Wilson Benesch Omnium
From AUD $200,000.00
Fibonacci Series 2.5-Way Electric, 4-Way acoustic, Floor Standing Speaker
Omnium is a celebration of the ‘modular design’ that Wilson Benesch added to their design philosophy when it released the ground-breaking Odyssey Range back in 2001. With each new design, the modular design approach builds upon the subtle lessons of its predecessor. Like the Porsche 911, the Omnium is then not a singular design, but rather the latest evolution of a living lineage – more than 30-years of incremental improvement in the pursuit of genuine world class audio reproduction. It is this heritage that can be seen to have honed every single detail of the new Omnium loudspeaker and serve to make the Omnium one of the most accomplished loudspeakers in the world, both in terms of unprecedented technology and unbelievable sound quality.
Omnium – from the Latin “of all”
The name Omnium was chosen in recognition of this landmark, the name means of all, and it is a reference to heritage of three decades of research and development that has come before it. Whilst the Omnium references all that has come before it, it is also a product that marks the dawn of the next generation of materials technologies developed through a collaborative research and development project – SSUCHY. On the 9th February 2022, Wilson Benesch Design Director Craig Milnes was one of twenty project partners to present in public for the first time, the outcomes of a Four-and-a-half-year project entitled SSUCHY (Sustainable Structural & Multifunctional Biocomposites from Hybrid Natural Fibres and bio-based Polymers). The world’s first ‘Green Loudspeaker’ is just one of numerous deliverables that was the ambition of the pan-European SSUCHY Project which began in 2017. Europe’s ‘Horizon 2020’ invested €7.4 million to enable 13 Universities, 4 SME’s and several Blue-Chip companies to come together, collaborate and innovate. The objective was to deliver cutting edge science and materials technologies required by the circular economy – with the mission to replace oil based non-recyclable materials or in effect deliver next generation materials technology.
Decades of Pioneering Work
In 1994 the A.C.T. One loudspeaker disrupted the audio market. The curved carbon composite flanks, sloping top and metal baffle were radically different from the wooden enclosures of the day. The A.C.T. One loudspeaker was based upon the same honeycomb Nomex core and skins of Carbon Fibre prepreg that had been researched and used in the development of the Wilson Benesch Turntable. In 1999, P.E.R.A. International collaborated with Wilson Benesch to enable the company to commit to investing in Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) manufacturing technologies. Wilson Benesch was one of four organisations to pioneer this process in the United Kingdom. The successful results paved the way for the development of the Odyssey Range that was launched in 2001. Thanks to continual reinvestment of profits made by the company, the move to Vacuum based systems or VRTM soon followed and in 2011 the Geometry Series was launched. Wilson Benesch’s proven track record of successful collaborative R&D project outcomes and manufacturing excellence was central to the invitation for Wilson Benesch to become a partner in the SSUCHY Project.
Next Generation Performance
SSUCHY brought together scientists from across Europe who are at the very forefront of developments in their field. Together with applied engineering expertise it has been possible to accelerate work that would have taken decades for even the largest of companies. The scientific understanding of how the materials behave at the microscopic level has been validated by measurements of the actual materials. The outcome for Wilson Benesch, is the new A.C.T. 3Zero Monocoque. This advanced composite technology structure is the largest single component in the Wilson Benesch loudspeaker enclosure, and it is at the heart of the Eminence loudspeaker. The independently supplied data shows that in terms of both stiffness and damping, the monocoque delivers significant (orders of magnitude) superior damping capabilities than the previous generation A.C.T. Monocoque.
Natural Materials, Sustainable Source & Recyclable
The A.C.T. 3Zero Monocoque is constructed from natural materials that are both renewable and sustainable. Through a collaborative effort with our partners, an exhaustive list of materials and hybridised structural layups were analysed, tested, and evaluated. The resulting biocomposite monocoque is almost entirely free of oil-based material use. Even the resin that the previous generation carbon fibre monocoque used has been replaced with a Bio Resin. Manufacturing is an energy intensive process, so as part of the SSUCHY Project, the manufacturing process has also been refined and optimised. Wilson Benesch’s Vacuum Resin Transfer Moulding (VRTM) manufacturing systems have been fully upgraded to the State-of-the-Art. Thanks to rigorous testing and development using Finite Element Analysis (FEA), the SSUCHY Team have been able to model and determine optimal resin flow and other critical settings for the VRTM systems. This means that the new A.C.T. 3Zero Monocoque at the heart of the Omnium now requires just half the energy that was used to produce the previous generation monocoque.
