Experience Nobility

Experience the PRESTANT - I loudspeaker from Talbot Technology Corp.

According to the late E. Power Biggs, one of the world's most respected organists, "...the distinctive diapason tone...gives nobility to the instrument." Among the pipes in a typical organ is the low-C pipe of 32 feet in length, producing a musical pitch equal to a frequency of 16 vibrations per second (16 Hz). Even the 16 foot pipe produces a tone at 32 Hz which most loudspeaker systems fumble to reproduce. This high stature of the pipe organ (literally, since significant ceiling height is required to house a 32 foot pipe) was underscored by Robert Schumann (born 1810 in Zwickau, Germany) when he proclaimed the pipe organ to be "Bach's royal instrument." Pipe organs were also a favorite gift of kings. The PRESTANT pipe is a diapason pipe, and the word PRESTANT derives from the Latin "Praestare" which means "to stand in front".

As the designers of the new PRESTANT - I loudspeaker system, we have not taken lightly the responsibility of preserving this royalty and nobility. The system will reproduce sounds in your musical recordings that you never knew existed. The frequency response is flat within +/- 2 decibels from 18 to 125 Hz, and is quite competent down to 16 Hz.

But we won't bore you with technical jargon. We won't try to impress you with how many equations we needed to solve (we burdened the computer with that task.) Some people tell you that only a large company could muster the resources to develop a product like ours, but we aren't a large company. But we did muster the resources. In fact, probably because we are small, we have brought more heart and soul to the task. We are music lovers first and therefore meticulous in our engineering, not driven by profit motive alone.

To design a world-class speaker, we broke from the conventional wisdom in the following aspects:

(a) we used very low-mass woofer cones and large magnets for superb damping, a design choice that normally conflicts with the goal of extreme low-frequency output amplitude,

(b) we employed active equalization to make up for the loss in low-frequencies resulting from low-mass cones (we ruled out passive equalization due to waste of mid-range power from the user's amplifier),

(c) we employed two such cones (i.e., two separate woofers) each having a 15 inch diameter, in each speaker cabinet, to handle the boosted signal power produced by the equalization,

(d) we planned the use of the PRESTANT - I system as a pair (which reduces 2nd harmonic distortion by 50% and 3rd harmonic distortion by 75%), although magnificent performance is possible using just one of our speakers, and

(e) we took a cue from the design of the prestant organ pipe, and constructed our low-frequency cabinet to have a mouth at the bottom (another subject of extensive computer analysis), and we consulted organ builders about how to prevent resonances, buzzes and rattles in the cabinet, and

(f) last but not least, we commissioned an award-winning furniture designer to build a cabinet as beautifully unique in its esthetics as it is in its acoustic properties.

Like a prestant organ pipe, our speaker's mouth is tuned. Magnificent walnut veneer is used for the exterior cabinet surface. The cabinet walls are all one inch thick and secured using proprietary techniques. The mouth of the system is part of an "S" shaped duct that divides the interior of the cabinet into three chambers. The bottom chamber, opening to the acoustic environment via the mouth, uses the floor as one of its walls. Thus, one can actually feel the pedal notes of the organ, or the bass drum in a symphonic work.

We discovered after our first design that any listener could hear the superiority of the result. Still, we weren't satisfied, because in the initial design, response was flat (without equalization) only down to 28 Hz. After a revision to the design, and the addition of active equalization, and still two more revisions to optimize the equalizer design, we were satisfied. Never before have we as music lovers been so pleased with the sound of electronically reproduced music. And we discovered that when it sounds right for pipe organ music, it sounds right for everything else. Most speaker designers would have stopped with a design employing a single small 12 inch woofer, falling far short of even our rejected first-pass attempt. Their designs strain unsuccessfully to reproduce the bass drum sounds in Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" (compare theirs to ours while auditioning Leonard Bernstein's version with the Israel Philharmonic on Deutsche-Grammophon compact disc # 431 045-2).

Large-cone woofers are used in our system because, although frequency response at small signal levels (low loudness) can be addressed by smaller woofer diameters, at high loudness these smaller speakers can do little but flap and flutter their cones in a frantic frenzy. The use of large cones provides movement of sufficient air to sustain the loudness of pipe organ pedal sound in a home listening environment.

Compare another speaker to ours using the Telarc compact disc (# CD-80049) of Michael Murray's performance of Bach's "Toccata in F major" on the Methuen Memorial Music Hall Organ (Methuen, Massachusetts). Compare ours to another speaker's unsuccessful struggle to reproduce the pedal notes of Band 2 of the compact disc by Dorian Recordings (#DOR-90151 ) titled "The Organ Works of J.S. Bach, volume 4" featuring Jean Guillou at the Kleuker Steinmeyer organ of the Tonhalle, Zurich. Listen to the theme music from the movie "2001", Richard Strauss's "Also Sprach Zarathustra" on Telarc's CD "Time Warp" (# CD-80106), and compare bass accuracy.

Listen to the PRESTANT - I speaker system.

Return to the T-Tech page. Send an e-mail message.