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SWISS PRECISION AUDIO ENGINEERING IN WOOD

SOUNDS AS FRESH AND PURE AS THE AIR IN THESE MOUNTAINS
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WAVE 40
SK16 SKINY
PANORAMA
SUBLIME SOUND - EXQUISITE DESIGN


Wave 40 our first transducer design made from solid tone and hardwoods has a very distinctive aesthetic. With us design is not secondary but part of the whole experience. Of course sonics have all ways got to come first but we do aim to please more then one of our sensory faculties. Hey …. what is better then listing to your favourite tunes in the presence of beauty. With 2 reviews and 2 subsequent awards the sonic qualities have also been established. The reviews are testimony to this and place the waves in a very exclusive category indeed.
In 2013 Srajan Ebaen from 6moons awarded them a blue moon.

"As always the final proof is in the listening. There the soundkaos Wave 40 sounds exactly like theory predicts a high-efficiency light-coned point source in a low-mass cabinet ought to. It's very quick. It lets go of sounds as though they were red-hot coins. It stages in grand style and scale. First and foremost though it's immediate, lucid and energized as the antithesis of dull and damped. This is a major accomplishment for the breed. It deserves enthusiastic accolades and a long standing ovation. Bravissimo!"
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Paul Messenger awarded them the top HIFI CRITIC magazine gong.

“An excellent example of how to retain the very real virtues of the single full-range driver working while taming its usual eccentricities. The Wave 40 is unquestionably costly but it’s also very pretty and the bottom line is that it also does the sound quality business, sufficient to justify an Audio Excellence award."
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WHY TONE AND HARDWOODS
NATURAL WOOD - THE SILENT ABSORBER

So why tone wood for loudspeakers? Here we need to get technical. But just a bit. A loudspeaker radiates sound in two directions –
at the listener and into its box. Half goes out, half stays in. Since sound diminishes with distance (a marching band gets quieter
as it moves away, for a given playback volume a small room sounds louder than a big one) the loudness inside a speaker's enclosure
is far higher than in your room. This pressure excites the walls of the enclosure. It bounces around like a bunch of billiard balls and
attempts to escape through the thin driver diaphragms. All such secondary radiation is distortion by definition. Because it arrives at
your ears delayed in time, it causes the equivalent of motion blur. That's a slight audible smear and fuzziness often mistaken for warmth. When addressed, the result is more clarity.

Some speaker designers reason that a super inert ultra dense box will completely kill off this rear wave by absorption in high mass.
They also believe that they suffer no time-delayed resonance or internal reflections. Hence the popularity of massive aluminium,
composite, glass, carbon fibre and other 'heroic' constructions. The problem we see with such an approach is this.
Damp what amounts to exactly half of your driver's emission and it kills or suffocates something in the direct sound too.
Think of what would happen to a violin or guitar if its thin resonant sound panels were damped by rubber mats. Their big freely
gushing sound which transmits so easily across distance would dull over, collapse and shrink. The fine harmonic modulations
would squash and true tone suffer.

That's the core notion behind the Wave 40 and its name. Rather than capture and damp our rear wave, we want it to dissipate
rapidly and freely. We want the entire enclosure to act as one constant energy-shedding mechanism. We want our sound to carry
across distance as vibrantly and rich as a musical instrument made of top-quality tone wood. Incidentally the ovoid Wave 40 body
doesn't 'make' a sound of its own. It's not a secondary player in the musical mix. It simply provides an active release mechanism for the rear wave.
You'll have already noted that we don't use a sealed alignment. That would trap all internal energies and build up very high box pressure. We also don't use an otherwise ubiquitous port because its endemic ringing ruins both the impulse response and time-domain behaviour. Our chosen solution is a very short flared line instead. It lets the driver breathe freely. It doesn't resist the rear wave yet augments the low-frequency reach to what is an impressive ~55Hz for our small cubic volume. This also isn't a 'brute force' alignment which attempts to take a driver lower than it comfortably goes. For that we deliberately offer our Sub Wave D12 companion.


