The Origin Of Metal

Sometime before Christmas of 1997, I spotted a very interesting five inch speaker in an electronics catalog.

Judging from the printed specifications of this device, I put together a quick mental picture of a system design that would have a fairly small footprint, stand tall, and produce a nice full frequency sound.

The main idea of the design was to use 4 of these speakers as a single woofer unit and another as a midrange, creating a perfect relationship of phase and time alignment between the woofer section and the midrange.

Finding the right tweeter for this woofer ~ midrange combination would be a lot more difficult than expected. A 1 inch titanium dome would be the first try.

During this time, I was developing a software project named Super_Z which proved to be an invaluable tool for designing both the electrical and the acoustic systems of Metal.

As it turned out, Super_Z measurements of the 5 inch aluminum cone speakers yielded a much better design prediction than the specifications provided by the manufacturer.

...About a million details omitted and many different tweeter padding resisters later...

My friend Dean Hammonds, having his finished speakers in his room for quite a while, started to question the choice of tweeters. He did careful listening comparisons between his electrostatic headphones and Metal. He convinced me to start looking for a better tweeter.

Finally, something came up on the Web that looked like it might be a good match, a 1 inch dome of aluminum!

I ordered a pair for Dean and replaced his titanium tweeters. Both Dean and I agreed that the new aluminum tweeters were a perfect match with no padding at all. Soon after, all of the tweeters in my 5 piece surround system would also be replaced.

During all of this I had started on a pair of sub woofers to complement the system in early summer of 1999. Another project got in the way of finishing them until spring through summer of 2000.

Then came the weeks of discovering an active filter design, getting the right parts and building the 24dB / oct. Linkwitz-Riley active sub woofer crossover and power supply.

Finally, Metal, as a complete set of home theater speakers, went live in late summer of 2000.

This Website has been in constant evolution throughout the development of Metal. In some places the text assumes that "Metal" is a stereo pair of tall columns. In other places "Metal" is a five piece surround sound system of front and rear tall columns and a matching center channel. Then, finally, "Metal" has stereo sub woofers and an active sub woofer crossover and power supply.

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