With the arrival of the SR58 , the time has arrived for a truly high end loudspeaker alternative to those many brands that are so vigorously marketed, but fail to deliver.
Kiwi ‘can do’ alive and well
In 1973, the UK joined the European ‘Common Market’. This date also marked the beginning of our emergence as an independent, internationally respected and recognized player on the global stage.
Moving forward from those early days through to today’s true multinational trading partnerships, has been a challenging experience. A positive aspect of our independence is an increased recognition in our ability and confidence to compete at the very highest levels.
We are a proud and independent nation of can do thinkers and doers. Sir Edmond Hillary was never going to be told by anyone that he couldn’t climb Mt Everest. Our lifestyle and culture encourages individual initiative and responsibility and because no one has ever told us, we can’t, we end up punching way above our weight and in doing so claim our place on the world stage. You only have to look at our performance in sport to gain an appreciation at the recognition and respect New Zealand commands. We have also demonstrated our ability in areas which have been the exclusive domain of the super rich and most technically capable. NZ will forever be recognized for our participation in the Americas cup sailing competition. ‘Can do’ spirit is alive and well in our Mosgiel, NZ factory.
Since 1974 Perreaux has enjoyed a proud record of consistently exporting more than 80% of production. We are a long established international player and are in constant interchange with our many competitors. If anything, we are more confident today of our place than at any time in the past. When we develop a product for market, we give full recognition to our competitors and if anything this serves to heighten the expectations that we place on ourselves as we know that our customers are predominantly going to be given a choice of buying Perreaux or one of our competitors offerings. There is no greater motivator than offering Perreaux on the global stage and no experience will heightens our senses as much as being marketed alongside competitor products.
Whether playing vocals, orchestral, soft jazz, rock or even drum’n bass, the experience is without exception of a highly realistic ‘true to original’ sound, as to make it difficult to distinguish from live performances. Surely this is the essence of highest quality of reproduction.
As sophisticated as the loudspeaker undoubtedly is, it’s only through a lengthy process of careful design in combination with critical listening and fine tuning, that we’ve be able to close in on our goal of creating a product of such defining quality. If you were to play exactly the same note on both a piano and guitar at the same volume, the timbre of the sound would represent the psychoacoustic difference you perceive between the two notes played. The timbre of the SR58 is therefore the subjective impression felt by the listener for of the quality and accuracy of individual instruments, voices and indeed the overall sound produced.
Mid Range & Upper Frequency Response
By intelligent design in combination with rigorous trial and error of a wide range of mid range and tweeter elements, followed by careful final selection, we have arrived at the desired outcome capable of delivering the delicate balance required from a loudspeaker of this level of quality and multitasking capability. The SR58 will faithfully deliver unparalleled levels of richness and generosity of tone, providing the sophistication of sound to all those that enjoy smaller scale works in classical music, acoustic jazz, soft pop and female vocals.
So rigorous have we been with our cabinet construction, driver selection and crossover design, that the SR58 is perfectly comfortable representing the full spectrum of musical formats, from a delicate vocals and stringed instruments all the way through to the energized pulsing sound, characteristic of hard rock.
Mid Bass Response
To gain a real world understanding of the SR58 authenticity and accuracy in the mid bass region the best test is to listen to a track employing a ‘kick-drum’ which is typical of an instrument operating in the mid bass region. The kick-drum produces a quick and initially sharp, high energy sound and is an excellent test of any woofers ability to accurately re-produce. You will be impressed by the exceptional accuracy of performance in this important area. From the initial strike of the pedal mallet on the skin of the drum, all the way through to its eventual decay; the feeling is always of tremendous weight and presence.
Deep Bass Response
Deep bass is typically produced by instruments such as a bass guitar and it is characteristically a deeper, softer and rounder sound than produced by kick-drum alone. The SR58 also reproduces deep bass with convincing energy and realism.
An Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove
The overall bass response of the SR58 is an accurate depiction of the ‘the iron fist in a velvet glove’ concept. Its unique ability to not only reproduce the high energy punch demands of a kick-drum, but simultaneously able to provide the softer rounder sounds which are characteristic of deep bass. These attributes are almost unique for a loudspeaker of such relatively modest proportions.
The overall bass response of the SR58 will come as a ‘revelation’ to all that audition. We have managed to achieve spectacular results from what we still consider to be modestly dimensioned enclosures and drivers. Suffice to say, there is so much more that goes into the successful implementation of a tight, accurate and deep bass response, necessitating we extract every last drop of realism and performance in this important and often overlooked part of the audio spectrum. The results have been hard gained, but well worthwhile as the bass forms the very tonal foundation of many genres of music and can also be the source of an audio track rhythmic dynamism and drive. Let’s face it, who can honestly say they don’t enjoy the ‘driving’ sensation experienced when listening to a drummer laying down a tight kick-drum beat with the bottom end simultaneously being filled in with bass guitar. Getting this aspect of the sound just right has been a ‘non negotiable’ with the SR58.
