British audio pioneer, Ferguson Hill, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the development of an innovative new speaker product, the Ferguson Hill Clear Speaker System. Created to deliver an elegant solution for music and TV sound, the system builds upon Ferguson Hill’s trademark horn-loaded loudspeaker technology to satisfy all the audio and design needs of the contemporary home.
Elliptical horn satellite speakers combine with spherical bass speakers, all fashioned from crystal-clear acrylic for striking sound and style, alongside an integrated amplifier with a range of analogue and digital inputs, plus wireless audio streaming from Bluetooth-compatible devices. The Clear Speaker System comes in three configurations: the Primary System (two horn speakers and one bass sphere); the Deluxe System (two horn speakers and two bass spheres); and the Deluxe Surround Sound System (four horn speakers and two bass spheres).
The Kickstarter project aims to raise £149,500 by Monday 10th before the deadline stand to receive a range of benefits, including the various configurations of the Clear Speaker System at significantly discounted prices.
Full details of Ferguson Hill’s Kickstarter campaign can be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/993695914/ferguson-hill-clear-speaker-system
The Clear Speaker System features the latest generation of Ferguson Hill’s ‘front-loaded horn dipole’ loudspeaker design, which the company pioneered in 2003 with its first product, the 160cm high, floorstanding FHOO1. Essentially, this involves a drive unit assembly that radiates sound waves fore and aft, mounted in the centre of an elliptical cone made from clear polycarbonate.
This cone, or ‘horn’, increases the overall efficiency of the driver, allowing sound to be more easily amplified and high volume levels reached with relatively little movement of the driver cone. This results in lower levels of distortion, as the amp and speakers don’t need to work so hard to reach a given volume, with excellent phase coherence at frequency ranges to which the human ear is most sensitive (340Hz – 20kHz).
In addition, the lack of a standard box-type speaker enclosure means there are no cabinet vibrations or internal standing waves to colour the sound. It all adds up to exceptional midrange clarity and stunning presence with instruments and voices, delivering vivid sonic detail within a spacious soundstage.
The Clear Speaker System recreates Ferguson Hill’s unique design concept in compact form to suit a wide range of applications in any given environment. The three available system configurations deliver flexibility according to the user’s requirements and budget, from two-channel stereo to surround sound, with either two or four horn speakers augmented by one or two bass speakers for deep, taut low frequency performance.
The horn speakers measure 42x27x19cm (HxWxD) and can be wall mounted using the supplied brackets, or secured to tall, elegant floor stands, also supplied. The bass speaker features a 20cm drive unit housed within a ported polycarbonate sphere with a diameter of 35cm, supported by three spiked aluminium feet.
Amp it up
The principal reason for Ferguson Hill’s Kickstarter campaign is to help fund the development of a compact, fully integrated amplifier that will be supplied with all three Clear Speaker System configurations. Already in the advanced stages of development, the amp is small enough to be secreted away on a shelf, rack or TV stand, yet it contains six amp modules to enable each drive unit in the Deluxe Surround System to be driven
by its own amplifier.
The amp delivers a total of 180W (the split per channel depending on the number of speakers in the system), incorporates a DAC and 5.1/7.1-channel surround sound processing, plus a range of analogue and digital inputs including USB and HDMI. Bluetooth connectivity is also supported, allowing music to be streamed wirelessly from compatible devices like smartphones and tablets.
Heard but not seen
The Ferguson Hill Clear Speaker System is the ideal marriage of form and function, one complementing the other in perfect harmony. The speakers’ design has clear sonic benefits, but also gives the system its unique visual appeal – like a collection of discrete sonic sculptures that vanish into their environment as a result of their transparent form. These are speakers that look and sound like no others – uniquely Ferguson Hill.
Availability and pricing
All three Clear Speaker System configurations are scheduled to launch in September 2014. Prices are expected to be around £895 for the Primary System, £1,125 for the Deluxe System and £1,395 for the Deluxe Surround Sound System.