Our bespoke sound system for Spiritland.

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Bespoke sound system design.

We have a long, perhaps unique, history of bespoke product development and system enhancement for discerning music lovers.

Living Voice ‘turbo’ upgrades have been applied to products from manufacturers including Art Audio, Canary Audio and SME; bespoke product commissions include our ‘Cosmotron’ loudpeaker and our un-matched G8 equipment table, originally designed for the specific environment of super-yachts. We not only possess expertise in design and manufacture but also an innate understanding of materials and finishes.

When Paul Noble and the Spiritland team approached us to develop a system for use in their new venue, we needed little encouragement to take on the challenge.

Above all it’s important to realise that this is not a ‘PA’ system in the conventional sense – churning one-note bass was not on the menu, conveying passion, scale and nuance while energising a fairly large physical space was the order of the day.

The system continues to garner interest from both the conventional hi-fi arena as well as mainstream media, and almost more gratifyingly, from visitors to Spiritland who perhaps previously had little direct experience of the impact of the performance which such a system can offer.

While something of an ongoing project, Spiritland can confidently be declared a success. We await the next challenge with interest.

News & Media

March 2017

The Robb Report poses the question – ‘Could this be the world’s best sound system?’

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Modesty prevents us from offering a definitive (ouch!) answer. But clearly they know a good thing when they hear it. Read the article.

March 2017

BBC news item on the Spiritland sound system.

“You couldn’t be further away from MP3s and cheap headphones.” Quite.

January 2017

A feature article in The Times on our bespoke sound system for Spiritland.

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Rewarding to see ‘proper’ hifi getting some coverage in the UK national press. It’s an image, not a pdf, so quite a chunky one, sorry. Zoom in to read. More about Spiritland.

December 2016

New video featuring Spiritland’s bespoke sound system.

Everything’s come together beautifully on our custom-built sound system for this much-anticipated London venue. Horns and valves, what’s not to like? Find out more about Spiritland.

December 2016

New York Times article on the rise of the ‘audiophile listening club.’

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An article from the New York Times: ‘Listening Clubs Tantalize Audiophiles in London.’

Links to articles in the specialist hi-fi press.

The technical bit. The Living Voice speaker system for Spiritland.

The mid-bass driver is a Vitavox AK151. A 15" unit designed specifically for horn loudspeakers, its powerful 2kg magnet is made of AlNiCo – the Rolls Royce of magnet materials.

It’s coupled to the throat of a horn which amplifies the driver’s output along a 1.9 metre expanding (exponential) development. This horn is folded to make it physically compact.

This mid-bass horn covers the frequency range of 70Hz–400Hz, that of male voice, kick drum, tympani, tom drums and snares.

The mid frequency driver is also from Vitavox, the classic Vitavox S2, also with a powerful AlNiCo magnet.This uses a featherweight 2” cone diaphragm with a thickness of just 50 microns, coupled to a cellular aluminium horn to amplify its output. It covers the frequencies from 400Hz–5kHz, that of trumpet, flute, piccolo and cymbals as well as female voice.

The high frequency drivers are a pair of Living Voice-modified JBL 2405s. One fires forward, the other backwards, to create an uniform distribution of ‘presence-band’ sound in the room.

The frequency range is 5kHz–15kHz, covering the upper harmonics of instruments and defining the physical position of instruments in space.

The ultra high frequency unit also uses an AlNiCo magnet to control a tiny 30 micron thick aluminium ring diaphragm. This unit was designed by Vitavox specifically for the Living Voice Vox Palladian project. The sound is radiated through a small exponential horn to generate the frequencies from 15kHz–40kHz – way above that of human hearing and beyond the range of most instruments. It provides subliminal information about the nature of the acoustic in the recording venue, as well as ‘spacial’ information.

The sub-bass units are not horn designs. Instead they use two 18" JBL drivers in a vented tuned enclosure to cover just the lowest two octaves – 20–70 Hz. These are driven by a purpose-designed 500 watt Living Voice bass amplifier to cover the lowest frequencies of organ, piano, electric bass, and contra bassoon. They also reproduce ambient environmental noise from the recording venue to provide a foundation, context and underpinning to the music.

Spiritland venue photography by Andrew Urwin, ‘Spiritland Talks’ and ‘Events’ photography by John Sturrock.