I recently sat down with Nancy Weiner, Managing Director of VANA Ltd., the U.S. distributor for the German speaker manufacturer, Audio Physic, to discuss some of their new products. VANA Ltd., based in Lake Grove, NY, is a full service distributor of fine audio products and accessories serving the U.S. market.
Maureen Jenson: Tell us about the new loudspeaker products you are introducing to the U.S. market.
Nancy Weiner: The Audio Physic Step Plus and Tempo Plus loudspeakers will be available in the U.S. market through a carefully selected network of exceptional audio retailers. The Step Plus is an ultra-high-performance bookshelf speaker and the Tempo Plus is a floor-standing speaker utilizing the same midrange and tweeter technologies as the Step Plus with low frequency drivers integrated within the enclosure. Both loudspeakers have been completely redesigned verses prior Step and Tempo models and benefit from many of the technological advances realized during the development of the company’s flagship speaker, the Cardeas 30 LJE.
MJ: Tell us about the new tweeter and midrange speaker technology incorporated in these new systems?
NW: The Step Plus and the Tempo Plus share a brand new 1.75-inch tweeter (HHCT III) and 5.9-inch midrange (HHCM II) that have been engineered exclusively for Audio Physic. These unique ceramic coated aluminum drivers utilize proprietary hybrid cone construction that combine the damping characteristics of modern polymers with the stability and stiffness of metal. Each driver’s suspension system and basket chassis are mechanically decoupled from one another in a unique design that reduces unwanted resonances. Audio Physic refers to this technology as the Hyper-Holographic Cone chassis (HHC), which improves clarity and detail significantly verses conventional drivers. In addition to the elaborate HHC basket construction, the midrange driver is also equipped with a fixed metal phase plug designed to reduce heat. Each driver is housed within individual compartments in the cabinet, providing a smooth and homogeneous acoustic pattern. The entire inner cabinet has been updated to include extremely stiff open cell ceramic foam bracing elements that stabilize the enclosure and further reduce resonances.
MJ: I also understand there is some new methodology regarding the bass drivers and crossover network?
NW: The Tempo Plus incorporates two high-performance 7-inch aluminum bass drivers situated across from one another in the side walls of the enclosure. The Push-Push configuration of the woofers creates a symmetrical distribution of force on the loudspeaker cabinet, improving low frequency resolution and overall detail.
Regarding the crossover networks, both the Step Plus and the Tempo Plus feature newly engineered crossover networks that incorporate painstakingly selected components. The interior wiring and the premium grade WBT™ binding posts, all mechanically decoupled from the cabinet, are also a critical part of these new designs.
MJ: The cabinetry is very attractive. Tell us a little about the science behind these beautiful loudspeakers.
NW: The unique cabinet shape of both new models serves to reduce standing waves in the interior of the loudspeakers that can jeopardize crisp midrange reproduction. The gentle rearward tilt of the cabinets helps to balance out phase differences between the midrange and tweeter, which are mounted flush to the surface of the baffle with precision. The enclosures have been updated to include open-cell ceramic foam bracing elements in a labyrinth-like array that reduce cabinet wall resonances. Any acoustic energy emitted into the cabinet interior gets absorbed by the pores to a level of inaudibility. Traditional insulation materials do not even come close to achieving this effect.
MJ: Finally, what are the price points for the new speakers?
NW: The Audio Physic Step Plus and Tempo Plus are both available now. U.S. MSRP is $2,595 (pair) for the Step Plus and $5,995 (pair) for the Tempo Plus in standard Cherry and Walnut Wood Veneer finishes, and $2,795 and $6,495 respectively for Black or White High gloss or Ebony Wood Veneer.