February 24, 2015

PSE-144 Feb pre-order now closed

We've had a very good response but the deadline has passed and the pre-order is now closed.

A new batch is coming and we're excited about bringing extreme fidelity to a new level.

February 19, 2015

PSE-144 Feb launch deadline approaching!

Just a few more days before this pre-order closes. Not much time!

PSE-144 featured on StereoNET Australia:

February 13, 2015

Acoustic Elegance Australian group buy

Quick heads up. There is a group buy on Acoustic Elegance drivers running currently via StereoNET.


TWO DAYS remaining!

 TD15H US$295

TD18H US$399

Now is a good time to buy as the price is about to go up after this. You will soon be paying more.

February 12, 2015

Dolby Atmos - is it worth pursuing?

Is Dolby Atmos worth pursuing at home? A recent talk at audio post production studio Soundfirm in Melbourne shed some light on the new format.

An evening organised by AES included a talk by one of their senior mixers, Chris Goodes, a tour of the facility and some demos of the capabilities of Atmos. The demo room was the size of a small to medium commercial cinema. One thing that became clear was that with Atmos you get much greater resolution of movement. Instead of an array of side surrounds that all act as a single channel, each one can act as an individual channel. This means there is greater control of movement.

The object approach means that out of over 100 possible simultaneous objects, each one is assigned a 3D location within the cinema as well as the object having a size. In a 5 or 7 channel system we have 5 or 7 speakers which seek to recreate the sound. With atmos the difference is probably best represented in a commercial cinema where you might have 10 side speakers rather than 1 or 2.

We experienced a demo of the movie Gravity and it was a good example of being drawn into the scene far more. We also saw a demo of paper airplane which was mixed at Soundfirm. One of the attendees heard it recently and commented that the Atmos demo of the night was a substantial improvement.

An interesting comment from was the Atmos is pulling the sound further away from the screen. The experience is certainly more three dimensional.

Driving home I couldn't help but start thinking about how I might implement Atmos.

The implications in the home are interesting. In terms of movie mixing, I suspect it may result in greater emphasis on surround content. This would place additional demands on surround speakers and amplifiers. Most people have had more capability in their main speakers for pragmatic reasons, although it has always been ideal that all channels have equal headroom in the listening region. Questions in my mind arise over whether people will start to water down quality in attempting to get so many channels. It all does start to become expensive.

I think we will see three types of experience of Atmos:

1. Atmos done poorly, with unnatural use of effects coming from the ceiling that don't belong there
2. Atmos done very impressively like the Gravity example - the kind of demo that puts it into "must have" territory for many
3. Atmos done in a more subtle way so that it becomes an enhancement rather than knocking you on the head with it

I'm in no hurry to implement it right away but it's on the cards for me.

In terms of products there will be some new designs emerging with Atmos in mind.

Premium 18 high gloss bass module for PSE-144

Acoustic Elegance TD18H in a high gloss black enclosure for PSE-144. This is the ultimate bass solution using arguably the best bass driver available.

February 8, 2015

Premium passive crossover for PSE-144

This is the premium passive crossover for PSE-144. As you can see, it's a hand made crossover, assembled with great care.

Most speakers are made with PCB based crossovers which can be assembled in minutes. With this crossover, it takes a full day to build a small number of them.

1. First, boards are cut. Here we have used 18mm MDF. Edges and corners are sanded with a slight round over.

2. Holes are drilled. Most holes are for straps to tie down the components.

3. Painting. Boards. Two durable fine texture coats are applied to the raw MDF.

4. Terminal strips are screwed in place.

5. Wire links soldered.

6. Resistors are glued in place.

7. All caps and inductors are both glued and strapped to the board.

8. Boards are tested.

9. Glue is applied to fix wire runs in place. In case of a bumpy ride in transit, glue is also used to hold wire runs apart. Some runs are also glued in place where they run along the board. This is not shown here as the photo was taken prior to testing.

All up this is a slow process. A pair of these crossovers would take around 6 hours or more labour if not built as part of a larger run. On a PCB it would be a matter of minutes.

February 7, 2015

First batch of PSE-144 passive crossovers

This is the first batch of PSE-144 passive crossovers. They have just been soldered but not yet tested. Each one will be tested prior to sending them out. This is not the entire batch, as there is also a batch of crossovers with upgraded parts.