Reference Loudspeaker has received much applause from music lovers all over the
world. But it has also caused disappointment because it requires a fair amount
of space and breathing room, which many housings do not provide. On top of that
the LX521 is too expensive for many and/or its acoustically defined shape is not
pleasing to someone in the household. Such objections are particularly
aggravating, when the near life like sound volume capability, for which the
LX521 was designed, is neither wanted nor could be tolerated in the given living
space, or if they were willing to give up bass below 45 Hz for a much smaller
In the past I would have recommended to build PLUTO
2.1 instead of the LX521, but now the LXmini will exceed what PLUTO 2.1 had
to offer and be a true alternative to the LX521, except for the bigger speaker's
extended bass. The low frequency portion of
the LXmini's frequency response is similar to the PLUTO's. With a
700 Hz LR2 crossover to a small, full-range and open-baffle driver, and with a
diffusing as well as attenuating structure for controlling the rear radiation,
the polar response tends towards cardioid behavior and reduces reflections from
objects behind the speaker.
With directivity controlled in this way the LXmini becomes
much less sensitive to room placement, while also gaining in 3D imaging
precision. The small, full-range driver on top is superbly smooth and detailed. It blends
flawlessly with the pistonic, infinite transmission line woofer for a completely
neutral sound in a reverberant room. The speaker stands 40" (1 m) tall. It
requires two stereo power amplifiers of 80 W for woofer and full-range drivers.
The four input signals to the power amplifiers are generated in a miniDSP 2x4
processor from the left and right outputs of a preamplifier or other device with
a volume control.
The LXmini is a most remarkable
loudspeaker. It converts electrical signal voltages into acoustic pressure
variations, which are perceived as completely neutral and detailed even in a
reverberant environment. With this design I want to give every music lover the
opportunity to build and enjoy a reference quality sound system singing in their
own living space.
LXmini Construction Plans
After you have received the Construction Plans you
may realize that you do not have the time, skill or confidence to build
the speaker system yourself. Or, you may know this from the outset and
want to buy a professionally assembled and finished system. Here then are
licensed manufacturers, who ship worldwide:
From Germany: www.magicLX521.com
for LXmini, LX521, LX521.4, LXstudio with PowerBox, PowerHouse
From USA: www.theorionspeakers.com
for Orion-4, LXmini
From China: www.LinkwitzWorks.com
for Pluto, LXmini
Conditions & Blacklist to guarantee that you receive a genuine
LINKWITZ LAB product.
... and challenge
the Loudspeaker Industry worldwide!
At the "Reproduced Sound 2015" Conference of the
the UK Institute of Acoustics I gave a talk "The
Magic in 2-Channel Sound Reproduction - Why is it so rarely heard?"
At the ALMA International Winter Symposium in 2014 I gave
a presentation with the title "Whatever
happened to the quality of reproduced sound in the home?" and earlier I
had given a paper "My
search for the ideal stereo loudspeaker". It has been no
secret to industry insiders that little progress has been made over the last 50
years in rendering a convincing auditory illusion via two loudspeakers in a
domestic size room. Today surround sound is being pursued without having
realized the potential and perceptual realism, which 2-channel stereo is capable
of. The recording industry has of course contributed to this situation by a
multi-microphone sound pickup and pan-pot-mixing work flow. The acoustic cues
for the spatial relationship between sources and their reverberant environment
are avoided or artificially generated. Yet all naturally occurring sounds exist
in 3D space and our brain has evolved exquisitely to hear in 3D and not be
The loudspeaker industry has developed excellent
electro-acoustic transducers over the last 50 years, but when put in boxes of
various shapes and sizes in order to send a flat on-axis signal to the listener
and illuminate the room appropriately and without spurious emissions from the
speaker, then progress has been marginal at best. The LXmini is an example of
what can be done with state-of-the-art transducers in a powered 2-way speaker
system to generate an appropriate radiation pattern. It could not be done with passive
crossover/equalization in any practical way. Using a digital signal
processor makes equalization of transducers and power division very easy, once
the acoustic design has been established for 3D radiation.
Actually, the weakness of today's speakers is primarily their acoustic design.
I do not need to name manufacturers. Exceptions are rare and insignificant in
terms of market share. For the lack of progress I would also blame equipment reviewers
various audiophile magazines, because in the end they are the gate
keepers and usually beholden to the magazine's advertisers.
If each manufacturer would build a pair of LXmini's as
reference for their product development to hear in which way they exceed or miss
its performance, then real progress might be made. Each equipment reviewer
should build a pair of LXmini's as reference to compare other speakers to and to
describe in a perceptually meaningful way the differences between sound systems
as experienced in their unique and shown listening environment. Since it
is not difficult nor costly for consumers to build the LXmini as their reference, they would then
know what to expect from a loudspeaker review.
I am not saying this because I think the LXmini is the
ultimate sound quality reference, but because the LXmini defines a standard of
excellence that top of the line loudspeakers should meet or exceed and be
recognized for that by reviewers and consumers.