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Atlantic Technology H-PAS Tower Speaker System

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H-PAS-1

H-PAS-1

Summary

  • Product Name: H-PAS-1
  • Manufacturer: Atlantic Technology
  • Review Date: September 11, 2009 23:56
  • MSRP: $2000/pair
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

Atlantic Technology demonstrated a new speaker system featuring H-PAS™ technology which they claim allows speaker designers to achieve targeted bass performance with 50 percent smaller cabinets, smaller drivers, and lower costs. The company will be licensing H-PAS to other manufacturers. They have joined forces with  Solus/Clements to develop, market, and license a revolutionary new loudspeaker design protocol capable of delivering deep, low-distortion bass response at output levels unobtainable through conventional bass-alignment techniques. In particular, this technology will allow speakers with smaller cabinets and drivers to achieve levels of performance normally associated with much larger speaker systems.

The new patent-pending system, called H-PAS™, (Hybrid Pressure Acceleration System), combines elements of several speaker technologies: bass reflex, inverse horn, and transmission line. Using a unique cabinet design, these technologies are cascaded one to another to pressurize and accelerate low frequencies. In addition, the signals travel through a passive resonance/harmonic distortion line filter. The final result is the ability of an H-PAS design to deliver extended deep bass with exceptionally low distortion.

H-PAS does not require the use of special drivers, any kind of on-board electronics or outboard equalization -- it is a purely passive system, completely compatible with all amplifiers and AV receivers.

The inventor of the technology is Philip Clements of Solus/Clements Loudspeakers, a 30-year plus CE industry veteran and loudspeaker designer. For the past eight months, Clements has worked closely with Atlantic Technology to develop a range of compact designs using H-PAS protocols. Clements has contracted with, and appointed Atlantic Technology as the exclusive licensing agent for the technology, and will now continue its development together with Atlantic.

The H-PAS demonstration model was on display at the CEDIA Expo which utilizes two 4 ½-inch drivers in an enclosure of approximately 1.4 cubic feet to produce bass that extends to 29 Hz  (-3dB) at Sound Pressure Levels that exceed 105dB. Bass harmonic distortion is under 3%. According to Atlantic Technology, comparable performance in a conventionally designed loudspeaker system would require bass drivers of at least triple the size in an enclosure at least twice as large.

“Until now, I would have considered it virtually impossible to achieve such high levels of bass performance and quality in such small enclosures," said Peter Tribeman, the president of Atlantic Technology. "With higher performance from smaller cabinets, and hence the potential for lower manufacturing and shipping costs, we believe H-PAS has applications in almost every corner of the loudspeaker business, ranging from large floorstanding towers to desktop computer speakers."

"This new system," Tribeman continues, "is the first ever to break the famous Iron Law of loudspeaker design, which states: 'deep bass extension, compact enclosure, or good efficiency … pick any two at the expense of the third'. For the very first time, due to Phil Clements' breakthrough design, we can have them all.”

H-Pass-1 Demo

Atlantic Technology H-Pass-1 Demo

Listening Impressions

We were presented with a demonstration of the HPAS-1 floorstanding prototype which had unfinished cabinets and the crossover boards laid out on the floor and jury rigged to the speakers.  They played musical score sample tracks from various movies (most memorably from ET).  The low end bass extension was impressive.  We would have never imaged a pair of 4 1/2” drivers were capable of pressurizing the room to provide good tactile response.  I was curious to hear music with sustained bass and acoustical instruments which they obliged towards the end of the demo.  With normal program material, the bass extension seemed less pronounced but the system remained clean with no hint of woofer distress.  It seemed the benefit of this enclosure was most notable towards the lower end of the bass spectrum near its tuning frequency. 

For small driver, moderate sized cabinet constraints H-Pass could be a viable solution albeit not an in-expensive one.  The H-PAS-1s will retail for around $2k/pair.  We’d really like to face off a pair of these speakers with a conventional design with larger drivers at around the same retail price to understand its full potential.  We will have to get a pair into our test labs to do more detailed listening and measurements when they start shipping. The H-PAS-1 tower will ship in Q409 with a larger version featuring dual 6 1/2" drivers early next year.

For more information, visit: http://www.atlantictechnology.com/

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

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Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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