John Young, the founder of ACOUSTICIMAGERY© and his partner Hilary Russ have had a passion for music for many years. John is the driving force behind the ACOUSTICIMAGERY© range of products and Hilary takes care of ACOUSTICIMAGERY DESIGN©, the graphics side of the business. As far back as the 1980's John started his interest in Hi-Fi by first working part-time in a retail outlet in Guildford, Surrey and then with the late Steve Williams a small turntable manufacturing company was formed. OAK Turntables were a modest success but CD was looming and the demise of vinyl was predicted in the wake of 'pure perfect sound' via digital carriers. Being highly critical of the new 'CD sound' John and a couple of other like minded manufacturers decided to join forces and attack this malaise at source...
"The recording studios and the producers/engineers inside needed help to actually hear what was being commited to tape. After gaining access to a number of top studios and top artists as well, I observed that the monitoring systems in most of the control rooms were either huge monster 'PA derived' systems capable of making ears bleed! or, tiny 'joke' car audio speakers or, at best, small hi-fi speakers.
Connect a 1000watt Crown amp to a small hi-fi speaker and pretty soon you get.....smoke! and no sound. You see, pro audio people didn't get the hi-fi concept back in 1986, they probably used 2 core mains lead for speaker cables! Of course, at this point I must apologise to the classical fraternity who in general were using high quality monitoring in the form of B&W, Quad, Spendor et al."
The concept of a Hi-Fi speaker system with onboard electronic crossover and power amplifiers was not new but very few designers and manufacturers implemented it for studios in a mid size, stand alone cabinet.
The 'Wellard Middle Monitor' was born. Customers started with Phil Collins and, during his evaluation prior to purchase, the monitors were used to record and finally mix the Genesis album 'Invisible Touch' Windmill Lane studios purchased 3 pairs for their complex in Dublin and more of the great and good followed over the next 2 years. Midge Ure, Mark King, Stock Aitken Waterman, Tears for Fears, Jason Corsaro, Depeche Mode and Japanese broadcast company NHK are among those who turned to a high quality mid field monitor for checking the music being recorded and put on CD. In every recording studio in 2016, almost all quality monitoring is the active mid field type.
Through the 90's and into the 21st century, John has always held the belief that active loudspeakers are the best way to high quality sound. His own domestic system has always been a version of the 'Wellards' albeit somewhat larger. These days the concept has evolved into a custom system using a 42 litre bass enclosure with a Volt BM 2500.4 bass mid driver coupled to a 45" ribbon tweeter by Newform Research of Canada.
In the search to replace the ageing MOSFET amplifiers used in the original speakers, John came across an article about a Philips engineer called Bruno Putzeys who had developed a new concept in Class D amplification and these "UCD Modules" would be made available to everyone from DIYers to OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers).
So, with some trepidation and a not inconsiderable sum of money squeezed from the 'piggy bank', he bought 1600 watts of Class D modules and 2 thumping great 500VA transformers together with power supply circuits and various enclosures to drive his loudspeakers. Oh! and a Behringer 24/96 digital electronic crossover to make it all work.
WOW!....even in those days the potential of Class D could be seen.
Since 2006 John has been using and improving the amplifiers driving his hi-fi system and in 2011 began developing designs to use the UCD technology in a commercial product. He decided at an early stage that using a traditional linear power supply would make the case design too big and bulky so when Hypex announced the arrival of a Switch Mode Power Supply (SMPS) for their amplifier modules, this was music to his ears....literally!
The SMPS's from Hypex allowed ACOUSTICIMAGERY to build the amplifiers into small,'machined from solid' billet aluminium enclosures. The first power amps used the UcD 400 modules and in early 2012 after a great debut at the 2011 NAS at Whittlebury Hall, the ACOUSTICIMAGERY amplifier system had a good review in Hi Fi News magazine. Hypex then announced the new 'ten times better than UcD' NCore technology and after hurried discussions with Bruno and Jan Peter at the High End Show in Munich, ACOUSTICIMAGERY joined the race to be first with a commercial NC1200 based power amplifier.
The ATSAH NC MONOS were born and sales were made in the USA by the end of 2012...
Class D had joined the ranks of high end audio......