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AtmaTec© Folded Ribbon and Folded Ribbon Horn Loudspeakers

As a trumpet player who is also an audiophile, I always found myself becoming quickly disenchanted with every speaker that I tried. Either the speakers (with dome & cone, ribbon or planar drivers) had great detail and refinement, but lacked the true dynamic presence of the "live" experience, or the speakers (horn-loaded) had lots of kick, but were squawky, veiled or rough to some degree. Nobody did both audiophile-quality detail and imaging at the same time as live dynamic impact.

Only about 18 years ago did the best dome & cone models start to produce the kind of dynamic presence that I wished for. Still, their dome highs could never couple properly to the large room, getting harsh at high volumes. Most of the world’s most exotic speakers still have this problem. The larger ribbons and planar speakers achieved a level of ease that the domes could not, but they effectively compressed the dynamics more, so the excitement was gone.

Shortly after moving to California, I met Jack Smiley, who had patented a horn-loaded version of Oskar Heil’s Air Motion Transformer. I call Jack’s a “folded ribbon horn”. Others use AMT-type drivers, but Jack is truly its master! He has created a new driver that does detail, imaging, and dynamic kick that make it unbeatable not only in home applications, but so powerful that it easily handles the dynamics of large-room live sound as well!

Jack and I became fast friends, and over the last 12 years, we have been developing speaker designs ranging from small uni-directional two driver systems that fit into any home theater budget, to large horn-loaded folded ribbon driver speakers whose tweeters are 106dB per watt at one meter, ruler-flat from 400hz to 25khz, have near-perfect phase response, and handle tons of power. They have exceeded my wildest expectations.

AtmaTec’s first product that is showroom ready is our most powerful speaker to date, the AtmaTec “BRASS”, or Big Room Audiophile Sound System.  Based on the speaker system that we built for the Theater on High Street in Moorpark, CA, it can effortlessly fill a huge space with live dynamics combined with audiophile refinement and imaging.  It comes with either a mirror-gloss lacquer finish or a number of exotic wood veneers.   An attractive utility cabinet version is also available for a substantial savings.



Gershman Acoustics Comes to California (at Last!)

Every year, I go to CES, the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, and to "The Home Entertainment Show", to hear all of the latest audio equipment. Far from the main Convention Center are exhibits in hotel rooms that are set up to show how good the equipment sounds. I could spend the whole five days there alone. There is no other way that I could so efficiently keep up-to-date on who is creating the best-sounding components.

With the hundreds of exhibitors, most go in and out of being brilliant. It is very easy to be seduced by a technology, and make a product with it that sounds worse than the previous model. (For example: how most transistor amps of today sound less musical than the tube amps they were supposed to replace. Or how only the finest CD players can stand up to the musicality of the vinyl LP record. And don’t get me started about how much we lose with MP3!)

However, a few companies show consistency year after year, and I look forward to being shown a new advancement of the Art of Audio. One of those companies is the Canadian speaker manufacturer Gershman. I always love their sound. Each year, it is always better than before. I've been bragging about them for years, but never had a chance to make a professional commitment to them until now. This is a great time to do it. Their flagship, The Black Swan, just won The Absolute Sound magazine’s coveted 2007 Golden Ear Award. They win lots of awards for excellence! Additionally, Gershman just introduced a new speaker, the Sonogram, that embodies the best of their technologies and performance in an affordable package. If you’re looking for a sensational speaker value, that not only takes on speakers at many times its price, but that will always grace the room with their beauty, you won’t have to blindly take my enthusiastic word for Gershman Acoustics speakers. Just read the reviews for yourself. They are even better in person! Check them out at Gershman Acoustics

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