Archives for August 2004

MartinLogan Introduces New Voyage and Passage In-Wall Loudspeaker Models for High-Performance Home Theater

MartinLogan has introduced two new in-wall loudspeaker models using the company’s trademark Advanced Thin Film (ATF) transducer technology.

The architecturally-inspired Voyage™ ($1,995 each, US) and Passage™ ($749 each, US) are designed for high-performance home theater installations. They represent MartinLogan’s premiere offering in the rapidly-expanding in-wall loudspeaker market.

Both new loudspeaker designs feature:

  • Quick, Trouble Free Installation
  • Unbreakable, Constant Control, Die-Cast Aluminum Mounting Locks
  • High-Resolution ATF™ (Advanced Thin Film) Transducers
  • High-Excursion Aluminum Element Woofers
  • Massive Audiophile Grade Crossovers
  • Ultra Rigid, Wall Stiffening, Extruded Aluminum Chassis
  • Paintable End Caps and a Selection of Grill Color Options
  • Highly Adjustable Tweeter Alignment Sphere
  • IR Repeater Ready

Quick, Trouble Free Installation
To provide an extremely quick and trouble free installation, MartinLogan’s passionate engineering and design team created an extremely robust mounting lock system. When not in use the unbreakable, constant control, die-cast aluminum mounting locks are held firmly in place within a self-contained housing. When the mounting locks are moved into place during installation they firmly couple the loudspeakers rigid chassis to the drywall. If for any reason the speaker should be removed from the wall the mounting locks retract and lock themselves out of the way within their self-contained housing.

Every Voyage and Passage loudspeaker is provided with a rigid, full size installation template featuring a handle, quick reference installation instructions, and die cut guides for marking the cutout hole. To minimize installation site clutter, both speakers are boxed so that parts are removed from the shipping container in the order they are needed for installation—first the template, next the speaker and finally the grill covers.

ATF™ (Advanced Thin Film) Transducers Provide Clarity, Detail and Resolution
ATF™ (Advanced Thin Film) transducers, based on RADIA planar technology, consist of a micro-thin, low mass diaphragm with an ultra-light, etched conductive aluminum surface suspended between two high field strength neodymium super magnet arrays. When an electrical current (audio signal) passes through the etched aluminum on the diaphragm’s surface it is simultaneously pulled towards one of the neodymium arrays and pushed away from the opposing. When the direction of current is reversed the diaphragm is simultaneously pushed and pulled in the opposite direction, thus producing sound. This concept is called push-pull and is a major contributor to the linearity and sonic superiority of both ATF and electrostatic MartinLogan thin film transducers

ATF diaphragms are constructed of extremely low mass Dupont Kaladex® PEN (polyethylene naphthalate) — a material chemically similar to the low-mass PET (polyethylene terathylate) film used in MartinLogan’s Generation 2 electrostatic transducers, yet capable of handling the high thermal requirements needed for stable magnetic thin film operation. Full surface drive capabilities allow this durable, low-mass diaphragm to remain discretely sized, yet achieve extremely low-distortion levels with superior resolution.

High-Resolution Woofer for Accurate Bass
Utilizing high-excursion, high-resolution state-of-the-art woofers specially designed for accurate in-wall bass performance, Voyage and Passage deliver a precise low-end with accuracy, authority and extension uncommon to traditional in-wall loudspeakers.

Massive Audiophile Grade Crossover for Ultimate Clarity
State-of-the-art audiophile grade Vojtko™ crossovers found within the Voyage and Passage are designed and manufactured with the same meticulous attention, care and precision as those found in MartinLogan’s ultimate loudspeaker products. To maintain the integrity of the original audio signal throughout the filter, all high-performance crossover components, including massive air-core coil inductors, are carefully mounted to 1/8-inch thick high-rigidity circuit boards with ultra-wide traces.

Ultra Rigid Extruded Aluminum Chassis and Baffle Stiffens Wall
Extruded and milled, the Voyage and Passage aluminum chassis exhibits rigidity capable of stiffening the wall in which they are installed, thus minimizing acoustically destructive vibrations. Additionally, an extremely dense and rigid, one inch-thick front baffle further minimizes acoustically destructive vibrations.