If you look at the microscopic structure of wood it is a bit like swiss cheese, full of holes. These tubular cells have an amazing ability
to absorb and dissipate mechanical vibrations. There are two main reasons why natural wood is so good at this. The first is the irregularity of the cell structure, each cell is different from the next. In any man made material this does not occur, the cell structures are much more uniform and trying to replicate this irregularity in a material is virtually impossible. Here nature has the upper hand. Why is this important ? The irregularity can cover a much wider area of the bandwidth were as a regular cell structure will be much better at targeting specific frequency bands but will leave anything outside untouched. The second reason is the elasticity of natural wood, vibrational absorption/damping is much more effective when the material modulates with the vibration.


swiss-cheese_micro-spruce

Obviously any transducer needs to work with a firm unmovable foundation from which to launch its sound waves. Here our driver couples directly to the stand with a solid vertical wood brace that bolts to its magnet whilst the entire ovoid hull suspends from the same brace. This achieves two contradictory goals. The wavy baffle is of deliberately low mass just like a guitar top yet the driver anchors firmly to the stand which grounds itself to the floor with the high-mass metal plinth. That's how we get away with a thin deliberately resonant baffle yet still have a properly inert driver.

As would be the case for a guitar or cello, our side walls are composed of denser thicker wood species like Maple, Cherry or Walnut.
This creates the necessary structural integrity. Meanwhile the sound activated thinner surfaces face the listener and room's front wall.
These larger oscillating surfaces then become directional contributors to the speaker's acoustic energy transmission.
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full range with super tweeter

> 8" enviee full range driver
> Ribbon super tweeter for HF enhancement
> side exit hybrid TL / horn loading
> floating tone wood enclosure in solid spruce and hardwoods
> unique enclosure suspension largely decoupled from driver
> 94dB sensitivity, ideal for tubes
> enclosure size w340 x h800 x d280 mm
> over all foot print w420 x h1160 x d360 mm
> weight each 20 kg including stand
> MRSP per/pair in maple CHF 18'900

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MAKING WAVES
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2.5 - way full range with soft dome tweeter
> 2 x 6.5” enviee full range driver
> 25mm soft dome tweeter for HF enhancement
> side exit hybrid TL / horn loading
> floating tone wood enclosure in solid hardwoods
> unique enclosure suspension largely decoupled from driver
> 94dB sensitivity, ideal for tubes
> enclosure size w200 x h950 x d130 mm
> over all foot print w250 x h1010 x d300 mm
> weight each 14 kg including stand
> MRSP per/pair in maple CHF 7’380
> MRSP per/pair in cherry CHF 7’950
> MRSP per/pair in walnut CHF 8’495

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SKINY DIP
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> solid wood enclosure with aniline leather ends
> 2 x 12” subwoofers
> 500 W class-D amplification
> adjustable DSP filtering
> dimensions L440 x W380 x H 450mm
> weight 32kg
> Intended 25-55Hz infrasonic support
> MRSP in maple each CHF 4’950
> MRSP in cherry each CHF 5’250
> MRSP in cherry each CHF 5’550

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OUR NEW DIPOLE DESIGN







WORK IN PROGRESS
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SOUNDKAOS NEWS / BLOG / LINKS TO SOME EXCELLENT REVIEWS
  • DECEMBER 2014 HIFI Critic AWARD
    In the December 2014 Edition of HIFI Critic, the top independent publication from the UK, Paul Messenger awards the wave 40 a Audio Excellence gong. This is the top HIFI Critic award. After 6moons in 2013 this is our 2nd review and also our 2nd award. We are obviously delighted with this award particularly because Paul is a veteran reviewer and legend in the UK Audio press. This is another accolade which firmly establishes that the wave 40 speaker is very special indeed.

    The review can be downloaded from the link bellow.

    http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/soundkaos/review.pdf
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  • JULY 2014 HIGH END SHOW MUNICH
    The High Fidelity Magazine from Poland has awarded us "Best Sound" at this years Munich High End show. We co-exhibited with TRAFOMATIC AUDIO (amplification) and the LUMIN streaming player from Hong Kong Pixel Magic Systems.

