Introducing the Alana loudspeaker by Illusio Audio

Duke LeJeune

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Jul 22, 2013
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Illusio Audio is a new high-end loudspeaker company that takes an innovative approach to loudspeaker/room interaction. Briefly, we achieve very beneficial room-interaction characteristics by controlling the arrival times of the reflections without reliance on room treatments. To put it another way, we use a unique radiation pattern to accomplish in a normal room what would typically require a dedicated listening room.

A loudspeaker should get two things right: The direct sound, and the reflected sound.

The latter is somewhat challenging, as it includes room interaction. We do not want reflections to begin arriving too early because that would degrade clarity, so we use a radiation pattern which can be aimed to minimize early reflections. Later-arriving reflections are highly beneficial as long as they are spectrally-correct and neither too weak nor to strong, so we deliberately introduce additional spectrally-correct, late-onset reflections whose loudness is user-adjustable.

Illusio Audio's first product is the Alana, a two-way 10" stand-mount speaker which is optimized for the range above 75 Hz in small to medium-sized rooms. We find that a good subwoofer system, in particular using multiple subwoofers intelligently distributed, outperforms any bass system we could put into a pair of loudspeakers, which frees us up to optimize for the rest of the spectrum. The 10” midwoofer crosses over to a 90-degree constant-directivity waveguide at the frequency where its radiation pattern has narrowed to 90 degrees.

The "secret weapon" of the Alana is the matching LORAstand, which incorporates a very smooth-sounding horn aimed up-and-back at a 45 degree angle. "LORA" stands for Late Onset Reflection Assist, and the role of its horn is to increase the amount of late-onset, spectrally-correct in-room reflections. The midwoofer's pattern widens below the crossover region, such that the off-axis response has more energy in the midwoofer's frequency range than in the front-firing waveguide's range. The output from the LORA's horn fills in that missing upper-range off-axis energy in the waveguide's frequency range.

(The LORAstand can be used with other stand-mount speakers, and its response can be adapted to complement the typical off-axis response of many stand-mount speakers.)

One critical difference between the Alana/LORA and a conventional wide-pattern speaker is that the "center of gravity" of the reflections is pushed back in time relative to what would normally be the case. This results in a weaker "small room signature" from the playback room's acoustics, while effectively presenting the venue reveberation tails on the recording, with the later-arriving reflections being the “carriers” of those reverberation tails. This combination of characteristics tends to shift the presentation from “they are here" to "you are there", the latter being arguably the holy grail for spatial quality from a stereo system. In practice the spatial impression with the Alana/LORA combination changes greatly from one recording to the next, indicating that the recording's spatial cues (rather than the playback room's cues) are perceptually dominant. And it is from this heightened ability to create a convincing "you are there" illusion that we derive our company name, "Illusio".

An idea is only as good as its implementation, so Illusio Audio brings together a unique team with a wide range of applicable expertise. James Romeyn is a musician, music instructor, engineer and programmer who worked on an album by Roy Buchanan and with Tower of Power and New Riders of the Purple Sage dating back to 1974; his professional involvement in the loudspeaker industry dates back to the mid-80's and includes assembling state-of-the-art systems and work with some of the biggest names in the industry. The Alana is an embodiment of one of James's ideas. Hans Looman first began designing energy-efficient Class A amplifiers in 1998, developed a high-resolution recording technogy, was an independent consultant to Resonessence Labs for nine years, and in 2020 started Infigo Audio to present his own brand of exclusive high-end audio products. You may have noticed the thread about his Sparkle series cables. Duke LeJeune's background includes working with Earl Geddes on the GedLee Summa. He has been designing loudspeakers under his AudioKinesis brand since 2005, with an emphasis on radiation patterns.

The Illusio Audio Alana is based on an invention of James Romeyn, as interpreted by all three with crossover design by Duke LeJeune and taking-it-to-the-next-level refinements by Hans Looman.

The Alana and LORAstand will be making their debut at the upcoming Capital Audio Fest which begins on November 11, 2022. We will be in Room 623, paired with Hans' Infigo Audio electronics.


gold Alana black LORAstand3-001.jpg
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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the Upper Midwest
We find that a good subwoofer system, in particular using multiple subwoofers intelligently distributed, outperforms any bass system we could put into a pair of loudspeakers, which frees us up to optimize for the rest of the spectrum.

How many separate speakers does a 'standard setup' include? Would your Swarm be part of that setup.

I enjoyed reading your post -- clear and well-written.
 
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ddk

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2013
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Utah
Illusio Audio is a new high-end loudspeaker company that takes an innovative approach to loudspeaker/room interaction. Briefly, we achieve very beneficial room-interaction characteristics by controlling the arrival times of the reflections without reliance on room treatments. To put it another way, we use a unique radiation pattern to accomplish in a normal room what would typically require a dedicated listening room.

