OBX-RW4 is the top model in the range, with outboard (OBX) crossovers.
The OBX-RW4 outboard crossover variant allows the capacitors, inductors and resistors to be isolated from the high levels of mechanical energy inside the loudspeaker cabinet. All crossover components are microphonic to a greater or lesser extent, so housing them externally minimises this feedback and provides appreciable benefits. Furthermore, an external crossover facilitates a more generous physical separation of the crossover components. Even when components are laid out with mutually orthogonal orientation, there is still a degree of inductive and capacitive coupling which disturbs the crossover’s behaviour. Generous physical separation eliminates this parasitic coupling.
This approach confers several musically valuable benefits – a quieter background, an elasticity and freedom of dynamic range and a more distinct and intelligible acoustic space conveying time and poise. This quality contextualises the musical performance adding to the easy suspension of disbelief. The outboard crossover has further benefits; tonal colours are more radiant; textures are more distinct and unambiguous; the presentation is calmer with more expression in the playing. Perhaps most importantly, dense, complex passages are easily comprehensible and unforced.
The OBX-RW4 sets an absolute performance benchmark irrespective of size or price. It is everything the serious listener could wish for, capable of compelling storytelling with perfect timing and heartfelt lyricism as well as the ability to shock, surprise and transcend. The OBX-RW4 is a musical communicator of the highest order. For the very focused music lover the OBX-RW4 is the way to go.
Each Auditorium is ideally suited to exploiting the inherent advantages of class A valve amplification, and has been designed and voiced with the output impedance (and damping factor) of zero/low negative feedback direct-heated Triode designs in mind. In smaller rooms, the 8 watts offered by a single-ended 300B design can be fully realised, however we recommend the use of amplifiers with 15 watts or more to exploit the full dynamic potential available on a broad range of music programmes. The dispersion characteristics of the Auditorium Series are such that they create a coherent soundstage even for listeners sitting significantly off-axis. This is emphatically not a ‘hot spot’ design.