It is rare indeed to encounter a loudspeaker which can simultaneously bring all these desirable traits together as the SR58 successfully manages. To our minds the loudspeaker breaks new ground and can be considered to be a cherished musical instrument in its own right. Surely an instrument that can accurately reproduce sounds of a lute, violin and double bass with the same timbral accuracy as live recordings deserves special recognition. Listeners of music across all genres will delight in a thoroughly engaging experience, never previously thought possible.
Violin and Double Bass
For extended low frequencies, requiring only reasonable amplifier power, a loudspeaker must be generously proportioned. Whilst small loudspeaker cabinets may be easier to integrate into your room, they come with serious limitations in that that they invariably suffer from a reduction of efficiency and distinct lack of low frequency response. This effect will sadly affect the loudspeaker’s ability to adequately reproduce the full flourish of music originating from your playback system. Classical musicians are only too aware of this phenomenon. If it were possible to naturally recreate low frequencies from stringed instruments with small formats, the double bass players of this world would all be beating a path to your door. Sadly you can’t ignore the laws of the universe and just as a violin features featherweight construction and is beautifully proportioned specifically to resonate at selected frequencies, the double bass and consequently large loudspeakers are proportioned the way they are specifically in order to re-produce extended low frequencies.
A lightly constructed speaker cabinet design represents a tempting proposition for a loudspeaker company, as the manufacturing, transportation and handling costs are all substantially reduced. The problem is that a lightly constructed cabinet tends to flex and vibrate (resonate) in sympathy with the motion of the drivers. Cabinet vibration in turn acts as an unwanted secondary radiation source which can result in a serious colouration of the sound by adding or subtracting from the radiation coming from the drivers.
A vibrating cabinet can also directly couple with structural materials such as a wooden floor at speeds much faster than through air. These vibrations can re-radiate from parts of the structure forming secondary sources, sometimes arriving at the ear before the direct sound.
As a general rule, large cabinets also have large areas of cabinet walls, coupled with high internal pressures being generated by the drive units; it can be difficult in practice to prevent the walls from vibrating. Panel flexure and vibration resonance is seen as a highly undesirable attribute and every effort and expense is taken in the SR58 loudspeaker to reduce this effect to a minimum. This in turn calls for a cabinet which is highly rigid and damped. Such a speaker cabinet because of its highly damped ridgid nature requires less attention to room treatment on account of the reason that the external cabinet vibration levels are also greatly reduced. It is for these reasons that “without exception” all the top tier loudspeaker manufacturers go to extreme lengths and expense to design cabinets that are as rigid as their market can afford.
To maximize cabinet rigidity and minimise cabinet resonances and colouration of the sound, we have employed what we term a ‘rigid stratification’ cabinet construction technique. In the first instance we manufacture an incredibly rigid and heavily braced MDF enclosure from high density MDF up to 25 mm in thickness. Being aware of the degradation of sonic performance and colouration of the sound that comes from lightweight cabinets, we have been meticulous in the application of our engineering knowledge to this area. This massively constructed and braced cabinet is now already far more rigid and inert than most of our competitors products. We then bond slabs of solid natural stone to each side. The resultant ‘rigid stratification’ construction technique ensures the finished cabinet almost is completely inert and free from resonance and artifact.
No Cabinet Spikes Required
Each finished cabinet weighs in at 104 kilograms or 230 pounds. A pair of cabinets weighs 208 kilograms or 460 pounds. You don’t require spikes to bond the SR58 to the floor. It will bond to the floor all on its own accord. In the event your floors are not completely level, we supply leveling bolts enabling you to exactly level your speakers and match them to your flooring surface.
Not a Wood Screw to be Found
We only use highest quality glues and without exception all drivers, binding post plates and feet bars use metric thread machine screws into embedded nuts on the inside surfaces of the cabinet. These provide the highest integrity connection possible.
Only the Very Finest
We selected top tier Scandinavian manufactured drivers based solely on performance, reputation and serviceability in years to come. World class manufacturers such as these have had a tough time of it over the last 10 years as they witnessed so many of their long standing larger customers shift complete production to Asia, where the plunder of their converted designs has taken place. You would be amazed at the number of manufactures who talk about faultless workmanship combined with originality of thought and design. Association with classical music, violins and emotions, resonance and warmth and speak of tradition whose “only touch” with the finished production item is when it arrives into their store inside a 40 ft container from their Asian supplier. If you respect products from companies like ScanSpeak and SEAS, then you will also appreciate drivers we have employed our SR58 Loudspeaker.
