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Olsen, John

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Systems Developer and Instrument Maker
Stereo sound came to Australia in 1958, I did not hear it until 1959, and by 1960 I had my first ‘home built’ stereo running. It was while purchasing the turntable for this first stereo that I was exposed to a concrete ‘pipe’ speaker. I was not impressed by the speaker but by the enthusiasm of it’s creator. In about 1970, a friend Morris Fabricant (jazz muso) mentioned a concrete pipe enclosure that he had read about. The construction details as he remembered them were (luckily) wrong - the article eventually turned up some years later, with a configuration that was then tried, but did not work as well. The first concrete pipe enclosures worked, but were lacking in treble. The curved cone above the then single driver speaker was my idea, which largely fixed the treble problem. It took about 18 months of sequential trial and error to ‘de-bug’ the original pair of pipes. The concept was so good it was worth pursuing. The first major change to the basic design came with the use of multiple small speaker drivers when the European Common Market caused an almost five fold increase in the price of the original speaker use& with poor availability and lower quality as a small English firm tried to keep up with huge demand. A larger diameter pipe using four, then six small speakers and a revised passive radiator cone quickly produced a spectacular improvement. Portability was always a problem due to a 350kg mass and when large diameter plastic pipe became available with but 10% of the pipe mass, a serious re-think was undertaken, exposing a new set of problems. Lateral thinking, new machinery invented and the availability of thick section recycled plastic flat sheet now means that the plastic enclosures are superior in audio performance, are portable and environmentally friendly, being almost totally recyclable. The next challenge is to make Tubular Loudspeaker Enclosures smaller without loss of performance.
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Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: Iain Mott
Created: 11 December 2002

Published by The University of Melbourne
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: i.mott@unimelb.edu.au
Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 18 January 2007

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