Headed by Patrice Congard, Audio Excellence shares the same home as Screen Excellence in Rendlesham, Suffolk, UK. Congard has not only designed a system consisting of a speaker range with matching amplifiers and DSPs, but also aims to promote the ‘Congard Code’ which is a methodology for configuring a surround sound system. The Congard Code seeks to challenge, and improve upon, some common misconceptions that our industry applies when designing and then calibrating a system.
The main difference in the way that the system is configured is centred around the routing of the bass signals. For example, in most home cinema configurations, bass frequencies that the satellite speakers cannot deliver are channelled through to the LFE subwoofer. Congard argues that this is bad practice and the LFE channel should be solely for LFE.
Instead, frequencies below 100Hz from the Vertex ‘limited range’ left, centre and right speakers are directed to bass extension speakers below the front screen. This in effect creates full-range loudspeakers for the crucial LCR signal. Traditionally, this would require three very large and deep full range speakers across the front, which cannot be catered for on most installations. Vertex and the matching Raijuu bass extension woofers are only 102mm deep!
As a result, the Audio excellence system sounds powerful, controlled and ‘correct’. Further tips from the Congard Code recommend simpler use of speaker delays; this helps to avoid the ‘sweet spot’ problem so that more people can enjoy the sound across the seating area. Surround speakers remain set to ‘full range’, which avoids unnecessary re-routing of LF signals, which are barely used in these channels. Again, retaining a simpler signal path for the audio and better impact for the movie enthusiast.
The products themselves include three new Vertex loudspeakers for on or in-wall installation, for small to large rooms.
Vertex 1 with its 1” dome tweeter and 5” bass-mid driver can output 90dB at 1W/1m. Vertex 1 suits home cinemas where the distance from the screen (speakers) to the front row is up to 3m.
Vertex 2 has a 1” HF compression driver and 6.5” bass-mid and outputs 92dB at 1W/1m. Vertex 2 suits home cinemas where the distance from the screen (speakers) to the front row is between 3 and 5m.
Vertex 3 requires bi-amplification for a 1” HF compression driver, a 6.5” mid-range and two 8” bass units. Output is 96dB at 1W/1m. Vertex 3 suits home cinemas where the distance from the screen (speakers) to the front row is more than 5m.
Raijuu 1 is a closed box passive 12” subwoofer suitable for Bass Extension of LFE use in a small room. At only 102mm deep, its performance completely defies its appearance.
Raijuu 2 is an 18” vented passive subwoofer dedicated for LFE.
Raijuu 2A is a new active version with amplification and DSP built in.
Quattro 06 is a four channel Class TD power amplifier of 600W/p/ch into 8 Ohms.
Quattro 04 is a four channel Class TD power amplifier of 400W/p/ch into 8 Ohms.
DSP Quattro 06 is a four channel Class TD power amplifier of 600W/p/ch into 8 Ohms. This model includes DSP for applying the Congard Code to LCR speakers.
OCTO is an eight channel Class D power amplifier of 500W/p/ch into 8 Ohms.
Control DP4.8 is a digital sound processor ideal for applying the Congard Code to systems configures with Vertex 3.
Control DP4.6 is a digital sound processor ideal for applying the Congard Code to systems configures with Vertex 1 & 2.
“Our clients are generally building houses in locations with very high land values. The ability to provide world class, beyond commercial cinema performance in such a shallow package allows us to make the best use of that space without compromising the audio quality.”
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