Sustainable Structural & Multifunctional Bicomposites from Hybrid Natural Fibres & Bio-Based Polymers’ or next-generation biocomposite structures that will replace oil-based composite structures
In March 2022 Wilson Benesch completed a 4.5-year R&D project under the title ‘SSUCHY’. This was a pan-European R&D project with the objective of developing ‘Sustainable Structural & Multifunctional Bicomposites from Hybrid Natural Fibres & Bio-Based Polymers’ or next-generation biocomposite structures that will replace oil-based composite structures. The SSUCHy Project brought together more than 22 partners including Universities, SMEs, and Blue-Chip Corporations with a €7.4-million budget under the European Union’s ‘Horizon 2020’ research funding program.
Wilson Benesch pioneered the use of carbon fiber composites in the audio industry. Now in 2022, Wilson Benesch is pioneering again with the next generation of materials that not only elevate the performance but also move away from oil-based materials and into the future with bio-based composites that form part of a circular, sustainable economy.
The main outcome for Wilson Benesch at the current time is the new A.C.T. 3Zero Biocomposite Monocoque
The A.C.T. 3Zero Biocomposite Monocoque replaces the A.C.T. Monocoque which is the single largest component in our reference loudspeaker line forming the enclosure. Wilson Benesch brought together the new monocoque with the latest generation drive technologies – the ‘Tactic 3.0’ and ‘Fibonacci Tweeter’ – to create its next-generation reference loudspeaker line. Notably, these technologies are all taken from our flagship Eminence loudspeaker which we built using the new A.C.T. 3Zero Monocoque, but due to contractual obligations, we could not at that time reveal publicly the developments that had come directly from the SSUCHY Project. You can read more about the Fibonacci Series from the below Press Release.
Above: Wilson Benesch Eminence Fibonacci Series flagship loudspeaker
Excerpt from the Monday 2nd May 2022 Press Release
Wilson Benesch previewed its new Reference Loudspeaker line in Hamburg on Monday, 2nd May 2022. Set within the luxurious surrounds of Hamburg’s high-end dealer ‘Fidelity Acker & Buck oHG’, Wilson Benesch presented three models from the line in high-quality listening spaces.
Wilson Benesch’s new German distribution partner, International Audio Distribution – IAD GmbH opened the presentation with Managing Director Thomas Henke, before Luke Milnes the International Sales & Marketing Manager of Wilson Benesch presented the key technological advances and USPs of the new line with the Fibonacci Series flagship Eminence (from 189.000 Euro per pair) forming the backdrop for the opening presentation.
Complimenting the Eminence are five additional models in the new Fibonacci Series line:
- Discovery 3Zero – €24,990
- Endeavour 3Zero – €42,990
- A.C.T. 3Zero – €47,990
- Resolution 3Zero – €64,990
- Omnium – €129,000
- Eminence – €189,000
Above: Endeavor 3Zero finished in Senna Volcanic Orange (a premium paint finish); Below: the Resolution 3Zero, finished in Textured Black (a standard finish)
In addition to Wilson Benesch signature technologies such as the Tactic 3.0 Drive Unit and the Fibonacci Tweeter, the new Fibonacci Series introduces sustainable biocomposite materials technology into the high-end audio industry.
Luke Milnes, International Sales & Marketing Manager added: “Wilson Benesch pioneered the first carbon fiber composite loudspeaker enclosure in the industry more than 30 years ago with its A.C.T. Monocoque – a dual-skin carbon fiber monocoque with a Nomex core damping structure at its center. Until now the A.C.T. Monocoque has set the bar in terms of stiffness and damping in the audio industry. The A.C.T. 3Zero Monocoque data shows that we have now exceeded the previous generation carbon fiber monocoque, setting a new State-of-the-Art. But the significance of this development reaches well beyond pure performance. In 2022 it is also a statement about responsible product design.
Luke Milnes of Wilson Benesch shows the first full carbon tonearm tube (1989) and the new Fibonacci tweeter faceplate. Photo made by F. Borowski for Lowbeats.de.
