Many of you will remember my great appreciation of these electrodynamic panels created in the 80s by my long term friend Alain Wacquet. From time to time, some of my loyal readers take the time to write to me and contribute more information on the products I have featured here over the years (more than 6, as of today, not that I am counting...)
And it was the case recently when fellow audiophile Raymont L. who owns some of these panels himself and a great fan, found this article on the forum Vintage Audio Laser.
I don't know the people behind these entries, but theyr nicknames are "zolbergue" and "aerosteph" respectively. If you guys want to make contact, you are welcome!
The article gives a rave review of the PA12 as per photo on different sorts of music, and concludes, rightly so, that these panels are particularly well suited to small jazz ensembles.
So surprises for me though, as Alain is himself a musician and loves that sort of music. He used to delight us with lovely percussions, saxophones and piano pieces, the core of the modern jazz repertoire. He definitely is responsible for my love of Bill Evans in particular!
What the article reveals for what I think is the firs time ever, is the actual configuration of the drivers, a week kept secret up until now, even for myself. I have gathered somehow the gist of the design (see my previous article" but Alain has never revealed the details even to me so far...
So here it is in all its vintage splendour! And yes, it uses an inverted kevlar dome tweeter from Focal and 8 almost identical drivers from Audax, the upper ones being dedicated to the midrange and slightly treated as the photo reveals. It would be great to get a close up, but I do not have one...yet!. One can also see the 5KHz crossover at the bottom (no, these are not extra tweeters, but inductors....). All these drivers give to the panel its efficiency, power handling and transient response. Also, being a line array, it provides a very cylindrical polar response, hence the amazing and very stable soundstage and presence.
And finally, one can find at the back of the panel in a separate box, the baffle compensation crossover, indispensable to counteract the dipole effect of any open baffle speaker.
Some people, like Kyron Audio, choose to do this compensation electronically, but the beaty of this design is that it works beautiful as an entirely passive, and still very efficient at 91dB/1w/m, panel. Well done Alain! We love your work and wished you had continued a tad longer...
PS: all photos courtesy of Vintage Audio Laser Forum
For my French readers, here is the link to the original post on the forum
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.