I continue to be in awe of my new Songtowers. The separation of instruments is quite phenomenal, which leads me to wonder how it is done...
What is most responsible for a speaker's ability to exhibit a clear, almost 3D separation between instruments/voices?
All three to a certain extent.
First of all, the drivers are high quality...very accurate and detailed. The midwoofers are smaller, so off-axis response is very good. This, combined with the narrow baffle, results in a frequency response at 30 degrees off axis that is almost exactly the same as the on axis response. The result is a very wide and deep sound stage with a lot of separation and detail.
As is the case with any Dennis Murphy-designed crossover, the phase relationship in the crossover region is spot on. This results in utterly seamless integration of the drivers. It is as if the sound is emanating from a single full-range driver.
The cabinet is responsible for the bass extension that would not be present in a normal ported design.
In the case of the SongTowers, the total is definitely greater than the sum of the parts. The drivers are great, but would not perform this well without an extremely well executed crossover design. The cabinet rounds out the design. The sum is more than you should realistically expect looking at the individual components. In a very real sense, it is the "Perfect Storm" in that speaker designs rarely come together this well.
When Dennis Murphy first approached us about this design, we had relatively little interest. We had worked with these drivers in other designs and I thought I knew exactly what to expect. But Dennis stuck with it for 8 months and I finally agreed to build a pair and have a listen. When I fired up that first pair, it took no more than 30 seconds to realize I was listening to a very rare speaker indeed and one that deserved an audience. Once I heard it, I knew we had absolutely no choice but to bring it to market. I can only thank Dennis for being persistent.