shahinian acoustics



quando as colunas ensinam a ouvir música


Foi numa conversa de fim de tarde que descobri a verdadeira personalidade de Dick Shahinian, americano de Nova York. O virtuosismo do seu discurso, exclusivo de indivíduos intelectualmente superiores, bem como os seus conhecimentos verdadeiramente enciclopédicos fluindo a uma velocidade vertiginosa, permitiram-me apreciar o porquê da profunda originalidade das suas colunas de som. Aqui transcrevo alguns dos seus comentários mais pertinentes, na vã tentativa de atingir a erudição do seu discurso...


" Assisti pela primeira vez a um concerto há cinquenta anos, no Carnegie Hall. Tinha então catorze anos e apercebi-me quão longínqua era a gama dinâmica dos meus discos face à música ao vivo. Foi esta frustração que me iniciou no mundo do audio: a convicção de que algo poderia ser feito. A partir desse momento, sempre me aborreci com as convenções. Penso ser mais interessante observar e estudar o passado ignorado que avançar cegamente, sem a mínima noção do caminho a seguir.
" Noventa por cento das colunas de som copiam-se entre si, parecendo-se e tocando de maneira semelhante. Pessoalmente, decidi enveredar por outros caminhos à imagem de Otto Enckel, A. Stewart Hegeman, Murray Crosby e Buckminster Fuller. O meu objectivo não é desafiar a comunidade audio mas fazer notar que todo o som do universo é radial e não direccional.
"O meu ponto de vista não é verdadeiramente inovador, já que se baseia nos artigos de Harry F. Olson de 1939, seguidor da obra "Elements of Acoustic Engineering" de Van Nostrand, segundo a qual as piores formas para uma coluna de som são o cubo e o paralelepípedo, com o(s) altifalante(s) no centro de uma das faces ! As formas ideais, segundo Olson, são a esfera e a pirâmide com uma base rectangular, caso da coluna Shahinian Obelisk - pura coincidência, já que só tive conhecimento do livro após a ter desenhado.
Ninguém parece considerar a forma radial das ondas sonoras. Por que razão se constróem caixas com altifalantes apontados para o ouvinte quando o som se dispersa em todas as direcções ? Se ouvir um indivíduo situado no meio de uma sala a falar e este executar uma rotação de 360º, a proveniência do som modificar-se-á gradualmente (teremos por isso a percepção do movimento executado) até voltar à posição inicial. Se reproduzir a mesma voz com uma coluna de som convencional e executar a mesma rotação, o carácter da voz modificar-se-á notoriamente a partir dos 10º devido aos efeitos de difracção axial. Com as nossas colunas de som, o efeito será mais próximo da realidade. Este exemplo poderá parecer primário, mas demonstra a imperiosa necessidade da coluna de som se comportar como uma fonte pontual com uma actividade polidireccional.
"Colunas de som com estas características fornecem um efeito tridimensional natural, em vez da sensação artificial de se ouvirem duas fontes sonoras. Dez anos atrás, o então director técnico da "Stereo Review" Larry Klein, afirmou que não gostava da ideia de estereofonia pois não conhecia música proveniente de duas fontes ! O espírito do meu trabalho é precisamente voltar ao símbolo profissional outrora utilizado para a estereofonia - um par de círculos cruzados. Eu não me refiro a canal esquerdo ou direito, o que existe é uma esquerda que se prolonga até à direita, bem como uma frente que se afasta até ao fundo. Nunca vi um maestro dirigir uma orquestra sem músicos no centro e no entanto a maioria das colunas de som soa desta maneira.
Esta obsessão pela imagem virtual no centro das colunas que suscita tantas paixões, pode ser conseguida com as piores colunas do mundo, ligando-as simplesmente em monofonia. Porquê tanta excitação ? Sentarmo-nos a ouvir dois canais é algo de realizável há muitos anos, uma página da história que deveria ter sido virada há muito tempo..."
"Procedi a uma série de experiências psicoacústicas durante 11 fins-de-semana, utilizando para tal efeito dois pares idênticos de colunas Obelisk, um dos quais estava tapado com uma cortina acusticamente transparente. Todos os ouvintes preferiram sem hesitação o par escondido que pensavam ser de maiores dimensões. Tal facto demonstra que o caminho a percorrer em relação à audição da música através de colunas de som é longo..."

