Onkyo Now Shipping D-TK10 Loudspeaker
Aug 24, 2006 8:00 AM
Onkyo is now shipping an unusual loudspeaker, designed jointly with renowned guitar manufacturer Takamine, that begs the philosophical question: Should audio gear be a clinically impartial reproducer of the original music or can it have a subtle musical personality of it own?
Audiophiles and audio engineers have long debated the relative sound quality of vacuum tubes, vinyl records, Class A amplifiers, exotic speaker cables and so on. However, while the musical character of some devices was often a happy coincidence, there is nothing unintentional about this new loudspeaker from Onkyo and Takamine.
The Onkyo D-TK10 is revolutionary because its designers consciously rejected the inert-box acoustics of conventional speaker cabinetry in favor of a freely-vibrating thin-wall enclosure based on high-end guitar construction. Through strategic placement of struts, stringers, and thickness variations, the speaker harnesses the sounds that would normally be absorbed within the enclosure to stimulate carefully controlled cabinet resonances for a much fuller and richer sonic character. "For thousands of years, the stringed instrument makers have exploited the acoustic character of hollow wooden enclosures to create beautiful music," says Paul Wasek, Onkyo marketing manager. "Modern audio engineers, on the other hand, have sought to deaden the sound of the loudspeaker enclosure, so the only sounds we hear are from the tweeters and woofers. Now, Onkyo and Takamine have turned that thinking on its head.
"The D-TK10 has thin walls that vibrate like a guitar body, adding depth and character to the music. Unlike conventional speakers, the Onkyo D-TK10 is not an impartial transducer. It sounds very accurate, yet it enhances the music in a way that must be heard to be appreciated."
The long development process of these speakers began after some promising experiments at Onkyo in 2003. Shortly thereafter, Onkyo enlisted Takamine's engineering and design team to help bridge the gap between speaker and instrument, creating a cabinet based on the materials, design and techniques used to craft Takamine's highly regarded acoustic guitars. From this point, each evolution of the design got better and better until the speakers were finally put into production in the summer of 2006.
The D-TK10's bass-reflex cabinet is constructed of mahogany, and features a sophisticated system of internal bracing that contributes to the precisely tuned cabinet vibration which gives the speaker its warm sound quality. The 4-inch cone woofer features Onkyo's new lightweight and rigid A-OMF (Advanced Onkyo Micro Fiber) monocoque diaphragm, which helps prevent driver breakup even at high excursions. Upper frequency reproduction is handled by a one-inch ring-drive tweeter that is capable of flat frequency response all the way up to 100 kHz.
The Onkyo D-TK10 features gold-plated binding posts that are compatible with banana plugs, spade lugs, or bare wire. The speakers are magnetically shielded, allowing them to operate near video equipment without degrading picture quality.
Due to the labor-intensive assembly process, production of the Onkyo D-TK10 speakers is limited to just fifty pairs per month. They are available in the US exclusively through www.shoponkyo.com at a suggested retail price of $1,999 per pair.
For more information, visit www.onkyousa.com or call (800) 229-1687.