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En kort intervju med Ole Klifoth från Audiovector.

Vi kommer framöver på Component att intervjua kända ansikten och profiler inom hifi/hembio om deras specialområden. Eftersom en majoritet av tillverkare finns utanför Sveriges gränser, samt att de flesta av våra besökare behärskar engelska, så kommer vi att hålla dessa intervjuer på just engelska. Vi kommer att så långt det är möjligt ställa samma frågor, men självklart även fördjupa oss i det specifika för just den personen eller området. Om ni har någon som ni gärna skulle vilja se en intervju om, eller en fråga ni skulle vilja att vi inkluderade så mejla detta till oss.

Först ut i serien av intervjuer blir Ole Klifoth, designern av det mycket välrenommerade högtalarmärket Audiovector.

Ole kanske blev mest känd när han redan 1979 utmanade stora tillverkare som B&W och KEF, vilka på den tiden förordade t ex branta filter, överdämpade kabinett och långsamma högtalarelement. Ole hävdade istället att om man använde ett flackare filter så skulle man kunna uppnå en betydligt bättre integration av högtalarelementen.

Ole föreslog vidare att högtalarelement faktiskt är designade med en inbyggd avrullning, som tillsammans med det flackare filtret och en optimerad dämpning av kabinettet skulle ge en mer linjär dynamik - alla noter skulle återspeglas med samma musikaliska dynamik. Detta är något som uppskattas av musikälskare världen runt och än idag är en av de grundstenar som Audiovector arbetar efter.

Q1: Could you provide a short company history over Audiovector, e.g. when the company was founded, by whom, major achievements, company philosophy etc?

A: Founded by Ole Klifoth in 1979. Low Compression Concept was our first unique concept. Then our upgrade concept IUC and the rest. A ton of reviews of the old stuff. Really amazed reviewers. Philosophy: To get as close to the real event as possible (stereo). This idea works fine with home cinema, too because we highlight the changes of speed, rhythm and the dynamics in general.

Q2: What is the design philosophy at Audiovector? How do you set about developing a new product? Who is your target group, and when do you consider yourself finished?

A: 3 questions in one. 1) to get as close to the live event as possible. To design drivers so they require a minimum of x-over components. To avoid the negative spiral of low sensitivity. 2)target group is musiclovers and people who worship an authentic sound. I do not consider myself finished. The Mi-series of speakers is a huge step forward. But the is still more to be gained. I consider myself finished with a product when I have reached my goal of implementing and benefiting from the latest technology (for me the technology of the S6-series in this case). And when it sounds right.

Q3: Is Audiovector investing much in R&D, i.e. how many percent of turnover is invested back into pure R&D developing new products and upgrades to old (excluding advertising, etc.)?

A: Manhours for measurements, experiments and calculations not counted. About 40% of my time. Listening is very important. We can only measure a fraction of what we are able to hear.

Q4: In product development how much time in percent is spent actually listening rather than with mathematics and theory?

A: Hard to say. Once the basic ideas are right, engineering is pretty straight forward. Voicing speakers and understanding the match to room acoustics are the code words once the engineering work has been completed.

Q5: Is Audiovector participants in any forums or development organisations (e.g. DVD forum etc.)?

A: No, we keep pretty quiet about what we are up to. Could we learn from forums. Probably, but technology is only half the answer

Q6: Where is the industry going according to Audiovector, and how is Audiovector meeting this anticipated demand?

A: The industry is going nowhere it seems. We can match SACD and DVD Audio demands. There is still a lot to be done regarding getting the timing pitch and rhythm right (compared to live music). Home cinema is almost ripe. Many manufacturers struggle to meet the lowest possible price. We want to make even better speakers for home use.

Q7: Is Audiovector looking into active speakers, with or without DSP?

A: We have active speakers - or rather the possibility of going active via our ADC technology. I am sure that DSP can work really well. Once somebody understands that frequency response is only a fraction of the sound we hear. No plans so far. We think that the interaction between room and speaker is almost unexplored still.

Q8: How suitable is the Audiovector series speakers with regards to the new Audio HD formats (DVD-A, SACD), and how do you meet the competition of super tweeters with other speaker manufacturers?

