Leon Suter and Lee Gray of Kyron Audio were kind enough to spend a few hours listening to my vintage contraptions, aka my Microphase speakers. My current subwoofer is slightly bigger than the original and now sports a 10" XXLS from Peerless with its own 200w amplifier, and the tweeter now upgraded to a 1" VIFA.
Electronics include a NAD preamp, Bryston 3B amplifier and OPPO player. The Bryston feeds the satellites directly and the preamp drives the Bryston AND the subwoofer's amp separately. I found that setup to give the most control on one end and the best sound out of the satellites, as they are not filtered at the bottom end.
I hope they will leave their own comments below, and without wanting to reveal too much of their reactions, I was pretty chuffed when they said that these speakers "would have created quite a sensation" at the time!
Quite not big enough obviously, but what not cease to amaze me is that after 30 years, they still sound as accurate and dynamic as they were then. Some might say than they have been truly broken in by then...
We listened to Alchemy Live by Dire Straits , Modern Cool by Patricia Barber on Blu-Ray, Anouar Brahem, The Astounding Eyes of Rita on ECM and an historic recording of Bill Evans, Live in Paris, 1972 Vol 2 recorded by Radio France at the time and pressed by the Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (INA) in 1988. we also listened to a famous French percussionist Jean-Pierre Drouet, a digital file kindly "loaned" to me by Alain Wacquet of AW Audio fame. Lee is a percussionist himself, Leon a clarinetist, btw, so he could really appreciate the soundscape!
We had a great time and I had to push them out of the door as they had a plane to catch back to Melbourne.
Thank you guys, it was good to have you in my patch this time!
One of my friend and ex-HP colleague is selling his system after 25+ years of good service, because it is supposedly too big for his new "maison de campagne"...
And I thought we had designed it to be the most "WAF" friendly system on the Planet!
"Des gouts et des couleurs, on ne discute point"...
So, if any of you dear readers are interested in a pristine Triton passive system at a bargain price, here is your chance!
If I were not so far away, I would buy it myself, as I do not have this system in my collection. Being in Australia would probably cost me more in shipping than the gear itself, although I am tempted!
Anyway, to do justice to the product and help out my friend Philippe, I have posted a review of this wonderful triphonic system as an add-on to a previous post featuring the active version of this magnificent piece of french vintage hifi!
You will find the review written by Patrick Vercher in the now defunct "Revue du Son" here:
Any enquiries are welcome via our "contact" form
As mentioned in our "7 design principles", we think the midrange driver should be as close as possible to a full range unit.
However, if you are trying to keep the cabinet small and, consequently, the WAF high, then you will need a dedicated driver for the lower octaves of the spectrum.
Hence, our SWS subwoofer design...
The idea was to have a modular offer: one could buy a pair of satellites as bookshelf speakers, and then later, when money and/or space become available you could add the subwoofer(s) to your existing speakers.
Interestingly enough, very few customers took advantage of this feature.
Most bought either the satellites on their own, or the full system.
So, to come back to the design of the subwoofer, it was to be like a pedestal to the SATs and we decided early on that the driver would be invisible, as we wanted the SAT to be the main design feature.
So, we were constrained to a 200x200mm envelope and between 700 and 900mm height to bring the SATs to ear level.
The SATs themselves would be used horizontally in this configuration.
This was made possible by the fact that the tweeter was offset from the midrange and once horizontal, the dispersion pattern would still be good.
This is confirmed by listening tests: these speakers have an excellent image way beyond their own position, and providing quite a wide range of listening positions.
The SATs are 150mm high, then it leaves us between 550 and 750 mm for the subs.
Once the driver was chosen and we could plug its parameters into our box calculation, we ended up with a 600mm high cabinet.
The driver firing down would then be at the mercy of the floor material, and we didn't like that, hence the special socle with a pattern to match the angled design of the satellite, adding some extra stability to the whole unit.
That was going to be tested in years to come by the toddlers in our household...
The driver was originally an SEAS 17cm with an extra rubber treatment on the membrane. Further down the track, we used a SIARE unit.
The filter was again a Linkwitz-Riley with an upper frequency of 100hz
L=25mh (air core), C=100uF (made out of 4x25uF in parallel for better quality.
The final response being 30-100Hz within 1dB, thanks to the mechanical feedback of the base, close enough to "laminate" the air, hence linearising the response.
This is quite an amazing result from a 17cm driver.
The integration with the satellite is seamless and also prevent the satellite to generate too much distortion at the low end.
The only drawback is obviously a little loss of efficiency as a complete unit, but still in the 90dB range.
Later on, we designed a central subwoofer, starting the triphonic fashion, way before Bose entered the market...but this is another story for a later post...
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.