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Old 6th August 2005, 03:57 AM   #1
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Default Meet belle lab, a new manufacturer of single driver fullrange loudspeakers

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belle lab is a new Japanese manufacturer of single driver fullrange loudspeakers. The president, Yukihito Akiyama, is a long-time, totally incurable audio nut who makes a good living from several biotechnology patents. He has hooked up with some very knowledgeable people to produce some very fine sounding loudspeakers.

Persons familiar with Takashi Sano's "Exact" (now mu:xacta) line of drivers from my past posts will immediately note the similarity, and that is no accident. At the outset of the project, Mr. Sano was the head designer of these drivers. Part way through the project it became clear that Mr. Sano and the other people on Mr. Akiyama's team have some significant differences of design philosophy, and now Mr. Sano is essentially in the position of an outside consultant; the new chief engineer is a veteran with considerable experience at the highest levels of cone transducer design in Japan, including both fullrange drivers and field coil speakers. His full expertise is being tapped to create some truly unique 12cm and 16cm drivers, and I have been told to expect some prototypes of new models within a few days.

Apparently, the current drivers differ from Mr. Sano's in two significant ways. First, the cone paper is different. I am not sure just what sort of a difference it is. Second, these drivers are intended to be connected directly to the power amplifier, whereas Mr. Sano's are intended to be used with passive circuitry that he calls an "EL control" between the driver and the amplifier. Note also that the belle lab drivers are nominally 16 ohm drivers; with the EL control installed, Mr. Sano's drivers have a nominal impedance of 4 ohms. Finally, whereas Mr. Sano never sells his drivers as part of an off-the-shelf loudspeaker system (believing that the drivers must be tailored to each user), the belle lab loudspeakers constitute a plug-and-play system, and the drivers are not for sale separately. (In the future they plan to make raw drivers available, at least for certain models.)

I heard an early prototype of these drivers that had been built entirely by Mr. Sano, and I was hugely impressed. Mr. Akiyama tells me that the current drivers sound much better, but I have not confirmed that with my own ears. I do know that the motor on these is about 20% larger than that of the prototype I heard.

Full disclosure: Mr. Akiyama hired my services as a translator to translate the website into English, and in the past I have also provided translation services related to his biotechnology business. I do not have any financial interest in his "belle lab" business, and neither is there any arrangement whereby I would receive some special consideration in return for promoting his business. In fact, beyond translating the website, he has never even asked me to publicize his products; however, I thought I would let interested users overseas know that these new products are available

http://www.ibi.co.jp/belle/lang_e/index.htm
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Old 6th August 2005, 07:56 AM   #2
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nice info but is that USD22,000/pair?
It got to cost me both arms and limbs plus many years installments!!!
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Old 6th August 2005, 08:45 AM   #3
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There is also a special alternative form of payment . . . in lieu of money you can sell yourself to them as an indentured servant for the next billion years . . . a sample contract is shown below.

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Old 6th August 2005, 06:31 PM   #4
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I'm sorry to be skeptical- but... I am.

The specs on that website claim a range of 35hz to 23 khz, with 104 db w/m sensitivity and 15W continuous, 25W peak power handling. That puts the max SPL (not accounting for power compression) at around 116 db. What sort of Xmax does a 16cm driver need to have to produce this kind of bass? Even if it's 6 db down, 110 db at one meter is an awful lot of output for a 16 cm driver playing at 35 hz.

What's the Xmax?
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Old 6th August 2005, 06:37 PM   #5
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If you divide the number of gold coins you find in the pot at the end of the rainbow with the square root of the width of Stone Henge, then multiply it by the base area of the Great Pyramid, I suspect you'll get the Xmax.
Methinks I'll stick to Fostex. If I want a second morgage for a set of drivers, the cash is going to Lowther. Nobody else.
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Old 7th August 2005, 05:15 PM   #6
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What is this thread doing here??? Surely this is just marketing for vastly overpriced commercial loudspeakers
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Old 7th August 2005, 07:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ropie
What is this thread doing here??? Surely this is just marketing for vastly overpriced commercial loudspeakers
Not at all... Chris is our conduit for information on some of the less common (been posting on the FR Forum for a long time), more exotic drivers in Japan and becasue of his connections we get this pointed out to us early. I find this very interesting.

It means people are willing to pay huge amounts for serious assaults on the FR high-end. Fostex (and the like) sees that and it gives them the idea that a market exists for a more modest, but still serious FR and you get things like FE166ESR, FE108ES II, and other limited run, really great, but still within reach drivers for us mear mortals.

dave
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Old 8th August 2005, 12:11 AM   #8
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Well, it looked like product plugging to me, but I'll take your word for it Dave. Maybe it was the wording.
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Old 8th August 2005, 12:56 AM   #9
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Default Value?

Unfortunately, there have been very few opportunities for any of to actually listen to mr Sano's designs.

If AudioNote can find a market for a $300,00 system incorporating an "uber-modified" 2 way loudspeaker,

http://www.audionote.co.uk/index.htm

clik on "news' from CES 2005

then perhaps $22,000 USD (which is less than one of the local sale taxes here in Canada on "the word is silver" system) for a high sensitivity full ranger isn't totally outrageous.


well, on second thought it is

but whose marketing oozes more ego and condescension?
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Old 8th August 2005, 03:47 AM   #10
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I have the Exact Drivers on order, when I get it.. I'll post my findings... Btw we have quite a few Fullrangers and amps in our collection to do comparisions with as well.....
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