A loudspeaker should get two things right: The direct sound, and the reflected sound.

The latter is somewhat challenging, as it includes room interaction. We do not want reflections to begin arriving too early because that would degrade clarity, so we use a radiation pattern which can be aimed to minimize early reflections. Later-arriving reflections are highly beneficial as long as they are spectrally-correct and neither too weak nor to strong, so we deliberately introduce additional spectrally-correct, late-onset reflections whose loudness is user-adjustable.

Illusio Audio's first product is the Alana, a two-way 10" stand-mount speaker which is optimized for the range above 75 Hz in small to medium-sized rooms. We find that a good subwoofer system, in particular using multiple subwoofers intelligently distributed, outperforms any bass system we could put into a pair of loudspeakers, which frees us up to optimize for the rest of the spectrum. The 10” midwoofer crosses over to a 90-degree constant-directivity waveguide at the frequency where its radiation pattern has narrowed to 90 degrees.

The "secret weapon" of the Alana is the matching LORAstand, which incorporates a very smooth-sounding horn aimed up-and-back at a 45 degree angle. "LORA" stands for Late Onset Reflection Assist, and the role of its horn is to increase the amount of late-onset, spectrally-correct in-room reflections. The midwoofer's pattern widens below the crossover region, such that the off-axis response has more energy in the midwoofer's frequency range than in the front-firing waveguide's range. The output from the LORA's horn fills in that missing upper-range off-axis energy in the waveguide's frequency range.

(The LORAstand can be used with other stand-mount speakers, and its response can be adapted to complement the typical off-axis response of many stand-mount speakers.)

One critical difference between the Alana/LORA and a conventional wide-pattern speaker is that the "center of gravity" of the reflections is pushed back in time relative to what would normally be the case. This results in a weaker "small room signature" from the playback room's acoustics, while effectively presenting the venue reveberation tails on the recording, with the later-arriving reflections being the “carriers” of those reverberation tails. This combination of characteristics tends to shift the presentation from “they are here" to "you are there", the latter being arguably the holy grail for spatial quality from a stereo system. In practice the spatial impression with the Alana/LORA combination changes greatly from one recording to the next, indicating that the recording's spatial cues (rather than the playback room's cues) are perceptually dominant. And it is from this heightened ability to create a convincing "you are there" illusion that we derive our company name, "Illusio".

An idea is only as good as its implementation, so Illusio Audio brings together a unique team with a wide range of applicable expertise. James Romeyn is a musician, music instructor, engineer and programmer who worked on an album by Roy Buchanan and with Tower of Power and New Riders of the Purple Sage dating back to 1974; his professional involvement in the loudspeaker industry dates back to the mid-80's and includes assembling state-of-the-art systems and work with some of the biggest names in the industry. The Alana is an embodiment of one of James's ideas. Hans Looman first began designing energy-efficient Class A amplifiers in 1998, developed a high-resolution recording technogy, was an independent consultant to Resonessence Labs for nine years, and in 2020 started Infigo Audio to present his own brand of exclusive high-end audio products. You may have noticed the thread about his Sparkle series cables. Duke LeJeune's background includes working with Earl Geddes on the GedLee Summa. He has been designing loudspeakers under his AudioKinesis brand since 2005, with an emphasis on radiation patterns.

The Illusio Audio Alana is based on an invention of James Romeyn, as interpreted by all three with crossover design by Duke LeJeune and taking-it-to-the-next-level refinements by Hans Looman.

The Alana and LORAstand will be making their debut at the upcoming Capital Audio Fest which begins on November 11, 2022. We will be in Room 623, paired with Hans' Infigo Audio electronics.


View attachment 99628
Very interesting and intriguing speaker Duke hope to get a chance to hear it, wish you all the best!

david
 
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Duke LeJeune

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Jul 22, 2013
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fascinating speakers
Good luck with the launch!

Thank you very much!

How many separate speakers does a 'standard setup' include? Would your Swarm be part of that setup.

I enjoyed reading your post -- clear and well-written.

We'll be showing with four subs, they won't be identical to the Swarm units but will be very close relatives.

Thanks for the feedback, glad my post made sense!

Very interesting and intriguing speaker Duke hope to get a chance to hear it, wish you all the best!

david

Thank you David! The little Alana is pretty much at the opposite end of the horn spectrum from your systems, so I really appreciate your encouragement.

* * * *

I probably should have mentioned this earlier: The actual color of the Alana pair we'll be showing is gold, not mustard.

And, Hans Looman just confirmed that the internal wiring he supplied is the Infigo Sparkle wire. As I mentioned in the first post, he's taking us "to the next level", in this and other ways.
 
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InfigoAudio

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Jun 15, 2022
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I probably should have mentioned this earlier: The actual color of the Alana pair we'll be showing is gold, not mustard.