In "AUDIOPHILE", Junho de 1994

Colunas de som

 topo   LARC






SHAH LARC Par de colunas 3.400,00 €
The Shahinian LARC combines at least half a dozen of Shahinian Acoustics best techniques. This is a speaker for high quality and scale in any environment where space is limited, larger boxes are unwelcome or acoustics are tricky.


Everyone boasts how their small speakers play much more bass than you’d ever think possible. I’m sure that those of you who know Shahinian Acoustic’s views on speakers without true scale will realise that the LARC has to have broken the usual rules spectacularly just to be allowed out of the factory. We’re not going to boast, much... We would just like you to have a listen and make your mind up.

We’ve used them in all sorts of systems in all kinds of ways: on floors, stands, bookshelves, lying on their backs, standing upright. They have worked with televisions, laptops, turntables, streamers, tuners, small amps and big amps. They’ve been to parties and survived.

The LARC idea has been around for a good while as a work in progress mainly waiting for the right drive elements to appear. The new SEAS series which feature in Obelisk, Arc and Compass 2 have proved to be the missing link for the LARC. Along with the an Obelisk 2 tweeter and the Shahinian Acoustics developed cabinet loading system in Finnish birch ply.

 topo   COMPASS



Acabamento: contraplacado de nogueira/carvalho/cerejeira/rosada
Enchimento lã de carneiro e polifil virgem
  • Potência admissível: 200 W max
  • Frequência de resposta: -3dB/40-18,000 Hz
  • Impedância nominal: 6 ohms.
  • Sensibilidade: 89 dB
  • Dimensões:  87,5cm x 25cm x 25cm
  • Peso (par): 19,5 Kg



SHAH COMPASS CHERRY Par de colunas Compass - acabamento em madeira cerejeira 6.100,00 €
SHAH COMPASS WALNUT Par de colunas Compass - acabamento em madeira nogueira 6.100,00 €
SHAH COMPASS OAK Par de colunas Compass - acabamento em madeira acer 6.100,00 €
On the face of it, about the last thing we need is yet another new loudspeaker! In fact, it would appear that from 1931 (Rice & Kellogg) to now, every possible permutation has been expressed. No matter; “new” designs continue to appear and disappear. And who would have thought that in the last ten years, we would have witnessed the vacuum tube rebirth and revolution, not to ignore the many formats and raging controversy in solid state as well.

Our observation of this controlled, commercial chaos has a specific calming effect. We are far too small to have grand commercial aspirations and find the warlike climate distasteful. We are also foolish enough to believe that if we study and practice hard enough, we may discover real artistic solutions to acoustic problems ..................Which brings us to 1934, Westphalia, & Enckel, the original designer of the OMNIDIRECTIONAL or Kugellautsprecher. His loudspeaker was brought to the U.S.A. in 1955 and was used for the first FM STEREO experimental transmission of the Chicago Symphony under Stokowski, to New York via the Crosby system. The impression, shared by many, was that this was a stunning achievement technically and artistically. Of course, it was hardly commercial or mainstream and thereby disappeared.

The effect upon me was absolutely conclusive. It was clear that the only valid approach to recreate the radial, OMNIDIRECTIONAL waveforms in real life was to utilize OMNIDIRECTIONAL LOUDSPEAKERS. (I have covered much of this in previous writings.) The new vertical loudspeakers with diamond shaped baffle shall be called the “COMPASS” and "STARTER". This is nothing more than a continuation of the work we started in 1977 after many years of investigation begun in 1952.

The enclosure is a rigid pipe with two dissimilar chambers for the Compass and one chamber for the Starter. The bass loading is achieved by means of strategically placed friction slots. This specific loudspeaker pays homage to Briggs & Voight as well as Enckel, Hegeman, & Fuller. The diamond baffle is ideal to reduce unwanted typical diffraction problems and thereby produce a smooth, uniform radiation characteristic. The one-inch (19 mm) titanium tweeter with neodymium motor is our first choice device and is used in some of our other loudspeakers. The six and one-half inch woofer with a truly extraordinary new hybrid cone is almost spectacular. The filter network, as in all of our designs, is 6dB trailing edge for the woofer and 18dB leading edge for the tweeter. NO ZOBELS, RESISTORS OR SPECIAL CORRECTIVES. The phase is correct and seamless.

