In April 89, the French magazine, La Revue du Son, published this review of the newest incarnation of the EA12 panel by AW Audio.
Called the PA12.2, it was a significant improvement on the original model.
What this review reveals though for the first time, is some technical information about the construction of this outstanding speaker.
And I had guessed successfully some of them...(see previous posts on AW Audio)
First, all the full range speakers are in line, 2 on top of the tweeter, and six underneath. The tweeter is described as an inverted dome tweeter: at that period, only Focal was using that arrangement, so we can assume Alain Wacquet was using one...
The full range speakers are mentioned as being 12cm in diameter, and one can assume that these would be of Audax origin.
Although not exactly a D'Appolito arrangement, it certainly have a lot in common with it in terms of imaging and transient response.
The tweeter is working only over 5KHz, and may or may not been time aligned mechanicaly, but certainly in the complex filter, as one main quality of these panels is their transient response.
It seems also that an external filter is used to compensate for the acoustic short circuit in the bass region, inevitable consequence of a dipole speaker. My recollection of these speakers is that the bass spectrum, although not extended very low, was still believeable and extremely clean.
Alain is a jazz enthusiast, and his demos always included fantastic percussions, which always came out of these panels as extraordinarily accurate.
If I can quote Patrick Vercher and Jean Hiraga in their assessment of their performance, they compare these panels to electrostatic panels, the transcription of the music being "luminous", full of micro details, very respectful of instruments timbres.
Again, my own recollection of these speakers is that voices were very realistic, specially female (Sade, very popular at the time, come to mind...) and the lower medium and upper bass region being perfectly reproduced due to the absence of box coloration.
On small jazz formations and live recordings, you could hear the ambience of the venue, and one could easily feel being there - what any speaker designer is trying to achieve with various degrees of success!
A few years later, Alain introduced the short lived "Transparence", probably the best way to describe his creations in one word.
I am hopefully meeting Alain at the Paris Hifi Show next week-end and expect to get more first hand info on these unique speakers.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.