Naim Audio Ovator S400 Rosewood
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Hardened floor spikes
Surgical grade, anti-magnetic, stainless steel M8 floor spikes define the vital mechanical connection between the speaker and the floor of the listening environment.
FEA modelled driver chassis
The Ovator bass drivers feature rigid paper cones, natural rubber surrounds and aluminium demodulations rings within their neodymium magnet systems. The linearity and resistance to compression of both Ovator models' bass drivers is outstanding.
The crossover incorporates state of the art components including laminated and air-cored inductors, and metallised polypropylene capacitors.
Decoupling leaf spring
A steel leaf-spring provides the connection between the enclosure and plinth and decouples above 12Hz.
The pressure die-cast plinth incorporates enclosure locations, housing for the crossover, and floor spike fittings with top-access adjustment.
Rigid multi-composite enclosure
The enclosure is constructed from a combination of 25mm and 50mm panels comprehensively braced to provide a rigid, non-resonant and low diffraction reference plane for the drivers. Selected panels also benefit from strategic mass-damping, and the internal bracing includes a division that creates separate loading volumes for each bass driver.
Computer-optimised bass driver
Ovator bass drivers feature rigid paper cones, natural rubber surrounds and aluminium demodulations rings within their neodymium magnet systems. The linearity and resistance to compression of both Ovator bass drivers is outstanding.
BMR Isolating Enclosure
The BMR unit in the S-400 is isolated in a nested 10mm wall thickness composite tube enclosure. The isolation tube extends the full depth of the enclosure and is gradient filled with damping materials selected through technical analysis and critical listening.
The S-400's BMR driver comprises a honeycomb diaphragm driven by a voice-coil immersed in a twin neodymium magnet system optimised for linearity through finite element analysis. The pressure diecast chassis provides the rigidity necessary to ensure that every last note of musical detail is accurately reproduced.
The S-400 BMR incorporates a high-Q elastomeric suspension system. The resulting isolation decouples at a frequency many octaves below the BMR pass-band.
The Ovator S-400's balanced mode radiator (BMR) constitutes its most visible technological advance, yet the performance of this loudspeaker is equally the result of painstaking refinement in numerous elements of design, construction, and material selection.
For example, there is so much more to the musical reproduction of bass than low frequency extension, so the Ovator S-400 LF driver is designed not simply to play bass, but to do so with faultless musical accuracy. It incorporates a multitude of electro-acoustic details aimed at minimising distortion and compression, and the result is extended bass with peerless timing, dynamics, and pitch accuracy. One vital element in the design of a high performance bass driver is its chassis. Great rigidity and an open structure are vital but potentially conflicting requirements, so the pressure die-cast bass driver chassis of the Ovator S-400 incorporates a triangulated framework, borne of finite-element analysis, that ensures both rigidity and unimpeded air passage.
The Ovator S-400 crossover network is housed within the plinth and divides the audio signal between bass drivers and BMR with fourth order acoustic slopes at 700Hz. Each component selection is the result of intense technical analysis and listening, and the component arrangement is fundamentally informed by the layout and earthing techniques developed for Naim power amplifiers. A crossover module suspension system and individual component decoupling ensures any chance of microphony is minimised. Conversion to either bi-amp or tri-amp active drive is easily achieved through removal of the crossover module.
Just as much as it is BMR technology, it is the fine detail and the sum of the parts - the result of decades of speaker experience and development - that makes the Ovator S-400 so remarkable.
Balanced Mode Radiator Explained
The Ovator S-400 Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) is the result of intense effort in both development and manufacture. Not only does the design of such a driver demand great intellectual understanding, but consistent manufacture requires extraordinarily fine specification and control of the physical characteristics of its components.
The underlying concept of the BMR is to engineer a practical implementation of the theoretically wide bandwidth and linear acoustic output of an unconstrained vibrating diaphragm. In practice, this is achieved by attaching balancing masses to a constrained diaphragm in carefully calculated locations. Such 'mode balancing' modifies the diaphragm's vibrational behaviour so that it simultaneously operates in pistonic and vibrational modes to generate wide-bandwidth acoustic output with a flat frequency response, consistent dispersion and low distortion. Thanks both to the BMR's exceptional inherent performance and to the absence of any mid/high frequency crossover discontinuity, it takes just a moment's listening to appreciate the Ovator S-400's breakthrough levels of musical coherence, timing and clarity.