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RMAF 2019 Show Report -- Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest 2019

RMAF 2019 Show Report Sneak Peek!

Sony SA-Z1 Nearfield Powered Speaker


  Japan's mega-manufacturer of consumer entertainment, Sony Electronics, now sells their Signature Series SA-Z1 (€7000) nearfield powered speaker system. These speakers are small in size to provide music within a more personal space. Their acoustic design concept for the SA-Z1 is an ideal point sound source, with physical layout of the driver units being time aligned. This allows each driver's output to be perfectly timed together for better musical instrument and vocal imaging. A coaxial layout of woofers and tweeters is said to be an optimal physical arrangement to better integrate the sound from every driver unit. Sony chooses to implement a unique algorithm on the internal FPGA processor to help achieve time alignment of their drivers.

Sony's FPGA processor assists is precisely controlling the timing of every drive unit's output so that the leading edge of the sound waves arrives to the listener's ear properly. Thanks to this engineering for time alignment, the SA-Z1 produces good resolution and soundscape. There is no mention if the Sony SA-Z1 is properly phase aligned as well.


Sony SA-Z1 Nearfield Powered Speaker


Thanks to what Sony is calling their "Tsuzumi" (a traditional Japanese handy drum) layout with side ducts, their SA-Z1 is mated with their I-ARRAY System that consists of three tweeters. These three high frequency drivers work together to ensure wide directivity. The D.A. Hybrid Amplifier Circuit, inherited from Sony's TA-ZH1ES Signature Series headphone amplifier, has evolved with a newly applied Gallium Nitride (GaN) power semiconductor. GaN is claimed to significantly reduce distortion and provides a very wide 100kHz high frequency reproduction.

Sony's SA-Z1 powered monitor has a solid and resonance-free body structure made of six pieces of aluminum plate. Every plate is joined in a distinct way, inspired by Japanese traditional construction methods. We're not sure how this differs from origami, which was invented in China around 105 A.D.. A variety of digital and analog inputs are provided for PC and portable music players.


Sony SA-Z1 Nearfield Powered Speaker


The Sony SA-Z1 has four unique sound tuning settings to shape the sound. A default position is claimed by Sony to "release the full musical potential of an audio track". Speaker settings include blend ratio of the digital and analog amplifier, control of the assist woofer motion, cut-off frequency of the assist woofer, and "assist tweeter" time alignment.



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