What happens when you take the best loudspeaker drivers available on the world market and connect them with the most innovative and sophisticated frequency crossover technology regardless of costs and used parts?
The isophon Cassiano offers you the answer.
San Cassiano, a ski resort in Southern Tyrol donated the name for a unique loudspeaker project. The aim was to create a reference loudspeaker with almost compact dimensions which can be integrated into any modern living-room. In addtion, the music shall vanish away from the cabinets producing a sound stage as natural as can be.
It took us at isophon many listening sessions disregarding price and effort of any component until the basic concept was clear.
Ceramic diaphragms –
HighTech Made in Germany
Since more than 20 years now the company of Thiel in Germany is dedicated to the design and manufacturing of ceramic diaphragms for loudspeakers. These diaphragms are thin and fragile but unite contradictionary properties like light weight, hardness and stiffness which are important for good diaphragms. The high speed of sound of ceramics shifts partial waves and resonances into the inaudible region where they can be cut off by steep frequency crossovers. These diaphragms enabled us to use our unique frequency crossover technology.
The same is true for the properties of the diamond tweeter (optional feature). Not only is diamond light and stiff, it is also the hardest material and the one with the best heat dissipation of all materials in the world. Especially important is the high heat dissipation as it prevents the voice-coil from becoming warm which leads to a compression of dynamics and worse resolution. In combination with our steep filter crossover this tweeter is almost indestructable.
A loudspeaker is not a musical instrument. Resonances due to vibrating enclosure walls are a desired property of all musical instrument leading to the special sound and tone of it. In contradiction loudspeaker enclosures must not vibrate as this leads to dramatic coloration of the sound. Such resonances distort and interfere every musical signal leading to an undesired intrinsic sound.
To solve this problem we go new ways. The damping of resonances and shielding of sound is not achieved by thick and heavy wooden panels but by a tricky combination of different materials and their composition. The inner layer is formed by a three-layer multiplex fibre-board. An MDF-board with slits running all the way down from the top to the bottom of the cabinet follows. A hard plastics-layer with the aluminum layer on it closes the walls. These layers are bent and glued together under pressure giving the drop shaped, stiff enclosure wall. But the sand filling really is the clou: before mounting the top cover fine-grained quartz sand is filled into the slits from top to bottom. These 18 pounds of sand increase stiffness and damping of the cabinet in an ideal way. Vibrations are highly damped and sound dissipation is suppressed by the sand. Stiffening boards inside the cabinet prevent the cabinet from vibrating additionally. The cover is stiffened by a second board, in between with a high-damping biutme-plate. You see: extreme efforts to eliminate all disturbing “enclosure sound”.
As the first loudspeaker in the world the Cassiano introduces a new, revolutionary damping material called Twaron®. Twaron® was selected from us after various listening tests. It suppresses all air-resonaces inside the midrange enclosure without damping the transparency of the midrange driver. Please concentrate especially on the reproduction of the air around instruments and voices when listening. Twaron® makes the difference!
Why a frequency crossover?
Like practically all renowned reference loudspeakers in the world the Cassiano is a three-way speaker: the frequency range between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz is divided into three regions: the bass, midrange and highs which are irradiated by different drivers. This is recommendable because woofers have to be big and heavy and tweeters small and light.
The frequency crossover is a complicated circuit made up of resistors, capacitors and inductors which directs the three frequency regions to their corresponding drivers. Unfortunately using only a capacitor and an inductor leads to poor separation and the single drivers overlap over a very broad frequency band. Moreover, they get too much energy which leads to dynamical compression and low power capability. Up to now frequency filters up to the 4. th order that means with 24 db/octave steepness were thought to be the highest feasible separation. The Cassiano goes far beyond that: with a steepness of separation of more than 50 dB/octave it has a unique stand on the world market! Prejudices often mentioned against steep filters causing loss in dynamics and spaciousness are definitely destroyed by the Cassiano – exactly these features are its strengths!
Moreover, the Cassiano still keeps more secrets which are reponsible for its excellent sonic behavior. Silver-oil filled foil capacitors, foil inductors, aircore inductors for lowest distortion, transformer-like inductors for lowest resistance and high amplifier damping as well as many other components, selected by the ear, feature the long list of Cassiano’s ingredients.
You see in all details the Cassiano is one of the most sophisticated loudspeakers in the world! Just waiting for to tempt you!