Troy Audio Acapulco Loudspeaker and Schröder Special K3 Tonearm

A chance encounter, in MOC's interconnected ground floor Expo Halls, with Santos (Santy) Oropel of Southern California's TWIN Audio Video led to an enclosed booth where Troy Audio's Acapulco loudspeaker (€36,000/pair), an improved version of the 1960 Altec Santana, held forth. The speaker cabinets are built in Riverside, CA and Oklahoma City, OK by Great Plains Audio, and house the new GPA 415-8C Biflex driver with Alnico magnet and a modified Fostex supertweeter. The full-range reflex speaker, which has no crossover, is certain to appeal to vintage loudspeaker lovers, and equally likely to win over converts to the cause. If only the late Art Dudley were here to report about how it sounds.

Driven by prototype Thrax M212 amplification, the speaker produced a lovely warm sound. Cymbals stood out beautifully on Duke Ellington's The Queen Suite, recorded on an LP cued up by Germany's Frank Schröder. The fabled tonearm designer was using a new design, the K3, that he claims has "near zero" energy storage. "No energy generated by the cartridge or table will exit the arm wand structure," he said. "The unusually light counterweight is connected to the main arm wand structure via a thread and suspended lever. All parameters on this tonearm are fully adjustable, and the selective laser melted fabrication of the armwand is very expensive."

The arm is currently only available as part of the OMA K3 turntable. When it becomes available separately, all income beyond expenses will go to charity. Schröder pointed out that its design goes from a rectangular to triangular cross-section, with all support beams featuring different lengths and/or diameter. This helps to prevent the formation of resonance peaks throughout the entire spectrum. At least that's what I managed to scribble down, with essential fact-checking from the man himself.

windansea's picture

this is such a wild concept from Lansing-- the inner woofer handles mids and highs whie the outer woofer, or rather I think the full cone, handles the lows. Not sure how the two surrounds are calibrated to accomplish this. Hard to believe it actually works but I'll accept that it does, although the concept was not copied widely so I guess it's not that wonderful. The coaxial dual concentric driver makes more sense to me. I suppose the whizzer cone might be the heir to the Biflex?

srq2002's picture

Yes, it looks like it would be a hot mess, but it sounds absolutely terrific, amazingly coherent and natural. Far superior to any whizzer type or coaxial I've heard. Definitely take a listen if you get the chance.

CJThiel's picture