SEAS Introduces High-Sensitivity, Full-Range Driver

The world of loudspeaker aficionados has at one end most of us, who use multi-way box speakers of one kind of another; in the center are the lovers of panels, electrostatic, planar magnetics—it doesn't matter as much as the fact there is no box—and at the extreme other end are the lovers of high-sensitivity designs, where massive amounts of art, artifice, and loving care are applied to wrest full-range sound from a single drive-unit. Overcoming the daunting problems of getting a single drive-unit to work from 20Hz to 20kHz is, by those, felt to be outweighed by the benefits of not having a crossover circuit.

Until now, those men among speaker men have used drive-units from Lowther, Fostex, and the like. But a press release I received from SEAS a few days back indicates that the Norwegian OEM manufacturer, until now best-known for its high-tech conventional drive-units, is entering the full-range fray. Its new Exotic F8 X1-04 is optimized for full-range use. The low-mass paper cone, mounted in a 8", low-profile, diecast chassis, is impregnated with papyrus fibers to add stiffness and is fitted with a "whizzer" cone to extend the response to above 10kHz. An alnico ring magnet weighing 28 ounces (0.8kg) provides the motive force, and a copper ring on the pole-piece reduces distortion.

Key to the new design, says, SEAS, is a radically new suspension spider, made from an open-weave material impregnated with a new resin formulation, which is said to be quieter and more acoustically transparent to the cone's backwave. The half-roll surround is formed from foam rubber, to reduce mass, optimize damping, and increase sensitivity.

Details from But I think I will ask Lowther Lover Art Dudley to get a pair of the new SEAS units to write about in his "Listening" column.