Mid Range, Tweeter, Mid Range
The SR58 loudspeaker nestles twin mid range drivers either side of the tweeter in what has become known as an MTM configuration. MTM compensates for any sonic lobe tilting effects that are present in more common, MT or TM loudspeaker arrays and is the frequent choice of enlightened manufacturers and listeners alike. An MTM configuration provides a point source in the midrange, with a wide horizontal sound field, but a very poor vertical sound field. This also means that for general listening while walking around the room, the sound quality will be less than ideal, but the lack of room reflections from the floor and ceiling will give a very precise and accurate sound when listening from the seated listening position. We have used mid range drivers with very linear coated paper cones that will operate over both the piston range and radiated range of the driver that the midrange requires
Anyone that enjoys a passion for music will instantly be able to differentiate between the sound of upright and grand piano formats. With an upright the soundboard is placed vertically and the sound emanates from the back of the piano, first travelling to the rear wall, bouncing off it, eventually reaching the listener. You get the feeling that subtle control of musical expression is more difficult to realize in an upright format. By contrast, the soundboard on a grand is situated horizontally and faces directly upwards. The sound rises, reaches the listener and fills the room without obstruction. Because grand pianos are generally larger (longer strings and bigger soundboard) than upright formats, the sound volume is also greater.
Parallels can also be drawn with the design of the SR58 loudspeaker. You will note that all mounted drivers (5 per cabinet) face forwards directly towards the listener. This also means that the sound that they generate is free from obstruction or reflection.
This has particular relevance with respect to the 2 x 8” woofers per cabinet. On account of the reason that the woofers are active up to 650Hz, front mounting of these drivers is of particular significance as the higher frequencies produced by them should be in line with the ear if at all possible.
By contrast in an attempt to favour form over function, many manufacturers end up compromising their designs by placing their woofers on the side (side firing) or underneath their cabinets (down firing). Analogous to the upright vs. grand format, information can be lost or smeared when the ear has to accommodate sound emanating from multiple positions with their associated reflective complexities.
We have selected very linear woofer drivers, with extremely stiff and rigid cones built of aluminium. This cone requires extremely stiff and open injection moulded aluminium metal frame, holding an extremely powerful magnet assembly.
No Passive Radiators
When is a driver not a driver? The answer to that is when it is a passive radiator that looks like a driver. To the uninitiated, this can come as a bit of a wake up call. You casually look at a pair of speakers, see the front panel covered with drivers and can incorrectly think that they are all active elements. If the same speaker has no front or rear port tube, the immediate conclusion you can draw is that the manufacturer uses passive radiators instead of ports to complete their bass reflex design. In fact you can consider passive radiators to be similar to be nothing more than holes in the cabinet.
Each front panel mounted driver (5 per cabinet) in the SR58 loudspeaker is active and fit for purpose. There are no passive radiators that “look like” drivers but don’t actually directly contribute.
Crossovers, Port & Binding Posts
The crossover needs to send the required frequencies to each of the loudspeaker drivers in a way that each driver will only handle the frequencies where it operates best, and integrate the blending between the drivers to give a smooth and seamless join.
The low frequencies of the loudspeaker were given a Linkwitz-Riley second order filter as this gave the highest performance to the woofers and enabled blending into the midrange
The midrange to the tweeter was given a Butterworth third order filter as this gave the best integration between the drivers.
The drivers were computer modelled to match levels, provide the tonal correction, and match the phase/time characteristics between the units, while avoiding any loads that would mean less than ideal sound. As the units were made to match the Perreaux amplifiers, we were able to use the advantages of the amplifiers (high current capabilities for example) to give the desired response, and a give a loud and precise sound quality.
Customized Rear Port Solution
The height, width and length, angles and flair of the rear port has been custom designed by Perreaux engineers and is optimally dimensioned and constructed specifically for the SR58 loudspeaker. We strongly prefer to port our cabinets from the rear. Aesthetic considerations aside, a rear port design has the added advantage of further diminishing any possibility of ever hearing stray internal cabinet resonances or port chuffing interference.
A Myriad of Connection Possibilities
The rear binding post panel has been specifically designed to provide you with the maximum amount of connection possibilities. You have individual access to the Tweeter, Mid range and Woofers. This in turn provides you with the ability to use a single pair of cables, alternately bi or tri wiring options are available should you desire. The same applies to amplification. You can use a single amplifier, or use multiple amplifiers with the SR58 Loudspeaker.
Specifically designed to make a bold statement and to occupy pride of place in your listening environment, each pair of Perreaux SR58 Loudspeakers is manufactured to suit your exacting requirements by Perreaux in our Mosgiel, NZ factory.
The stone sides finish is selectable by you to match your tastes. We offer a full pallet of some of the worlds most exotic and local natural stone finishes.
You are also able to select the cabinet inner finish. Once again choices are very broad and range from NZ Rimu all the way through to Mahogany and everything in between. In addition to timber finishes, we also offer an alternate of a full range of painted finishes in whatever level of gloss you desire.
Providing an almost infinite combination of stone, timber and paint finish combinations each pair of the Perreaux SR58 Loudspeakers is highly customizable and can be specifically manufactured to perfectly match your exacting requirements.