While carbon fiber is perhaps best known for its applications in the automotive and aerospace industries, new uses for the exceptionally sturdy but lightweight material have increased in recent years. The English audio manufacturer Wilson Benesch has been experimenting with the material, employing it in the new Endeavour stand-mounted loudspeakers (about $43,000 per pair), which push the limits of speaker design. In order to reduce the cabinet resonance caused by the drivers, the internal structure and shape of each speaker is curved, much like the shape of an aircraft fuselage. The material itself also contributes to resonance reduction.
Carbon fiber’s dampening properties and remarkable rigidity, which eliminate the need for the numerous internal structures of traditional speakers that employ wood or medium-density fiberboard, help enable a more natural presentation of sound in the Endeavour speakers. In the spirit of total sonic accuracy, Wilson Benesch has implemented an open-baffle woofer-drive system comprising two smaller drivers—one internal and one external—that face one another. This design enables the relatively small woofers to produce unusually low frequencies. As with previous Wilson Benesch loudspeakers, the Endeavour incorporates the manufacturer’s unique driver design on all woofers, midrange drivers, and tweeters. The company is currently accepting preorders for the Endeavour speakers, which are expected to become available in the United States this fall. (www.wilson-benesch.com; available in the United States through the Sound Organization, soundorg.com)