Speaker designers use a variety of tools and engineering techniques to develop new products. But it’s not too often they also have a professional set of ears that knows exactly what to listen for during the evaluation process.
But that’s exactly the case for Ocean Way Audio, whose founder is Grammy winning recording engineer and producer Allen Sides. The company’s new Montecito loudspeaker premiered at 2014 International CES and is the next step forward from its AS1 loudspeaker because of its increased dynamic range and other performance improvements.
Ocean says the Montecito includes a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter with an aluminum voice coil that is encased in ferrofluid to help the tweeter’s power handling capabilities, while dampening resonances in the dome. The tweeter is built into a solid hardwood waveguide that is designed for wide dispersion and smooth tonal balance over a wide listening area.
The speaker also features a 10-inch Polymer coated cone, cast-frame midrange driver that’s bolstered by a 1.5-inch aluminum voice coil, and a pair of 12-inch aluminum woofers that are augmented by 2.5-inch aluminum voice coils that are capable of 1-inch excursions.
Ocean says the tweeter and midrange drivers’ voice coils are physically aligned to provide symmetrical, as well as linear time alignment, and the company points out that the Montecito also uses a passive third-order crossover that includes hand-matched components that are chosen to perform within 0.5dB from one another. The drivers and crossover are housed in a laminated birch plywood cabinet that also uses other high-density woods to eliminate cabinet colorations and internal resonances, and as part of the finishing process the enclosures are embellished in select mahogany and spruce inlays.
Externally, the speaker is available in a choice of finishes that are highlighted by 18 coats of polyester to help it blend into a variety of home interiors. Physically, the Montecito stands 52 inches tall, by 16 inches wide, by 22 inches deep.
Ocean specifies the $48,000 per pair Montecito’s frequency response to be 30Hz to 24kHz plus or minus 1.5dB, and a sensitivity rating of 88dB.