A: We have the best (meaning fastest and most precise) supertweeter on the market. It is actually a supertweeter and a normal tweeter at the same time. The goal was to avoid a sille crossover frequency at, say 10kHz. Most supertweeters are not really supertweeters, by the way. First experiments took place in 1980, where we reached - 3dB at 100 kHz. All Avantgarde models are fine with SACD and DVD Audio

Q9: What planed improvements in performance will be made available to M3 and S6 going forward?

A: The Mi 3 series is brand new. Drawing on the technology of the S6 Avantgarde speakers. Saome of the most praised speakers in the last couple of years.

Q10: Since there is continuous development of the Audiovector speakers, is there a simple way to keep up to date with the most recent innovations?

A: A web page with new tweaks or a newsletter that easily could be subscribed to would be preferable from a customer point of view.We do not publish our library of tweeks. We do not implement Changes continuously, but only with model changes.

Q11: After the recent introduction of Mi3 series, what support can be expected for future upgrades of the old M3-series?

A: Full support. Fully upgradable as usual. All models M-models regardless of age can be upgraded technically to the Mi levels of the customers choice. Some cab be upgraded visually, too. This is company policy!

Q12: What are the exact improvements of the Mi3 over the M3?

A: There is a long list of improvements. 47 on an Mi 3 Signature. In general: less hysteresis distortion. Less midrange distortion. More clarity. Better dynamics. More music in short.The new Mi 3 is almost as good as the old M 3 Super. More value for money/better sound for less money.

Q13: What are the thoughts and actual benefits of the super stands? Also what is the difference between the old super stands and the new in terms of performance and sound?

A: There will not be a huge difference between the old and the new Superstand. The new models sounds a little faster. The Superstand principle itself is one of decoupling and improving the interface between floor and speaker. The result soundwise is a much faster, much more musical and natural sound.

Q14: Is Audiovector developing all their components themselves, i.e. drivers, cabinets, filters etc? Or is Audiovector OEM:ing parts from other manufacturers?

A: All drivers are developed in conjunction with our suppliers. We have our own LCC chassis for drivers. We have our own membranes, we design our own crossovers. We voice all parts in a drive unit until it sounds musical. Etc…..

Q15: Where is Audiovector going with regards to flat rear speakers to complement M3, Mi3 and S6? Is a new Centre speaker for the S6 in plans?

A: I cannot reveal anything about new products at this moment. But we are looking into the type of products you mention.

Q16: What are the exact crossover points of the M3, Mi3 and S6?

A: Exact crossover point do not really have any meaning. We cross over where we get the result we are listening for. And the Avex boards mimik the passive crossover frequencies exactly, only there is a huge benefit by going active.

Q17: Will the AVEX change between M3 and Mi3?

A: Of course

Q18: Is a similar upgrade of S6 in close proximity?

A: Who knows?

Q19: For those just ordered a M3 now, how major will the Mi3 upgrade be? Are we talking about a snap in, or are we talking about changing drivers, filters and reinforcing cabinets?

A: We need to change drivers and croosovers and damping when we move from a standard M3 to an Mi 3.

Q20: How is the phase coupled at the transformer at the AVEX? i.e. in order to get the phase right into AVEX should the phase be to the lower right or the lower left as looking at the contact with the earth on the top, and the Audiovector equipment from the back?

A: I have no idea. We use good quality cables which follow international regulations regarding this. This means that there is no problem together with high quality amplifiers.

Q21: What will be, according to you, Audiovector's greatest technical achievement in the coming one/two years?

A: So far, the greatest achievement is getting so much more information off the discs with the Mi-series. The use of technology from the professional audio industry has improved realism dramatically.

Q22: Which products in the entire product suite since the start of the company does Audiovector regard the highest, or is the one that you feel most proud over?

A: The S6 Avantgarde Arreté is our best achievement both with respect to technology and sound quality. Proud? Of course! Magazines from all over Europe/ScandinaviaRussia, etc have rated this speaker as the best they have heard. Satisfied? Never! We can get a lot further with a little patience more, inspired work, and visits to clubs and concert halls.

Skriven av:
Pär Hörnell

Publicerad: 2004-04-18
Uppdaterad: 2007-04-24