Inspiration is an interesting concept. What triggers a project, a new development or new design? Sometimes it is slow in the making, like in the case of the Vivacé. Over many years many concepts were played around with, doodling, sketches, prototypes and it was only last year this time that I met Alex, and we nailed the form factor and started to action it. The triggers for the Vocè were a combination of iconic loudspeakers that excel in the midrange above all and when did a number of design studies we knew immediately that we should proceed with the current project.
The Évacateur was born from an increasing need in the marketplace, although still a niche, for a system that would be ideally suited for low powered amps, not flea watt amps but let's say from 10W upwards. The Vivacé could be seen as a step in that direction but many still believe that a well thought through 2way will be kinder to valve, single ended and low powered class A solid state amps. This was, however, the context or need and I had many ideas on how to achieve that and would have kept it on ice until next year.
The real impetus for the Évacateur however, came from a conversation with Per Skaaning about our projects and options. In this conversation, I mentioned the need outlined above and my ideas around how we could possibly design a system to achieve those objectives. What followed was very unexpected and still, makes me tingle with excitement and humble at the same time. He stopped me in my tracks and suggested that I should consider a special driver that he experimented with over the last few months. Not only did he share his excitement about the driver but also without hesitation offered to build a set for me, run a full set of measures on it and courier it free of charge for me to try. Needless to say, I was bowled over with this generous suggestion and accepted his offer. The drivers left Denmark yesterday and will be in Johannesburg next week.
Although we are sweating the small stuff with the Vivacé, and are slowly working on the Vocé, the inspiration for the Èvocateur concept could not be ignored and therefore we will put it on our to-do list as well. Ideally, I would have liked to have been able to launch the other 2 products first but I just could not resist tackling this one as well.
The drivers that are on the way are 220mm units but with special cones, surrounds, voice coil formers and motor system. The bottom line is a driver capable of 96db/w with an FS in the mid-30s(Hz) and RE of 5.8 ohm and that are optimised to work between 25 to 30litres. A system with a sensitivity of at least 93/94db/w and a very amp friendly impedance (nominal 8ohms, minimum 5.8ohms) is therefor possible. The tweeter, crossover and enclosure are not determined yet. My initial thinking is to use the form factor of the Vivace, that the crossover will be between 1.5khz and 2khz with slopes that will be influenced by the off-axis measurements of the midbass and the tweeter that will be used. If I am going to use a dome a waveguide will be almost a given, but there are other options I will look into as well.
There are a number of similar products in the market and many are well received by enthusiast and reviewers alike. So it's not uncharted territory but to have the support of such a world class driver manufacturer is something to be proud of and that I don't take it for granted. Many people view the ability to design and build drivers in-house as an indication of a world class speaker manufacturer, I beg to differ. There are certainly benefits to that strategy but working with a company that has such depth of competence and experience build up over so many years has its own strategic advantages.
So in this thread, I will keep you updated with progress on the Évocateur project, hopefully, some of you are interested in the journey and the concept of such a product.