Sound Quality Redefined
All of this investment, research, development and bio-carbon pioneering work is reconciled into a transcendent musical experience. More than 30 years of crafting, listening, developing, honing and refining result in a loudspeaker who’s transparency and emotional communication is so palpable, that once experienced it serves to recalibrate what you thought was possible from a loudspeaker. The Omnium is truly special, a once in a lifetime investment in having the ability to experience a new level of musical purity and enjoyment in your listening space. Thousands of hours of effort by many of the world’s most talented designers, scientists and artisans to strip away all that is not music and connect you directly to the source. If you value accurate, quality sound reproduction, you owe it to yourself to experience Omnium.
Bio-composite Monocoque Cabinet (‘Bio-Carbon’)
The new A.C.T. 3Zero bio-composite Monocoque is superior to its predecessor both in terms of damping and stiffness by orders of magnitude. Furthermore, it features a variety of natural materials that are derived from sustainable and renewable sources, realising Wilson Benesch’s goal to create more natural, renewable and sustainable materials technologies. In terms of acoustic performance, there is simply no other cabinet material used in speaker production today that comes close to this revolutionary material. All data is verified and measured through Wilson Benesch’s academic partner in the SSUCHY Project, the FEMTO Institute in Besancon France.
Stealth: Carbon Fibre Composite Top
Wilson Benesch fit a beautifully sculptural carbon fibre composite top to its reference line loudspeakers. The forms are inspired by natural, organic shapes, curves and free flowing lines found in nature. The carbon fibre tops are extremely complex forms are created using a combination of hand sculpting in clay which are in turn measured using a laser and in turn loaded into advanced 3D digital computer aided design (CAD) software at Wilson Benesch. By importing data in this way, Wilson Benesch are able to use powerful software algorithms to further optimise the 3D form before manufacturing. When a longitudinal sound wave strikes a flat surface, sound is reflected in a coherent manner. However, the reflective nature of a structure varies according to the shape of the surface. Uneven surfaces will diffract sound wave energy, rather than reflect it directly with little reduction in the energy of the sound wave which it perceived as colouration in the HIFI system. Therefore, the complex ‘stealth like’ form is critical to the performance of the loudspeaker. By removing any flat, reflective surfaces and creating a highly complex structure, any reflective sound energy is scattered. This diminishes its energy and also avoids standing wave patterns within the listening space that are easily detected by the human ear as distortion or colouration.
Tactic 3.0 Drive Unit
The structure at the centre of the diaphragm plays a critical role in the behaviour of the drive unit. In the Tactic 3.0 driver, Wilson Benesch added the Fibonacci Element. Produced in house using additive manufacturing technology, the Fibonacci Element can be printed according to pre-designed parameters. Such is the precision of the additive manufacturing software, that the Wilson Benesch design team can see in cross-section and design three-dimensionally the optimal layup of carbon fibre and nylon, defining both stiffness and weight across the structure. The result is a new geometrical form that is comprised of a double curvature with both open and closed aspects in the form of a lattice structure again borrowed from natural geometry. 5 different materials and adhesives provide significant improvements in both the accuracy of the frequency response and the reduction of distortion. This is a critical aspect of the relationship between the drive unit and its ability to integrate with the roll-off of the tweeter and bass drive units. In the past, several materials have been drawn upon to enable the fine-tuning of this marriage. Additive Manufacturing has opened up a new chapter in the pursuit of this subtle but extremely important aspect of loudspeaker design. For the first time, the principal aspects of this structure can all be adjusted in a way that was previously impossible.
Fibonacci Silk-Carbon Hybridised Tweeter
The latest iteration of Wilson Benesch tweeter technology builds upon the Semisphere tweeter design pushing it into the next generation. As with all Wilson Benesch designs, the advances of the previous generation are built upon an iterative research and development pathway. With the Fibonacci tweeter, advances have been made within the structures adjacent to the motor and the hybridised dome. The Fibonacci tweeter faceplate is formed from a carbon fibre – nylon composite structure creating a geometrically optimised structure – the Fibonacci Element – that has been inspired by sacred geometry found in nature. In terms of acoustic performance, the faceplate delivers a new benchmark in terms of flat frequency response and ultrawide dispersion. In addition, the Fibonacci Element is decoupled from the motor and tweeter chassis which almost entirely eliminates structural borne resonance within this critical structure that surrounds the tweeter dome.
Isobaric Drive System
The principal low-frequency load of all loudspeakers in the Fibonacci Series is delivered by the Isobaric Drive System. Here two Tactic 3.0 Drive Units combine to create an Isobaric Drive System which is responsible for reproducing an incredibly tight and controlled bass response that is perfectly integrated with all other woofers in the loudspeaker chassis, particularly the midrange Tactic 3.0 drive unit. This system is faster and exhibits far less distortion than the large bass drive units often used by speaker manufacturers.
