Like all good designs, SILVER 5L was built out of need. It seemed that many were aware of the advantages of closefield technique but other than standard home speakers being used in nearfiled positions (which in fact is a wrong terminology in acoustical engineering!) no one was pursuing the obvious. Many engineers and musicians were still using guesswork to finalise their mixes, so we decided to design a true closefield monitor to the criteria set by laws of physics and acoustics.
There was no point trying to find an existing system to modify or adapt so we started from ground up and designed all components from technical requirements set out in the criteria. It had to be very small to get within point-source requirements and using multi drivers, this was no easy task.
The biggest challenge was the drive units, after testing and listening to huge numbers of drivers for our requirements; it became obvious there was no point trying to get a stock driver to do what we wanted without very complicated signal degrading circuits. We had to have our own design built so the outcome could be predicted. These are exemplary drivers with good power handling, capable of working to low frequencies without losing integrity. Made from cast magnesium alloy (not pressed tin or steel) which has great strength and damping properties of resonances that plague ordinary drivers. Driven by large magnets for efficiency and control (neodymium ones in tweeter) and then shielded to minimise losses enabling them to be used next to displays and equipment which may be affected by magnetism.
This level of detail is reflected in all the components of the monitors. SILVER 5L has CNC formed baffles to ensure critical accuracy of driver time alignments as well as the acoustical forming of the ports to enable correct air flow at the back of the drive units. This isn’t simply a box to keep speakers bolted to but an integral part of the design of the closefield system, implemented to a very strict set of rules. No cheap wood screws or tin T-nuts are used but brass inserts are employed to secure and torque the drivers into place with correct grade of acoustical long fibre wool for cavity damping. You won’t find any loft insulation material or cheap foam in our monitors.
Most build their systems to a cost which is as little as possible, we designed our system to a requirement and a need for precision accuracy so only the best was designed and sought.
We thought long and hard about the kind of crossover we wanted to design. We could have gone the route of active crossovers with built in amplifiers and time delay circuits but this would have made the monitors very costly and more importantly not as accurate as we liked. More circuits in the chain, the more degradation and colouration of the final output. Any active circuit and amplifier will add colouration to the signal and we decided that as passive components are totally neutral, we would employ them in our system. This had multitude of advantages and besides making the SILVER 5L very affordable, it would allow the engineers and musicians to choose the playback equipment of their own liking and experience without being forced into using an unknown amp. As we designed our drive units to our own specs, the circuitry would be kept very simple too, hence very little loss in the signals path. Please don’t misunderstand us as the resultant crossover is a 4th order 24db/oct Linkwitz-Riley curve but as our RWRS program is able to integrate the driver fully into the equation, this slope is achieved by a much simpler 2nd order12db/oct, keeping passive components to bare minimum.
In order to keep the highest quality signal path, finest film capacitors are used on high frequency paths as well as high power reversible close tolerance electrolytics in lower frequencies. All inductors are close-tolerance ferrite cored high power ones.
We assemble all our monitors by hand, using point-to-point soldering of all components, including our low-loss PCB boards which have wide coherent tracks to stop any losses. We do not use any terminal spades for ease of manufacture but solder the oxygen-free interconnects directly to the terminals. This way we can keep the signal path pure without any danger of corrosion and arching.
Once we have hand-assembled the monitors, they are paired up in mirror pairs as well as their acoustical performances are checked to make sure of the very close tolerances we’ve set.
We are very proud of our achievements and know that our SILVER 5L True Closefield Precision Monitors work perfectly as designed and used by many engineers, musicians to great results. In the time they’ve been around, they have become a little underground secret which makes us smile. We are also proud of the fact that this little wonder is yet another British design in the old tradition where it speaks for itself, built here in the rolling hills of Wiltshire UK!