Acoustics Introduction

Perhaps the most obvious aspect of Vivid Audio loudspeakers is that they come in enclosures that aren’t the typical square box but there’s a good reason for that and it's not just an aesthetic decision.

Vivid Audio acoustics

In a classic series of experiments back in the 1930s, Dr. Harry Olsen mounted a small full range driver in a number of wooden shapes, all having an approximately equal size. He clearly showed that the smoothest response was obtained when the enclosure was a large sphere. He showed equally clearly that one of the worst shapes is a rectangular prism.

Despite this landmark work, most loudspeakers today are still made using sheet material cut and joined into rectangular boxes simply because of the cost.

At Vivid Audio we made the decision, from the outset, that our products should not be compromised by such values and sought out manufacturing materials and techniques that would afford us complete freedom to design enclosures which give the best results. So our cabinets have very smooth curves around the tweeter and mid-range unit.

Another downside to the rectangular box is the performance of the cabinet walls themselves. Any sheet of material will resonate at a particular set of frequencies and it is imperative that these fall outside the working range of the driver enclosed. Clearly the material should be as stiff and light as possible but much can be gained by the way in which it is used. One way of pushing the modal frequencies up is to curve the panel and yet another is to support the panel at regular intervals. Some designs of sheet material wooden boxes use a matrix of intersecting perforated wooden panels which span between the opposite faces. This works very well across the short dimension but between the top and bottom the webs are rather too long to be effective.

Vivid enclosures are doubly curved everywhere and tapered towards both top and bottom so the area of these zones is small and the curvature tight thus obviating the need for top to bottom bracing. Between the sides however, bracing is of considerable benefit and is included in every gap between each driver and port. Adopting cast or vacuum-infused composite materials not only gives us freedom with the shape but also permits finishing in any of the huge range of sprayed paint finishes.

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