Speaker Kit Development at Visaton
The engineering team at Visaton are heavily involved in the design and development of new speaker drive units for industrial markets, since this area is their core business. However even a casual glance at the Visaton website will reveal a much wider involvement than just general purpose speakers. Visaton also have a large range of high quality loudspeaker kits which are designed for domestic use. This comprises small shelf mount speakers, compact floor standing models and some huge no holds barred designs. The market for speaker kits is still significant in Germany and other parts of Europe but less so in the UK. This was not the case in the 1960’s and 70’s when the UK market was large and even companies like KEF offered kits for enthusiasts to build.
Images from Left to Right: Visaton Bijou, Visaton La Belle and Visaton Pentaton BB.
Visaton have an online forum for the exchange of ideas about kits and hifi drive units and also welcome prospective kit builders to their demonstration room in Dusseldorf. This interaction with customers very often drives the development of new designs and maintains a flow of creative ideas. Most people involved in the audio sector are interested in music and music reproduction (HiFi) which means they can relate to the opinions and views of customers on a very personal level. We are all enthusiasts in the end!
The UK has a wonderful heritage when it comes to HiFi and particularly with regard to loudspeakers. Names like Wharfdale, KEF, Tannoy, Spendor (to name a few) represent all that is best about the traditional British sound from the golden era of HiFi. It seems that the guys at Visaton are very aware of this history and have more than a passing interest in some of the classic designs. Some of them get quite emotional at the mention of Tannoy Berkeleys! It now also seems possible that they may have turned their interest into something more practical.
Images from Left to Right: Spendor SP12R2 Classic Stero Speakers, Tannoy Monitor HPD Speakers and Wharfedale Dovedale III Speakers.
When we were last in Dusseldorf at the Visaton factory we had glimpses of a speaker which was obviously in design stage. The cabinet was in rough unpainted mdf and not very attractive but some decent drive units could clearly be seen and was that a waveguide around the tweeter? A pair of these was set up in the Visaton demonstration room and connected to a powerful looking 3 way NAD amplifier. Since the crossover was lying on a table rather than inside the speaker, there was evidently some tweaking of crossover components going on! Unfortunately it was not ready for us to hear yet!
A chunky 3 way stand mount speaker with a wide baffle! Not quite what Visaton have been designing in recent years and with more than a passing resemblance to classic British designs!
Naturally we are dying to find out more details about this speaker and are desperate to hear what it sounds like! Hopefully this will all be possible in the coming weeks and we will post more details here. In the meantime, if you have any questions about our Visaton kits please get in contact or leave a comment below.
- Joe Harris