NVA are an absolute favourite of ours.
Their amplifiers have such an engaging and effortless quality that you feel the music is just passing straight through them.
They visited to listen to our Ayal and Translator loudspeakers with their own latest designs of A80 mkIII power amplifiers. This combination of speaker and amplifier was so rewarding and achieved beautiful results, many times creating the best sound we have heard in our room.
We were contacted by Nottingham Analogue Studios in September with a request to trial our Translator and Ayal loudspeakers.
This long standing and well regarded company have over 40 years experience in turntable and tonearm production.
We share a similar approach to achieve components that allow the listener to connect with the music.
We trust they will enjoy their time with our loudspeakers and hope we can promote each others efforts.
* STOP PRESS *
After a few weeks on trial both Translator and Ayal loudspeakers were purchased
The North West Audio Show June 26th.
Wow ! What a day we enjoyed on our first ever public show. This should be one for your diary next year, whether a regular show goer or not.
We were showcasing our Translator speaker and were overwhelmed by the responses of listeners that kept describing the music as sounding 'natural' which really justifies our use of 1st order crossover filters and of desingning/voicing the Translator by ear.
We were using a trusted Naim cd player (Brians) and were loaned the impressive Primare Pre32 and A34.2 Power from Karma-av. Quite a few of our listeners were already Primare users and we could hear why.
The Temple equipment rack was the other star product for visitors who loved the elegant lines and solid feel of high quality Baltic birch ply added to the flexibilty to set their own dimensions.
See you all next year.
Hi Fi Pig editor Stuart Smith in his final show report.
" 3 Square Audio had their Translator loudspeaker on dem. I sat a good while with Robert Kelly of German Physik fame in this room and we both commented on how unforced and natural sounding the speakers were. Our man Ian Ringstead reviewed them recently for Hifi Pig and thoroughly enjoyed them too. Proof I suppose that you don’t have to spend a King’s ransom to achieve great results in the audio world ".
Our first international sale.
When we had a gentleman in Seattle U.S.A. wishing to purchase the Translator MDF pre-production pair at the bargain price of £500 we were delighted.
Shipping cost ? Ouch !
Solution? Don't send the heavy bits like the steel plate, cement, cabinet, drive units etc just those components that are unique to the design.
We prepared, assembled and wired the first order crossovers mounted with the ports on the backplates, bespoke levelling spikes,M10 bolts and all accessories including some silver solder to complete the driver connections and PDF plans for full cabinet construction.
The gentleman is very excited, as are we, to complete the speaker and be the first in the U.S.A. to experience Translator.
Time to complete our stand mounted partner to the Translator floorstander.
Oh boy it's very very good. Not surprising as it's using the exact same crossover and drive units.
Spent a long time perfecting port tuning to maintain speed, articulation and an even output. Piano and female vocal feature a great deal in our listening tests and as with the Translator we have retained the detail and leading edge dynamics without emphasising peaks or harshness. This again can benefit owners of Naim systems who wish to take midrange speed and detail to full potential in the most musical way.
We are now finalising cabinet construction details and will post pictures soon.
We said a sad farewell to one of our pre-production pairs of Baltic birch ply Translators this month. We loaned them for a few weeks to a gentleman running a lovely Linn LP12 with Naim cd and amplifier to see if they were up to replacing his existing speakers which were rather good, and the latest version of them new are £16,000.
The Translators have replaced them.
First enclosures for the new Liberator stand mount speaker
A busy month !
We said another sad farewell. The first Translators we ever built in March 2015 were going to a new home.
The mdf pair were our test-bed for implementing all our ideas in areas of internal bracing, mass loading, damping, port tuning and the critical listening tests, for nearly a year, to voice the crossover.
The end result was a Translator producing beautiful, natural sounding music and portraying the many advantages of 1st order crossovers.
We delivered them, in person, and in a scene reminiscent of Toy Story 3 we said our goodbyes knowing they would have many years of play and appreciation ahead of them.
We understand they are to be veneered and shown a lot of TLC.
And finally we have been in contact with The Federation Of Recorded Music Society, Convert Technologies and Derby Jazz which all look promising.
October has seen us in visiting mode !
We took a trip to see Convert Technologies, neighbours of ours in Derby, who are well known for the Plato. A single unit that can archive your records, cd's, digital music files, films etc and distribute them around your home with high sound quality too and your mobile phone controlling it all.
Our Translator speakers were very happy working with Plato and this combination provides an elegant easy to use one unit system that sounds beautiful.
