Updated: Feb 3
amphion krypton 3 loudspeakers - an overview
I've had the pleasure of working with these loudspeakers at several shows now, and felt that I had to write about them in order to highlight just what makes them tick. At first look, the hand made Amphion Krypton 3 loudspeakers may seem like your average pair of loudspeakers with a typical driver layout. But there’s far more to them than initially meets the eye.
The Krypton 3 speakers are the result of over 15 years of development. Their controlled dispersion and other innovations are claimed to reduce reflections from side and back walls by up to 20dB - that's a massive amount, and hugely helpful in producing a more faithful and neutral sound in even the most awkward rooms.
1" titanium high frequency unit
Let's start with the tweeter, which is a lightweight and very stiff 1” titanium HF unit, using a clever waveguide to control the dispersion of high frequencies so that you get more direct sound from them and less high frequencies bouncing around your room messing up the sound. Despite having four drivers in the cabinet, his relatively small driver takes care of frequencies from 30kHz right down to 1600Hz, which is a much lower than many other loudspeakers. Just to put that in perspective, if you divided the Krypton 3's frequency range into roughly 1kHz sections, this 1" driver covers just over 28 of those sections out of 30! The average crossover point of most speakers is around 3kHz (sometimes up to 5kHz).
One added bonus here is that just over 28/30ths of the signal uses the waveguide, meaning that more of the directional frequency range you hear come from a single point, providing better imaging and cohesion. Another bonus is that the crossover point is moved away from the 2kHz-5kHz frequency range to which our ears are most sensitive.
Because this unit reaches lower than normal, notes that would usually be reproduced by a large combined bass/midrange unit are now created by a much smaller, lightweight, and therefore far more responsive driver, and away from the long excursions of bass notes. All this adds up to more faithfully reproduced leading edges of notes from numerous instruments like guitars, revealing the presence that these instruments naturally have.
dual 8" papyrus midrange drivers
Either side of the HF unit are two 8” Papyrus midrange drivers, and are ribbed in such a way as to act like larger midrange drivers in respect of surface area. Two 8" midrange drivers may sound a little excessive, but together they allow a huge amount of headroom, providing an effortlessly smooth midrange output without any strain at all, regardless of output level. This is one aspect that contributes to their realistic, natural sound. Why not just use a single larger midrange driver? Good question. Whilst it may have certain benefits, it just wouldn't fit on the front of the fairly slimline cabinet for starters (only 9.5" wide), but using two smaller drivers allows faster reaction times and control, producing a more accurate end result.
You may notice a large number of holes in the side of the cabinet directly behind the midrange drivers. These give away the shape of the dedicated 'v shaped' sections of the cabinet in which these midrange drivers are individually housed. These holes allow the sound produced from the rear of the drivers to escape the cabinet, rather than having nowhere for them to go, and finding their way back to the rear of the driver and affecting the midrange driver's ultimate performance. This allows the midrange drivers to do what they're designed to do, again, allowing them to sound more accurate and natural. I liken the sound of this open cabinet effect to comparing a pair of closed back headphones to a pair of open back headphones - open back sound far more natural than closed ones. This is evident in the naturally easy and open sound the Krypton 3 speakers provide.
10" long throw bass driver
Last but not least, a long throw, 10” aluminium bass driver is located in one the side of the cabinet. This 'one side placement' allows the bass drivers to be faced inward or outward, in order to better suit your listening space or preference. Aluminium is both light and rigid, ideal for accurate low frequency performance.
The bass driver section of the cabinet is ported to the rear of the cabinet with two small ports. Most small ports tend to produce high velocity air flow, which brings with it numerous issues. The air flow of the ports of the Krypton 3s is minimal, even at high volumes, so despite their placement near to a wall reinforcing bass output, you don't suddenly end up with excessive, unbalanced bass - they can be placed fairly close to a wall with minimal effect on their bass output.
This mean looking driver deals with a relatively small section of the frequency range, only needing to reach up to 160Hz due to the massive capabilities of the dual midrange drivers mentioned above. The advantage of this is that they're able to reach all the way down to 22Hz at only -3dB, a specification that many dedicated subwoofers would be jealous of!
Below is a short but interesting video for the Krypton 3 loudspeakers.
The Krypton 3s effortlessly fill large rooms, but due to the above innovations, can also work very well in smaller rooms too, more so than other similarly sized loudspeakers, and particularly well in acoustically awkward spaces.
davidf @the little audio company
the little audio
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