The enclosure is our standard 19mm Finland birch with a variety of available face veneers. All four surfaces are finished, permitting a variety of placement choices, including surround applications. Connection is made in the base and will accommodate any gauge wire.

We believe you will find the overall performance, for the modest size and price, to be quite special. We take a peculiar view of so-called specifications as they tell very little about the actual sound produced. (Almost like specifying the smell and taste of food.)

Though the sensitivity is reasonably high, and one may employ a modest amplifier for a small domestic environment, we did spend the final months of engineering utilizing a quite powerful 200-Watt per channel amplifier in a 29,000 cubic foot space playing, at times, at quite loud levels. At all times, on classical or jazz music, very low levels of distortion were maintained.

Specifications
6 ½” composite cone woofer, 1” neodymium-titanium tweeter. Floor standing vertical enclosure with multi-chambered pressure loading; drivers mounted on diamond-shaped, angled baffle.

 topo   ARC



Acabamento: contraplacado de nogueira/carvalho/cerejeira/preto
Enchimento lã de carneiro e polifil virgem
  • Potência admissível: 250 W max
  • Frequência de resposta: -3dB/28-18,000 Hz
  • Impedância nominal: 6 ohms.
  • Sensibilidade: 87 dB
  • Dimensões:  69cm x 35cm x 25cm
  • Peso (par): 19,5 Kg



SHAH ARC CHERRY Par de colunas Arc - acabamento em madeira cerejeira 7.200,00 €
SHAH ARC WALNUT Par de colunas Arc - acabamento em madeira nogueira 7.200,00 €
SHAH ARC OAK Par de colunas Arc - acabamento em madeira acer 7.200,00 €
The ARC represents the very essence of our design philosophy. A refined reduction of the Citation 13 which I (Richard) designed in 1970 at Harman-Kardon, it is the synthesis of 30 years of investigation into loudspeaker geometry. Cost-effective, compact, elegant, flexible, ideally suited for reproduction of natural instruments and voices. Its vertical, angular, indirect presentation produces such a sense of effortless space, as to make most conventional speakers sound like mistakes. (Which they are, anyway, so there!) Seriously, though, the ARC is so convincing in its re-creation of the real event, one concentrates on the music and forgets the means. A wide variety of room placement choices are possible, as the shape lends to partial blocking behind furniture or plants. The bass response is ample and clear down to 30 Hz, and organ pedals in particular will surprise you with the lack of Doppler interference. Bass drum explosions from a speaker of this size will truly astound you. And yet, a solo harpsichord will produce no weight of tone beyond its own. We are most proud of this speaker, which was chosen for a design and engineering award at the 1984 C.E.S.

Specifications
Rear-mounted passive radiator design with 8-in polypropylene curvilinear cone woofer with 1 ½” high-temperature patented D.D. voice coil and 28-oz ceramic magnet; 38-mm titanium ultralight exposed dome midrange, and 1-in titanium-neodymium supertweeter. 3.0 amp quick blow fuse; filters at 6 dB woofer, 18 dB midrange, 18 dB tweeter. Dual binding posts.

 topo     OBELISK



Acabamento: contraplacado de nogueira/carvalho/cerejeira/rosada
Enchimento lã de carneiro e polifil virgem
  • Potência admissível: 200 W max
  • Frequência de resposta: -3dB/28-18,000 Hz
  • Impedância nominal: 6 ohms.
  • Sensibilidade: 89 dB
  • Dimensões:  71cm x 36cm x 31cm
  • Peso (par): 26 Kg



