Uncovering the beast

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Uncovering the beast
We'll be unveiling the final version of the AN-3 loudspeaker in a few days at RMAF and as parts show up, crossovers are voiced, and the next generation of the prototype we played for you at Axpona come together, I'll be sharing them with you. I couldn't be more excited. Enclosed are three photos of the new custom-designed woofer Chris created. The idea behind the woofer is to make sure we never run out of linear excursion for any demand placed on it by the internal 700-watt power amplifier. As you can imagine, a 700-watt amp pushed to its limits can move one hell of a lot of cone and shake a room to its foundations. So, for those of you with interest in such things take a look at the photos. What you're seeing is a massive 12" woofer with a linear excursion (Xmax) of 28mm in each direction! Wow, that's more than double the best we have ever seen in a linear, low distortion woofer (and 3x more than the prototype). To make that happen Chris designed, and then we tooled, a custom progressive spider and suspension system. (The spider is the soft folded fabric at the end of the cone separating the voice coil from the woofer cone). Add to that a soft inverted surround, a low mass cone, and a 3" aluminum voice coil that's 2.5" long and you start to see how this stacks up as being the low distortion linear monster I have been jumping up and down about. One of the challenges of any driver is keeping its range of motion linear and low distortion. On something this big and powerful, that's really quite a challenge. To handle that requirement Chris did a ton of FEA (Finite Element Analysis) and the results of that linearized the magnet's BL vs. excursion by shaping the pole piece and linearizing the inductance through the use of multiple Faraday rings. And speaking of magnets, check out the massive 3-stack of 8" Y35 ceramic magnets supporting a direct gap venting system on the rear of the woofer (air-cooled through the vents). If it isn't obvious, I am totally stoked about this woofer and can't wait to get it into the cabinet and start the testing to see how close we got to the FEA. Oh, did I mention he also invented an entirely new servo technology based on advanced DSP? Bass lovers of the world, unite!
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Paul McGowan

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