PERFORMANCE OF THE NEXT GENERATION
The Omnium is a celebration of the “modular design” that Wilson Benesch added to its design philosophy when it released the ground-breaking Odyssey Range in 2001. With each new design, the modular design approach builds upon the subtle lessons of its predecessor. Like the Porsche 911, the Omnium is then not a singular design, but rather the latest evolution of a living lineage – more than 30-years of incremental improvement in the pursuit of genuine world-class audio reproduction. It is this heritage that can be seen to have honed every single detail of the new Omnium loudspeaker.
The name Omnium was chosen in recognition of this landmark, the name means of all, and it is a reference to the heritage of three decades of research and development that has come before it.Whilst the Omnium references all that has come before it, it is also a product that marks the dawn of the next generation of materials technologies developed through a collaborative research and development project – SSUCHY.
Tactic 3.0 Drive Unit
A new generation of drive unit that adheres to a steadfast design philosophy, the Tactic 3.0 drive unit retains the isotactic polypropylene cone which offers the optimal balance of stiffness and damping. This unique blend of material properties allows Wilson Benesch to maintain the crossover free, directly amplifier coupled design for the midrange drive unit. The direct link maintains zero-phase distortion. It is the harmonious relationship between these two elements that opens the heart of the music, providing the listener with a realistic, immediate, highly articulate, yet natural character of the sound. Inspired by solutions found in nature and interpreted by Fibonacci’s formula, the new Fibonacci element results in a drive unit that produces text-book perfect roll off without any inductor, extended frequency response up to 4KHz and a flat frequency response within its operating range.
In 2012, Wilson Benesch introduced the Semisphere, the world’s first hybrid tweeter dome design based on Carbon fibre. The design highlighted our understanding of composite materials technology, specifically the need for damping as well as high specific stiffness in audio structures. The latest iteration of Wilson Benesch tweeter technology builds upon the Semisphere tweeter design pushing it into the next generation. The Fibonacci tweeter faceplate is formed from a carbon fibre composite structure, creating a geometrically optimised waveguide, tailored exactly to the unique output of the Silk-Carbon Hybrid tweeter dome. This faceplate and the motor is in turn decoupled from the rest of the tweeter chassis, achieving not only ruler flat frequency response and ultrawide dispersion characteristics but also optimal frequency and timing integration with the Tactic 3.0 midrange drive unit. The proprietary Neodymium magnet – open architecture precision machined componentry ensures optimal energy paths for both acoustic and thermal energy; critical design considerations where super low distortion levels are aspired to.
Isobaric Drive System (IDS)
The principle low frequency load of the Omnium is delivered by a series of Isobaric Drive Systems. Here two drive units combine to create a clamshell formation, with one drive unit diaphragm facing the other working in a push-pull formation. The Isotactic Drive System is responsible for reproducing incredibly tight and controlled bass response that is perfectly integrated with the midrange Tactic 3.0 drive unit.
There are no transient delays in nature. So, it should come as no surprise, that transducers that exhibit the fastest transient response come closer to reproducing natural sound more accurately. This has been a guiding principle in all Wilson Benesch drive unit development. The basic Laws of physics dictate that a large woofer will never function with the speed and dynamics of a small drive unit. Such drive units cannot accelerate or decelerate at the same speed as smaller woofers and timing and integration is central to creating natural, lifelike audio reproduction. The step-response of the Isobaric Drive System is almost identical to that of the Tactic 3.0 midrange drive units ensuring almost perfect integration across the audio band.
Carbon Fibre Composite Top – STEALTH
When a sound wave strikes a flat surface, sound is reflected in a predictable directional manner provided that the dimension of the reflective surface is large compared to the wavelength of the sound. However, the reflective nature of a structure varies according to the shape of the surface. Uneven surfaces will tend to scatter energy, rather than reflect it coherently. In good design, form always follows function. So whilst the Omnium carbon composite top is a beautiful structure, its complex form is critical to the performance of the loudspeaker. By removing as many flat, reflective surfaces and creating complex curved structures, sound waves striking the loudspeaker enclosure are scattered and their energy and therefore audible presence reduced. The Omnium owes much of its phenomenal capacity to present a spatial soundstage and transparent imaging, to the curved carbon composite forms of the top and the A.C.T. 3Zero Monocoque. The loudspeaker stealthily disappears within the listening space, leaving an ethereal soundstage and lifelike presentation.
The new A.C.T. 3zero Monocoque
The A.C.T. 3zero Monocoque is constructed from natural materials that are both renewable and sustainable. Through a collaborative effort with our partners, an exhaustive list of materials and hybridised structural layups were analysed, tested, and evaluated. The resulting biocomposite monocoque is almost entirely free of oil-based material use. Even the resin that the previous generation carbon fibre monocoque used has been replaced with a Bio Resin. Manufacturing is an energy intensive process, so as part of the SSUCHY Project, the manufacturing process has also been refined and optimised. Wilson Benesch’s Vacuum Resin Transfer Moulding (VRTM) manufacturing systems have been fully upgraded to the State-of-the-Art. Thanks to rigorous testing and development using Finite Element Analysis (FEA), the SSUCHY Team have been able to model and determine optimal resin flow and other critical settings for the VRTM systems. This means that the new A.C.T. 3zero Monocoque at the heart of the Omnium now requires just half the energy that was used to produce the previous generation monocoque.
Omnium Foot and Kinematic Location
The stepped features seen in the Omnium’s foot are a reference its larger sibling the Eminence. Hewn in house by Wilson Benesch from a single billet of aluminium to reduce an 80kg solid billet of aluminium by more than half, to create a single 38kg Omnium loudspeaker foot. This formidable component governs over the energy above by way of the 14mm tie bolts that generate a metric ton of compressive pressure through the Omnium enclosure. This is the foundation, ground zero and arbiter of performance.