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Old 17th March 2004, 01:48 AM   #1
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Default Visionaries: Audio & speaker tech in 10 years??

Visionaries: Audio & speaker tech in 10 years??

What will be the greatest changes in audio in 10 years?

What will speaker technology look like in 10 years?

Top 3-5 predictions??

1) DVD will win. Multi-channel DVD audio will dominate audio, and finally work well.
2) Rare Earth NdFeB magnets will become cheap and common. Patents for differential drive motors will elapse, and wide bandwidth long throw woofers and midranges will either be differential drive or underhung.
3) Long throw underhung 7"- 8" midranges and low 500 Hz Fs tweeters with 1.5mm Xmax will allow full range 2-way designs for HT. Digital amps, crossovers and equalization will tie the system together.
4) Most multi-channel audio will be all digital with room equalization up to the speakers.
5) Efficient digital amps with these hi-Xmax, wide bandwidth speakers will allow small equalized sealed boxes good to 20Hz.

my world) Hi-Xmax 8" speakers, plus new ribbons and planars will allow attractive narrow baffle Linesources.


Looking back 10 years, DVD movies and multi-channel audio seems the largest change. Small changes in motor design and materials have yielded large changes in sonics.

My main system changed to a 5:0 configuration, constructed more for DVD movies than multi-channel audio. The availability of low cost NdFeB rare earth magnets has created the biggest change in my speakers. 98 db/watt, 20-30Khz linesources allow small, sweet sounding Class-A amps and active crossover stages. Moving the DAC to the speakers would be the next evolution. Experiments with digital amps show filter artifacts.
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Old 17th March 2004, 06:50 AM   #2
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Digital amps? Do you mean class D? Or are you talking about something else altogether?

I've been thinking about a way to create a truly digital amplifier, and AFAICT, it hasn't been done yet... I'm interested in hearing about this thing you're talking about.
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Old 17th March 2004, 08:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nappylady
....I've been thinking about a way to create a truly digital amplifier, and AFAICT, it hasn't been done yet... I'm interested in hearing about this thing you're talking about.
What? How can you get more digital than one that has microprocessor controlled switching MOSFETs? Mmmmmm!: Hybrid PFM + PWM with a switching frequency up to 5MHz or more and switching precision over 100MHz... precision feedback for rail and load variations... switchmode power supplies, signal-dependent rail voltage regulation... multiple channels with digital crossover filters, speaker compensation and room compensation... Yum! If it hasn't been done, it sure can be!

Speakers:
How about state/king intervention? Prohibiting all paper/pulp coned speakers would be a good start!

Recording technology:
I'm sick of reading how nothing beats analogue magnetic tape for recording high-quality sound. I'm looking forward to some quality application of today's ADC technology - it's time to let go of those myths about the superiority of old analogue recording techniques. This should happen - not in 10 years, but today!

CM
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Old 17th March 2004, 08:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
I've been thinking about a way to create a truly digital amplifier, and AFAICT, it hasn't been done yet... I'm interested in hearing about this thing you're talking about.
If one is strict then there is no such thing as a digital amplifier, it is simply a marketing term. Amplification per se is always an analog operation.

If you are less strict you can call power DACs using digitally generated PWM or delta-sigma modulation digital amplifiers.

But any type of switching amp will help to reduce size and cost and thereby boosting multichannel and active solutions.

Even with today's switching amplifier technologies 80 % of the linear amps currently in use could be substituted IMO.

Regards

Charles
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Old 17th March 2004, 01:11 PM   #5
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Well, ten years ago Audio magazine carried an interview with a prominent audio engineer who said that in ten years, he figured the cone loudspeaker would disappear from any real hi fi setup.

Here we are ten years later, and not only is the cone loudspeaker alive and well, but the previous posters predicted only a few changes to it's magnetic system and cone material. In other words, they are predicting it will be around in recognizable form for at least another ten years.

And ten years ago people were predicting it's demise entirely for all but the cheapest applications.
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Old 17th March 2004, 02:38 PM   #6
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Cones and domes will still win out by sheer numbers, but I predict a true digital speaker will emerge between now and then, using novel signal and transduction methods. I've had a concept kicking around in my mind for a while- all I need is a few hundred thousand dollars to make it work!
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Old 17th March 2004, 02:47 PM   #7
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In 10 years?

Equipment and loudspeakers will more and more begin to look like fashionable design-items, you know, non-functional shapes and colors that really sell.

Audio reproduction quality will, on average, steadily decline....

Jan Didden
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Old 17th March 2004, 03:13 PM   #8
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The demise of the cone loudspeaker... what an interesting idea. What on earth posessed them to predict such a thing? Did they think ribbons were suddenly going to catch on like wildfire?

I think about class D amplifiers and their switching speeds of maybe a couple Mhz... then I think about FM radio, and its switching speed of 89-108 Mhz, and how it doesn't have really good treble response...

Somehow, I think the whole idea of class D amplifier just sucks!
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Old 17th March 2004, 03:14 PM   #9
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Equipment and loudspeakers will more and more begin to look like fashionable design-items, you know, non-functional shapes and colors that really sell.
If enough thinking is done is is also possible to make optically stunning designs that are still belonging to the category "form follows function".

One classic item: The "original" B&W Nautilus

Another one:

http://www.celticaudio.co.uk/cabar.htm

Regards

Charles
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Old 17th March 2004, 04:40 PM   #10
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Sharp digital amplifier
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