SHAH OBELISK"2" CHERRY Par de colunas Obelisk"2" - acabamento em madeira cerejeira 8.400,00 €
SHAH OBELISK"2" WALNUT Par de colunas Obelisk"2" - acabamento em madeira nogueira 8.400,00 €
SHAH OBELISK"2" OAK Par de colunas Obelisk"2" - acabamento em madeira acer 8.400,00 €
The OBELISK is the first loudspeaker designed and produced by us in 1977. At the time, its shape and acoustical disposition were considered radical. Today it is positively conservative compared to what has come and gone. It was kind of a "first," but its durability over the years is not due to novelty as much as its absolute performing superiority. It has been revised several times as new, exciting technology and devices appeared. Today's OBELISK could not have been built in 1977. It is still the only genuine poly/omnidirectional loudspeaker on the market. (If you believe any planar loudspeaker is omnidirectional, just walk between a pair, and listen to the music drop.) Let's remember that any sound in the universe has a polyradial trajectory away from its point of source; not direct, axial. Does it not seem reasonable to attempt duplicating reality? The OBELISK docs; and rather succeeds. For its size and price, its actual response is nothing short of remarkable; it performs best when out in the open, away from walls and corners. Room placement/storage is facilitated as it is fitted with four twin-wheel casters suitable for carpeted or hard floors. It recreates space . . . and possesses a sense of scale. It is still unique; it makes music!

Specifications
Rear-mounted passive radiator design with 8-in polypropylene curvilinear cone woofer, two 38mm Titanium ultralight exposed dome midranges, and four W-shaped Titanium/polyimide dome supertweeters. Designed as a genuine poly/omnidirectional speaker which performs best in the open, away from walls and corners. Features woofer with 1 1/2-in aluminum high-temperature patented D.D. voice coils, 28-oz magnet, and magnesium basket; supertweeters with 10-mm voice coils, filters at 6 dB woofer, 18 dB midrange, 18 dB supertweeter; 3.0 amp quick blow fuse. Dual binding posts. Fitted with four twin-wheel casters suitable for carpeted or hard floors.

 topo   HAWK



Acabamento: contraplacado de nogueira/carvalho/cerejeira/rosada
Enchimento lã de carneiro e polifil virgem

Modulo médios - agudos
médios: 4 altifalantes de 14 cm
agudos: 3 altifalantes de 19 mm
Super tweeter: 4 altifalantes com cúpula em “W” de titânio e poliamida de 10mm
  • Potência admissível: 600 W max
  • Frequência de resposta: -3dB/250-22,000 Hz
  • Impedância nominal: 6 ohms.
  • Sensibilidade: 87 dB
  • Dimensões:  17,5cm x 41cm x 29,5cm
  • Peso: 10 Kg
Modulo subwoofer
Woofer: altifalante curvilínear (21 cm) de polipropileno, com suspensão de borracha, bobina de alumínio de alta temperatura de 38 mm e armação em magnésio
Radiador traseiro passivo
  • Potência admissível: 250 W max
  • Frequência de resposta: -3dB/25-250 Hz
  • Impedância nominal: 6 ohms.
  • Sensibilidade: 87 dB
  • Dimensões:  78cm x 43,5cm x 32cm
  • Peso: 29 Kg



SHAH HAWK CHERRY Par de colunas Hawk - acabamento em madeira cerejeira 20.900,00 €
SHAH HAWK WALNUT Par de colunas Hawk - acabamento em madeira nogueira 20.900,00 €
SHAH HAWK OAK Par de colunas Hawk - acabamento em madeira acer 20.900,00 €
Hawk Subwoofer
The HAWK Subwoofer is essentially one-half of a DOUBLE EAGLE, turned 90° and inverted. In addition, the built-in filter module provides several crossover options. All can be bypassed for bi-amp function. The HAWK is not only to expand our product line, but also to solve specific problems and provide options previously unavailable.

To begin: All who have a central fireplace or large-screen TV can now place the split HAWKS in the standard left-and-right room locations. This permits one to make a variety of satellite choices, such as locating them directly on top of the HAWK, or at some desired distance, thereby allowing the HAWK to be utilized as a pedestal for lamps or vases, etc. Their slender, vertical disposition suggests surround sound suitability as well. A pair of HAWKS and SUPER ELVES can be set up in a few minutes by means of a short umbilical, or longer if the alternate pedestal usage is preferred. This makes a wonderful matched system, by the way, both acoustically and visually. If startup cost is limited, an even more modest form of temporary satellite is possible.

