March 7, 2017

Melbourne room acoustic workshop

Would you like to know how your room performs acoustically? Would you like to know how to measure your room and more importantly, how to understand what the results mean?

We're offering the chance to learn about room acoustics in the room that matters most - yours. We're offering this with a twist. In a typical room analysis session, we work one on one. To keep it affordable, we limit the time and cut to the chase, moving to the interpretation and what to do about it. You don't get the chance to learn how to take the measurements and how to interpret them.

Hosts wanted


The best place to start is as a host. As a host you will learn about your room and come away with clear direction specific to your room, system and aspirations. Since all participants pay to enter, you pay less and you're getting more time. It also promises to be an enjoyable social event in the tradition of the Aussie audio GTG (get together) BBQ.

You need:
  • an audio system that you enjoy with either music, movies or both
  • enough space for 5 participants to attend
  • availability from 10 am - 5 pm

 

Participants wanted


As a participant you get to learn about room acoustics in a system and room that is different to your own. If you've already used our room analysis service, then you may like to learn more about how it's done, as this involves content we don't normally cover. The best way to learn and retain what you've learnt is with a hands on approach. Every system and room is different.

If you would like to attend, either as a host or participant, register your expression of interest via our contact form.

February 24, 2017

PSE ultra passive crossover

Introducing the Ultra crossover:

 



One of our PSE horn customers requested an ultra high end version of the passive crossover. These parts are in cost-no-object territory and they are among the best available. Where possible we used Mundorf Supreme Silver Gold and Oil caps. All cable runs are beneath the board, which serves not only to avoid visual clutter but also to assist with holding the caps in place. All caps are secured with adhesive rather than cable ties. Inductors are Mundorf foil types.

January 16, 2017

When your IR repeater is slow and unresponsive

So you've decided to finally get your act together and make your AV system spouse friendly. That might mean hiding all your audio equipment inside an entertainment unit without having to open the doors for your remote to work. Perhaps you've even installed it all in a dedicated cabinet completely hidden from view. You need an IR repeater.




Above: a wireless IR repeater.

The concept is simple. A receiver senses the signal from your remotes and then relays them to your equipment via a number of emitters attached to each device. Some relay the signal wirelessly, others via included cable or though existing HDMI or ethernet network cable. Integra AVRs also allow you to direct wire the signal.

Sounds so simple, what could go wrong?! If you use Foxtel, you should be aware that not all IR repeaters are compatible, so check before you buy. Another potential problem is interference from devices near the IR receiver. When this occurs, you'll notice that the response is very slow. You may have to press a button multiple times and it appears to work very slowly, very hit and miss.

To test if this is your problem try this:

1. Move the IR sensor away from all other devices

2. Aim the remote at the sensor at close range (say 100mm away) - aim carefully

3. Does it work now? If so, gradually move the unit closer to its intended position. You may find that the problem comes back as it gets close to other devices.

4. Is there an alternative position that avoids the problem?

5. The sensor may require shielding. A quick experiment is to line it with aluminium foil as shown below.





We know, it's not pretty! We suggest this not as a long term solution but as part of your troubleshooting process. If this solves your problem, then you know you have an interference issue. If you have DIY inclinations then you might consider a longer term mod, like installing the IR receiver in a DIY metal box or you might come up with some simple DIY shielding. Many at this point would simply take the device back.

August 1, 2016

What drivers do you use?

One of the questions we are most often asked is "what drivers do you use?" We get this question most often from DIYers. We understand why people are asking. It's one of the first questions a DIY enthusiast will ask to gain a feeling for the quality of the speaker. It's a short cut to making a comparison to other products on the market.

There are many problems with trying to evaluate a product in this way. Here are some

1. False sense of security


Using drivers that are DIY favourites does not guarantee a good result. There are many poor or average implementations of very good drivers. We've experienced many. We've had customers come to us with speakers that should perform much better. They use very high quality drivers but it's very easy to overlook the importance of crossover design.

