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PL+S 2015: Amadeus’s Jean Nouvel-designed Philharmonia combines “innovation and timeless beauty”

From the Philharmonie de Paris to your studio and/or living room

French manufacturer Amadeus will today unveil a first concept version of its new Philharmonia loudspeaker at Prolight + Sound. The speaker, intended for both studio and home hi-fi use, were designed by world-renowned architect Jean Nouvel for the 5.1 surround recording/mixing studios housed in the newly opened Philharmonie de Paris concert hall.

Amadeus expects to complete the studio version of the speaker in Q3 2015, with pricing to be announced soon.

Bernard Byk, co-founder and CEO of Amadeus, says: “Jean Nouvel’s imagination, exuberance and creative genius brought a brilliant solution, beyond the original specifications.

“Amadeus especially praises tradition. Combining innovation and timeless beauty, this system […] embodies the knowhow, creativity and values on which we have been building our history for more than 35 years.”

The Philharmonia is equipped with a 28mm soft-dome tweeter loaded behind a custom circular waveguide sculpted from a block of birch and a handmade 8″ woofer with cone diaphragm made of two thin carbon-reinforced paper cones. Its amplitude linearity (±2dB) ranges from 43Hz to 22KHz, with a two-way monitoring system driven by a proprietary two-amped power amplifier section which uses a high-efficiency switched-mode power supply. The amplifier includes a built-in DSP module with digital filtering functions such as system EQ, time alignment between HF and LF sections, limiter parameters and thermal protection of the transducers.

“This project, under the direction of Jean Nouvel, is the result of a unique collaboration between professionals with talents, sensitivities and careers both original and complementary,” adds Gaetan Byk [pictured right], marketing manager at Amadeus. “They have achieved a stunning look as well as a transparent sound with Philharmonia. We have been pursuing this quest for ultimate timbral neutrality along with musicians, recording engineers and artists who use our products for a very long time. The process of technological reflection at Amadeus was led by the needs and demands of the leading sound engineers who will work in the studios of the Philharmonie de Paris.”

Describing the speaker’s proprietary manufacturing technique, director of R&D Michel Deluc continues: “[The] unique construction technique creates, among other things, a dramatic cut in the level of cabinet colouration of the sound using a longitudinal and transverse reinforcement crossed structure. It has been designed to neutralise the standing waves affecting both the sonic clarity and definition of the lowest frequencies.

“We achieve this through an extremely complex internal reinforcement structure using a combination of interlocking panels arranged in two perpendicular planes, each hosting several tuned notch resonators.

“The aerodynamics of the Philharmonia’s tuning ports is a masterpiece. It has been largely empirical, inspired by aesthetic aspects, and based on hybrid low-velocity laminar ports using progressive termination. This leads to a rather complex and major technological innovation whose theory is still in its infancy.”

See the Philharmonia loudspeaker in Hall 8 at stand G19.