At CEDIA Expo 2009, speaker manufacturers Atlantic Technology and Solus/Clements teamed to demonstrate their new H-PAS (Hybrid Pressure Acceleration System) speaker enclosure design (patents pending), which allows loudspeakers to produce what an Atlantic press release terms “deep, low distortion bass response at output levels unobtainable through conventional bass-alignment techniques.” The Atlantic release goes on to add that this same design protocol “will allow speakers with smaller cabinets and drivers to achieve levels of performance normally associated with much larger speaker systems.”
To prove this point, Atlantic president Peter Tribeman demonstrated a proof-of-concept prototype tower-type speaker based on a 1-inch dome tweeter and two tiny 4 ½-inch mid-bass drivers. To the surprise of listeners present, Tribeman stated that—despite the diminutive size of the drivers involved—the speaker was capable of flat bass response down to a very low 31.5Hz, with a -3dB point of 29Hz. After playing a selection of bass demonstration tracks, Tribeman made believers of most of the A/V journalists present, as the prototype speaker cleanly reproduced the low frequency sounds of pipe organs, tympani, kick drums, etc., at very robust volume levels.
H-PAS technology is the brainchild of Philip Clements, president of Solus/Clements Loudspeakers, who began work on the H-PAS concept several decades ago. According to Clements, the benefits of H-PAS affect speakers from frequencies of about 65Hz on down. H-PAS, said Clements, has the effect of reducing distortion while simultaneously increasing the sensitivity of speakers in the region of 80-65Hz down the lowest frequencies the speaker can reproduce. The result, Clements added, is not only deeper bass extension, but—more importantly—dramatically increased dynamic range at low frequencies.
Significantly, the benefits of H-PAS all result from following very specific enclosure design parameters—not from any sort of crossover modifications or electronic EQ system. The potential applications for H-PAS are quite broad. For example, the technology could allow desktop computer speakers with solid bass output down to about 65Hz, or bookshelf speakers with levels of bass output normally associated with tower-type speakers. As an example, Clements mentioned that he has under development a .57 cubic foot bookshelf model whose bass output is flat to 39Hz at high output levels. Tribeman and Clements indicated that not only will Atlantic and Solus/Clements offer H-PAS speakers of their own, but that the technology will be licensed to other manufacturers as well. At present, Atlantic is nearing completion of final agreements with six licensees, with more discussions underway.