Alsyvox

Alsyvox Audio DesignWhat do you think would be the sonic characteristics of the ultimate loudspeaker? Perhaps the transparency and air of the best planar speakers, combined with the dynamics, speed and low distortion of the best horns, the imaging of the best monitors and with the authoritative bass of a big cone woofer. It would have the efficiency you need to use almost any amplifier and it would possess a coherent sound like a single wide-band transducer. Impossible you say?

Not anymore! Meet Alsyvox – a range of full range ribbon loudspeakers that is unlike anything that has come before. Although the brand is a relative newcomer in the world of high-end audio, the design has been in development since 1984. After 32 years of development, in 2016 Italian Aerospace Engineer Daniele Coen finally achieved his dream of creating a planar speaker where all of the audible frequency band is produced by transducers of the same height, made with the same diaphragm materials, using the same magnets and achieving a sensitivity of 93dB or more. This is unprecedented in planar speaker design.

Alsyvox speakers are designed to be the ultimate expression of ribbon planar loudspeaker design. To achieve this aim, they are hand made using an exclusive patented design by Daniele and his team in his workshop in Spain. All critical components are made in-house and the attention to quality is extraordinary. All of their speakers are dipoles that approximate the ideal concept of a line source. This results in the best interaction with the room acoustics, usually negating the need for heavy room treatment and negates the need for a specific ‘sweet spot’ listening position.

The unique technology features an exclusive push-pull ribbon woofer, the compact ribbon mid-tweeter and ribbon super-tweeter which effortlessly produces a frequency response well beyond the limit of human hearing. Extremely powerful magnets facilitate high sensitivity and dynamics. Highest quality Mundorf components are used extensively in the cross-over and all internal wiring is Omega Audio Concepts NANO extra. All models in the range use the same technology. You simply choose the model according to the size of your room. The addition of external passive crossovers is the only sonic upgrade between some models.

Daniele Coen’s creations have been astonishing audiences around the world since their release and have quickly gained a reputation as one of the best loudspeaker systems available. They project sound into the listening space with effortless power and coherence throughout the audio spectrum. The sound appears to materialise in front of you and not originate from a speaker. The illusion of the performer in the space is palpable. Breathtaking to behold sonically and visually, they have to be experienced to be believed.

Alsyvox full range ribbon loudspeakers

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Alsyvox technology 32 years in the making

It has taken designer Daniele Coen many years of research, experimentation and invention to reach a point where these speakers were possible. Drawing on his experience as an Aerospace Engineer, he started studying the interaction between a dipolar speaker and the surrounding room using an array of conventional cone speakers mounted on a baffle in 1984. A few years later he studied the technology of ribbon mid-tweeters to extend the line source concept to higher frequencies and in 1994 he designed a ribbon loudspeaker for RES Audio, the Sky 1.

In 2005 he started using neodymium magnets for the Sky 2 to raise the sensitivity of the ribbon speaker and in 2009, the revolutionary ribbon-planar woofer was born. Incorporating a patented diaphragm technology, magnet dimensioning, push-pull architecture and steel frame design, the new speaker was able to achieve a high sensitivity that was unprecedented for a planar design. In 2016 he developed a compact mid-tweeter and super-tweeter unit that seamlessly extends the frequency response beyond the human listening threshold to improve coherence and dynamics.

The combination of these three transducers results in a breathtaking coherent sound as all the audio frequency band is covered by loudspeakers of the same height, made with the same diaphragm materials and magnets, with a sensitivity of 93dB or more. Prior to the introduction of Alsyvox in the audiophile market a few years ago, these characteristics and this performance in a planar loudspeaker design would have been considered impossible.

Alsyvox Speaker DetailAlsyvox Speaker Detail

Unique features of the Alsyvox speaker design

Bass Transducer

  • Neodymium magnets produce a constant, powerful magnetic field giving higher motion control on the diaphragm.
  • Push-pull design for lower distortion, less dynamic compression, more sensitivity (magnetic field is almost double).
  • Incredibly long stroke! 20mm on Botticelli, this is allowing low frequency extension down to 20 Hz with high dynamics and a bass sensation that can be felt by your body.

