Research & Development: Phase Coherence

Whoa, trippy!

Try to concentrate here. We're going to say a few words about phase coherence, and how superior Paradigm crossover design guarantees it.

Short lesson: The natural acoustic characteristics of all drivers (size, materials) limit their use to specific frequency ranges. Two or more drivers are usually required to cover the complete range of audible sounds. A crossover network divides the input signal so that each driver only receives the frequencies that it can reproduce. Since drivers are physically separated from each other, there will be phase (or timing) differences between their outputs. That is, they will never move in perfect syncronization.

Fig. 1) Typical Phase Coherence: The large notch in both on- and off-axis response curves shows a lack of phase coherence between drive units. They are not in perfect synchronization.

When speakers are out of phase, this action can introduce anomalies that result in muddy or indistinct sounds, lack of detail and fuzzy imaging. Or, how you feel after staring at that image up top for a few more minutes.

Achieving more accurate phase alignment between separate drivers can be accomplished in a number of ways.

Methods used over the years include: physical alignment, placing drivers on stepped baffles or sloped baffles; mounting tweeters coaxially or coincidentally; or electrical alignment through various crossover design techniques.

While each of these solutions has its supporters and detractors, none are perfect, and some methods may even produce more serious sonic anomalies.

After years of research and development, Paradigm engineers mastered the art of electrical alignment, and have produced some of the world's most advanced phase-coherent crossover designs. This method produces the smoothest, least mechanical phase alignment, relying instead on instantaneous electrical impulses. The instantly summed output of the drivers is completely and accurately rejoined.

You can actually see the results in measurement graphs where the speaker’s frequency response shows a completely seamless transition from driver to driver, both on- and off-axis.

Fig. 2) Paradigm speakers have outstanding phase coherence between drive units for superb, seamless sonic integration.

The resulting crossover-based phase coherence solution faithfully preserves the sonic integrity of the original signal with tremendous clarity and resolution, and delivers it over a wide, dynamic and detailed dispersion area.