Artison surprised dealers attending the Audio Associates dealer Expo in New Jersey earlier this week by showing a previously unannounced all-new subwoofer line that had the show floor buzzing. Proudly shown and discussed in great detail by Artison President Cary Christie, Artison’s new pint-sized powerhouse is diminutive in size, but its creator promises that it packs a powerful punch.
See more on the remarkable design achievement of this all-new subwoofer line…
Like a proud father showing off his new baby, Artison President Cary Christie camped out at a display table in the Artison booth never letting his newest creation – a tiny subwoofer barely larger than a bowling ball – out of his sight (or touch for that matter). Showing – but unfortunately not demonstrating – the new model from a line tentatively called “Nano” line, Christie was proud and even a little excited as he described over-and-over for attendees (and nosy reporters) the marvel of his newest offspring.
Christie told us that the secret to producing a subwoofer with a panel size of only about 9-inches or so is to blend several borrowed technologies and combine them with a couple of proprietary Artison technologies to create that which has not existed before now. The small size of the cabinet was even more emphasized by the all-black finish, although Christie hastened to emphasize that this was just a prototype and not the final finish.
Meet the three Nanos…
The prototype Christie was showing at the Expo featured two 6½-inch back-to-back drivers with aluminum cones. This will be the smallest in a three-model line that will include a dual 8-inch model and a dual 10-inch top-of-the-line big brother.
It’s not easy to make a small subwoofer, Christie told dealers. But that was the design criteria for the new Nano line – it had to be small, play loud, and – most importantly – be accurate.
Subwoofers have to move a lot of air and the normal laws of physics suggest that this calls for a large cabinet. The key to getting a small driver is a small cabinet to deliver deep bass is that you have to trick it into thinking its in a larger one.
To pull off this science of physics trickery, Artison employed a technology invented by KEF many years ago. They used hollow carbon balls in the cabinet.
“This makes the box look acoustically bigger than it is to the driver,” Christie told dealers.
Added to this, Artison’s Nano takes advantage of the Artison-invented “reactance-canceling” design which places two active woofers back to back in an in-phase configuration, rather than the more common active woofer backed to a passive radiator. According to Christie, this design eliminates vibration and minimizes distortion and maximizes the pistonic action needed for the subwoofer to produce deep bass.
Artison packs in [where, I don’t know] a 400-watt Class D power amplifier to power this puppy. This is probably a little bit of overkill and even Christie admitted he’d be surprised in anyone consistently exceeded around 75 watts or so given the efficiency of the design. But it’s there for those rare moments you may require it.
Artison designed the Nano subwoofers to appeal to both custom integrators and retailers. For the CI crowd, which the company knows well, Artison included a 12-volt trigger input, an IR input (hard-wired), and a high level input.
Don’t worry retailers, Artison didn’t forget about you. For the retailer market, Artison includes the low-level input and the increasingly popular wireless capability. And the wireless system that Artison includes is yet another proprietary design that grew out of their experience with their MusicLites line of products. Christie says it outperforms other systems and will work in “noisy” environment such as in hotels at trade shows with multiple competing wireless signals invading the environment.
DSP based control…
Artison also includes DSP technology which provides for, among other things, separate volume control settings for each input. There was a lot of discussion with dealers and integrators about ways to put this DSP to use.
Finally, Christie notes that the subwoofer borrows another technology to produce deep bass – or at least the perception of deep bass. The Nano line utilizes something called the MaxBass algorithm which, in effect, tricks the brain into thinking it’s hearing a deeper fundamental.
Fill in the blanks…
The subwoofer, Christie claims, reproduces frequencies cleanly down to about 32Hz. This is a pretty amazing accomplishment itself. But with MaxBass, the listener’s ear thinks it’s hearing fundamentals down to an even deeper 20Hz. This feat is accomplished by reproducing the harmonics of the fundamental. For example, if our ear hears 160Hz, 80Hz, and 40Hz harmonics…our brain fills in the blank and, in essence, generates the 20Hz fundamental. Remarkable stuff.
On the face of the subwoofer are five buttons for manual control of the subwoofer – which comes with a remote control also. The buttons select: Power, Volume +, Volume -, Music Mode, Movie Mode.
So when will the Nano 6/8/10 be available we asked Christie. “October…-ish,” he laughed. Tentative pricing is MSRPs of $900/$1200/$1500.
Learn more about Artison at www.artisonusa.com.