October / November 2023 Update

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Spatial Audio

October / November 2023 Update
« on: 28 Oct 2023, 03:09 am »
October / November 2023 Update

Our first topic today is actually from someone who contacted us through our website. His question was [paraphrase] “Why doesn’t Spatial Audio Lab produce a true full-range speaker (20Hz to 20kHz frequency response)? Why only 2.5-way and not 3-way?”

Dipole speakers reduce room interaction to improve the sound experience. But, they are not great at efficiently delivering the low frequencies due to the extremely long wavelengths that are present in the bottom octaves. In order to go deep and be efficient, H-Frame designs and large “wings” can help provide extension; however, we feel these solutions pose too much of a compromise to the overall sound quality, not to mention the impact of aesthetics and room footprint.

As far as 3-way designs are concerned, they are more complicated and more expensive. 2.5-way is a great sweet spot as it allows for greater efficiency since the midrange also contributes to bass output. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing. [wink]

In development news -

Q6 - Indefinite Hold
In case you missed it… Clayton Shaw has released an entry level open baffle speaker to rave reviews over at New Record Day on YouTube. There has been a lot of speculation regarding this move and how this relates to Spatial Audio Lab. We made it clear to Clayton that our interest was not to pursue products that fit the market at that price point. But, as audiophiles, we are glad that he was able to put something together with a great deal of promise. We also look forward to hearing them next week when Clayton gets back in town. Rumor is it will be available for your listening pleasure at Capital Audio Fest in November if you are out that way. Not sure about delivery timelines, etc. You will need to follow that over at www.ClaytonShawAcousticLab.com If it’s as good as Ron claims, we’re not sure there is a need for a Q6 and we will put our resources into our other development projects.

Revelation Series - 300B Monoblocks and Preamplifier - From Lynn Olson -
  • The Blackbird started 25 years ago as a thought experiment: what would the most inherently linear amplifier look like? No feedback loops, no feedforward, no secondary signal paths, just the most linear parts used in the most linear circuit. And not as a paper experiment or white paper, but an actual working amplifier.

    In principle, push-pull should be the most linear, but it often sounds congested compared to single-ended. Why? Well, the vacuum tube "phase splitters" used in traditional amplifiers have their own set of colorations, and the distortions they generate are not canceled by balanced operation. Why not phase split with completely passive devices, like transformers? That way, all active circuits are made of balanced, matched pairs, from input to output, and distortion is so inherently low that feedback is no longer necessary.

    All of the critical functions are done passively ... noise isolation, distortion cancellation, and output matching. Balanced pairs of the most linear vacuum tubes do the amplifying, with a signal path of nothing but transformers and vacuum tubes, powered by silent 200-watt linear power supplies with 130 dB of isolation from outside noise. What you hear is what ISN'T there ... no phase inverters, no coupling caps, no load resistors, no dynamic loads, no DC servo circuits, and no feedback. Just triodes, as you've never heard them before.
We are going to have these built next month. They will be photographed and we will be sending a set of amplifiers and preamp out for 3rd party evaluation and testing to confirm the performance.
4 and 8 ohm loads. 25 watts before clipping and minimal stress. Support for multiple driver tube options - 6L6/KT66/KT88. Flat from 20Hz to 30kHz at full power.
We are VERY excited about this offering :D

Other fun stuff -

Music - What do you listen to when you want to test the performance of your audio setup?
For those interested in finding new music to exercise your ears and your equipment, we offer you the following:

Soundstage - Dire Straits, “Fade to Black” - this track should sound BIG and detailed
            Bonus - “Brothers in Arms” - just keep Dire Straits rolling. There is so much to like…

Instrument Separation - Mike Oldfield, “The Source of Secrets”;

Tone and Texture - Snarky Puppy, “Outlier”
            Bonus - Sonny Rollins, “I’m An Old Cowhand”

Bass - VCMG, “Bendy Bass” - lots of texture on this track

If you have some favorite go-to music you think we should hear, drop us a line and let us know what it is and what you think the track should be telling us if it’s done right - supportteam@spatialaudiolab.com
We will showcase some of these in a future newsletter.
[/list]

musicdre

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Re: October / November 2023 Update
« Reply #1 on: 28 Oct 2023, 12:27 pm »
thanks for the update.  and for the list of music that is good for evaluating audio performance, as well as being good.

Barry_NJ

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Re: October / November 2023 Update
« Reply #2 on: 1 Nov 2023, 07:41 pm »
October / November 2023 UpdateIn development news -

Q6 - Indefinite Hold
In case you missed it… Clayton Shaw has released an entry level open baffle speaker to rave reviews over at New Record Day on YouTube. There has been a lot of speculation regarding this move and how this relates to Spatial Audio Lab. We made it clear to Clayton that our interest was not to pursue products that fit the market at that price point. But, as audiophiles, we are glad that he was able to put something together with a great deal of promise. We also look forward to hearing them next week when Clayton gets back in town. Rumor is it will be available for your listening pleasure at Capital Audio Fest in November if you are out that way. Not sure about delivery timelines, etc. You will need to follow that over at www.ClaytonShawAcousticLab.com If it’s as good as Ron claims, we’re not sure there is a need for a Q6 and we will put our resources into our other development projects.

