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a price/performance breakthrough  a transmission line MTM 2-way floor-standing speaker under $2000!
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SongTower overview "If I were shopping for speakers, I'd take a look at this shootout and read carefully through the comments. I'd look at the pictures of the speakers. I'd think about how my room matches the shootout room. I'd re-read the original reviews. I'd try to keep in mind my personal sound preferences and view the descriptors in that light. Most of all, I'd go out there and listen to everything I could. And then I'd buy the Salks. But that's just me."  - Tom Andry, the story Normally we approach speaker design as a collaborative process. But in this case, Dennis Murphy approached us with a design he worked up and asked us if we would be interested in bringing it to market. Since Dennis is a consummate crossover artist, we knew it would be a fabulous speaker. Given the fact that it was a small-footprint, quarter-wave transmission line design, our interest was really piqued! Here is Dennis' description of the design... The SongTower is an MTM design using a mass-loaded quarter wave transmission line cabinet designed by Paul Kittinger and based on the pioneering work of Martin King. This transmission line cabinet allows the floor-standing speaker to exhibit greater bass extension than a ported design would normally allow. This design is the end result of a year-long project to develop a very affordable (under $2000) speaker that is wide range, with useful bass response to at least 40 Hz; has a small enough footprint to allow cabinet dimensions with high SAF; and, is sensitive enough to be compatible with a wide range of amplifiers. Traditional 3-ways would almost certainly fail at least one of the last two requirements. Traditional 2-way bookshelf designs would require a large woofer that might not produce the best possible performance in the upper midrange, and would also require stand-mounting (low SAF). The solution was to use two high quality 5" drivers optimally suited to Martin King's MLQW transmission line cabinet design, mated to a high quality tweeter. The Seas ER15 woofers were an obvious choice to perform bass duties, due to their appropriate electrical and mechanical parameters and extremely smooth and extended response at higher frequencies. The Hiquphon 0WII was perfectly suited for the design, since it is sensitive enough to keep up with twin ER15 woofers and provides almost ruler-flat response and extremely broad dispersion. In addition, this tweeter is rugged enough to allow a fairly low crossover frequency with room to spare. The sensitivity of the MTM is conservatively rated at 88 dB, and can play a 38 Hz tone at high enough drive levels to set off rattles from loose objects in a typical room.
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