Mayfly Speakers Sport Skyline Diffusers
A Canadian audiophile loudspeaker company has produced the “world's first” speakers to incorporate skyline diffusers.
Mayfly Audio is led by Chief Designer Trevor May and the speakers he produces feature luxurious hand-laminated French polish-finished birch cabinets outfitted with coaxially aligned Seas woofers and tweeters. Inside you'll find the proprietary internal skyline diffusers. Furthermore, everything is hand-built in Canada. May is also is an accomplished electrical engineer with decades of experience designing and building hi-fi and professional audio gear, guitars and custom tube guitar amps. Additionally, he is a songwriter/musician that has played on 5 albums and charted on the Billboard Top 100 and Top 10 in Canada.
Mayfly Audio currently offers two systems: the MF-201A speaker and the MF-301 system which add high-performance bass modules extending bass down to 15Hz.
Skyline diffusers are generally seen as wall-mounted panels in listening rooms and studios, and consist of wood or foam blocks placed explicitly at varying heights used to treat sound aberrations such as echo's and reflections. May uses the same principle in the MF-201A, making a unique 24x24 internal diffuser from slices of CNC cut birch ply. Each slice is different and creates one of the skyline diffuser's 24 rows. The slices are hand-glued, with each layer also forming the body of the cabinet itself.
We are told that this approach enables May to eliminate internal reflection and diffraction artefacts, lobe tilting effects and woofer breakup. The results are said to be a more controlled midrange and better bass response - so much so that May has applied for a patent.
Trevor May told StereoNET:
I was inspired to start Mayfly Audio Systems after reading the BBC paper on skyline diffusers and later visiting a local CNC woodworking shop. Putting the two together, I wondered what the benefits of putting a diffuser inside a loudspeaker cabinet would be. The prototypes measured great, sounded great, and looked great to everyone, so I figured I had a winner.
To get the most out of the lack of internal reflections, cabinet resonances and external diffractions May opted for a co-axial driver.
This physically aligns the tweeter and woofer so that the sound does not change too much with listening position. This really helps open-up the soundstage. The general cabinet dimensions were determined by using the Golden Ratio.
With the skyline diffuser, you can control the frequencies that you want to diffuse and leave other frequencies alone. This allowed me to tune the cabinet to make the best use of the bass response of the driver but at the same time tame the mid-frequencies from rattling around inside and reflecting out of the driver opening. And additional unforeseen benefit was that the diffusers enable control of the resonance of the cabinet itself. So the sound you hear is just from the driver and not from the surface of the cabinet which would muddy the sound.
The MF-201A measures 20.5 x 11.8 x 10.63-inches (HxWxD) with each made up of layers of birch ply comprising the cabinet and its internal 24x24 skyline diffuser. The speakers are finished in a hand-applied French polish. The front integrates a bass port; the rear, sporting gold-plated binding posts. Designed to sit between 5 and 14-inches off the floor with the driver positioned at the same height as the listener's ear, Mayfly offers optional matching stands at custom heights.
May uses an 8-inch mid/bass and 1-inch tweeter from Seas, Solen caps, Air-Core inductors, and non-inductive resistors which all add to produce a 30Hz-20 kHz frequency response with a quoted sensitivity of 88 dB (W/m) and 8 Ohms impedance.
The MF-301 system consists of the MF-201A speakers paired with two high-performance 301 bass modules which are fitted with a 10-inch aluminium-coned woofer giving them the ability to plumb down to 15Hz via an active crossover.
Both the MF-201A and MF-301 systems are available now direct from www.mayflyaudio.com on a 30-day trial period. They are also backed by a one-year warranty.
The MF-201A costs $3,000 US per pair with the optional stands coming in at $500. The MF-301 costs $10,000 US for the woofers to add to your MF-201A. Alternatively, you can buy the whole system for $12,000 US. Top veneer options for the speaker are walnut, white oak or cherry.
StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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