In terms of product lifecycle a Wilson Benesch loudspeaker is exemplary- we still service and repair the first loudspeakers that we built-in 1991. In many instances, our products are passed through generations much like a family heirloom. So in this respect, the carbon footprint of a Wilson Benesch loudspeaker is extremely low. However, introducing naturally sourced, sustainable, and renewable materials into our product designs and reducing the energy that is required to manufacture our products are vital steps for manufacturers globally and a move towards a circular green economy.
The outcomes of SSUCHY are further reaching than the high-end audio industry. Through collaborative development with other industrial centers of excellence, Universities, and SME’s, Wilson Benesch has contributed to the development of high-performance bio-composite materials that are now being seen in automotive, architectural, and other high-performance product and engineering applications – in terms of consumerism millions of such products are sold globally every year and the new biocomposite materials that we have been at the forefront in the development of moving us closer to carbon zero products. This is something that I, my family, and all the team at Wilson Benesch are not only extremely proud of, but it forms the inspiration for the next generation of designs that our team will introduce both in Munich and the future – The Future is Bio Composite.” Sustainable Structural & Multifunctional Bicomposites from Hybrid Natural Fibres & Bio-Based Polymers – SSUCHY
Above and below: the Fibonacci tweeter
Wilson Benesch Signature Technologies
In 2012, Wilson Benesch introduced the Semisphere, the world’s first hybrid tweeter dome design based on Carbon fiber. The design highlighted our understanding of composite materials technology, specifically the need for damping as well as high specific stiffness in audio structures. The latest iteration of Wilson Benesch’s tweeter technology builds upon the Semisphere tweeter design pushing it into the next generation. The Fibonacci tweeter faceplate is formed from a carbon fiber composite structure, creating a geometrically optimized waveguide tailored exactly to the unique output of the Silk-Carbon Hybrid tweeter dome. This faceplate is decoupled from the rest of the tweeter chassis and motor, achieving not only ruler-flat frequency response and ultrawide dispersion characteristics but also the optimal frequency and timing integration with the Tactic 3.0 midrange drive unit. The proprietary Neodymium magnet – open architecture precision machined componentry ensures optimal energy paths for both acoustic and thermal energy; critical design considerations where low distortion levels are aspired to.
Tactic 3.0 Drive Unit
A new generation of drive unit that adheres to a steadfast design philosophy, the Tactic 3.0 drive unit retains the isotactic polypropylene cone which offers the optimal balance of stiffness and damping. This unique blend of material properties allows Wilson Benesch to maintain the crossover-free, directly amplifier coupled design for the midrange drive unit. The direct link maintains zero-phase distortion. It is the harmonious relationship between these two elements that opens the heart of the music, providing the listener with a realistic, immediate, highly articulate, yet natural character of the sound. Inspired by solutions found in nature and interpreted by Fibonacci’s formula, the new Fibonacci element results in a drive unit that produces text-book perfect roll-off without any inductor, extended frequency response up to 4KHz, and a linear measurement within its operating range.
Isobaric Drive System (IDS)
The principle low-frequency load of the Omnium is delivered by a series of Isobaric Drive Systems. Here two drive units combine to create a clamshell formation, with one drive unit diaphragm facing the other working in a push-pull formation. The Isotactic Drive System is responsible for reproducing an incredibly tight and controlled bass response that is perfectly integrated with the midrange Tactic 3.0 drive unit.
There are no transient delays in nature. So, it should come as no surprise that transducers that exhibit the fastest transient response come closer to reproducing natural sound more accurately. A guiding principle through more than 30 years of loudspeaker design and manufacturing has been a prioritization of the transient performance of our loudspeaker designs and the fundamental importance that this has to their fidelity.
The basic Laws of physics dictate that a large woofer will never function with the speed and dynamics of a small drive unit. Such drive units cannot accelerate or decelerate at the same speed as smaller woofers and timing and integration are central to creating natural acoustic reproduction of a live event as though it was happening before you in real-time. The step-response of the Isobaric Drive System is almost identical to that of the Tactic 3.0 midrange drive units ensuring almost perfect integration across the audio band.