Check out the new AN-3 beast of a woofer

I was working on a new Paul’s Post that’ll appear in a couple of days and it occurred to me sometimes the forums and my posts are very different audiences and I should be sharing with both.

(It sometimes takes me a long while to figure simple things out)

Enclosed are three photos of the new custom-designed woofer Chris created. The idea behind the woofer is to make sure we never run out of linear excursion for any demand placed on it by the internal 700-watt power amplifier. As you can imagine, a 700-watt amp pushed to its limits can move one hell of a lot of cone and shake a room to its foundations.

Chris-1 Chris-2 Chris-3

So, for those of you with interest in such things take a look at the photos. What you’re seeing is a massive 12" woofer with a linear excursion (Xmax) of 28mm in each direction! Wow, that’s more than double the best we have ever seen in a linear, low distortion woofer.

To make that happen Chris designed, and then we tooled a custom progressive spider and suspension system. (The spider is the soft folded fabric at the end of the cone separating the voice coil from the woofer cone). Add to that a soft inverted surround, a low mass cone, and a 3" aluminum voice coil that’s 2.5" long and you start to see how this stacks up as being the low distortion linear monster I have been jumping up and down about.

One of the challenges of any driver is keeping its range of motion linear and low distortion. On something this big and powerful, that’s really quite a challenge. To handle that requirement Chris did a ton of FEA (Finite Element Analysis) and the results of that linearized the magnet’s BL vs. excursion by shaping the pole piece and linearizing the inductance through the use of multiple Faraday rings.

And speaking of magnets, check out the massive 3-stack of 8" Y35 ceramic magnets supporting a direct gap venting system on the rear of the woofer (air-cooled through the vents).

If it isn’t obvious, I am totally stoked about this woofer and can’t wait to get it into the cabinet and start the testing.

Ohn and I forgot to mention. He’s also designed an entirely new servo system based on advanced DSP technology that works and sounds better than any accelerometer-based system.

Bass lovers of the world, unite!


OMG killer…and it’s a real beauty… should be under glass!

Chris seemingly also a nice guy :sunglasses:

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I couldn’t agree more. It’s 40 pounds! Sorry I didn’t show the cone. I’ll try for another shot.

Wow! Very Cool.

Are you sure the AN-3 with a one sided use of it doesn’t tilt when a timpani is hit :wink:

Here’s the cone of this bad boy.


That is wild looking. A strange beast.

Never saw something like this, wow, looks nice!
If it just would be in Munich next year :cry:

I truly wish we could get a good room to show there, but alas, nothing is available. Sorry.

What is it’s frequency range in the AN-3? Bottom to 100Hz?

Looks amazing. Hope to get to hear it some day.

As long as we’re on speakers:

I wanted to share with you the new 6.5" midbass couplers. While not as big and beast-like as the 12" woofer, they’re even more important to sound quality than the woofer itself.

Very few speaker systems are 4-way with midbass couplers. This driver has been sparingly used on a few designs but it was super important to Arnie Nudell: a key element in his concept of a speaker that can match any room and any music with the twist of a knob. By making this critical band of frequencies, 70Hz to 400Hz, adjustable and separately produced by a dedicated, linearized, low distortion driver, the all-critical midbass of music is not only preserved but glorified. This is a band of frequencies that are perhaps the most important to get right in classical music as well as any vocals and most acoustic music. Arnie found this area critical, and so too do we.

Here are a few pictures of Chris Brunhaver’s masterpiece that will soon be gracing the new AN-3.

There will be two of these on the An-3, one atop and the other below the coaxial ribbon midrange and tweeters I have yet to share with you (patience, my friends).

The smooth cone is custom designed out of rigid 6.5” anodized aluminum and is moved by a wicked cool linear motor system with high power handling.

Like the woofer I shared in yesterday’s post, the midbass coupler is FEA optimized.

To get the low distortion and extended excursion this frequency area demands, Chris design an XBL split gap magnet structure using a 2” diameter voice coil, 11mm Xmax (in each direction), a large 90 mm diameter machined neodymium magnet with a symmetrical neodymium bucking magnet.

Like the 12" woofer, he used triple Faraday rings to linearize the inductance throughout the entire travel area and then cooled this beauty with extensive venting through a 1” pole vent, open basket design.

Like adding the finishing touches on any masterpiece, the icing on the cake is found in the driver’s linear suspension based around a custom reverse S-roll surround and custom progressive Nomex spider with a stitched lead wire.

Whew! Two of these bad boys ought to bring the most critical regions of music to perfection.

Can’t wait to show and play it for you!


The 12” should be flat to 20Hz and it’s -3dB we’ll see after testing. Simulations show it about 18Hz.

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Thanks, but up to which top frequency? 70Hz?

OMG. Paul you are insane!! Lol.

My Infiniti’s had a special woofer in them as well. Great minds must think alike. Can’t wait to hear the impressions

Thanks! Indeed! Can you even imagine this thing? OMG, it’s just huge and with more than 2.25” of linear travel!

When I first heard about this midbass coupler idea from you, it made most sense ever to me from my listening experience. When playing a speaker in a room and with new equipment, it’s most difficult and important to get it playing coming from a solid, rich enough midrange. Great bass and top end don’t help if there’s a suck out in the lower mids making it sound not bright, but lightweight there not giving enough meat on the bones. People probably don’t guess yet how lucky they will get with that in their rooms and when changing components!

Coming from the car audio world I always wondered why home audio uses wimpy subs. It just dawned on me: while 1000 watt amps are common place for the car, they are not for the home. I assume you guys are using a version of the M700 for these guys? Very interesting midbass driver. Never seen an S surround before.

Oh great, now I have “cone envy”…