Physical Design and Construction
With an uncluttered, form-follows-function aesthetic and a decidedly modern look and feel, each of Sonicweld's designs are meant to be enjoyed as works of functional art. Because we have dispensed with bulky amplifiers and inconvenient speaker cabling, our designs achieve a high degree of domestic compatibility while delivering uncompromised performance. At Sonicweld, bigger is not better. We always strive for the most compact, clean design which meets our high standards for high dynamic range and low-distortion performance. Efficient, sleek dimensions offer two advantages: firstly, diffractive behavior in the upper frequency ranges is greatly improved, helping to give our designs the astonishing breadth and depth of imaging they're well known for. Secondly, smaller dimenisions push the resonant frequencies of the enclosure's walls well above the passband, minimizing excitation and energy storage.
In the quest to eliminate spurious enclosure vibrations which would mar the sound, construction has long been recognized as a critical aspect of loudspeaker design. Innumerable methods and materials - such as cast cement, lead lining, mineral-loaded plastics, and laminated medium-density fiberboard (MDF) - have been employed in a marginally successful effort to address fundamental shortcomings of enclosures. Sonicweld offers the superior alternative of solid metal structures, carefully milled to form - a method we pioneered in 1998.
There is nothing like the unmistakable look and feel of a precisely machined component. This expensive and exacting method of manufacturing has been used for years in high-tech disciplines such as formula car racing and aerospace, yet Sonicweld was the first to fully apply it in loudspeaker chassis construction. Why hadn't this been done before? Quite simply, few manufacturers were up to the task. The economics of working in wood are favorable, and the techniques are relatively simple. Our computer-optimized designs are machined almost entirely in-house, on our own state-of-the-art CAD/CAM machining center. Each new design represents thousands of pounds of metal consumed in prototypes, and generally several hundred hours of refining the CNC programs, fixtures, and choice of tooling.
Why Metal? The mechanical properties of metal make it an ideal material for loudspeaker construction, provided it is properly damped and treated. While most metals in raw form will exhibit a very "high Q" ring, Sonicweld makes extensive use of constrained layer damping. This results in the most inert loudspeaker structure ever realized. The sonic results are amazing: the sound is cleansed, unfettered by the transient smearing and boxy sound that characterize loudspeakers which use conventional materials and enclosure construction. Imaging ability is transformed. Dynamic contrasts are startlingly realistic.