Monday, December 28, 2015

Genesis release customizable Forte speaker

The press release came in today from Genesis. I don't tend to reproduce too many of these here but I've found Gary Koh to be eminently helpful and insightful in his work so this one seems noteworthy to me. The Genesis line of speakers always appealed to me, though I've never had the opportunity to hear them outside the occasional audio show. This one looks tasty though, there's something about a tall speaker that sounds right to my ears. 

"The Genesis Fortè is the latest model in a long legacy of 6-foot-tall line-source two-tower loudspeakers dating back to 1994 with the introduction of the Genesis II.5. Other illustrious models in this series included the Genesis 350SE (2000) and the Genesis 2.2 Junior (2011). The Genesis Fortè features a 48-inch ribbon midrange, a line-array of ribbon ring-radiator tweeters and two 12-inch servo-controlled solid aluminum-cone woofers per loudspeaker. In a departure from previous Genesis models, for the first time the Fortè will be available in “any” finish and is fully customizable with various options. A custom-finish mid-specification model in fiddleback maple and high gloss black will be shown at CES 2016. Price on application.
While it looks outwardly similar to many of its predecessors, the Fortè incorporates all new design and technology. The cabinet is constructed out of a constrained-layer damped composite material to further reduce cabinet resonance. The crossover has been re-worked with the new Genesis 48-inch midrange driver. The servo-controlled 12-inch woofers ensure deep, accurate bass with improvements in the Dynamic Power Delivery System (DPDS). A revised crossover improves coherence between the midrange and the woofer. Careful selection of crossover frequencies ensure that the lobing common with many other line-source loudspeakers has been eliminated at the listening position.
The Genesis Ring-Radiator Ribbon Tweeter (GR3T) displays remarkable clarity in the upper frequencies. It is often described as “the worlds best tweeter”. The 6mm ring radiator produces excellent dispersion up to 20kHz and above. With a line-array of 12 front-firing tweeters and a single 48-inch midrange, the Genesis Fortè is almost a perfect line source from 120Hz to 40kHz.
Nothing has much has changed in theoretical acoustics since ‘The Theory of Sound’ by mathematician and physicist Lord John William Strutt, Baron Rayleigh was published in 1877. There are still only two proper ways for a transducer to propagate sound in a room: a point-source and a line-source. Anything else, or everything in between, is a compromise.
In order for all frequencies of sound from the loudspeaker to reach the listener at exactly the same time, a coherent wave front is important - not just “time-alignment” of drivers. The ideal is either an infinitely small pulsating point or a thin pulsating line with a length on the order of the room dimension.
The huge advantage a line-source loudspeaker has over a point-source loudspeaker is that there is no vertical dispersion of the sound-wave. This carries several advantages: First, the spectral content of the waveform is consistent throughout the length of the line-source. With a line-source loudspeaker, seating height does not matter. There is no need to sit with the ears of the listener aligned to the height of the point-source or to aim the speaker at the head of the listener.
The second benefit of the line-source loudspeaker is that the attenuation of sound pressure level is -3dB with a doubling of distance instead of -6dB with a point-source. Hence, the change in loudness level is much less over small changes in distance. This results in a much larger area within which the speaker can be enjoyed, and hence can be enjoyed by a much larger audience. In a large room, this also results in much more dynamic sound with an equivalent amplifier.
“The Genesis Fortè is the ultimate loudspeaker for the family in a living room or even the great room,” said Mr. Gary Leonard Koh, Genesis’ CEO and Chief Designer. “It sounds good sitting down, it sounds good even when you are standing up, and the whole family can be enjoying the music at the same time.”
 “There is already quite an improvement when you go from a conventional cone/dynamic loudspeaker to a ribbon or planar-magnetic,” said Mr. Koh. “But it can be really shocking when you go from a conventional loudspeaker to a ribbon line-source. The effortlessness of musical peaks, huge dynamic contrasts and the ability to resolve the tiniest musical details – that’s what gives many listeners a sense of euphoria. It makes listening to music a visceral experience.”
“The Fortè is the perfect loudspeaker for the family,” said Ms Carolyn Koh, Genesis’ Chief Operating Officer. “At night, when you don’t want to disturb the sleep of the rest of your family, it plays softly with no loss of detail. This, to me, is the greatest advantage of Genesis loudspeakers. Many speakers have to be played loudly before you can begin to enjoy the music. The ribbon drivers and the servo-bass technology mean that there is no loss of resolution in the mid-high, and no loss of impact in the bass even when played softly.”
“You can also sit anywhere in the room,” continued Mr. Koh. “With conventional loudspeakers, it sounds half as loud when you double the distance away from the speaker. With the Fortè, music sounds half as loud at four times the distance away.”

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