's own IntelligentDC technology, integrating the inherent sonic advantages of self-powered loudspeakers with the installation ease of low voltage systems. It is the first IntelligentDC multi-way loudspeaker from the California brand to be housed in an all-aluminum enclosure.    Read More

Gracenote Introduces Recording-Level Music-Style Datasets for Better Music Discovery, Curation, and Personalization
Gracenote, now a Nielsen company, is launching Sonic Style, a breakthrough music descriptor system that classifies the "style" of musical recordings across massive catalogs for the first time. Leveraging audio analysis and state-of-the-art machine learning, Gracenote Sonic Style provides the music industry with a powerful and scalable new dataset at the recording level, enabling a more perfect playlist.   Read More

HEAD acoustics Improves Evaluation of Voice Control Systems 
HEAD acoustics has launched a new version of VoCAS (Voice Control Analysis System), the company's software for evaluating voice control systems. The turnkey test solution now supports the company's modular multi-channel labCORE front end. According to the Herzogenrath, a Germany-based company, VoCAS offers manufacturers even more possibilities to test their Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) system in vehicles, mobile phones, or smart speakers, objectively and reproducibly.   Read More

High End 2018 Final Report Indicates High Satisfaction Among Exhibitors Albeit Less Visitors
After four successful exhibition days, the 37th High End in Munich ended on May 13. A total of 530 exhibitors (-2% compared to 538 in previous year) from 41 nations and 19,899 visitors (-7% compared to 21,412 in 20017) were counted, including 7,557 trade visitors (-6%) from throughout the world. This represented a slight decline in numbers compared to the previous year, as noted in audioXpress' first impressions report of the High End show in Munich.   Read More

Fulcrum Acoustic Announces FH15 Full-Range Coaxial Horn Product Line
Fulcrum Acoustic is recognized by the industry for its high-performance professional loudspeaker technologies and for its unique approach to loudspeaker design. The company continues to expand that approach with its latest FH15 Full-Range Coaxial Horn product line. The FH15 Series features two-way, coaxial horn systems with a 15" horn-loaded woofer and a 4" diaphragm compression driver to provide precise pattern control to below 400 Hz, low frequency extension to 54 Hz, and extremely high output for products of their size, while using only a single amplifier channel.   Read More

Bose Introduces BOSEbuild Build-It-Yourself Bluetooth Headphones for Kids
Following the introduction in 2016 of the BOSEbuild Speaker Cube, a complete kit that lets kids explore the science of sound, Bose announced its second BOSEbuild product. The BOSEbuild collection is now expanded with a set of "build-it-yourself" Bluetooth headphones. It's a complete kit that provides kids - and anyone else - with a fun and interactive way to explore putting together a pair of high-quality headphones.   Read More


Editor's Desk

The AirBlade Transducer 

In Voice Coil's January 2016 issue, Vance Dickason wrote about a new major development in loudspeaker technology, highlighting a new transducer technology from Christensen Audio, which "has the potential to replace moving-coil driver types in many applications, both in terms of performance and cost." The article detailed "a wide-range, wide-angle, true point-source speaker driver" as described in US Patent 9,124,964 (granted, with others pending) and provided further details of this new technology, which represents a radical improvement of the basic and well-known Air Motion Transformer (AMT) technology, as originally developed by Dr. Oskar Heil and ESS Labs in the 1970s. 

Arya Audio Labs took the original Christensen Audio transducer concept and decided to make it commercially available as the AirBlade.

As Vance pointed out at the time, "For compression driver use in pro sound products, this new technology also has an extremely beneficial combination of very low moving mass, very high moving surface area, large length of conductor in the magnetic field, and high magnetic field strength, which results in the mass-break frequency being several octaves higher than the typical 3.5 kHz exhibited by traditional moving-coil compression drivers." That article has since been posted online in its entirety and is available here.
Fast forward to May 2018, at the High End show in Munich, I'm always on the watch for new technologies and designs - transducers in particular. During the second day of the show, in occasional chats with different friends on "what caught my eye," I learned that there was this "very exciting and promising" new driver being introduced at the show by a startup company and I was strongly advised to see it. Not knowing the exact location for the exhibit, it wasn't until the last day of the show, when on advice from our colleague Ward Maas, we decided to visit the "Newcomers" exhibits, where new companies pitch their new ideas, inventions and, sometimes, actual products.
There, we were fortunate to meet British manufacturer Arya Audio Labs and we were pleased to find a longtime friend of audioXpress and Voice Coil, Arthur Marker, now in charge of this new company introducing AirBlade, a revolutionary loudspeaker driver!
High End 2018 show in Munich. The audioXpress team - Ward Maas and J. Martins - meet Arthur Marker and his new venture, Arya Audio Labs.

