FrontRunners: Aerial Stunts

Ribbon speakers produce the upper frequencies—the most important segment of the sound spectrum—with superb speed and clarity, which is exactly why Michael Kelly is partial to them.

The president and chief designer of Aerial Acoustics (www­.aerialacoustics.com) also understands that they do a poor job of re-creating lower frequencies. Therefore, for the new Model 20T loudspeaker, Kelly created a seamless hybrid that prevents the listener from distinguishing where the sound crosses over from the frequencies delivered by the ribbon to the cones handling the midrange. The result is a sound so lifelike that when listening to violinist Arturo Delmoni accompany a recording of himself and an organist playing an orchestral suite, it is difficult to discern the live music from the recorded music.

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