Sound Lab has been in business since 1978. The founders of the company, Dr. Roger West and Dr. Dale Ream, shared a belief that electrostatic transduction was potentially the optimum technology for loudspeakers. During this time the company has successfully addressed the major problems of electrostatic loudspeaker technology and has developed a series of speakers each of which is designed to fulfill a specific purpose. The basic philosophy of Sound Lab is to provide the finest products possible at each of the price points selected. Not only are the products optimum acoustical machines, but they are beautiful pieces of matched furniture that will grace any decor.
Sound Lab full range electrostatic loudspeakers reproduce music from deep bass notes to high frequencies beyond the limits of human perception, doing so at realistic levels and with remarkable reliability.
This is not a fragile technology, notwithstanding that it can reproduce sound levels from the most subtle levels up to realistic levels, doing so with unequalled clarity and realism. Electrostatically reproduced bass is fast and detailed. Warning! these speakers are addictive!
There are two reasons for this claim. First, a properly designed electrostatic speaker has a lower moving mass than that of any other speaker technology. The unit mass of the membrane of Sound Lab speakers is significantly less than the unit mass of the air load it is moving. In fact, our speakers probably have the lowest moving mass of any speaker on the market. The benefits of this are several. When the membrane is commanded to stop or start, it does so without the delay that higher mass speakers exhibit. Also, since air-mass has the greatest influence on transduction characteristics, the speaker inherits the optimum damping characteristics of air. Transients are crisper and cleaner. Detail is much more apparent.
Secondly, the force that drives the membrane of our electrostatic speakers is evenly distributed over the entire radiating surface. Therefore, every point on the membrane is driven equally (iso-phasic) and the total membrane is always under tight control. As a result, the membrane can be very thin and flexible. Due to optimum damping and excellent signal compliance, distortion and irritation factors are extremely low.
A patent has been awarded Sound Lab that describes and protects a method by which the single-frequency resonance energy of the membrane is distributed in a manner that equalizes for the loss of energy due to dipole cancellation (a problem with all dipole speakers). This development not only provides a flat, extended bass response but it also eliminates the undesirable membrane resonance peak.
Good question. First, electrostatic forces are weaker than magnetic forces. Therefore, membrane excursions are limited. Since low-frequency acoustic energy is a function of the volume of air that is displaced by the membrane, limited linear displacement is compensated for by making the membrane area larger. However, this has a beneficial effect: the large membrane exhibits a more resistive coupling to the air. This means that less energy is thrown off to the sides in the form of eddy currents, which in turn reduces the reflected energy coming off of the side walls, which in turn improves imaging.
To produce a given loudness level, the speaker size must become larger as the low-frequency cut-off is lowered. Therefore, truly full-range dipole speakers must be larger than box speakers. The problem could be solved, as with conventional speaker technology, if the electrostatic panel was mounted in an enclosure, but then "box" resonance or "coloration" becomes a problem. The dipole configuragion provides the cleanest sound.
This series employs a painted steel frame into which the electrostatic panel is integrated. The high mass and great strength of this frame insures that all of the vibrational energy of the membrane is converted to sound with virtually no energy being lost in the frame. The Ultimate frame has a space-age appearance that is very attractive in the modern motif.
The Majestic is synonymous with musical realism. In the words of a recent customer:
"I have been absolutely entranced by my new Majestics - so much so that I'm even reluctant to turn the system off to go to bed at night, let alone concentrate on other matters! The name given to this speaker is perfectly chosen and that becomes clear immediately. They are at once exquisitely revealing but gently so, powerful and subtle, exciting and soothing. To say their sound is sumptuous and breathtaking is an understatement in the extreme."
For people who desire a rich wood framework we developed the Audiophile Series appearance. The electrostatic panels are wrapped in a beautiful furniture grade frame that complements the decor of any listening room. A broad range of woods are available. Painted piano grade finishes are also available.
The intent of the Millennium series is to provide an aesthetic that's more contemporary, having a softer visual impact. which effectively mitigates potential conflict with room decor. This series employs the same high-technology electrostatic panels and electronics that are used in our other series.
SALLIE is an acronym that stands for "Sonic Attenuator for Lower Levels of Interference Effects". Dipole speakers, such as Sound Lab's full-range electrostatic speakers, radiate equal energy from the back side of the panel. If the listening room is over-reflective audible interference patterns can result, manifesting an undesirable condition referred to as the "comb-filtering" effect. SALLIE greatly reduces this effect and helps save on expensive acoustical room treatment. Furthermore, the effect of SALLIE is adjustable by simply altering the distance to the back of the speaker. SALLIE isn't visible since it is placed behind the speaker.