this in mind, we developed speakers like »Provence«,
»Appassionata« and »Rondo«.
»Appassionata« was probably the first speaker made of
special panels normally used for the sound floor of pianos, and
»Rondo« consequently acted upon the idea of the speaker
cabinet as sound body. It made careful use of arising energy instead of
Often we would embark upon paths unknown, and
each of these projects could have led us astray. Sometimes, they did,
while being remunerative and rewarding in other ways. They gained us
something invaluable, though: experience. No compendium in speaker
building, no taken for granted parameters could have replaced the
practical application of seemingly rogue ideas.
When people talk
about "musical speakers" today, hinting at thin, resonating enclosures,
they tend to neglect the fact that such a concept calls for congenial
speaker units. Frankly, most units currently found on the market aren't
up for the challenge. The construction of a heavy, rigid enclosure with
Medite, chipboard or similar materials, layered with carpet sheeting or
leadplate is much easier than that of a light, reverberating soundbody
of carefully planned proportions, stabilised in exactly the right
spots. And just that final touch of veneer to the surface might have
tipped the balance again.
Our new approach to theories of
speaker building was further engendered by working with original old
Western Electric loudspeaker enclosures. Initially, we had purchased
them in order to learn more about the characteristics of vintage
speakers. While co-operating with L'Audiophile for some of our clients
we had built "Voice of the Theatre" enclosures strictly according to
guidelines in "L'Audiophile" magazine, issue #38. We found, however,
that these rigidly constructed cabinets failed to generate the same
musical credibility which emanated from the lighter, venerable
originals of the "golden era."
Our first move to introduce PHY
speakers in Germany was the development of a variety of enclosures for
the kit market, using the PHY H21LB15 as the company's very first and
(then) only unit. The first finished speaker concept turned out to be
»Provence«, born in a vacation mood while staying with
friends in the South of France. It was our first finished speaker
realisation in open baffle manner, to be presented to the public at
Frankfurt's HighEnd Show 1997. We still fondly recall the surprise on
our visitors' faces whenever they stepped around to inspect the
speakers from the back: Whatever they expected to find, it certainly
wasn't this open, undamped box.
The following pages show the
chronology of our speaker concepts around the PHY 21 cm unit which has
provided us so much inspiration. Without effort, these speakers
showcase the abilities and characters of amplifiers as well as the
quality of the signal coming from the front end.