Tymphany Corporation

One of the most enduring obstacles confronting audio engineers has been how to generate powerful low bass without the need for large loudspeaker enclosures. It's been generally accepted that really effective low bass means moving large quantities of air, which in turn means large drivers in large cabinets. Large loudspeakers, unfortunately, don't meet the approval of many dcor-conscious homeowners. It's a longstanding problem for music lovers, home theater fans, and custom installers.

That problem may have been solved by Silicon Valley startup Tymphany Corporation, which debuted its "high-density" loudspeaker technology at the Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention held in late October in San Francisco. The company claims that its Tymphany "Linear Array Transducer" (LAT) designs deliver the bass of much larger speakers in devices occupying only one-third the space.

Headed by Cirrus Logic board chairman Michael Hackworth (president and CEO) and NHT founder Ken Kantor (chief technology officer), Tymphany hopes to leverage the market's desire for space-conserving high-performance loudspeakers with its "high density" designs, claimed to "infuse the low frequency response of a subwoofer into a full-range woofer with a highly efficient and novel tubular form factor," according to a recent announcement.

"The Tymphany LAT technology finally makes it possible to achieve this goal by eliminating the subwoofer and putting bass in places where it has never been before," said John Carter, Tymphany board member and former chief engineer at Bose. "Now consumers can look forward to flat-panel TV displays with fully integrated 'movie theater' quality bass without a big black box sitting on the floor. Architectural sound systems can now include the sound of a 12" subwoofer in a 3" wall, without shaking the wall. From consumer to professional applications, Tymphany is changing the shape of deep bass."

LAT products do this through a linear array of multiple smaller diaphragms, generating sound at "high decibel levels from 20Hz to above 4kHz" through multiple flow ports along the side of the loudspeaker housing. "The Tymphany LAT conforms to the physics of loudspeakers, but changes the conventional shape and method of how air is moved," Kantor explained. Balanced drivers work in opposition, canceling cabinet vibration but generating large sound-pressure levels from small tubular enclosures.

LAT technology is "scalable down to 2" and up to 12" in diameter at any length, can be stacked into large clusters for even more power, is compatible with existing electro-acoustic driver design tools, and processes and works with vented box, transmission line, infinite baffle, and sealed enclosures to provide thorough ease of design," according to information on the company's website. Tymphany will demonstrate its technology at January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at the Las Vegas Hilton.