The mutual benefits of a constructive forum


Forums are strange places. There are those who thank the regulars for their input. While completely ignoring the fresh ideas they themselves brought to the floor. Their own potential impact on the subject may be far greater than the safe council of those who regularly offer basic constructive advice. 

The benefits of any constructive discussion are always mutual. Provided the exchange of ideas continuously redefines the possible within the flexible framework of the already known.

Hierarchical battles for supremacy are infinitely wasteful of time and energy. The pedant, dictator and bully block all progress until they can be finally overthrown. Their egos are all that they have to offer and this is poor sustenance for any form of true creativity. Their only purpose is in building their tinpot armies. With marching bands rigidly goose-stepping across their ego's empty parade ground.

The finest teachers are those who allow others to expand to fill their own potential. Thereby increasing the sum of human knowledge by facilitation and open questioning. Rather than forging endless bottlenecks and hurdles to overcome.

The best advisers do not dictate rigid rules. Instead, they allow others to answer their own questions in a creative way. The safety net only remains in place should they stumble. Or lose their nerve while scaling the heights. While still unfettered by dragging ropes.

Criticism and negativity do not fan the spark in the kindling of human endeavour. The freedom to explore new ideas should be a universal right. We learn far more from our mistakes than we ever do by slavishly following the footsteps of those who went before. That way lies the tyranny of countless rigid rules and regulations and stifling conformity. The chronically septic appendix of religion and dogma. Which sap the energy of all human society at present. Crippling its victims and all those they lock into their self-built, universal asylum.

A strong framework is still vital to avoid repeated, easily predictable failures through ignorance of what went before. Though the accepted forms should always be flexible enough to allow our minds to soar free. To continuously push the boundaries of the possible. This is the only real way forwards without extravagant waste. To dare to be different is the root of all human creativity. Not merely for its own sake but to add to the sum of the whole. Fear of failure must be the most common and contagious of human weakness.

Decoration has its place but never at the expense of fitness for purpose. The triumph of pointless detail over function is never a useful goal. This path leads to ostentation and finicky gargoyles. Mere competence only delays damnation by faint praise. Does an ark really require a gilded figurehead?

The finest creations are those which beguile us with their staggering simplicity. Those things which make us ask why nobody thought of it before. It seems so obvious that it was unthinkable. To have dared to have tried was all that stood in its way. These things have a unique beauty which does not jar. They leave us in awe at the genius behind it.

Perhaps the opposed driver, infinite baffle manifold should be included in the list of apparent simplicity concealing true genius? The manifold offers cancellation of reaction forces and the compact application of huge driver cone area. While maintaining coherent phase at the mouth. All without raising the free air resonance of the multiple drivers and achieved with the simplest of inexpensive and commonplace board materials.

No doubt further slight improvements are possible using more rigid materials. Though at the risk of greater complexity in manufacture. Moulded concrete, for example, offers far greater mass and rigidity at the expense of intricacy in producing a suitable mould which will safely avoid voids. Reaction forces are not the only drivers of sympathetic vibration in our building structures. Cyclic air pressure waves can set walls and even concrete floors into movement. Colouring the sound by spoiling the frequency response by addition and subtraction, cancellation and delayed output and phase changes.

Who knows what changes in manifold geometry might offer? Would a suspended (ABR?) diaphragm provide improved SQ or further reach into the deep infrasonic region? An entire wall could become a suspended diaphragm. Driven by multiple manifolds for uniformity of drive and massive pumping force. Several walls might be so treated at the expense of requiring more adjacent rooms as enclosures. Though the ceiling and attic/overhead rooms could be utilised. With ducts to the rear of the wall diaphragms. New 'miracle' carbon based materials are constantly being hyped in the media. Could these become our desired low mass, ultra-lightweight and completely inflexible diaphragms?

The sub-10Hz region seem to defy accurate reproduction with low distortion at suitably high levels in comparison with the rotary subwoofer. Is there any limit to the number and size of drivers which might be brought to bear on the problem of ULF reproduction? Apart from expense, of course. Would pumping losses between the listening room and enclosure eventually inhibit the potential for true ULF output? Is there an asymmetric arrangement between listening room and enclosures which would change our present knowledge of ULF reproduction? Has anybody mathematically modelled the IB in all its variations?

Several people have tried porting huge boxes. Port noise seems to be a common feature of their efforts. The vast flares required for equally large ports have yet to be applied to the efforts I have heard of so far. We have had little feedback as to the bandwidth and phase relative to the driver cones. One imagines the maths of the common reflex enclosure are not much affected by a huge leap in scale.

The most common drivers used for IB have a rather high natural resonance. Will steady improvements in drivers bring new fare to the IB table? Or will some new technology sweep all dynamic drivers into the bin of obsolescence?

I once imagined large numbers of SEDs (Sound Emitting Diodes) embedded over the listening room's entire wall surfaces to provide truly enormous piston area. Reproducing ULF at high levels with only microscopic  linear movements per unit. All thanks to the vast total area in comparison with coned drivers.

It would probably need a wireless system to drive each SED without the near-infinite complexity of wiring each and every unit. Built-in battery power per SED unit could be "flashed" with light or an EMP to recharge all the units at intervals. A "wallpaper" type backing material with billions of printed SEDs would seem the most obvious means of applying the sound reproduction system to the walls and ceiling. Though spraying in a support/adhesive medium might be possible if SED unit orientation was irrelevant to function. A spherical expanding/contracting flexible SED shell would make this possible. All a long way off and highly dependent on developing new technology.