At the minimalistic limit: behold atacama

The behold atacama floor standing loudspeaker reaches the limits of what is technically possible from a loudspeaker. Tri-amplified internally with Class A amplification, an active DSP-based crossover, amplitude, phase and time aligned, and with an option for room correction, the atacama achieves performance otherwise impossible with passive designs. Physically, the atacama was carefully designed so that every feature has a purpose. This minimalist approach achieves a perfect balance between simplicity and elegance, enabling it to fit into any décor.

It's all in the details...

The finest amplification
The integrated tri-amping mono block final stage has an active DSP-based crossover and, as an option, digital room correction capability. One 160W amplifier for the bass, one 80W for the mid-range and one 20W for the tweeter are more than sufficient keeping in mind that there are no losses through the speaker cable or a passive crossover. The resulting power reaches the equivalent of 1500W sinus CW of a conventional stereo setup. The internal heat sinking works through a heat “chimney” and a natural anodized heat sink on the rear. Even when played 24/7 the rear heat sinks are never too hot to touch. The electronics accept all power supply rails from 100V to 240V step less. Music will enter in almost every format, digital and analog, balanced and un-balanced. Operational power is approx. 50W per speaker.

The finest drivers
All three speaker drivers, some of the most expensive available, are sourced from ScanSpeak due to their unique match with our electronics and cabinet design. It does not stop there. The frequency slope of each individual driver is measured and individually corrected fully electronically. Self-evident that this is true for the phase and group delay of the driver too. This sounds much easier than it is in reality. To achieve this it is necessary to measure the ABSOLUTE phase of a mounted driver. This is a real challenge from a measurement perspective and requires extensive measurement experience, all of which behold has in-house. A DSP-process is also necessary to use so the acquired phase data for each driver can be adjusted accordingly. Even those manufacturers claiming “phase corrected speakers” are in many cases not able to do so. Thus the behold atacama, with its amplitude, phase and group delay correction of each driver separately is, we believe, unique in the world, and one compelling key ingredient of our obtaining the finest sound.

The finest cabinet construction:

Within the given limits of its size and weight, we also achieve a unique cutting edge approach to vibration isolation. Proper isolation between the bass cabinet and mid-high-range is strictly needed but often ignored many speaker manufacturers. Disturbing vibrations generated in the bass cabinet must not spread to the mid-high-range as they generate non harmonic distortions. Sonics from mid-high-range should not be transmitted from there causing interferences besides sub-harmonics. So the isolation is needed in both directions for a very broad frequency band. Parasitic radiating surfaces should be kept to an absolute minimum. To achieve this, behold utilizes a unique milled aluminium with both sides damped with bitumen achieving a double isolation. This isolation is also utilized a second time for the isolation between the ground position and the bass cabinet, except at this place two aluminium plates are used in a unique construction offering excellent isolation of the bass cabinet vibration from the ground in a design that cannot be mimicked by mere spikes or feet.

Unique coupled
The midrange/treble cabinet is coupled to the bass cabinet in a unique and very elegant way and without any second in the industry: the electronic connection in-between the cabinets is achieved with no wiring and without even an air gap of the isolator. The extravagant conjunction is very easy to handle and strictly protective.

Optimized outfit
The layout of the atacama is carefully designed to give the same narrow shape for a very broad angle of view. We are able to achieve dramatic bass performance with a lean look by utilizing a special band-pass design with a discreet funnel shaped outlet. The cabinet itself was designed with a eight faceted shape enabling us to achieve very stiff acoustical behaviour.

The finest woods and veneers
The cabinets are made from a compound of 22mm birch multiplex with many layers wood veneered from both sides. To minimize resonances and damp the accelerations in the wooden parts caused by the chassis, the inside is fitted with 3.2mm bitumen. In addition three stabilizers, an aluminium-wood combination, can be found in the bass cabinet and one in the mid-high-range. No wood screws are used only threaded screws with nuts on the other side.

Many of us proudly display our electronics between our loudspeakers as we have had no choice in the matter and might as well enjoy how they look. Acoustically, this is unfortunate, as it adversely effects the musical performance and our ability to suspend our disbelief in what we are hearing and seeing. Thus, to reach the goal of minimalistic appearance and best audio playback one must have no electronics inside the acoustical focus. This is the reason why all electronics need to be placed inside the speaker. To the outside only two or three cables are to be seen. A power cord and one or two digital cables or one analog if analog driven.

We welcome you to join our family of customers and enjoy music in your home as it has never been heard before.