Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016

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Brian Walsh

Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« on: 2 Mar 2016, 01:57 am »
I'm honored to say that Duke's latest tour de force, the Bienville Suite, will be introduced at the AXPONA show here in Chicago in mid April. The Duke himself will be here to meet and greet and answer your questions and play your music you bring -- records, CDs, and USB sticks. And as the ad below suggests, we'll have kind of a Mardi Gras theme going, including bead necklaces everyone is invited to take and wear around the show.

The AudioKinesis Bienville Suite offers true 20 Hz to 20 kHz bandwidth in a relaxing, tube-friendly 98 dB loudspeaker system. It consists of two floorstanding main speakers and the acclaimed Swarm subwoofer system.

Here is our ad to be published in the show guide, including a photo of the Bienville main speaker. The ad on the adjacent page of our 2-page spread will be by Resonessence Labs who will be debuting their new VERITAS DAC which features the SABRE 9028 Pro series chip from ESS Technology. Resonessence Labs is the first company to feature this latest chip design. The VERITAS will be part of our demo system, fed by an Aurender N100 music server.


Russell Dawkins

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #1 on: 2 Mar 2016, 06:52 am »
98dB and, I'm imagining, a relative immunity to thermal compression suggests really satisfying dynamic potential especially in combination with a swarm sub system.

I'd really like to hear these and look forward to reviews.

I always regret not getting a pair of Jazz Modules when they first came out.

JLM

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Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #2 on: 2 Mar 2016, 12:51 pm »
Kewl  :thumb:

Plan on being there Sunday, hopefully I'll catch Duke this time (last year we made the mistake of trying to visit every room on Saturday).  This year we'd like to concentrate on the vendors that interest us.

Duke

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #3 on: 5 Mar 2016, 07:15 pm »
I'm honored to say that Duke's latest tour de force, the Bienville Suite, will be introduced at the AXPONA show here in Chicago in mid April.

Thank you very much, Brian.  It is an honor to show with you and to work with you. 

98dB and, I'm imagining, a relative immunity to thermal compression suggests really satisfying dynamic potential especially in combination with a swarm sub system.

I think that utter lack of thermal compression goes a long ways towards recreating the feel of a live performance,  Of course it's not the only thing, but imo it's a good idea to start out with drivers able to deliver that because it's not something you can add later on down the road. 

plan on being there Sunday, hopefully I'll catch Duke this time (last year we made the mistake of trying to visit every room on Saturday).  This year we'd like to concentrate on the vendors that interest us.

Sounds great - looking forward to seeing you there!

The Bienville mains incorporate a variation on the reverberant-field tweeter technique that you found to be useful with the Quads, tailored of course to the specifics of this application.   I think that will be the icing on the cake that sets this system apart from most other large, high-output loudspeaker systems. 

Crossover to the Swarm will be in the 70-80 Hz ballpark, as the Swarm (properly set up) does a better job in that region than a pair of mains can do.   


Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #4 on: 9 Mar 2016, 03:04 am »
Here's another photo Duke took.



More photos, possibly including what's on the back side, when the weather breaks :)

brj

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #5 on: 10 Mar 2016, 04:26 am »
Duke or Brian, what are the dimensions of the mains?  I assume they're sealed?

Thanks!

Duke

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #6 on: 10 Mar 2016, 06:07 pm »
Duke or Brian, what are the dimensions of the mains?  I assume they're sealed?

Thanks!

The mains are 45 inches tall.  Their footprint looks like we started with a 15" square, and then lopped off one corner to created a 45 degree beveled surface (the front baffle) that is about 15 inches across.   So measuring "tip to tip" across the widest dimension we get a little over 21 inches, and measuring bafflecenter-to-opposite-point the depth is a little under 14 inches.   When set up with 45 degrees of toe-in, such that the axes criss-cross in front of the listening area for widest sweet spot and minimal early sidewall reflections, the width is 15 inches and the depth is 15 inches. 

The 12" mid woofers are in separate internal chambers of different internal volumes (so that their resonances do not coincide), each with two pluggable ports, giving each chamber three different tuning options (both ports open, one port open, sealed box) to tailor the midbass region to different room acoustic situations.   There is no reason why you can't run one chamber ported and the other sealed, nor any reason why you can't tune the left speaker different from the right speaker if their room acoustic situations are significantly different.  Like if the left speaker is in a corner and the right speaker has no side wall, you might seal all the ports on the left and open some or even all on the right.   

The size of the midwoofer was chosen for radiation pattern control, but one side-effect is that the mains can be used without a protective high-pass filter at fairly high SPLs, like 116 dB vented and 124 dB sealed.  So you would have the option of not adding a high-pass filter to the mains' signal path. 





Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #7 on: 10 Mar 2016, 08:02 pm »
The size of the midwoofer was chosen for radiation pattern control, but one side-effect is that the mains can be used without a protective high-pass filter at fairly high SPLs, like 116 dB vented and 124 dB sealed.  So you would have the option of not adding a high-pass filter to the mains' signal path.
Aside from the fact that AXPONA has rules about maximum allowable SPLs, those are insane SPLs! We won't be giving out earplugs, but we will be giving out Mardi Gras beads, and having a helluva lot of fun doing it!

Thanks, Duke!

Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #8 on: 24 Mar 2016, 03:25 am »
Duke just sent this photo of the rear of the Bienville.

Tweeter up high, woofer down low, two pluggable ports for front firing drivers, two for the rear drivers. The two pairs of binding posts up high are for the load resistors for the front and rear tweeters. A level control for the rear drivers below that. Twin pairs of binding posts down low for the front and rear drivers.

Whew! That's a lot.


zybar

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #9 on: 24 Mar 2016, 03:47 am »
What's the price on this system?

George

Duke

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #10 on: 24 Mar 2016, 04:48 am »
...two pluggable ports for front firing drivers, two for the rear drivers.

Sorry I wasn't clear Brian... the pluggable ports are all for the front-firing woofers, which are each in their own separate chambers of different sizs to stagger the resonances and provide more tuning flexibility.  The rear-firing woofer is in its own separate sealed chamber.   

The front-firing array is a 16 ohm load, and the rear-firing array is likewise a 16 ohm load.  So driving both arrays in parallel, we have an 8 ohm load. 

The level control on the rear-firing array improves the adjustability for room acoustics and speaker placement. 

What's the price on this system?

Twelve grand for the system, consisting to two Bienville mains, four-piece Swarm, and amplifier for the Swarm.   

For a while I thought that this was the first speaker to incorporate a level-adjustable array of rear-firing drivers, but such is not the case.  Sonus Faber's two top models, "The Sonus Faber" and the "Aida" (two hundred grand and one hundred twenty grand respectively) did it before me.   Obviously I think the best way to implement the concept is with well-controlled radiation patterns.

The Sonus Faber Aida has been at Axpona in the past, and I hope it will be there this year, as it would be interesting to compare the different approaches.   
« Last Edit: 24 Mar 2016, 05:03 pm by Duke »

Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #11 on: 25 Mar 2016, 05:13 pm »
The Sonus Faber Aida has been at Axpona in the past, and I hope it will be there this year, as it would be interesting to compare the different approaches.
Hard to know whether it will be, since who is a SF dealer in the area appears to have changed not long ago.

Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #12 on: 28 Mar 2016, 10:38 pm »
The Mardi Gras beads have arrived! Lots of 'em, for AXPONA. Visit us at the show, help yourself to a few, and win a prize if one of us picks you wearing them around the show.



James Romeyn

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Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #13 on: 1 Apr 2016, 06:55 am »
Brian and Duke,
Hope you guys kill it at AXPONA!

Duke,
You got at least 70-80 square inches of empty real estate on the rear panel.  Hurry up and stuff something in their.  It looks so, so.....BARREN!!!!!!!

Duke

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #14 on: 2 Apr 2016, 04:20 am »
Duke,
You got at least 70-80 square inches of empty real estate on the rear panel.  Hurry up and stuff something in their.  It looks so, so.....BARREN!!!!!!!

Omigosh, you're absolutely right.  What was I thinking??

James Romeyn

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Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #15 on: 2 Apr 2016, 05:24 am »
BTW Garth Brian, Re. those wonderful beads: "Party on!" 

James Romeyn

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Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #16 on: 2 Apr 2016, 05:46 am »
The dual bass loading system is interesting: reflex-loaded front-firing dual mid-bass, sealed rear-firing single mid-bass.

Years ago I built a similar array: sealed 10" mid bass above reflex-loaded 15" bass, both front-firing (reflex-loading was via side-firing 15" passive radiator mounted inches above the floor).  It performed very well.  I'm surprised this approach is not more common. 

I suspect exceptional results, especially considering Bienville Suite splits the mid-bass above 70 Hz among three drivers.

Do the rear drivers comprise a "Vertical Offset Bipolar" Array?  Duke assigned this name to his 2008 TAS Golden Ear Award Winning original Dream Maker.  In this case "Vertical Offset" refers to the disparity in the height of the front and rear mid bass drivers.   
« Last Edit: 2 Apr 2016, 09:10 pm by James Romeyn »

jtwrace

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #17 on: 2 Apr 2016, 11:29 am »
I look forward to hearing this at Axpona.   :thumb:

Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #18 on: 2 Apr 2016, 05:38 pm »
BTW Garth Brian, Re. those wonderful beads: "Party on!"

James Romeyn

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Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #19 on: 2 Apr 2016, 08:59 pm »
Back when men were men, and SNL was funny.  Very funny. 

Now, not so much.