Flexible Aesthetic and Performance Features Allow High Levels of Integration
Paintable end caps and a selection of grill color options endow the Voyage and Passage with the flexibility to complement any decor. The Industry’s most highly adjustable tweeter alignment sphere (featuring 20° pan and tilt and 90° degree rotation capabilities) allows incredible adaptability in any environment. Horizontal and vertical installation options make the Voyage and Passage ideal for 2-channel stereo and multi-channel home theater listening in left, center, right or surround configurations.

IR Repeater Ready for Custom Installations
Voyage and Passage feature locations and predrilled pilot hole where IR repeaters can be installed allowing custom installers even more flexibility when integrating an audio/video system into a home.

MartinLogan's Voyage (left) and Passage In-Wall Loudspeakers deliver audiophile high-performance for premium home theater installations

Summary of Key Features and Benefits

  • ATF Transducers: Efficient output with detail, clarity and resolution.
  • High-Excursion Aluminum Woofers: Extended, accurate low-end.
  • Audiophile Grade Crossovers: Maintain purity of audio signal.
  • Extruded Aluminum Chassis: Minimizes acoustically destructive vibrations.
  • Rigid, Dense Front Baffle: Minimizes acoustically destructive vibrations.
  • Unbreakable Constant Control Die: Allow quick, trouble free installation. Cast Aluminum Mounting Locks
  • Detailed Installation Template: Allow a quick, trouble free installation.
  • Paintable End Caps: Voyage and Passage match any decor.
  • Selection of Grill Color Options: Voyage and Passage match any decor.
  • Highly Adjustable Tweeter: Incredible adaptability in any environment. Alignment Sphere
  • IR Repeater Ready: Integration flexibility for custom installations.

Voyage Specifications

System Frequency Response 40–20,000 Hz ± 3 dB
Sensitivity 91 dB/2.83 volts/meter
Impedance 5 ohms
Crossover Frequency 350, 3000 Hz
Components Audiophile grade air core coils, polypropylene, metal film and low dissipation electrolytic capacitors
Woofer Type Two 8” (20.3cm) magnetically shielded high rigidity aluminum cones with extended throw drive assembly
ATF Mid-Range Drivers Two 1.5″ x 6″ (3.8cm x 15.2cm)
ATF High Frequency Driver 1.5″ x 2.25″ (3.8cm x 5.7cm)
Tweeter Sphere Range of Motion 20° tilt in all directions. 90° rotation.
Power Handling 200 watts
Weight 25.5 lbs. each (11.6 kg)
Overall Size (HxWxD) 35.875” x 10.5” x 5.625” (91.1cm x 26.7cm x 14.3cm)
Required wall opening (with tolerance) 9.125″ x 34.3125″ (23.2cm x 87.2cm)
Projection from wall surface 1.875″ (4.8cm)
Depth required behind wall surface 3.75″ (9.6cm)

Passage Specifications

System Frequency Response 45–20,000 Hz ± 3 dB
Sensitivity 90 dB/2.83 volts/meter
Impedance 6 ohms
Crossover Frequency 2200 Hz
Components Audiophile grade air core coils, metal film and low dissipation electrolytic capacitors
Woofer Type Two 6.5” (16.5cm) magnetically shielded high rigidity aluminum cones with extended throw drive assembly
ATF High Frequency Driver 1.5″ x 2.25″ (3.8cm x 5.7cm)
Tweeter Sphere Range of Motion 20° tilt in all directions. 90° rotation.
Power Handling 150 watts
Weight 16 lbs. each (7.3 kg)
Overall Size (HxWxD) 24.5” x 8.9375” x 4.9375” (62.2cm x 22.7cm x 12.5cm)
Required wall opening (with tolerance) 7.5″ x 22.9375″ (19.1cm x 58.3cm)
Projection from wall surface 1.75″ (4.4cm)
Depth required behind wall surface 3.1875″ (8.1cm)

New Royer SF-24 Phantom-Powered Stereo Ribbon Microphone Offers High Output Level and Low Noise Floor

Royer Labs is now shipping its SF-24 Phantom Powered Stereo Ribbon Microphone. The new mic, priced at $3,795 (US), is a a phantom powered version of Royer’s popular SF-12 stereo ribbon microphone.