The appearance of the HAWK brings us one step closer to the completion of our modular building-block program and becomes the foundation, the very nucleus of that program. The final ingredient in the plan is the companion HAWK Module. And that brings us to the conclusion of an ambitious program which heralds flexibility never thought possible. At last, an exciting yet affordable plan that lets you aim as high or as low as you wish, and select precisely what you want.
Hawk Module
The HAWK Module is nothing less than a meticulous reduction of the DIAPASON Module. The essential geometry has been retained, only the complement of drive elements reduced. The HAWK Module contains 8 drivers as compared to the DIAPASON'S 14. The characteristic tone color is similar though a touch less opulent. The objective was to provide a modest alternative to the DIAPASON forfeiting little in the way of performance parameters. And though designed as a perfect companion to match the HAWK Subwoofer, it may be used with the DOUBLE EAGLE Subwoofer as well. A thorough reading of our DIAPASON literature should cover the basic philosophy of the HAWK as well, since they share salient features.

Specifications
Hawk Subwoofer
Hybrid transmission-line design with 8” curved polypropylene cone woofer with rear firing 10” passive radiator bass chamber. Designed for use with Hawk Module, but can be purchased separately. ¾” Finland birch enclosure. Crossover point selectable at 125 and 250 Hz. Crossover bypass.

Hawk Module
Four 4 ½” curved poly cone low/midrange drivers with 1” voice coils, and four 1” titanium-neodymium tweeters. Designed as a companion to match the Hawk subwoofer, may be used with Double Eagle subwoofer as well; a meticulous reduction of the Diapason with essential geometry retained. Features cabinet shaped as an asymmetrical prism with unequal rakes fore and aft, and equal rakes left and right; low/midrange drivers with 1” aluminum voice coils and 10-oz ceramic magnets, 1” tweeters feature high efficiency neodymium magnets, mixture of first and third order filters (6 and 18 dB) for minimum phase function; 250 Hz input filter may be bypassed for substitution, if required, for use with other subwoofers; internal wiring consists of Kimber 4tc with low flux high quality pure solder. Direct bypass for electronic crossover option.

 topo   DIAPASON



Acabamento: contraplacado de nogueira/carvalho/cerejeira/rosada
Enchimento lã de carneiro e polifil virgem

Modulo médios - agudos
Four 5 ¼” curved poly cone low/midrange drivers, two 1 ½” Titanium dome high midrange drivers, two 3” cambric dome low tweeters, and six ½” W-shaped Titanium dome supertweeters. Designed to fit precisely atop the Double Eagle subwoofer. Features cabinet constructed of 13-ply Finland Birch, and shaped as an asymmetric prism with unequal rakes fore and aft, and equal rakes left and right; also wall-mountable at some distance from subwoofer; low midrange drivers have 1-in voice coil and 20-oz ceramic magnet, high midranges have special east/west magnet structure, and low tweeters have phase correcting faceplate; electrical distribution is four stage branch circuit of first and third order filters for minimum phase function; 2 optional input filter choices, or direct bypass for electronic crossover and biamp function; other variations include biwiring and twin amplification; internal wiring consists of Kimber 4tc with low flux pure solder.
  • Potência admissível: 800 W max
  • Frequência de resposta: -3dB/125-22,000 Hz
  • Impedância nominal: 6 ohms.
  • Sensibilidade: 87 dB
  • Dimensões:  56cm x 18cm x 40cm
  • Peso: 15 Kg
Modulo Double Eagle Stereo Subwoofer
Twin, back-to-back, hybrid transmission line/passive radiator bass chamber design with two 8” polypropylene curvilinear cone drivers. Features woofers with 1 ½” high-temperature patented D.D. voice coils and34-oz. Ceramic magnets; ¾” Finland Birch cabinet construction; built in 140 Hz/280 Hz 18 dB passive filters which may be bypassed for bi-amp operation; bridgeable into mono mode for double unit operation or stacked for quadruple high-power function. 5-way binding posts. Sits on 4 twin-wheel casters. 3-position passive input filter module optional. May be purchased separately from Diapason module.
  • Potência admissível: 300 W max
  • Frequência de resposta: -3dB/23-140 Hz
  • Impedância nominal: 6 ohms.
  • Sensibilidade: 87 dB
  • Dimensões: 59cm x 38cm x 81cm
  • Peso: 48 Kg



