Speakers vs. primeVibe

This subject has come up enough that it seemed prudent to devote a page to it.  A normal loudspeaker driver and primeVibe’s transducers share some electro-mechanical properties but their missions in life are mutually exclusive.

Musicians often suggest seasoning an instrument by placing it close to high-output loudspeakers playing at high volume.  My Senior Independent Product Rep Mark Allison said that Eddie Van Halen did this with his guitars.  Someone mentioned that Doc Watson seasoned his guitars with a “transistor radio” in the sound-hole.  I unashamedly admit this primeVibe journey started with me looking for a super high output headphone driver to fit in the sound hole (with the strings attached) to season my guitar in the body (not to develop a product for profit but rather only for personal use).  That search soon ended in a brick wall, till then-NXT’s (now HiWave) patented “Bending Wave” technology appeared, leading to the product about which you now read.

Herein is the difference between loudspeakers and primeVibe transducers, supporting my conclusion that primeVibe’s positive audible benefit is many multiples greater than any non-patented loudspeaker technology: Air presents an extremely high physical impedance to the transmission of sound pressure.  1% is a typical rate of efficiency for converting electrical energy into sound, explaining the mass and heat associated with high-power discrete analog power amplifiers.  This is explained in Wikipedia Section 5.3 HERE and is the reason normal loudspeakers, even at deafening sound pressure levels, vibrate an instrument less than primeVibe.

Blame it on HiWave’s “Bending Wave” technology backed by over 300 international patents.  The exciters are almost silent when held in the air (see our video).  But when the exciters contact the guitar, sound is immediately obvious, the wood resonating enthusiastically (primeVibe is quieter than strumming because the exciters cause the vibration rather than the strings).  The exciters are designed to induce a high-density solid to produce sound.  Conversely, a normal loudspeaker is designed to make sound within a low-density atmosphere.

primeVibe is far more efficient than a regular loudspeaker at vibrating a solid, even if there was a safe and efficient method to couple a regular loudspeaker to a solid, which there is not.  This is because a regular speaker driver is engineered to make sound in an atmosphere, not to induce a solid to make sound.  The vastly different mass between a solid and the atmosphere demands a completely different electromechanical design to produce musical sound.

Over 300 international HiWave patents supports this claim.  If a regular speaker and HiWave’s Bending Wave technology shared similar purposes in life, no HiWave patent would exist.

The following clearly demonstrates.  A regular loudspeaker is as efficient at inducing a solid to make sound as primeVibe is at causing sound in the atmosphere.  In our demo video sound output is obvious with primeVibe transducers atop the guitar.  But primeVibe is almost silent when I lift the exciters to drive only the atmosphere (notice me damp the strings to more accurately reflect the volume drop).

Even if a loudspeaker could safely and efficiently couple to an instrument body (it can not), primeVibe would still season better.   The loudspeaker would resonate wildly at certain frequencies (possibly causing mechanical damage to the instrument) and other frequencies would be inaudible.  Seasoning would be similarly erratic.

Again, the above scenario results from two mutually exclusive functions: generating sound within an atmosphere vs. inducing a solid to produce musical sounds.  Regular loudspeakers are designed for the former, primeVibe is designed for the latter.

primeVibe is also packaged attractively for musicians and of course the contact surfaces are specially designed by Dr. Julian Fordham, PhD. Materials Science, for safe use with fine instruments.