US: It was the Radial/Primacoustic booth at the recent AES convention in New York that saw the launch of the Recoil Stabilizer. The Recoil is essentially a platform designed to improve the performance of nearfield monitors by both isolating and stabilising the system, writes Anthony Lord.
"I personally like the recoil because it is a dumb-ass idea that is simple and it works," Radial Engineering's Peter Janis told PSN-e, in his celebrated straight-talking style. "The science goes back to Newton: it is a simple application of what we all know makes sense. We just happen to be the folks that put it all together."
The Primacoustic Recoil Stabilizer is a floating nearfield monitor platform that eliminates disruptive resonant coupling from the loudspeaker to the stand, while providing a stable base to reduce the recoil caused by the forward energy of the loudspeaker motion.
"About two years ago, I started looking for a way to stabilise the nearfield monitor. If we could stabilise the loudspeaker, I felt confident that we could improve the transient response," continues Janis. "After trying concrete, marble and other mediums, we could not increase the mass sufficiently without adding huge volume. We eventually found that we could use steel by cutting a 1/4-inch think plate using a laser. We then married this with an isolating base and a thin no-slip top surface and the results were immediately apparent. Almost an octave more bass, improved clarity in the mid range and greater depth of field."
The base is, in fact, a high-density urethane foam base that isolates the speaker from where it is standing, while the steel plate eliminates the backward recoil energy. This combination, along with the neoprene top surface, stops the whole resonating. This is augmented with a front panel that is curved to vary the mass, and eliminates the chance of standing waves forming.
The Stabilizer is available in five different sizes and weights to address different speaker designs and may be ordered in both standard and custom angles to precisely aim the loudspeakers for critical listening environments.
"I think the best story was when Bob Dixon, head of audio for NBC/Olympics stopped in [at the AES booth]," says Janis. "He was blown away by the Recoils. He came back several times with various industry professionals including the guys from Calrec, ESPN Sports, NEP broadcast trucks and others. Each time we compared monitors with foam isolators to monitors with the Recoil Stabilizers, the look of disbelief was unanimous. The improvement is not minute, but readily apparent. Several have already ordered Recoils."