Martin Gateley: "As is my wont and much to Chris' dismay, I tend to jump the gun a little. But then I've always been a learn-by-doing sort of guy. This method works best for me. At times such out-of-the-box thinking has even surprised Chris.


"A perfect example is the honey comb liner. He now calls it a velocity break for the rear wave. Marketing would probably come up with the term 'soundkaos VB technology'. Of course that liner has a secondary benefit. It allows a much thinner solid-wood wall—12mm on the Skiny—which then gets strengthened by bonding the liner to the inside of the box.


"After your writeup of the super monitors, I actually made a pair with an additional layer of epoxy and glass-fibre between wood and honey comb. We listened and measured and eventually came to the conclusion that it was not worth the effort and extra cost. Our scheme is rather effective as is.


"Of course I did fall flat on my face with the thin profile of the Skiny and putting its main driver at the extreme end. When Chris saw the first semi-finished unit, he said that I was going to get a box mode because the driver would act as a pendulum. So it was. We tried various options like moving the port to half mast and even above the driver at the very top but could not shake that behaviour.


"The only solution was a second driver on the opposite end to cancel the box mode. Chris decided to do a proper 3D sim which confirmed it."


"In the process he also figured out how our scooped port actually works. A standard port should show a perfect hump around the tuning frequency but we were consistently getting a sort of Camel hump with a little dip in the middle. This applies to the Waves as well. We never really questioned it with them because it sounded right and turned out to be the perfect solution for the lightweight cone of the Enviee. That would not cope so well with a standard port to suffer intermodulation distortion."



"The added benefit is that you get a much broader hump, nearly thrice that of a normal port. Apart from the box mode issue, I also was not happy with the bass. Expectedly it just did not have the body of the larger driver that's in the Wave 40. With the second rear-firing driver, we actually have more cone area now than the Wave and are nearly approaching its 55Hz figure with an 18-litre box. Here are some simulation images."


"The first prototype had the box bolted directly to the base containing the crossover but we had resonance issues. So the overall construction got a bit more complex. I decided to follow the Wave design and decouple the box from both the driver and the plinth. We now have a longitudinal Plywood rib to which the drivers bolt directly through their magnets. This rib is then foam-lined on all sides where it touches the enclosure. The desired result is that the box floats. Of course all this effort is not visible from the outside. The wooden baskets actually started out as a stop gap because Armin didn't have a suitable 16cm metal frame on hand. I made the first units from aircraft Ply (20 layers for every 1cm) but Armin still felt that might be an issue over time. I then agreed to put in a order for 12mm Panzerholz and we will either laser or water-jet cut that."


Clearly a speaker that had started life on the paper napkin as a simpler construction over the nightmarish Wave 40 had morphed into something more complex than is visible to the naked eye. Hence the company's byline: unreasonably well-made hifi. And that other one: Swiss precision engineering in wood. Neither is empty marketing drivel.