SHAH DIAPASON CHERRY Par de colunas Diapason - acabamento em madeira cerejeira 32.500,00 €
SHAH DIAPASON WALNUT Par de colunas Diapason - acabamento em madeira nogueira 32.500,00 €
SHAH DIAPASON OAK Par de colunas Diapason - acabamento em madeira acer 32.500,00 €
Double Eagle Stereo Subwoofer
Since the introduction of the "Contra-Bombarde”, we have had the notion of producing a smaller, more cost effective stereo subwoofer. It finally dawned on us to adapt the OBELISK'S unique hybrid transmission line bass chamber to a twin back-to-back configuration. The east/west driver position and rear-mounted passive radiators have many advantages and offer a modular flexibility as well as reduced cost. A single unit (stereo) can be used with simple passive low-pass filters (included), for a 3-unit satellite-type system, or as an add-on to existing full-range systems to augment the bass and reduce distortion. Further, two units can be bridged to mono, yielding left and right channel dual woofers for even more power handling and lower distortion with a lower 3 dB cutoff. And all this can be accomplished without the absolute need of an electronic crossover, plus power amp for the bass. A passive input filter module is available (3-position) for a variety of satellite options. Special impedance variations may be considered for commercial stacking applications.

Diapason Module
The "Diapason" is without a doubt the crowning piece of our art. A wisp of an idea, expanded over a span of 25 years, has culminated into the speaker of my dreams. We humbly dedicate it to the memory of our late friend and mentor, A. Stewart Hegeman. The “Diapason” reveals the enduring impact he has had on our work. I believe he'd be pleased to know his influence has not, and will not, be ignored. Following his particular vision has been costly. Why have we, then?

We're convinced he was on the right track all along, just like Armstrong, Crosby, Enckel, Olson, Cook, etc., and let's not forget the cosmic elf, Buckminster Fuller, also regarded as something of a relic. The sophisticates have passed by these ancients, it seems, in order to forge their own brilliant identities. Perhaps we weren't keen enough to do the same, and lagged behind to absorb what we might, from these old "has-beens." What a wealth of treasure they have left us! How can the whole of the loudspeaker community have ignored such a trove?… Ego? Ignorance?

Indulge us but again as we repeat ad nauseam: A conventional, forward-throwing loudspeaker cannot begin to replicate the waveforms produced by natural musical instruments, period. Nor, for that matter, any other sound made in the universe! Since we must agree that any sound has a polyradial trajectory away from its point of source, we are forced to conclude that a reproductive source, if it is to approximate accuracy, must attempt a similar disposition. A conventional box loud speaker does not even try! It has already failed on the drawing board.

Preposterous, you say! Why are there so many of them and only one of us? Don't know...mystifies us at times…laws of physics, acoustics, accessible to all...puzzling.

However, just because one stands alone, this ought not discredit one's achievements. Noah, and only his family, entered the ark. And only they survived the flood. Any and all were welcome, but declined. We are not merely whimsical about our somewhat solitary divergence, but are certain of its fundamental veracity. May we assert that a simple demonstration of the "Diapason" will do all that is required to convince anyone that this is the only way a loudspeaker can attempt a re-creation of an actual sonic waveform. (By “only” we mean to establish a new generic identity for a methodology of procedures. Variants of design may surely be employed in pursuit of the goal, as several of our other speakers do.)

Further, I'm certain that my design concepts and conclusions are inspired and invested with a particular sense of the orchestra. (If not prepared to describe procedures and formulas, I can assure you that I am keenly aware of the ongoing metamorphosis.) I suppose I'm saying that there is no unique activity that does not depend on clues and hints left behind, incomplete, by others (Mozart for Beethoven, for example). For me the great challenge has always been the symphony orchestra. I will not write thousands of words describing my impressions of an orchestra, except to say that it can do almost anything sonically, from a whisper to a roar. In a concert hall this relates to three-dimensional sensations. Why, at home, settle for less? Hegeman understood this aspect of three-dimensional spatial distribution completely, as evidenced by his work, and thoughts, which he shared. He died long before the "Diapason" was started, but his influence seemed stronger than before.

