Philharmonia by Amadeus is a very high definition monitoring system combining innovation and technology, with style, and a pristine sonic character. The new speakers were initially created specifically for the Philharmonie de Paris recording and mastering studios, which were built to capture performances by the world’s most prestigious symphonic orchestras. The new speakers were designed by Michel DELUC, Amadeus’ Director of Research & Development, along with world-renown architect Jean NOUVEL, who designed the new Philharmonie de Paris concert hall.
The new Philharmonia 2-way, self-powered speakers feature a 28-mm soft-domed tweeter and a custom 8-inch woofer, and boast analog and digital inputs with a customized integrated DAC and an amplitude linearity range (±2dB) from 43 Hz to 22 KHz. The high-frequency driver features very low dielectric losses and high thermal conductivity, loaded behind a fast exponential waveguide machined in wood, which yields exceptional control over spatial dispersion.
The cabinets are custom manufactured from layered Birch and stand 1.6 meters tall, the casing contains the electronics inside the lower part of the speaker enclosure. Each speaker is comprised of 547 wood veneers, accurately machined, aligned and glued, yielding a look that’s both simple and complex, and yet timeless. Each speaker features a unique hybrid laminar port using progressive termination for reproducing low frequencies. Machined into the wood material along the full height of the speaker system, the very low velocity port yields optimal linearity for the lowest possible distortion.
When the Philharmonia speakers were unveiled at the Prolight+Sound Expo in Frankfurt in April 2015 they received an enthusiastic response from
top engineers, producers, and the press.
On hearing a prototype of the new speakers for the first time, Thierry CODUYS, a top recording engineer, musician and artist,
recalls, “Experiencing the Philharmonia, perceiving their transparency, smoothness, and accuracy – and discovering or
rediscovering musical masterpieces – is a unique, sensory and artistic experience.”
He has worked with a diverse clientele of super-star classical composers including Karlheinz
Philharmonia is bi-amplified using two dedicated very high resonance digital custom-built amplifiers, each amp delivers 700 Watts under 8 ohms. These proprietary PPM-PWM fixed frequency class-D amplifiers are equipped with a high-efficiency switched mode power supply. Each speaker channel is under control by a powerful, 64-bit digital processing unit capable of a 118 dB dynamic range. Each of these on-board DSP units include a module dedicated to managing core system parameters including system EQ, time alignment between sections, limiting, transducer thermal protection. This level of control makes Philharmonia fully protected and able to operate at the full extent of its abilities.
With line-level XLR analog input, Philharmonia lets users choose their own DAC, while at the same time, given that digital-to-analog conversion should happen at the latest possible stage in an electro-acoustical monitoring system, Philharmonia also integrates two digital inputs/outputs conforming to the AES3 digital audio data transfer standard. These are coupled with a high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz converter placed as close as possible to the electronic amplifiers, thus working together in perfect combination. The speakers also feature an RJ-45 network input allowing remote control of its DSP processor for optimal adjustment via dedicated software to match the speakers to the acoustical properties of each listening space. The software is an app that runs on Apple Macintosh and iPad, and Microsoft Windows computers.
As always, a huge part of speaker design is the components. “They have been carefully selected, evaluated, listened to, and combined,” explains Michel DELUC. “The amplifier includes a built-in DSP module, with digital filtering functions such as system EQ, time alignment between HF and LF sections, limiter parameters, thermal protection of the transducers, and more.” He adds a personal note about the low-frequency port, “The aerodynamics of Philharmonia's tuning ports is a masterpiece. It has been largely empirical, inspired by aesthetic aspects, and based on hybrid low-velocity laminar ports using progressive termination. This leads to a rather complex and major technological innovation, whose theory is still in its infancy.”