Royer says the SF-24 combines the SF-12’s high quality audio performance, outstanding stereo separation and imaging, with Royer’s exclusive active electronics system for ribbon microphones.

Designed as a premium instrument for stereo and distance miking applications, the SF-24 provides extremely natural, uncolored recordings of choirs, pianos, harp, stringed instruments, and is particularly well-suited to miking large ensembles such as an orchestra or the various sections within—including brass and woodwinds.

The SF-24 is also perfect as a single-point stereo overhead drum and percussion mic.

The SF-24 represents a significant improvement over the SF12 for many ambient and critical applications, due to the inclusion of Royer’s exclusive active electronics system for ribbon microphones.

Featuring two fully balanced, discrete head amplifier systems utilizing ultra-low noise FET’s, each delivering an output sensitivity rating of –38 dB, the SF-24’s sensitivity is on par with that of phantom powered condenser microphones—facilitating use with any preamplifier with average gain characteristics.

The impedance matching circuitry provides optimum impedance to the ribbon elements, preventing overdamping of the elements and assuring consistent performance. This capability translates to ultra-quiet operation with self-noise lower than 18 dB, making the SF-24 ideal for recording quiet sound sources with enough gain to drive any recording medium.

Housed in an ingot iron case that forms part of the magnetic return circuit, the SF-24 consists of two matched ribbon microphones placed one above the other, each aimed 45 degrees from center in the classic Blumlein configuration. The magnet/polepiece structure of each ribbon transducer allows a wide, uniform frequency range with no substantial peaks or dips, and the two 1.8-micron pure aluminum ribbons produce superb transient response. Frequency response is excellent, regardless of the angle of sound striking the ribbons, with negligible off-axis coloration. The SF-24’s cable incorporates a Y adapter that splits into separate 3-pin male XLR connectors labeled “Upper” and “Lower” for the instrument’s upper and lower capsules. The SF-24’s package also includes a shock mount, a mic sock, and an elegant protective case.

“The SF-24 represents an unheard of level in ribbon microphone performance,” says John Jennings, Royer’s VP of Sales and Marketing. “With its ability to accurately capture the most subtle performance nuances from a distance, the SF-24 is perfectly suited for orchestral and small ensemble recording. With the gain and impedance matching issues out of the way, the SF-24 greatly expands on the SF-12’s stereo recording capabilities and becomes a drop-dead gorgeous mic for critical, lower SPL applications. And it’s smoking on drums and percussion.”

The SF-24’s output of -38 dB is a full 14 dB more sensitive than Royer’s non-powered SF-12, putting its sensitivity on par with that of phantom powered condenser microphones. The unique electronics and custom designed FET’s used in the SF-24 allow for ultra-quiet operation, with self-noise of lower than 18 dB.

This allows you to use almost any mic preamplifier or board pre (even those of nominal characteristics). Conventional ribbon microphones average 15 to 20 dB lower sensitivity than condenser mics, necessitating the use of high-quality, high-gain microphone preamplifiers for recording softer sound sources like acoustic instruments, vocals and room ambiance.

The electronics in the SF-24 provide a perfect load to the ribbon elements at all times, allowing the microphone to deliver 100% of its full sonic potential regardless of the input characteristics of the following mic-pre. Due to its low-impedance output, SF-24’s can also be used on extremely long cable runs with minimal signal loss.

A good impedance match is critical to ribbon microphones. Impedance mis-matching loads a ribbon improperly, resulting in loss of low end, diminished body, lowered sensitivity and an overall compromised performance. With our Active Series ribbon mics, the ribbon element lives in a perfect world. It sees an optimum impedance match at all times regardless of the following equipment, so its performance will never be compromised by the effects of improper loading. In addition, the ribbon element cannot be damaged by phantom power, electrical glitches or miswired cables.

Royer Labs Web Site