Bespoke high-end installed loudspeakers
New British company, Walls of Sound, is launching its range of high-end installed and personalised loudspeaker solutions for discerning music lovers who want the very best in sound reproduction, without the compromises inherent in traditional box loudspeakers.
Dispensing with the usual box or enclosure and therefore resonances that all loudspeaker cabinets suffer from, the Walls of Sound solution makes use of the most rigid baffle possible, the cavity walls of the house into which it is being installed. The drive units are mounted directly into the walls of the property, which enables the rear energy from the low and midrange units to be lost within the cavity rather than reflected back through the driver cone or cabinet as audible distortion.
An added advantage of cavity wall loading is an impedance curve identical to that displayed in free air, meaning there is no resistance from the cone to the audio signal, resulting in an extremely clear bass and midrange response with perfect transients and no resonance.
It is a truly bespoke solution, with every installation unique to the property into which it is fitted. After careful measurement of the acoustic space the system is specified, in consultation with the customer, from one of five combinations of specially adapted very high end drive units, depending upon the client's budget and the size of the room. A site survey is conducted and plans are then drawn up for the installation team to follow. Precision holes are made in the walls of the property for the bass, mid and high frequency drive units. After fitting, the in-room frequency response and other characteristics of each drive unit are measured and the crossover circuits are designed to give the optimum performance. In keeping with the bespoke and personalised nature of the company's offering, the customer's sound balance preferences can be taken in to account during the fine-tuning stage. The crossovers themselves are also mounted within the wall behind a brushed stainless steel plate, which contains WBT sockets for cable connections from the customer's amplifier.
Each of the five systems contain two low frequency drivers per channel, starting at two x 8" diameter and rising to two x 12" in the top of the range system. Either one or two mid-range units are fitted and one high frequency for each channel. All the drive units chosen have been carefully selected and come from the world's leading specialist drive unit manufacturers and are used by some of the most famous and respected ultra high-end loudspeaker system producers. As befits the meticulously designed Walls of Sound solution, where necessary modifications have been made to the standard drive units to make them work at their best in a cavity wall loading situation.
The Walls of Sound solution not only provides the best audio performance possible, it also enhances the aesthetic of the room as no longer is there a need to accommodate traditional loudspeaker cabinets. After installation and final tuning, expert decorators move in to make good where the drivers have been fitted, returning the room to its pre-installation state of decoration. The speakers are then covered with a picture frame style grille, which is covered in acoustically transparent cloth to match the colour of the walls to render them virtually invisible. Alternatively the grilles may be printed with any image the customer desires if they wish to make a feature out of them.
Founder of the company, Stuart McGill, has been designing and building loudspeakers in his spare time for many years while working in his day job as a management consultant. He decided to set up Walls of Sound after an interior designer he commissioned to work on his house insisted the large speakers in his living room were not in keeping with the surroundings and had to go.
Commenting on the new business McGill said, "I have never been satisfied with the results of designing loudspeakers the traditional way, the cabinet always has a detrimental effect on the sound I am trying to achieve. It was thanks to my interior designer that the thought struck me that the best thing to do for people like me, who want the very best sound quality, would be to mount the units in the walls of the house." He added, "This not only totally removes the cabinet from the acoustic equation, it also provides an aesthetically acceptable solution. It really is the best of both worlds; the ultimate sound and invisible too. And being totally bespoke to each individual customer it is, I believe, a world first in loudspeaker design."
Walls of Sound systems start at £9,995 and go up to £49,975, which includes all consultations, design, installation, testing, tuning and re-decorating.
The first two demonstration systems have recently been fitted into the demo suites at leading high-end hi-fi and custom installation businesses, Grahams Hi-Fi of Islington and Robert Taussig of London.
For further information, visit wallsofsound.co.uk.