Another local trip was to the Jubilee Music Circle for their monthly meeting and they kindly accommodated our Translators and our music choice to show them off. Great responses and comments from those present and a home demonstration request from a group member which really pleased us.
Our new Liberator stand mount model is already sounding superb and all that's remaining is fine tuning the port and amount of internal absorbent fibre.
More Translators sold.
We love taking our speakers to interested people and leaving them on extended loan. To date this has resulted in every listener deciding to buy them. Our chests are very puffed out with pride. But just as many have been sold to people who have not auditioned them !
We are thinking that people have read the review, seen the website, understand our approach and how 1st order crossovers should provide the best starting point in keeping the music structure as natural as possible.
We came to use 1st order purely on the grounds that ' it sounds right ' and now we are slowly understanding some of the maths around time, phase and vectors that explain why it should sound better than all other options.
As you can see we have just 2 reactive components to evaluate when we voice our speakers during exhaustive listening sessions. We can attain very neutral midrange performance in particular with 1st order. The ear is very sensitive to distortions, colouration and poor timbre in this region and 1st order necessitates that the ear defines the values of the inductor and capacitor to achieve the most natural sound in the far field, at the listening position.
Another order of Translators to replace a much loved pair of respected Transmission line loudspeakers. Our well behaved and extended in-room bass characteristics compare very well to TL along with enhanced agility and transient response. The high frequency presentation was preferred also and the new owners are hearing detail previously masked.
The Translators love complex pieces of music that show off their excellent time and phase coherence to maintain the separation and placement of each element in the recording.
The last of our Pre production models were sold this month and that completes the end of our amazing deals offer. Do not be concerned because at £2800 for the latest production models you will still be buying a speaker of formidable and natural sounding performance and rated by HiFi Pig 8.8/10 value for money and 8.9/10 for sound quality.
Our latest speaker The Liberator is nearing completion and we are now looking to put it up for review in Hi Fi Pig late spring. It is the stand mount version of The Translator and sounds so beautiful.
January has also seen us very busy building a bespoke Audio/Visual unit to house the TV, electronics and our own design of built in speakers (yes with 1st order crossovers).
Pictures to follow once installed
While we are on the subject of new speakers it is time to announce the next sector of the market we will be providing for, the high performance small bookshelf/stand loudspeaker. This will be based on SEAS coated paper cones and the SEAS fabric tweeter as used in the Translator and Liberator models. It will be a sealed enclosure with the facility of being able to move the tweeter to allow acoustic time alignment at the listening position.
It is all very exciting and will show just how much reproduction quality can be obtained from a compact speaker with the above features. It will be a test bed for our understanding and maximizing of time alignment for the listener which is a natural progression of our 1st order crossovers time and phase coherence.
New small speaker prototype
We delivered Translators to the technical officer of FRMS for appraisal and suitability for use at their annual music weekend in April. The Translators were accepted for this important role within a couple of hours of listening. So, along with PMC, we shall be providing a very high standard of reproduction for the many experienced listeners and members of The FRMS
We have commenced work on our latest speaker, as mentioned in our January update.
It shows the tweeter mounted in an adjustable frame to allow acoustic alignment at the listening position.
To make Ayal's visit even more special, and to say thank you for being our first customer, we wanted to ask that our next loudspeaker be named after him. This indeed was warmly received and so our very special small loudspeaker will be known as The Ayal.
It is currently undergoing lengthy burning-in and early listening tests.
March was very special for us.
We had a visit from our first ever customer, see July 2016.
Ayal was spending time in the Netherlands but before returning to Seattle U.S.A. he made a heroic effort to see us in Derby.
Ayal is building his own pair of Translators in Seattle, at a community workshop https://isgoodwoodworks.com/
and aided by their experienced tutors.
Our friend is determined to do justice to the design and we know his character and integrity will shine through on this project.
We shall share his progress on this page very soon.
Double busy in April.
We looked at The Viocebox, a venue in Derby city centre, known for its acoustics. We have supported Derby Jazz at The Guildhall and next we will play our Translators for guests attending events here, in the near future.
We took The Translators to a gentleman enthusiast not far from our base. He enjoyed them for a couple of weeks and was very impressed. They had performed better than any speaker he had used at the same price and some that were 3 times the price. He will shortly be able to submit a few words on his experience with them. SEE HERE
Federation of Recorded Music Societies
Our Biggest test yet.
Our Translator speakers were selected by the Federations Technical officer to provide an alternative high quality loudspeaker, alongside PMC Twenty 26, for the societies annual weekend music presentations.