    http://www.highfidelity.pl/@main-482&lang=en
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  • JULY 2014 HIGH END SHOW MUNICH BY JOHN DARKO
    In disclosing the best sound I heard all month we must journey back to Munich where Serbia's Trafomatic Audio had teamed up with the Anglo-Swiss operation of soundkaos for a port-a-room in one of the downstairs halls. At the front of the playback chain sat the Lumin S1 ($10'000), a server/streamer that comes loaded with its own D/A conversion. This silver machine fed into Trafomatic's Reference One preamplifier (€4'500) based on E182CC/5687 tubes with IIC core output transformers after which the signal was handed to a pair of Trafomatic's single-ended parallel 18wpc Reference 300B monoblocks (€12'700/pr) before seeing the light of day via soundkaos' Wave 40 loudspeakers (€15'550). Those are a 21cm full range driver and Raal ribbon tweeter set into an ovoid hollow body of tone wood. Low-frequency action was augmented by the soundkaos Subwave D12 (€4'000). The initial pair of D12 proved too much for the room on the first day and was thereafter dropped back to a single unit.
    Maybe it's the way Martin Gateley and Sasa Cokic had decked out their room (the wall veneer blending with the wood tones of their hardware) or maybe it's that Gateley had obviously been paying attention to music mentioned on DAR (he had fashioned a 12-song playlist on the Lumin specifically for yours truly). Whatever sorcery was at work in this space, it had me enraptured from the first bars of Robbie Robertson's "Somewhere Down The Crazy River". Top to bottom, the illusion of transparency was writ wide and tall. This system's key strength was letting the upper midrange flow abundantly with information without it dominating the scene as was the case with the Voxativ Pi ($14'000/pr) in Irvine. The latter sound instantly more thrilling but could become tiring over prolonged exposure.
    When I'm hit hard by a 'holy shit' moment, I like to again visit the scene of the crime if only to discount a singularity in my mood or caffeine/haemoglobin chemistry Even on day three Trafomatic/soundkaos' majestic elegance played neat counterbalance to its macrodynamic import.

    See the full report here :
    http://www.6moons.com/industryfeatures/darko2014/1.html
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  • JUNE 2014
    Speaker baskets for our new SK16 speaker made from ply/solid wood. The only metal on the full range driver will the magnet, voice coil and wiring, all other components are made from sound absorbing wood based components. The 16cm cellulose membrane will be bonded directly to the timber frame and the magnet will be bolted to the rear of the plywood assembly.
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  • FEBRUARY 2014
    First prototypes of our up and coming smaller speaker/sub combination. Utilising a 16cm ø full range Enviee driver together with a soft dome tweeter in the SK16, nick named Skiny and the subwave D8 will have either dual face firing 8 or 10" drivers with a 400 W ICEpower class D amp and DSP filtering. Planned release 3rd quarter of 2014.
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  • SEPTEMBER 2014
    Reviewer Srajan Ebaen, publisher/proprietor of the influential 6 moons e-publication takes delivery of his personal pair of wave 40. They are currently his favourite wide-band speakers and will be extensively used in his reviews. Srajan, may your Music go with you.

    http://www.6moons.com/industryfeatures/swisseggs/2.html
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  • JUNE 2013 HIGH END SHOW MUNICH
    We had an excellent first international show at the High End event in Munich. See some of the feedback from the press bellow. Soundkaos exhibited together with Bakoon Products International and Klutz Design in hall 4 where we build our own demo room. 10 days prior to the event we where asked if we could provide a pair of wave 40 for the Colotubes/Metrum/Absolue Créations room which also got good coverage from the press.

    http://www.6moons.com/industryfeatures/munich2013/2.html
    http://www.highfidelity.pl/@main-373&lang=en
    http://flatworld.welt.de/2013/05/10/bericht-von-der-high-end-hifimesse-in-munchen-tag-2/
    http://www.stereotimes.com/post/munich-high-end-2013-part-3
    http://www.audiostream.com/content/metrum-acoustics-hex-0
    http://www.hifiwigwam.com/munich-high-end-live-blog/
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  • FEBRUARY 2013 - OUR 1st REVIEW AND 1st AWARD - ARE WE OVER THE MOON ?
    With our first review of the wave 40 audio speakers we where awarded a blue moon by Srajan Ebaen, reviewer and publisher of the 6moons audio e-publication. We are delighted with this outcome and award. See the full review by clicking on the link bellow.

    http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/soundkaos/1.html
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YOU CAN FIND US HERE
SOUNDKAOS
GSTEIG STRASSE 169
CH-3784 FEUTERSOEY
SWITZERLAND

  Phone: +41 79 945 08 68
SOUNDKAOS
62 FELLOWS ROAD
LONDON NW3 3LJ
UNITED KINGDOM

  Phone: +44 7802 313 661
YOU CAN CONTACT US HERE BY EMAIL
  martin@soundkaos.com