Thanks for the clarity!

ekobi

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Re: October / November 2023 Update
« Reply #3 on: 17 Nov 2023, 03:57 pm »

Q6 - Indefinite Hold
In case you missed it… Clayton Shaw has released an entry level open baffle speaker to rave reviews over at New Record Day on YouTube. There has been a lot of speculation regarding this move and how this relates to Spatial Audio Lab. We made it clear to Clayton that our interest was not to pursue products that fit the market at that price point. But, as audiophiles, we are glad that he was able to put something together with a great deal of promise. We also look forward to hearing them next week when Clayton gets back in town. Rumor is it will be available for your listening pleasure at Capital Audio Fest in November if you are out that way. Not sure about delivery timelines, etc. You will need to follow that over at www.ClaytonShawAcousticLab.com If it’s as good as Ron claims, we’re not sure there is a need for a Q6 and we will put our resources into our other development projects.


So I heard Clayton's new Caladan speakers at CAF, driven by LTAs new DAC and one of their integrated amps. Briefly:

  • They do indeed sound freaking amazing, and they look great too.
  • Imaging was crisp, wide, and moderately deep (behind the speaker plane).
  • Highs were exceptionally smooth. One track I sat through was a techno piece reminiscent of Kraftwerk. Not a particularly interesting piece of music for me, but drove home how good the tweeters are. Would have been unlistenable with lesser.
  • Sonny Rollins' "I'm An Old Cowhand" elicited several "YEAH!"s from the room
  • Solid, surprisingly deep low end, although I am not a big fan of the bloomy tube sound. I've auditioned this particular LTA integrated in my system, and I prefer a leaner, crunchier bass -- yes, I'm a solid-state kinda guy. Would love to hear the Caladans at home!

I had a chance to catch up a little bit with Clayton. He appears to be in good health, which is great, and a relief to see. Says he originally built this pair of speakers for himself, and was surprised by the overwhelming response to the NRD video -- 100 pre-orders in a couple of days! They'll come in various wood finishes. (The prototype material turned out not to be as durable as would have liked.) Finally, he hopes to have his "old speaker company" manufacture these, which I think would be awesome.

After my visit, I sat and listened to some of the same material on my X4s (OktoResearch dac8 stereo directly into Amp Camp Amp balanaced monoblocks). Am I bummed I plunked down for the X4s? Nope -- I like my AMTs better than the Caladan's silk dome tweeters. I do think that the Caladans would actually be a better (or more rational, at least) fit for my current listening room, which is on the smaller side, but I never let rational thinking get in the way of things.


Spatial Audio

Re: October / November 2023 Update
« Reply #4 on: 21 Nov 2023, 05:12 am »
Excellent post! Glad you were able to audition them for yourself. And, yes, I can confirm there are several pallets of drivers that arrived today waiting for the remaining components for assembly and shipping to eager new Caladan owners 😀

ekobi

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Re: October / November 2023 Update
« Reply #5 on: 25 Nov 2023, 05:18 pm »
Quote
And, yes, I can confirm there are several pallets of drivers that arrived today waiting for the remaining components for assembly and shipping to eager new Caladan owners 😀

w00t!

--
kobi

Desertpilot

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Re: October / November 2023 Update
« Reply #6 on: 25 Nov 2023, 06:11 pm »
Excellent post! Glad you were able to audition them for yourself. And, yes, I can confirm there are several pallets of drivers that arrived today waiting for the remaining components for assembly and shipping to eager new Caladan owners 😀

Excellent news!  Glad to hear you will help Clayton!

Daryl Zero

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Re: October / November 2023 Update
« Reply #7 on: 6 Dec 2023, 04:48 am »
Soooo, Spatial Audio, now that Clayton's Caladan made its debut at the Capital Audio Fest, is the Q speakers pause now permanent?

Spatial Audio

Re: October / November 2023 Update
« Reply #8 on: 9 Dec 2023, 06:22 pm »
The Q is still on hold as we invest our time in other projects. There is an interest in producing more of an entry-level Spatial Audio Lab speaker. But, it also has to have the build quality and sound characteristics that we want associated with our brand.

whitebird

Re: October / November 2023 Update
« Reply #9 on: 11 Dec 2023, 01:44 pm »
Any updates on the Don Sachs preamp project?  Last I heard Don was to be in Utah at the end of November to train the techs on building the product(s).  On this topic, building a preamp and amp is different than building speakers so what do you have planned to ensure the quality of the electronic products going forward?

Early B.

Re: October / November 2023 Update
« Reply #10 on: 11 Dec 2023, 01:52 pm »
Any updates on the Don Sachs preamp project?  Last I heard Don was to be in Utah at the end of November to train the techs on building the product(s). 

Production of the preamp starts tomorrow: https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/300b-lovers?page=16

whitebird

Re: October / November 2023 Update
« Reply #11 on: 11 Dec 2023, 02:06 pm »
Timely update -- thanks.

Spatial Audio

Re: October / November 2023 Update
« Reply #12 on: 12 Dec 2023, 03:02 am »
Started listening to the 300B monoblocks last night. Don says it needs about 50 hours to get broken in. Hard to believe these are going to sound better over time as they are stunning. Dead-quiet background; imaging and instrument separation; clarity. It's all there. We'll keep burning these in and finish the preamp tomorrow. (Been using the preamp we had at PAF that is 90% of what Don expects to get out of the final design.)
Will send out photos later this week  :D