A combination of traditional folk art and science


Strange But True Norh And B&W

On June 30, 1998, Yuths, director of engineering,   brought me a copy of the Thai Audio Magazine--Stereo.  It had an article on a new series of loudspeakers being introduced by B&W.  The series is the Nautilus 800.  The midrange unit looks very much like the nOrh. B&W claims they spent over $2 million USD designing this new series.  They claim it is the best sounding loudspeaker in the world.

B&W has a history of building outstanding products that are recognized as among the best in the world.

When we saw the article we sent a letter to B&W letting them know that we had been in production with a loudspeaker that looked remarkably similar to their new series.  We were particularly surprised that they referred to their design as an inverted horn. This is exactly the same term we employed referring to our design.

We are absolutely certain that B&W arrived at their conclusions independent of our research.  We arrived at our conclusions through observation. We observed the shape of the Thai longdrum.  We researched how it impacted the sound and we modified its specifications to work with loudspeakers.

Ironically, our initial drawings showed the tweeter mounted on top of the loudspeaker.  We wanted to do this because this would limit the reflections off the surface of the speaker. Through testing, we decided to place the tweeter in the same cabinet as the woofer and use a felt surface to reduce reflections. Our testing proves that this approach is valid.

What B&W and nOrh have discovered independent of one another is that the shape that we both call an inverted horn does indeed have a very positive impact on the sound of the loudspeaker.  We carve our loudspeakers from solid wood logs. B&W has a new process they invented that uses layers of thin sheets of plywood to form the shape.

One July 5, 1998, we had an opportunity to see and briefly listen to the new B&W Nautilus 801, B&W Nautilus 802 and the Nautilus 805.  I can confirm that the 801 and 802  are  beautiful loudspeakers.  In Thailand, the 801 sells for 1,000,000 baht per pair. That is about $22,000 USD. The price I have seen quoted in the US is about half that amount.

We had a chance to listen to the 801s for a brief period.   I could tell that these are very good sounding loudspeakers. Unfortunately, the music that was played was very light material and it didn't really give the speakers an opportunity to show their stuff.  Both the 801s and the 802s look like excellent systems.

The B&W new series have received praise from most magazines.  People are not at all turned off by their different look and reviewers are acknowledging that the shape of their speaker does impact the sound.

I honestly prefer the sound of the nOrh 7.0 to the B&W 801.  I feel that the nOrh 6.5 has more in common to the B&W than does the nOrh 7.0. I don't believe that you can buy better drivers than SCANSPEAK.

The nOrh loudspeaker is designed for individuals with more modest budgets that being addressed by the new B&W series.  We are confident that in the price range that we are addressing, we are offering one of the best sounding loudspeakers in the world.

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