Direct Midrange Drive Unit Coupling
Wilson Benesch started development of its own drive unit diaphragms, including those made from a carbon fibre/epoxy matrix in 1995. Research was conducted using alternative hard dome materials. Without exception, Isotactic Polypropylene was favoured for its natural sound and the ability of this material to absorb energy and avoiding complex breakup modes in the diaphragm. This critical material characteristic allows the Wilson Benesch design team to achieve mechanically and acoustically what would otherwise be implemented in complex crossover designs with a series of inductors and capacitors. This reductive approach to crossover design maintains phase, linearity and the degree of control over manufacturing and design of both the drive unit specifications and the enclosure air volume allows Wilson Benesch to eliminate all crossover components in the midrange drive units of most Fibonacci Series models running the drive unit directly amplifier coupled.
Precision CNC Machined Foot
One of the most important principles in structural engineering is loading. All modern buildings are built upon solid foundations. It is the reference point for everything above it, transferring the load of the structure into the ground. Within loudspeaker design, it is crucial to create a stable point from which the drive units can propagate complex and accurate waveforms that we appreciate as music. The Omnium foot is machined from a 120kg slab of high-grade aluminium alloy, which is then combined with two extension plates that are bolted to the main structure with high tensile bolts. Add hand-wheels and the spikes; all design and manufactured in-house at Wilson Benesch and the whole foot assembly weighs in at 30kg.
13mm Steel Ties: Compression In The Vertical Axis
The Omnium enclosure is held under tons of compressive force using 13mm threaded steel bars which tie from the aluminium loudspeaker mid-plate into the Omnium foot. In turn there is a 13mm steel tie from the mid-plate into the top-plate. These vertical steel ties exert tons of compressive force in the vertical axis where the first resonant modes will emerge.
High Precision Inductors
The sound quality of a loudspeaker depends upon the quality of the components in the critical signal path. Wilson Benesch incorporate high precision, high packing ratio, Rocksolid, air core inductors in this application as well as computer controlled high precision wound inductors manufactured in-house.
Engineered for you
Every Wilson Benesch loudspeaker is hand built for you. In addition to their standard finish, they offer a range of Premium Natural Wood Veneers, Premium P1 Carbon Fibre and Premium Paint Finishes. Want to create something unique? Contact Nirvana Sound to create something truly unique to you. This level of individualisation just adds that something special to the ownership experience of these premium pieces.
Wilson Benesch Omnium Loudspeakers Launch
|Type||2.5-way electric, 4-way acoustic, floor standing loudspeaker|
|Measurements||Impedance: 4.5 Ohms
Sensitivity: 89dB @ 1-Meter on axis, 2.83V Input
Frequency Response: 27Hz – 30kHz +/- 2dB
|Drive Technology||Tweeter: 1x 25mm (1”) Wilson Benesch Fibonacci Hybrid Silk-Carbon Tweeter
Midrange: 1x 170mm(7″) Wilson Benesch Tactic 3.0
Upper Bass 1: 1x 170mm(7″) Wilson Benesch Tactic 3.0
Upper Bass 2: 1x 170mm(7″) Wilson Benesch Tactic 3.0
Low Bass 1: 1x 170mm(7″) Wilson Benesch Tactic 3.0
Isobaric Drive System 1: 2x 170mm (7”) Wilson Benesch Tactic 3.0 in Clamshell Formation
Isobaric Drive System 2: 2x 170mm (7”) Wilson Benesch Tactic 3.0 in Clamshell Formation
|Crossover Technology||Tweeter: Second-Order, 5kHz High Pass Filter
Midrange: Directly Amplifier Coupled
Upper Bass 1: First-Order
Upper Bass 2: First-Order
Low Bass 1: First-Order
Isobaric Drive System 1: First-Order 500Hz Low Pass Filter
Isobaric Drive System 2: First-Order 500Hz Low Pass Filter
|Enclosure Technology||Materials: A.C.T. 3Zero – Advanced Bio-composite Monocoque Technology, Poly-Alloy, Hybridised Construction
Upper Bass Enclosure: Infinite Baffle Sealed Enclosure
Tweeter: Labyrinth Sealed Tweeter Backplate
Midrange: Infinite Baffle Sealed Enclosure
Low Bass 1: Infinite Baffle Sealed Enclosure
Isobaric Enclosure: Infinite Baffle Sealed Enclosure
(Contact Nirvana Sound for options)
|Dimensions||Height: 1,720mm (67.7”)
Width: 205mm (8.1”) Baffle // 594mm (23.39”) Widest Point of the Foot
Depth: 624mm (24.6″)
|Weight||140 kg (308.65 lbs) Ships as two Enclosures / 110kg (242lbs) Lower / 30kg (66lbs) Upper|
|Terminations||Bi-wirable terminal located on the loudspeaker foot at ground level|