The "Diapason" is a veritable confluence of ideas that reach all the way back to Rice and Kellogg. After several years of thought, the first active prototype was built in 1971. A small amount of tinkering followed, and a year or so later it was put away in mothballs to gestate. For 16 years it just nagged away at a corner of my brain and then, in a flash, it just was. The day before, nothing. The ideas and details came in torrents and the development went at a fever pitch. In about six months we were close to conclusion and I knew we had something quite different and beyond what we had expected.

It is now many years since the public showing of the final prototype, and the consensus of critical opinion is astounding; each owner has described it as his "final speaker"! Many have said they are so absorbed in listening to the music, the shortcomings of previous loudspeakers having vanished. Some experienced professionals regard it as the finest domestic loudspeaker ever produced. Unfortunately, for some, it is not costly enough to merit serious consideration. It has made us delirious with pride and joy. You all know the classic disease of all designers: never happy, never finished! Well, I'm even healing from that one. I've always listened to recorded music with one-half of my faculties discerning faults, weaknesses, potential improvements, etc., and the other half trying to enjoy the music. How, with the "Diapason," I am able to concentrate on the music only. What small imperfections exist are insignificant compared to the magnitude of its achievement. The "Diapason" is simply in a class by itself, and stands apart from previous and present designs in its ability to present the total impact of orchestra, chorus and organ as never before! ("Quite an ego, this Shahinian," you're thinking at this point....You listen and decide if it's not true.) With distortion at a vanishing point, frequency response and dynamic range at an awesome level, all requirements have been met. ..well, not quite. (We tried very hard, again, to make the "Diapason" invisible...and failed.) You may, of course, listen in the dark, which actually improves illusion and perception.

What makes the "Diapason" unique? To begin with, topography and layout. The upper module, which is dimensioned (22 "W x 15 ¾ "D x 7 "H) to fit precisely atop the "Double Eagle" subwoofer, is an asymmetric prism with unequal rakes, fore and aft; and equal rakes, left and right. The entire outer skin of this prism contains 14 separate loudspeakers, from 5 ¼” miniwoofers all the way to ?” supertweeter domes. The electrical distribution is a four-stage branch circuit of first and third order filters, resulting in a phase correct, seamless transition from about 125 Hz to 22,000 Hz. The word "seamless" has been grossly overused and requires, I believe, clarification, as regards a loudspeaker specifically. We know it means without breaks, seams. But that implies "perfect," which is impossible. This is, believe me, another of those dense complications one could explore to exhaustion. There are many accepted loudspeakers that fail woefully when each driver is examined at close range (near field) or all combined in the far field (3 meters or more). Almost fanatic attention was devoted to the character of each of the four stages in the "Diapason" module, and to their potential harmonious affinity. The inspiration came from music rather than a textbook; at the very end of Walton's Hindemith Variations (Columbia USA MS 6736) there is a ravishing passage consisting of a high pedal on violins, leading to a full brass chord, leading to a full woodwind chord, leading to a full string chord; seamless, absolutely seamless, as each group hands off to the other. The wizardry here, of Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, has always stunned me and caused me to ponder if anyone could make a loudspeaker do the same thing. I believe we have. A solo speaking or singing voice is also difficult to project as a whole, a unity. This, the "Diapason" does handily. We've chosen appropriate, natural geometry, and we get the reward of exquisite results. It's one thing to use a megaphone outdoors, or aim a horn-type loudspeaker to get the attention of people, where there is an absence of a room or hall to collect and reinforce sound. It's quite another to bring one's mega-phone into a parlor, to speak with friends. And yet, almost all loudspeakers possess this "megaphone" effect, which is unacceptable. The entire skin of the "Diapason" module radiates energy outward, like a spherical, radial point source... ideal for the purpose ... like the mouth on your face. You don't have a horn on your mouth, do you? We don't on the "Diapason" either! And the governing principle is the same.

Are we privy to secret data, or clues? No! It's one thing for Rice & Kellogg to have put a loudspeaker in a simple box in 1931, but just foolish in 2000! The theories are fundamental and common knowledge, conveniently ignored. (There's a huge profit in selling common box speakers. A careful scrutiny of a very famous $5,900-per-pair imported loudspeaker indicates that you pay almost $5,000 for the cabinets and crossovers. The published replacement cost of woofer, midrange and tweeter is about $600 per box! If we used a similar factor, the "Diapason" would sell for over $20,000! A small message here, perhaps?)