For some reason, this product introduction at the Munich High End show looked familiar, but our visit was on the last day of the show, we couldn't stay very long, Arthur also had a meeting, and it wasn't until we returned home that I was able to investigate further, rediscovered the Christensen article, and decided to get back to Arthur and ask further questions.
Arthur kindly confirmed how, after having done extensive research on nonlinearities in loudspeakers and how to mitigate their drawbacks during his time at University of Southampton in the UK, a leading acoustic research institute, he decided to lead the Arya Audio Labs team. The company brings together the best expertise from different fields and with access to advanced prototyping tools including 3D printing, 5-axis CNC machines, and state-of-the-art measurement facilities.
After graduating with a MSc in Engineering Acoustics from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research/ISVR in UK (1st class honors) and with BEng in Electrical Engineering from DHBW University Stuttgart (1st class honors), Arthur Marker's professional experience already includes working for Apple (California, USA), Cirrus Logic (Southampton, UK), and Valeo (Stuttgart, Germany) on audio hardware design, FPGA development, Acoustic Validation, Acoustic Echo Cancellation, and DSP Design/Tuning.

Through his work, he also came across scientist and inventor E.J. Christensen who suggested the before-mentioned transducer concept based on the AMT principle that had the potential to solve all major issues of the dynamic loudspeaker. The two scientists initiated contact in 2016 and the common interest in overcoming the limitations of current driver technologies led to a partnership between them. What followed were extensive R&D activities to bring this transducer concept into commercial products, resulting in the company Arya Audio Labs being officially established in 2017.
In May 2018, the first AirBlade driver based on this new approach was finally presented to the public at the Munich High End show and was met with great interest from the audio industry as, according to Arthur, "it represents a significant technological leap forward compared to existing transducer technologies and offers unique features."

The clever diaphragm construction, in which adjacent layers always have opposite current flow, leads to a cancellation of inductive effects making the driver behave almost perfectly, electrically and acoustically with no significant resonance peaks.

AirBlade is a broadband (<1 kHz to >20 kHz), low distortion, high power, linear phase and linear impedance loudspeaker driver that does not become directional toward higher frequencies. Unlike traditional drivers that are using a single heavy diaphragm with separate voice coil attached to it, AirBlade utilizes very light ring-shaped foil elements as diaphragm, where conductive traces are directly laminated onto it. By distributing the diaphragm area over several layers and implementing a curved shape, AirBlade avoids several drawbacks of traditional drivers like beaming (sweet-spot problem). The effective diaphragm surface area in the AirBlade driver, measuring 19,200 mm2, is more than 37 times bigger compared to that of a traditional 1" driver while having similar outer dimensions. That results in improved air coupling, sensitivity and power handling and, at the same time, reduced distortion.

The company plans to offer its first batch of drivers for the high-end market starting August 2018, at a suggested retail price of around £1000 per unit (approx. 1300 USD). Products for Pro Audio and automotive market will follow at a later stage. Apart from the AirBlade driver project, Arya Audio Labs is also working on several other projects, such as the RevOpod damper or a range of Kappa cables for state-of-the-art high-end applications.


Audio Electronics
Repairing Switching Mode Power Supplies
By Scott Dorsey
For anyone who likes to get hands-on, either to construct complete projects or repairing existing ones, Scott Dorsey tells us how to repair Switching Mode power supplies. As he explains, "there are a lot of books and articles out there about how to design a switching supply, but not many on fixing them. As switching supplies become ubiquitous in electronic devices today, it becomes that much more important to understand how they work and just as importantly how they fail." This article was originally published in audioXpress, January 2018.   Read the Full Article Now Available Here

Voice  Coil Test Bench
B&C Speakers Pro Sound 12CXN88 12" Coax Driver 
By Vance Dickason
For this month's Test Bench, Vance Dickason characterizes a new 12" coaxial pro audio driver from B&C Speakers, a design typically applied in stage monitors, studio monitors, or distributed audio in large venues. B&C Speakers 12CXN88 is unique in that it uses a single neodymium magnet assembly for both the 12" woofer and the 1.3" throat exit compression driver. In terms of features, the 12CXN88 woofer is built on a proprietary 12-spoke (made up from six twin leg spokes) cast aluminum frame with eight mounting holes. Attached to the frame is the woofer's neodymium ring magnet motor structure with the compression driver finned assembly that shares the same magnet with the woofer attached to the back-shaped plate and firing into what would normally be a pole vent. The 12CXN88 woofer cone assembly includes a curvilinear front coated paper cone suspended by a coated cloth M-shaped surround. Dickason thoroughly measures this well-executed coax driver, with the outstanding build quality exhibited by all of B&C Speakers' products. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, January 2018.   Read the Full Article Online

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