Mid-Super-Tweeter

  • Single unit that incorporates both mid-tweeter and super- tweeter extending the frequency response to 40KHz.
  • The two transducers have the same length.
  • The emission centers are closer than half a wave length at 5,000Hz (crossover frequency), this makes the crossover seamless and completely impossible to hear in any listening position.
  • The two units use Neodymium magnets and a proprietary technology to make the special diaphragms. The design achieves low distortion and high sensitivity

The Crossover

  • The design of the cross-over is a very comprehensive process which considers both measurements and listening feedback. Measurements are very important however the human factor is vital as there is emotion within the music that must be communicated and revealed to the listener and these aspects cannot be measured.
  • All possible listening positions are considered, not just the classic central position.
  • Alsyvox say their design is considers mostly the energy response (more than the pressure response) and the communication of the information.
  • Top quality Mundorf components are used.

Frame Design

  • An internal structure mainly made of steel is used. This material is stiff and heavy, two very important physical characteristics. The reduction of mechanical vibrations is vital to information transduction, specially the micro information conveying spatial information.
  • Both PMMA and teak wood solid external parts give their contribution to the acoustic result.
  • An important role is played by the proprietary inertial feet that allow inertial movement at the constraint points, thus minimising energy reflections and consequently reducing modal vibrations of structural parts.

Total Coherency

Alsyvox values the sonic attribute of coherency in the reproduction of sound above any other characteristic. To achieve total coherency, they have designed transducers that share:

  • The same emission type: dipole
  • The same length
  • The same magnets
  • The same aluminium foil
  • The same polyester backing film and the same adhesive
  • The same pleating design of the aluminium conductors

Reliability

  • The ribbon mid-tweeter technology is proven by 25 years of development experience.
  • The ribbon bass technology is proven by 10 years of development experience.
  • Alsyvox offer a 5 year limited warranty.
  • All parts inside the loudspeakers can be replaced. The design is future-proof.
  • All loudspeakers are assembled, tested, run-in and fine-tuned by the designer himself. This is more than just a signature. It is a warranty and gives peace of mind to the owner. Most critical parts like diaphragms are 100% made by hand by the designer.

Easy interface

  • With a resistive load close to 4 Ohm and a sensitivity of 93-95dB (according to the model) you can really enjoy the sonic characters of almost any amplifier, from Vacuum Tube Single Ended to Class D solid state.
  • Pure dipole line source design gives the least problems with room interface: very little sound energy radiated in the direction of floor, ceiling and side walls.
  • Pure sound with great fidelity is radiated in all the other directions, so no fear of reflected sound, it will reinforce direct sound for added vitality.
  • No need for heavy room acoustic treatment.

Aesthetics

  • The standard finish is black gloss acrylic with natural teak wood profiles however other colors and finishes can be made on request.
  • All models are shipped in custom made professional flight cases.

Alsyvox Speaker DetailAlsyvox Speaker Detail

Why are Alsyvox considered to be such a breakthrough design?

If you have had the opportunity to listen to a variety of speaker designs, like many others you may have developed an opinion about the perceived benefits and drawbacks of the different designs. For very good reasons, ribbon planar speakers have a strong following around the world and some models are considered among the best speakers available.

The reasons are easy to understand. The size of a dynamic driver cone is limited by its mass, so with most conventional speaker designs, the actual surface area that moves the air is usually quite small.

Ribbon planar speakers use a very thin and light aluminium foil ribbon suspended between two magnetic panels. Like the voice coil of a conventional driver, power from the amplifier is applied across the metal ribbon, which in turn develops a magnetic field. This moving magnetic field opposes and attracts the permanent magnets along the side and thus the aluminium ribbon diaphragm moves, pressurising the air and we hear music.

