Unless you’re successful enough to pay roadies, one of the great pains of being a gigging musician is lugging around heavy equipment like amps and cabs. Bruce Thigpen of Eminent Technology has come up with a guitar speaker design that lightens the load.
Florida’s Eminent Technology was founded by Thigpen in the early 1980s, and is responsible for the world’s first infrasound speaker (the TRW-17 rotary woofer), the first push-pull planar magnetic speaker, and the first flat-panel computer speakers. And now he’s designed the transducer at the heart of the ModelTwenty guitar speaker.
Measuring around 2.5 inches thick (635 mm), the flat-panel speaker stands 32 in (812 mm) tall and is 22 in (558 mm) wide. The design is said to give each unit the same diaphragm cone area as a traditional 4 x 12 cabinet, but wrapped up in a lighter package of 23 lb (10 kg).
The front and back of the ModelTwenty are reported to serve as active diaphragms, and the speaker “behaves mostly like a piston up to about 400 Hz and then transitions to Distributed Mode Operation at higher frequencies.”
It’s built to be used with an amplifier head rated between 20 and 100 watts, and has its own retractable kickstand for a 20-degree lean on stage. The speaker features an open-back design and rocks an octave lower and an octave higher than a traditional guitar cab while offering a clean sound with “less compression and much wider dispersion than conventional musical instrument speakers.”
The ModelTwenty has a rated sensitivity of 99 dB/watt, an impedance of 8 ohms and sports tuning switches that cater for acoustic and lead guitar tones. The speaker can also be used with keyboards, synths, wind instruments like a saxophone and other stringed instruments such as a violin.
It’s available now for US$2,600 per unit, and future plans call for the technology to spawn a stage monitor, bass speaker and full PA system. As far as we can tell, there’s only one video of the ModelTwenty in action on YouTube as of writing, which you can see here.
Product page: ModelTwenty
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