LOS ANGELES (PTA) — AudioKinesis (USA) were debuting their new Gina loudspeaker, along with Resonessence Labs (CDN) showing their newest FLUVIUS streamer. As simple looking and straightforward this speaker system might appear, it was not. A lot was going on behind those horns, baffles, and subsequently the stands as well.
AudioKinesis’ new Gina loudspeaker (a beautiful name by the way) is at first a two-way horn loudspeaker, designed by Duke LeJeune. A well known protege, understudy, and former employee of the now retired Dr. Earl Geddes of GedLee LLC. For Mr. LeJeune, employing some of the philosophies learned under Dr. Geddes to the new Gina loudspeaker came without reservation. For instance, the horn of the Gina has matched the entrance angle of the horn to the exit angle of the compression driver. From there a Duke LeJeune proprietary design midbass takes over, or better yet under, from the horn in both frequency coverage and front baffle loading.
Here’s where things get weird in the good way. What looks to be a black definitely, and wooden possibly, speaker stand resides a 10-inch subwoofer in a compact sealed enclosure portion firing down-and-back into a 45-degree angle, along with a “proprietary space generator”, which is in this case a coaxial 8-inch driver which fires up-and-back into a 45-degree angle. The function of the subwoofer firing down-and-back matters little as it will load the room with frequencies that hardly care about direction. The function of the “space generator” firing up-and-back matters everything as it will use the distance and height of room boundaries behind the “augmentation stand” (my quote, not theirs) to create late arriving sound from the broader field created behind the soundstage. To me, this latency is intuitive, as I’ve been spending a lot of time at audio shows with open-baffle loudspeakers. The “space generator” is driven by the same amplifier as the loudspeaker (whatever that may be) sitting atop it. The 8-inch coaxial driver ranges from 24-to-18-Ohms so as to stay out of the way when paired with average-to-low impedance loudspeakers. Also, a blending L-Pad is included, to attain a target around -11dB. Whereas the sealed 10-inch subwoofer portion is powered by any external amplifier of your choosing.
Where I find this new Gina loudspeaker (and sub-stand combination) extra-fascinating is that it takes various, if not all, the elements of popular loudspeaker design and crams them into a rather forgiving room footprint.
The full-rack of equipment (not ribs, sorry I’m hungry as I write this) is loaded with some seriously sweet looking and
tasty lively sounding amplifiers, DACs and a new streamer.
The Resonessence Labs FLUVIUS is an audiophile-grade streamer that features gigabit Ethernet, dual USB 3.0 connections, HDMI output, and a mini-SD card reader for software and firmware updates. The built in Library feature organizes and indexes files from any connected hard-drive, network storage, or media server. The FLUVIUS does support Tidal Hifi streaming, as well as others (and growing). Formats supported include MP3, WAV, CUE, FLAC, AIF, DSF, DFF (Native DSD via Dop) and RIBS (Just kidding about the RIBS part, still hungry). Processor bits are the “Octacore Samsung Exynos5422 (ARM® Cortex™-A15 Quad 2.0GHz/Cortex™-A7 Quad 1.4GHz) Memory: 2GB LPDDR3 RAM – 12GB/s memory bandwidth, 2 x 32bit bus, 16GB eMMC 5.0 Flash Storage Ethernet: 10/100/1000 Mbps RJ-45, Auto-MDIX support USB: 2 x USB3.0, supports USB3.0 Hub for extension, 1 x USB2.0 Video: Mali™-T628 MP6 graphics processor, HD 1920x1080p, HDMI 1.4a Type-A connector OS: Android 7.1” — which I copied directly from the website for you. You’re welcome. Also, it does video.
Upstairs in this article I mentioned that the most extra-fascinating bit about this loudspeaker system is that it has crammed all the various bits of loudspeaker designs into one small footprint. Here’s the magic part, it did all of that, while making it work harmoniously. This loudspeaker system, including the top-and-bottom parts, does things few speaker designers even dare to consider about loading the room. For the longest time I’ve felt that most speaker designers look to tackle one or two problems out of five when it comes to loudspeaker design, and leave the rest to engineering compromise. This new Gina and Space Generator system aim to tackle them all, albeit with their own flare and flavor considering horn, efficiency and driver choice. It’s not the perfect loudspeaker, but damn if it doesn’t try to perfect the room.
– FLUVIUS Streamer – $1.750 USD
– INVICTA MIRUS Signature PRO DAC – $7,850 USD
– PROJECTA Stereo Amplifier – (uncertain)
– along with a few more amps and preamps below.
– Gina Horn-Loudspeaker – (uncertain)
– Space Generator – (uncertain)
Who makes the audio rack?
Yes, it’s the Butcher Block Acoustics “RigidRack.” If I ordered the 4 shelf it would be in my room now. I need at least one (maybe two) more shelves for a dual use 2-ch/HT room with 92″ retractable perforated screen. That rack is a steal for $1045, a 70 lb beauty, solid 1.5″ seasoned maple shelves, walnut vertical supports matched Gina. Space heights; bottom shelf 10″, upper shelf 8″. Shelves are 24 x 18 WxD.
Space Generator’s 8″ coax is from Eminence, with a Celestion mylar compression driver. Space Generator frequency response is tailored solely and specifically for its reverberant field application. Duke’s philosophy Re. reverberant field has constantly evolved since his first production speaker with rear output, the 2008 TAS Golden Ear Award Winning Dream Maker (original). If we call DM “Ground Zero” for Duke’s reverberant field implementation, this latest at 2019 THE Show is approximately Gen 7, and employs the biggest change in overall philosophy.
As fate had it, Eric visited Friday. As per Eric’s lovely images, Gina atop the SuperStands were within inches of the front wall. Saturday before the show opened, Duke moved the speakers forward about 2.5 feet, which improved overall performance, especially depth perspective (Gina had to be on one side or the other of the threshold on the right wall near the front).
Since about a year ago we adopted Peavey music instrument glider feet (nickel base; we add a 2nd rubber insert to increase overall height). Once you precision site speakers with gliders you may not want to go without. There’s also one threaded insert for an included spike. Late mid day Saturday we added the spike, antother immediately audible upgrade.
Gina alone, true 91 dB voltage sensitivity, 112 dB full range w/1 dB dynamic compression (cone/dome systems typically compress 10-12 dB at maximum output; 117 dB w/active HP xo), HWD 23 x 12 x 12 inches, 35#/ea, solid wood baffle matches about a dozen veneer options or automotive paint: $7k/pr
SuperStands, sealed 25 Hz sub + Space Generator + one kilowatt sub amp, adaptable to other non-AK stand mount speakers: $3500/3 pieces
Outboard Subs use above sub amp, true 20 Hz: $1500/pr
2nd sub amp for Dr. David Griesinger’s “Phase Quadrature” tuning we employed at the show to good measure (room is 13 x 26 with huge corresponding bass modes, which we effectively flattened throughout the room without EQ or treatments)
Resonessence Projecta sliding bias Class A power amp, 90#, 2x 105W: $20k USD
The only preamp was the Class A type in the DAC. DAC volume control is 32 bit digital; if you have sworn off digital volume controls like I had I suspect you’ve not heard this one!
The amps in the lowermost shelf were two Dayton Audio SA1000 kilowatt sub amps.
Our sincere thanks to Scot Hull and Eric Franklin Shook for their much valued attention and enthusiasm for our beloved audio/music “sport.”
James Romeyn, AK sales/consulting/final assembly, Providence, Utah (Duke does all the design work and xo assembly)
That coax driver in the lower cabinet sure doesn’t look like any coax I’m familiar with. Must be something new in the world after all.