This design has some significant advantages. Due to the fact that the whole ribbon moves, the amount of surface area that moves the air is much larger. Ribbons also have low mass. Because the ribbon is very thin, typically about the width of a human hair, it is quick to respond to the electrical signal.

As a result, ribbon planar speakers are loved for their speed, clarity and accuracy. They are amazing at micro-detail, expressing the natural timbral qualities of instruments and due to their large ‘line wave front’, they can produce a life-like sound stage like no other speaker. Many devotees feel that they sound more believable, more like ‘real life’.

Alsyvox Speaker Detail

However, traditionally they have also had their drawbacks. Generally, their bass extension has been limited, sounding a bit ‘thin’ & needing more ‘slam’ and ‘heft’. This often gives rise for the need to match them with subwoofers which introduces integration/matching issues. They have also been associated with crippling amplifier loads, making them difficult to drive. Many audiophiles have often commented that if you could solve these two drawbacks, ribbon panel designs would be the ‘perfect’ speaker.

Daniele Coen has developed technologies that have completely eliminated these drawbacks. To begin with, Alsyvox speakers are so efficient, they can even be driven by low power SET amplifiers. The engineering of the bass diaphragm is such that it produces powerful, low bass. The Caravaggio & Michelangelo models have dedicated bass panels, guaranteeing perfect integration and eliminating the age-old challenge of trying to integrate ribbon derived mid-range (fast) with dynamic woofer bass (slow). This is why Alsyvox is universally considered to be a breakthrough design.

Reasoning behind Alsyvox design choices

Direct and Reflected Sound:

Concert hall diagram

CONCERT HALL

Reflected sound is a very important part of the sound perception.

Conventional Loudspeakers Diagram

CONVENTIONAL LOUDSPEAKERS

Reflected sound is poor quality as anyone can experience standing in the back of the speakers.

Dipole Line Source Diagram

DIPOLE LINE SOURCE

Reflected sound is identical to direct sound.

Radiation of Sound:

Conventional Loudspeaker Diagram

CONVENTIONAL LOUDSPEAKERS

Getting closer to the speaker sound pressure increases significantly, for the same reason getting farther sound pressure is getting weak.
Virtual image is at correct height when you sit down but gets too low when you stand up.

Dipole Line Source

DIPOLE LINE SOURCE

Sound pressure is more constant at any distance: great advantage when you are too close or too far from the speaker.
Virtual image follows you at any height you are.

Diaphragm Distortion:

Conventional Loudspeakers (Cone)

CONVENTIONAL LOUDSPEAKERS (CONE)

A strong drum hit (F) is hitting the cone close to the apex and leaves vibrations in the cone of the woofer, a stiffer cone is advisable but it will resonate at higher frequencies as vibrations cannot be stopped creating a stiff constraint, they just change.

Ribbon Loudspeaker

RIBBON LOUDSPEAKER

The same drum hit (F) is distributed over the entire diaphragm and the extremely compliant (flexible) ribbon does not resonate significantly.

Frame Distortion:

Conventional Loudspeaker on Spikes

CONVENTIONAL LOUDSPEAKER ON SPIKES

No matter how rigid a box is it will vibrate at some frequency.
Stiff connection to the floor gives reflected waves in the frame.

Dipole Line Source on Soft Levelers

DIPOLE LINE SOURCE ON SOFT LEVELERS

A distribution of small forces is less prone to excite frame vibrations.
Compliant (soft) connection to the floor does not give reflected waves in the frame.

The Alsyvox range of speakers have not only inspired the existing planar speaker devotees. Within a few years, they have universally entered the conversation as one of the very best speaker brands available today. Aside from their incredible sound, they allow their owners to use their favourite sounding amplifier, knowing the speakers will work with virtually any amplifier.

Alsyvox. Captivating. Beautiful. Liberating.

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