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Finite Elemente Cerabase

Finite Elemente Cerabase

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Published by ahard

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Published by: ahard on Sep 12, 2008
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by Matthias Böde
Perfect two-piece ensemble
Finite Elemente, renowned as a manufacturer of high-quality racksand component supports, have launched their first loudspeaker.Aren't there enough loudspeakers? Well yes, but the "Modul LS"couldn't have been built by anyone else.
an efcient non-conductor in hi- cables,and nanoparticles protect us in suntan lo-tions, work as dirt-repelling auto paints, andwho knows what else. And Finite Elementeused this principle o technology transer indeveloping their rst loudspeaker, the un-usually designed Modul LS.Although this manuacturer, based in Brilonin Germany's Sauerland region, has achievedan international reputation until now withresonance-optimised and exquisitely de-signed racks and component interace sys-tems or all types o hi- applications, it isprecisely their special eatures that havebeen integrated into the Modul LS, giving ita special niche in the market.lever ideas oten result in huge ben-ets. Take Gore-Tex, or example,used in waterproo clothing and as
Also included is a cableremote control which canbe used, for example, toswitch a subsonic filter or to adapt the subwooferlevel to the room acoustics.
 The loudspeaker comprises two modules –the separate cabinets or wooer andmidrange/tweeter as well as a base. How-ever, this is not the only reason or the loud-speaker's simple name. As Finite Elementeuse the "Modul" name or their exquisite ur-niture and sound system (see box), and theModul LS slots perectly into this concept.Finite Elemente know only too well that asuch hotchpotch o diferent styles wouldnot be popular with their demanding clien-tele and thereore decided in avour o visualuniormity in all components. And scepticalpeople like us can quickly arrive at the con-clusion that design constraints are beingorced onto a loudspeaker and that, as a con-sequence, here the loudspeaker unction issubordinate to the orm.
ashion, thus ensuring a ast, taut andclean reproduction without any "clog-ging efects". These couplings have just about as much in common withstandard spikes as an old VW Beetlehas with a new Porsche 911.Yes, you heard correctly, the Modul LSis a semi-active loudspeaker, meaningthat a connected amplier only has tohandle the midrange/tweeter section,while the Class-D amp integrated intothe back o the bass cabinet providesthe power or the two wooers thatare used below around 160 Hz. In practice onlythe red lamp on the bae and the mains con-nection next to the polarity clamps indicate theinstalled crossover elec-tronics and power ampli-er stage. As a reliable au-tomatic signal-controlledswitching on-and-of dis-penses with the need orany manual intervention.So it's logical that this o-ers completely other pos-sibilities than a passivemodel.as long as the switchable subsonic lterdoesn't prevent this –, but can also generateup to 110 db maximum volume. Respect!Like the wooers the 18 centimetre diametermidrange and the 25 millimetre cone are romthe Danish specialist manuacturer Scan-Speak. Their slim housing o lightweight com-posite board with punctiorm reinorcingstruts – Finite Elemente are masters in this ma-terial mix based on their experience in rack de-sign – stands upright in ront o the wooersections and is closely connected with this. The two-layer aluminum interace (see box)creates a solid unit with dened resonancetranser using a total o our coupling ceramicballs each 17 millimetres in diameter.With regard to positioning the Modul LS be-haves just like any other high-quality loud-speaker. Perhaps it is even a touch more sensi-tive. Due to the precision achieved here eventhe smallest changes are immediately audible,which makes positioning actually easier thanmore dicult.And Finite Elemente even helps the new own-er with the included remote control to adaptthe wooer settings to match room conditions.In addition to parameters such as "Room Size"and "Room Hardness", the latter to match ei-ther austere or cosy type o urnishings, thatgenerate sublime variations in bass reproduc-tion, the lower ranges can be either reduced orincreased through eight stages in either direc-tion. Very practical! This is also true or the sub-sonic lter that protects the wooers rom in-rasound rom the turntable, or example.But we very quickly had to dispelsuch reservations. The Modul LS is byno means a sound accessory or styl-ish living-room environments – al-though it can certainly t that bill –,but is a ully developed high-endconcept that stands out with a serieso logical detailed solutions and acomplexity that you don't comeacross all that oten. And Finite El-emente are, when you stop to think about it, even predestined to designa loudspeaker like this. Because aloudspeaker sets