Acoustic Energy Reference Three

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Acoustic Energy Reference Three
Monday, March 25, 2013

Acoustic Energy has a new flagship speaker in the Reference Three floorstander. Running a ring radiator tweeter, metal midrange and pair of five inch metal bass drivers this three-way is as sophisticated under the skin as it is glossy on top. The cabinet is made out of two skins of MDF sandwiching a composite rubber layer in order stop resonance being transmitted by the cabinet. AE’s research concluded that a sandwich made up of 7mm MDF, 3mm rubber and 5mm MDF produces the best balance of stiffness and elasticity, and approach that in theory should result in a very ‘quiet’ loudspeaker that only emits sound from its drivers.

The Ring Radiator tweeter was developed with the assistance of Danish manufacturer Vifa and is an evolution of those used elsewhere in AE’s range which also features a DXT ‘lens’ which is designed to improve the off axis response for better imaging. The midrange has a 110mm aluminium cone with a “massive underhung motor assembly” and twin wound aluminium voice coils that are thermally bonded to the cone. The 130mm bass drivers have oversize ferrite magnets and are said to have reduced thermal compression as a result of the heat dissipating qualities of twin alloy voice coils.

The crossover includes high-voltage polypropylene capacitors, laminate core inductors and a transformer to match the tweeter output to the midrange. This means that there are no resistors in the high frequency signal path which has got to be a good thing. The crossover is isolated from the cabinet with an elastomeric damping material and the speaker stands just under a metre high at 990mm. The the Reference Three retails for £3,995.