Congrats, Duke. You may not have any real competition. I heard your "Swarm' with a pair of Sound Lab stats and the low end was as transparent as the top end.
Thank you, Jim!
The original idea for the Swarm was indeed to do a subwoofer system that would "keep up" with planars like Maggies and Quads.
Over the years I had built a bunch of different types of subwoofers looking for one that would be subjectively fast enough to blend well with dipoles, but with the chest-thumping impact that dipoles lack. I tried sealed boxes, equalized dipoles, EBS vented boxes, aperiodics, transmission lines, isobarics, and maybe others that I can't remember right now. None of them had the"speed" I was looking for.
Then one day, I think it was at CES 2006, I was taking Earl Geddes to the airport. We stopped at the stoplight at Koval and East Harmon. While sitting there, Earl said to me, "Duke, I've figured out how to get good bass in small rooms: Take a bunch of small subs and spread them around the room asymmetrically. The sum of their individual dissimilar peak-and-dip patterns will be smooth." Or words to that effect. I instantly realized that was it
, that was the answer to my quest for a dipole-friendly subwoofer technology. So I said, "That's brilliant! Can I license the idea from you?" And he replied, "You can just use it." And then the light changed and we continued on to the airport. Yes, it was that fast, and a part of my world had changed forever.
So interesting Jim that you should mention dipoles, as they figured prominently in the quest that eventually resulted in the Swarm.
Congratulations Duke, I've been hearing about your swarms for several years now. It's great you are getting some attention for your efforts.
I'm curious, do all of the subs need to be the same, and if so why?
In my commercial Swarm system the subs are all the same, but that isn't necessary to get the benefit of a distributed multisub system. In general, the in-room smoothness goes up as the number of independent (not clustered together) bass sources goes up. So two subs are twice as smooth as one, and four subs are twice as smooth as two, and eight subs are a recipe for divorce.
Where I think the Swarm system offers an advantage over just combining a bunch of subs (similar or dissimilar) is:
1) Room-gain-complementary tuning is probably especially beneficial when you have subs transitioning from adding in semi-random-phase in the modal region to in-phase down in the pressure zone;
2) The ability to tailor system to room by reversing polarity on one of the subs and/or plugging ports;
3) The crossover in the amp already has all the features you need; and
4) The Swarm is fairly competitive in quantity of output, not just quality; in a system with dissimilar subs, the smallest one may become the limiting factor well before the others approach their limits.
That's great, man. Seems like there's not a lot of in-depth info out there about this interesting product.
One question I have... any ideas about using this system with my DSPeaker Anti-Mode Dual Core DAC/pre/proc? Seems like that might be a really powerful arrangement, but I'm unsure how the Dual Core would be connected and 'see' the array.
Something like the DSPeaker Anti-Mode unit would work great with the Swarm! You see, the juggling act with EQ'ing a subwoofer is, when you fix a problem in one microphone location, you are usually making it worse somewhere else. The Swarm's reduced spatial variance (see my previous post) means that there is far less frequency response variation from one location to another, so any problems big enough to need fixing are probably global rather than local. So you won't be ruining the response elsewhere in the room as you fix it in one area.
For a guy who "gets it", he has some rather odd theories about how speakers sound best - when listened to outside. Perhaps he not aware that a listening room is something that should help a speaker sound good rather than act as a determent. Maybe he's not familiar with the concept. Also seems that theory is at odds with your Swarm approach. (Maybe his theory has changed since I stopped reading what he had to say a few years back.)
You might want to read Robert's review when it comes out and see if he thinks the Swarm is at odds with his theories of sound reproduction.
Good for you Duke, congrats! Here's hoping the accolades bear you much fruit.
Thank you Ryan! May your line of disgustingly affordable uberspeakers continue to keep your customers and your competitors up late at night, each for their own reasons!
Question: Who originated the swarm concept, Earl Geddes or Floyd E. Toole (while working for the Canadian Research Council)?
That's a very good question, to which I do not know the answer.
It is my understanding that Todd Welti, under the direction of Floyd Toole, undertook his study of symmetrical multisub systems at the same time that Earl Geddes was investigating asymmetrical multisub systems, with each completely unaware of the other's work.
If Toole came up with the distributed multisub concept during his days at NRC in Canada, that may indeed predate Geddes' musings on the subject, but I'm not qualified to say.
Somewhere up about Bob Crump is smiling
Did Bob use a multisub system? If so, tell me about it!