2. Undiscovered gems


There are many undiscovered gems. Many DIYers are uneasy about heading into unfamiliar territory. This is why most head onto the forums and watch what others are building. The decision to go ahead comes after a lot of reading.

Yet there are many drivers unknown to DIYers with very good performance. Many are actually better than the drivers that get rave reviews. Generally, this isn't realised because comparisons aren't made very often. And when a comparison is made, it may only apply to the specific implementation.

3. OEM drivers are not available to DIYers


Some drivers can only be purchased in commercial quantities. These may carry the branding of the loudspeaker manufacturer or they may not. The drivers may be modified in some way to make them suit the application. It could be a superficial change like a different coloured woofer cone. It could be a modification to the TS parameters to make it better fit a particular design. In some cases, the change is so significant that it effectively becomes a new and unique driver. It may share the same basket or cone but be radically different in the areas critical to performance.

In a DIY project, it often pays to play it safe. You don't want to buy some unknown driver and find out it's a dud. However, when we put a product onto the market, we always test it first. The easy way is to go with something familiar but often we are looking for something more. So we take a risk and try unfamiliar drivers and very often if you are smart about it, this can be very worthwhile.

And then again, sometimes you hit a dead end. Earlier this year we did some experiments with some new mids for PSE-144. We were hoping to find some midrange drivers for a signature edition. Unfortunately none of the drivers we tested were even able to match our current driver.

Most of the drivers we use are OEM. When it comes to woofers are top models use Acoustic Elegance drivers.

July 14, 2016

DIY point source horn pre order

We've had a good response to the concept, so we've now moved on to start developing our DIY point source horn kit. Here is our initial concept sketch:




The horn is 500mm wide and has a 60 x 60 degree beam width. Kit will include an integral stand along with an assembly jig that will make it easy to glue the panels.


June 1, 2016

EOI: DIY point source horn kit

The last time we talked about offering a point source horn kit, it turned into something quite spectacular. It attracted a crowd and this launched PSE-144:


 We realise some people like to roll up their sleeves and build something. We also realise, not everyone has the budget for a statement horn with Ferarri curves.  

Now we're again considering launching a DIY kit. This kit would be offered on a pre-order basis, including flat pack, mid drivers and an option for a passive crossover. Please keep in mind some details of the offer are likely to change as we progress. 

We've not yet set a price, but we believe it will sit in a range that most can afford.

If you'd like to jump on board, please contact us to express your interest. We do require a certain number of adopters to make the project feasible. The price gets better when the group gets bigger. 





April 7, 2016

Introducing AV10 and AV12

We're now launching AV series. This is a range of speakers designed with serious home theatre in mind. Shown here is AV10 on the left and AV12R on the right. These will shortly be installed in "the red room" ready for audition. 

AV series concept


AV series represents smart design with serious home theatre enthusiasts in mind. All models are intended to be able to reach THX reference levels even with modstly powered AV receivers. In fact, even our smallest speaker in the range can be expected to exceed the capability of nearly all other speakers on the market even where they are given the advantage of a very high powered amplifier. 

Design brief


We've designed AV series to offer:
  • exceptional value
  • extreme output capability
  • vocal clarity
  • neutral and accurate sound
  • consistency across a considerable listening area
  • superior dispersion control
 

Options


AV series is offered as DIY kits or fully finished. Kits include:

  • DIY Flat pack 
  • Drivers
  • Terminals, screws, hardware
  • Pre built handle made passive crossovers (active versions available by request)
Finished versions come with a choice of finish:
  • Sprayed satin 2 pack finish
  • Sprayed piano gloss black
  • Selected veneers in satin or gloss finish
  • Custom finishes available also
Photo above shows kits that have been assembled with textured black finish. This is not the finish that we provide with the finished version but demonstrates the finish that is easiest to achieve. This finish is quite accessible to the average handy man with no special tools.