Nothing affects your sound more than your speaker cabinet… It’s the voice of your amplification system. The Trickfish acoustical team has been designing and using all types of speaker cabinets for over 30 years and our primary goal was to develop a series of cabinets (using more than a bit of science with a healthy dose of real world experience) that reveal the character of the amp, your instrument and the subtlety and nuance of your touch and feel.
It’s relatively easy to develop a speaker cabinet that sounds good at “music store volumes” but the truth becomes apparent in the heat of battle. Our approach has much in common with designing a studio monitor or reference speaker with an accurate spectral balance and even octave-to-octave response. We employed a Systems Engineering approach that takes into account the cabinet, driver and crossover specification but also integrates the amplifier performance into the equation. By looking at the system holistically, we strive to achieve the best equilibrium between raw power and a sophisticated, organic audio integrity. We wanted your vintage instrument to sound vintage, your expensive, tone-wood laden bass to reveal its inherent beauty or your acoustic instrument to sound…acoustic.
Trickfish cabinets are all U.S. made and utilize void-free Baltic Birch ply, Dado and Rabbet joints, heavy bracing for structural strength and feature HF transducers and proprietary drivers designed by Trickfish and manufactured by world leader Eminence®. The cabinets are wrapped in a road-worthy, 22oz. sharkskin vinyl, have removable grilles, steel handles and finished with metal corners ensuring both beauty and durability. Crossover networks employ an advanced circuit design and an on-board protection device that preserves component integrity even under the most demanding conditions. The on-board protection uses custom-built aerospace lamps with tungsten filaments that effectively track the program material, dynamically maintaining a safe maximum current level to the high frequency driver without introducing distortion.
Things That Affect Cabinet Performance:
Through intelligent design we’ve made every attempt to mitigate enclosure resonance through the structural design of the cabinets (heavy bracing), quality damping materials and superior woods.
- Structural Integrity: A cabinet literally flexes as pressure builds in the box. A well designed, well braced and solidly manufactured cabinet mitigates the flex, reducing the negative impact of standing waves.
- Internal standing waves: An acoustic signal between two reflective surfaces with a distance that is an even multiple of one-half of the wavelength of the signal’s frequency. Standing waves occur when two waves of the same frequency are traversing a medium in opposite directions. The result is that some points in the medium become “nodes” and do not move at all, while the medium between these nodes moves excessively. As wave forms come off of the face of the driver they also emanate off the back of the driver into the enclosure. If the cabinet is not designed to limit the reflections, a standing wave can be created. This resonance can diminish the speaker’s ability to re-produce the input signal in accurate manner.
- Ports: As the internal pressure is released through the ports, a standing wave can actually be generated in the port. Too small of a port and the cabinet can “choke” at high volumes. Our designs utilize a “slotted port” as opposed to a tube port to minimize that possibility. With a round port a condition known as “Pipe Resonance” can occur creating a tone that has nothing to do with the program material present in the input signal. Slotted ports also reduce distortion or “chuffing” caused by unwanted turbulence that can impact the integrity of the waveforms emanating off the baffle.
- Tuning: We‘ve taken a systems engineering approach to the design of the cabinets and have paid extra attention to the “tuning” of the cabinets. The mechanical characteristics of the driver, port lengths, crossover tuning, internal cabinet volumes and total cabinet construction all have a symbiotic relationship that effect performance. Managing these diverse elements and incorporating them into the overall design ensures an even octave-to-octave response resulting in a truly musical sounding box.
Driver Test Protocols as per Eminence:
Multiple units exceed published ratings evaluated under EIA 426A specification while tested in a free-air, non-temperature-controlled environment.
Multiple compression drivers exceeded published ratings evaluated under EIA-426A or AES specification while mounted on Eminence’s H290, H290S, or H2EA horn in a non-temperature-controlled environment.
The average output across the usable frequency range when applying 1W/1m into the nominal impedance. i.e: 2.83V/8Ω, 4V/16Ω. Eminence response curves are measured under the following conditions: All speakers are tested at 1W/1m using a variety of test set-ups for the appropriate impedance | LMS using 0.25″ supplied microphone (software calibrated) mounted 1m from wall/baffle | 2 ft. x 2 ft. baffle is built into the wall with the speaker mounted flush against a steel ring for minimum diffraction | Yamaha P3500S amplifier | 2700 cu. ft. chamber with fiberglass on all six surfaces (three with custom-made wedges). Compression drivers were tested using a 2ft x 2ft baffle built into the wall with horn front mounted.