Best of the year 2012-2013 - page 3

Shelly Katz's Podium Sound bending-wave panel was a dipole. The
Linæum and Audio Consulting Rubanoide bending-wave drivers
were/are bipoles. The DDD is an omni. In the only sense that it's
traditional, the Manger is a monopole. While it's flat like an NXT
bending-wave driver, its variable-thickness unevenly texturized
plastic diaphragm is soft and pliable. It's not stiff like the modal
membranes of NXT, Podium Sound, Goebel and German Physik.
Even amongst bending-wave drivers
the Manger thus is
different
. It
marches to its own German drummers. The first was inventor Josef
W. Manger. He wrote the initial patent in 1969 and developed his
driver from first woofer with 7Hz fr ee-air resonance to then
inefficient 76dB widebander. This he used as unassisted full -ranger
for many years until the usual modern demands for louder and lower
bass enforced capitulation. Like Rethm's Jacob George would do for
the Lowther many years later, he eventually acknowledged the need
for augmentation with a conventional dynamic woofer.
The current drummer is daughter Daniela. Under her aegis and the
latter-day availability of more powerful Neodymium magnets —this
driver runs
15
to achieve a 1.32 Tesla field strength in its 0.95mm air
gap—the MSW* now clocks a far more benign 91dB. That figure is
obviously assisted by low-ish moving mass. Think 19cm diaphragm
with a big 7cm but onl y 0.4g voice coil to boost power handling.
*
MSW = Manger Schall Wandler or Manger acoustic transformer
.
Hence the website URL manger-msw
.
At €800 retail each
this driver is not a hairy but expensive critter.
That partially explains why even exotic and exclusive speakers in
constant search of exotic and exclusive drivers have given it short
shrift (Robert Koprowski's Manger horn above and Silbatone's
€50.000 Aporia equivalent at left are rare exceptions). At the time of
writing, Daniela said that no current commercial speaker used her
MSW. Since one is always judged by the company one keeps—
personal repute rises and falls with OEM successes or failures to get
the very best from the Manger unit—that could be advantageous. As
bona fide engineer she approaches acoustic design from a
measurement rather than voicing angle. Hence the mandatory active
concept. Only a
fixed
match of amplification to drive unit guarantees
optimum—predictable repeatable—results. Only active filters
prior to
amps and drivers make for top precision without phase shift. Only
sealed alignments support optimal group delay. Ported alignments
ring on principle. So the s1 is self-powered with German-built class
A/B "monolithic MOS amps with DMOS unity-gain output stages".
They feed 180 watts to the Manger, 250 watts to the
glassfiber/polyester 20cm woofer with 3.8cm voice coil. The s1 also
sports active filters - 12dB electrical on the Manger, 24dB electrical
on the <300Hz woofer with LF compensation. And the s1 uses
irregularly shaped sealed sub cavities for its two drivers. Because the
active concept is heavily inspired by the pro market, there's an XLR
instead of RCA input plus various rear-panel adjustments.
More on those anon.
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