We relished the opportunity to have The Translators placed before an audience of experienced live music listeners. As ever they performed extremely well and were alternated with the PMC's throughout the weekend.
Completed 3 orders for the Temple equipment support with isolation shelves. Also M10 MB and M10 FS plinths.
Many of our orders have come from China and Hong Kong which we believe to be motivated by our use of Baltic Birch plywood and high quality oil and wax finish alongside bespoke dimensions to suit the décor and equipment.
We had a very welcome request by a gentleman wishing to hear the Translators at our demonstration room, the designers living room, which occurred the very next morning.
Playing our visitors excellent music choice was a pleasure and of course over a coffee or two we were also able to discuss the design goals and approach to making a speaker produce a believable music performance.
The order followed a few days later !
The very next day we loaned Translators to a member of The Federation of Recorded Music Societies who heard them performing at the societies annual weekend in April.
He is an acomplished musician and very knowledgable in many areas of music performance. They certainly impressed and we are currently building his new pair to be delivered soon.
The North West Audio Show
June Sat 24th Sun 25th
This show is a real pleasure for exhibitors, visitors, grown-ups and children !
So much diversity of equipment, manufacturers, styles and budgets. Growing fast in popularity it now needs two days to cater for demand. It has a relaxed feel and doesn't become too squashed either in or around the rooms and so you get a real chance to talk to the exhibitors. We had some wonderful in depth conversations.
This show would also be an ideal place to bring the next generation of music listeners. Introduce them to the weird and wonderful sounds and sights of music playback systems.
We must show how music can be placed before them and become a real event in their own homes in a quality of sound that will bring a lifetime of pleasure.
Busy again building Translators, contacting people from our last show and preparing for the next. The Indulgence show, London. 29th Sep - 1st Oct.
Again we shall be with our friends Chris and Helen from Wire on Wire. Chris will be on hand to demonstrate the tuning ability of the Experience 660 & 880 interconnects, their geometry and how it is tuned by the user. You will hear the change in sound presentation. It works.
We delivered the next pair of Translators to a gentleman who heard them at The Federation of Recorded Music Societies and said "excellent, the best sound i have heard in years". This pair were late arriving, sadly, but was due to the introduction of a new stage in treating the Baltic Birch plywood to further increase its stability. We also took the panel cutting process out of house for a while.
All is well now and our latest customer is taking great care in positioning them for maximum results.
Mainly lots of music listening on spotify to get the next playlist together for The Indulgence Show, London. Once a suitable piece of music has been found i visit iTunes and pay 99p to download it and burn to a CDR disc.
Our listings on Ebay were in need of updating as the item description didn't include recent news and achievements.
Finally it's SHOWTIME !
The Indulgence show in London is a terrific event with so much to entertain an audio enthusiast or anyone with a passing interest in listening to music. 3 whole days of demonstrating our Translators to all who made it to the 3rd floor.
Chris (Wire on Wire) was again demonstrating the sound tuning of the Experience880 and 680 cables. Tuneable by the user to change and adapt the presentation of sound to your own preferences, achieved by the use of spacers inserted along the weave.
We were visited by many renowned trade luminaries during the show and had great responses. A person i admire and respect that makes world renowned speakers said we have a genuinely good sounding speaker in The Translator.
Another new challenge for our Translator speakers.
Yana, a music trio based in Derby, had asked us to have a pair of Translators to replay their new CD release baby/people.
Yana performed an outstanding live set first and then the new CD followed through The Translators. We passed the test rather well.
Yana consist of Corey Mwamba (Vibraphone) Dave Kane (bassist) and Joshua Blackmore (drummer). Corey had listened to our Translators performing for Derby Jazz and perceived them suitable to replay the dynamics and timbre of the instruments.
As you may be aware Derby is our home city but we are not the only audiophile manufacturers based here.
We have previously visited Convert and took our Translators to work with The Plato music and video streaming/distribution component that just needs speakers added to give a high performance all-in-one system. An incredible sound was created with this combination.
This month we hooked up with Black Rhodium a well known premium cable manufacturer. We met at our demonstration facilities and had a good chat about each others products.
From our perspective we will be looking at future possibilities for internal wiring improvements for our speakers and Black Rhodium, along with Wire on Wire, have the technologies that interest us very much.
We are very busy with the final voicing of our Ayal, small loudspeaker. It had to be delayed for a few months while demand for other products took priority.
Latest review on The Translator loudspeaker. Paul Messenger in HIFI CRITIC Oct-Dec 2018 confidently recommends them
' I reckon the Translators rival speakers several times their cost '.