similar standards toa rack. The main aspects here arestrength, immunity to resonanceand exact dissipation o the energy generated bythe driver units. This is not inconsiderable in some cases. Whenthe two 26 cm metal cone wooers set into thesides o the slim wooer section really get going,then you wouldn't want to rely on just the 30 mil-limetre multiplex panels to keep them undercontrol. The share o the power rom the up to1000 watt powerul integrated amplier that isconverted not to sound energy, but to kinetic en-ergy is led of via the solid base into special inter-ace eet including a ceramic ball bearing (seebox) that dissipate this of in a controlled The lower ranges are equalized using the "Pole-Shit-Filter Technology“ by the distinguished de-veloper Siegried Linkwitz. This is designed to al-low deep bass rom small cabinets by increasingthe amplitude values, i.e. the level, as the re-quency decreases. To do this the drive param-eters in installed state are used as the basis,whereby every operating state can be convertedto the lter characteristic. In this way the ModulLS gets down to 20 Hz not just linear– and lowerCoupling and resonancedissipation have always beentopics that kept Finite El-emente occupied. Whether thetask was to take up oscillation energy asefectively as possible or then to lead thisof – Finite Elemente have a vast amounto experience in this eld. And the knowl-edge gained in developing their top-classhi- racks and component interaces wasused in the development o the Modul LSloudspeaker. For example the resonance requency o the cabinet is pushed outside o the trans-mission range in whichthe driver works, and theloudspeaker is not on nor-mal spikes, but has a cou-pling system based on Finite Elemente's proven"Cerabase". This comprises two metal compo-nents that are connected to each other only viathree ceramic balls, and this is designed tocause dened resonance transer and a solidstanding. The upper section is installed in theheavy speaker base where both its weight andthat o the cabinet apply considerable contactpressure to the "ball bearings". The lower sec-tion tapers to a point. Anyone who has triedvarious interaces under their loudspeakersknows just how decisive the inuence can haveon the sound impression. This patented concept has been perected orthe connection o the bass to themidrange/tweeter unit. Under no circumstanc-es may these move against one another, as thiswould result in loss o detail, andthey must be rmly interlockedwith each other. On the otherhand an internal contact is also anideal bridge or excitementrom the corresponding ad- jacent cabinet, and this hasto be prevented as well.
Three centimetre thick multiplexpanels and frame-type struts form the cabinet of the woofersThe transparentdiagram reveals the assembly. At the bottom youcan see thedesign of the sup-porting structure together with thebolts and ceramicball interfaces WBT polarity clamps for the external amplifier,mains connections to supply the integrated bassamp and socket for the remote control (r.)
You should immediately ignore the possibil-ity o reversing the phase, as this causes astrange sound image and the measuringengineering reveals a deep crater in thetranser range, whereas the requencyresponse has an almost perectly smoothcourse at normal phase (see diagram). Further-more attention should be paid that thewooers o both loudspeakers are directedoutwards. Directing them inwards resulted in areproduction which was both uneasy andsqueezed, at least in our listening room. FiniteElemente also recommend as a rule that thewooers ace outwards!
The active crossover to separate off the higherranges and the efficient Class D power amplifiersare installed screened from the woofers in a sepa-rate chamber What an effort! The interfaceused to connect the two cabi-nets is 61 centimetres in lengthand weighs six kilos
Stable and defined
The Modul LS cabinet follows the sameprinciples as racks and component feet
 The solution to these conictinggoals is a no-compromise two-layer metal interace made o two ten millimetre thick layerso aluminum that creates an ultra-stable connec-tion between the two sections. Two sturdy boltsanchored in the wooer cabinet press the platestogether with a massive tension orce o 40 Nm,thus guaranteeing the immobility o the con-struction.But the two plates are not simply attached toeach other. Here ceramic balls again ensure aclean connection. And the smaller screws usedto x the otherwise ree-oating midrange cabi-net to the connecting piece do not orm any di-rect bridge to the wooer unit. Energy transer isexclusively via the dened ceramic ball contact.Admittedly this is extremely complex, but FiniteElemente know just how important questions o energy dissipation are.
Finite Elemente's "Cerabase" feet, available sepa-rately and in sets, are used instead of simplespikes to create the contact to the base. Threeceramic balls form the points of transfer between the sections

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