Acoustic Energy launch flagship 500 Series speaker range

Acoustic Energy to get some pistonic action in Bristol

by Andy Bassett Feb 21, 2019 at 10:01 AM

  • The newly renamed Bristol Hi-Fi Show is the ideal launchpad for the UK loudspeaker company to unveil their latest flagship range of speakers. Let’s take a look at what the 500 Series has to offer.
    Compared to a lot of speaker ranges, boasting numerous iterations of bookshelf and floor standing models and even stretching to centre and surround speakers for home cinema use, the 500 Series is modest in variants. There are two - the AE500 stand-mount and AE509 floor-stander - and that’s it.

    Both feature newly developed carbon fibre tweeters and mid/bass drivers, designed to match the pistonic power and accuracy of Acoustic Energy's own ceramic aluminium drivers but with improved self-damping for a smoother, more transparent sound.

    Getting the best possible pistonic motion in a driver is important because, ideally, the in-out motion of a hypothetically perfect drive unit should mean that, as the voice coil moves forward, so the diaphragm will match that movement, with zero flex, i.e. it is infinitely stiff. However, in the real world, drive unit diaphragms are not infinitely stiff and might not act as a piston 100% of the time. When non-pistonic movement creeps in, flexing or deformation of the cone can result in poorer quality sound reproduction.

    The carbon fibre included in the new 25mm tweeter dome is much lighter and better damped than other, typically used, materials and so results in a fast, neutral sound. The cast aluminium Wave Dispersion Technology (WDT) waveguide on the high frequency driver is positioned close to the mid/bass driver for optimum audio dispersion into the room and its enhanced rigidity reduces vibrations being passed back to the tweeter.

    The 125mm mid/bass drivers achieve low thermal compression by using new oversized 35mm voice coils and the woofer has an optimised motor and suspension system for maximum linearity and low distortion. As with the tweeter, the lightweight nature of the carbon fibre cone material increases transient speed and clarity.

    The Mid Tweeter Mid/bass (MTM) driver layout in the AE509 uses a 2.5way crossover with high voltage polypropylene film wound capacitors and air core inductors at critical locations for optimum dispersion,.

    These drivers are all housed in new 18mm Resonance Suppression Composite (RSC) cabinets, which have evolved from the premium Reference Series and feature the same constrained layer composite that greatly reduces cabinet acoustic radiation, which would otherwise colour the sound.

    Solid aluminium bars are supplied with the AE509s to ensure rigid floor-coupling and maximum stability, whilst the stiffness of the metal structure reduces the room to speaker interaction.

    Acoustic Energy Managing Director, Mat Spandl comments “The new 500 Series is a first for AE, we have spent a considerable amount of time developing the Carbon Fibre transducers and perfecting our unique cabinet technology. The results have been proven and I’m confident we’ve developed a new flagship range with exceptional sound, build quality and value.

    AE500 Technical Specifications:
    Drive Unit: 125mm Carbon Fibre cone
    Tweeter: 25mm Carbon Fibre dome
    Sensitivity: 88dB
    Power Handling: 120w
    Impedance: 6ohms
    Design: 2 way
    Dimensions: 310 x 185 x 260 (HxWxD)

    AE509 Technical Specifications:
    Drive Units: 125mm Carbon Fibre cones
    Tweeter: 25mm Carbon Fibre dome
    Sensitivity: 90dB
    Power Handling: 175w
    Impedance: 6ohms
    Design: 2.5 way
    Dimensions: 1000 (1050 with spikes) x 185 x 270 (HxWxD)

    The new 500 Series will be available from authorised retailers from Spring 2019 and are finished in high gloss Piano black and white or American walnut wood veneer.

    UK SRPs are £1,000 for the AE500 and £2,300 for the AE509.

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