Well, enough rhetoric, back to nuts and bolts. The "Diapason" module atop the "Double Eagle" becomes, the "Diapason" system. Though the "Diapason" might have been used with other subwoofers, none we or others have tested seem to do complete justice to the totality of the original design. There are, however, several usage permutations embodied and included at no extra charge. It is possible to choose, for peculiar environments, a crossover one octave higher than the basic 140 Hz by means of rewiring external terminals. It is also possible to overcome some spaciousness, if a more direct presentation is desired, by rotating the module 180°, facing the short angle forward. The

"Diapason" module may also be wall-mounted, at some distance from the subwoofer, if required. Primary filters may be bypassed for electronic crossover, bi-amp function. Other variations include bi-wiring and twin amplification (separate amplifiers for tops and woofers, passive filters), and additional surround subwoofers. Some unique high-power auditorium applications may be accomplished by simple stacking/multiplying.

Words and words and more words, and we still haven't told you what a "Diapason" sounds like. Just as a great chef cannot tell you how his feast is going to taste, the only way to experience it is for yourself. The peculiar personality and character of the "Diapason" can only be hinted at. Do we mean to tell you the "Diapason" is not that paragon of virtues—neutral? Yes! Just as Heifetz's Stradivarius and Guameri had different personalities. (And we don't think it images well, either, whatever that means. As hard as we've tried, we can't seem to see anyone between our loudspeakers, whether playing or not.)

My own reaction to all of this is rather unexpected. I had never anticipated quite the level, the standard achieved. I feel like saying, as Mozart did about his "Marriage of Figaro" in "Amadeus," "It's the best opera ever written"!

The "Diapason" is absolutely the…well, I'll leave that to someone else. (I'm certain it's the best Armenian loudspeaker ever made, anyway.)

It's here ...a real-world, cost-effective instrument you can acquire in stages or all at once. And crystallizes for sure that this is the best time in history for music lovers. As concert and opera tickets continue to climb beyond the workingman's reach, there's a pragmatic alternative at last—to assemble a system around such a speaker and have at your disposal the treasures of music on command. And for those of you, who feel the live concert experience can never be matched, relax; so do we. At times, it can actually be improved upon. (Imagine walking up, tapping the conductor on the shoulder and asking him to play Delius instead of Brahms…fat chance.)

Listening to a pair of "Diapasons," coupled to a reasonable high-power system, can be a unique, new, awesome experience, likened only to a live concert. Of course, it is still artificial, synthetic; but you won't care anymore. The level of your involvement and concentration will exceed all previous experience. I know whereof I speak; this is not mere propaganda, talk for money. This is an artistic, cultural activity we hope many of you will share.

About the press and propaganda: We've always felt it was a duty for any publication to report and print the news without partiality. To ignore facts or fabricate, as some have done, is odious. Small companies who may have much to offer the public may also be without the means to inform and promote. While I've thought we were doing that which was exciting and newsworthy, it seems I have been perceived as a musical genius and an audio eccentric. (So much easier to bury in fine print on page 5.... What? There is no page 5? Oh well, forget it!)

You may imagine, then, my amazement at "colliding" with that elfin wordsmith, J. Gordon Holt, a man who loves, digests and writes about music. Yes, music! Over the years I may have ignored his work as much as he overlooked mine, but considered it essential to acquire any recording he mentioned in print. Well, the very unlikely has happened: We have befriended one another. Imagine, a journalist and crazy me! In the April 1990 issue of Stereophile, he has embarrassed me with an omnibus article on me, the "Diapason," audiophiles, music, philosophy, etc. I am grateful for his kindness and perceptive observations, but more than anything for a most magical evening in our exhibit room at winter C.E.S., where we (and a few others) spent about three hours listening to music including the whole of Copland's 3rd symphony (Levi, Atlanta, Telarc), ending with applause.

For a brief time, we were transported to Symphony Hall Atlanta. It happened ...I was there. See you soon, Gordon.

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Nota: os preços acima mencionados já incluem o IVA