And, Hans Looman just confirmed that the internal wiring he supplied is the Infigo Sparkle wire. As I mentioned in the first post, he's taking us "to the next level", in this and other ways.
Happy to confirm that the gold Alanas will be Sparkle Series wired throughout, as well as the feedthrough interconnect in the LORA Stand...
Very much looking forward to their reveal at Capfest!

Cheers, Hans.
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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Congratulations, Duke!
 
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Duke LeJeune

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Jul 22, 2013
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Princeton, Texas
So it is a kind of cardioid speaker like Dutch & Dutch 8c?

https://dutchdutch.com/8c/


No, the enclosure is a fairly low-tuned bass reflex system. We wanted the midwoofer to go low enough to match up well with the distributed multi-sub system, and that's not practical with a cardioid system, at least not unless we go with something considerably larger and/or more complex. We wanted to stay with a passive system.

Midwoofer parameters which work well for a passive cardioid system are significantly different from those which work well for a reflex system. The reflex system calls for a stronger magnetic field, which is desirable for dynamic contrast and midrange clarity. The motor-strength-to-moving-mass ratio of our (custom) 10" midwoofer is comparable to that of high-end 5" cone midranges.

Also since we are adding off-axis energy north of the crossover region, we want the midwoofer's radiation pattern south of the crossover region to widen somewhat.
 
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Folsom

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Duke LeJeune

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Jul 22, 2013
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Thursday evening before Capital Audio Fest (2022) opened, J.R. Boisclair of WAM Engineering came to our room (623) and performed his multiple-subwoofer setup procedure. The specifics of his procedure are proprietary but when he was finished we had bass that was flat (aside from a small dip in the mid-20's) down to 16 Hz, with excellent time-domain behavior, and this held up throughout the room.

I mention this because the bass performance is probably not going be adequately portrayed by these video clips. The first clip is cued up to just before the music starts; the last clip is the same tune as the first but through a different microphone, and after we'd made a tweak or two to the system.

Notice that these were recorded in a small hotel room with zero acoustic treatments, as we wanted to demonstrate our ability to get good sound without needing room treatment. Use headphones or earbuds and close your eyes and I think the lack of a "small room signature" being imposed between you and the recording is apparent even over YouTube:








 
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ddk

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May 19, 2013
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Thursday evening before Capital Audio Fest (2022) opened, J.R. Boisclair of WAM Engineering came to our room (623) and performed his multiple-subwoofer setup procedure. The specifics of his procedure are proprietary but when he was finished we had bass that was flat (aside from a small dip in the mid-20's) down to 16 Hz, with excellent time-domain behavior, and this held up throughout the room.

I mention this because the bass performance is probably not going be adequately portrayed by these video clips. The first clip is cued up to just before the music starts; the last clip is the same tune as the first but through a different microphone, and after we'd made a tweak or two to the system.

Notice that these were recorded in a small hotel room with zero acoustic treatments, as we wanted to demonstrate our ability to get good sound without needing room treatment. Use headphones or earbuds and close your eyes and I think the lack of a "small room signature" being imposed between you and the recording is apparent even over YouTube:








Hi Duke,
Where are those multiple subs, don’t see them in the vids?
david
 
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Duke LeJeune

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Jul 22, 2013
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Hi Duke,
Where are those multiple subs, don’t see them in the vids?
david

One is just barely visible to the far right-hand side. Another is behind the screen, along the front wall, just so happened that location worked. The third was to our left, closer to the rear of the room and elevated atop the room's little refrigerator-in-a-cupboard. The fourth was along the rear wall.
 
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Cellcbern

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Thursday evening before Capital Audio Fest (2022) opened, J.R. Boisclair of WAM Engineering came to our room (623) and performed his multiple-subwoofer setup procedure. The specifics of his procedure are proprietary but when he was finished we had bass that was flat (aside from a small dip in the mid-20's) down to 16 Hz, with excellent time-domain behavior, and this held up throughout the room.

I mention this because the bass performance is probably not going be adequately portrayed by these video clips. The first clip is cued up to just before the music starts; the last clip is the same tune as the first but through a different microphone, and after we'd made a tweak or two to the system.

Notice that these were recorded in a small hotel room with zero acoustic treatments, as we wanted to demonstrate our ability to get good sound without needing room treatment. Use headphones or earbuds and close your eyes and I think the lack of a "small room signature" being imposed between you and the recording is apparent even over YouTube:








Spent a little time in this room at Capital Audiofest. Sound was decent but not impressive enough to make me want to stay awhile to listen to multiple recordings or come back for a 2nd listen. My sense was that the extreme toe-in negatively affected the sound. While these small hotel rooms are hard to "dial in" there were a number of exhibitors in similarly sized rooms (most without room treatments) who achieved better sound. I listened early on Saturday so perhaps with additional adjustments the room sounded better late Saturday and on Sunday. Note that I recall the Infigo electronics sounding better at CAF 2021 with the Alta speakers.
 
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Duke LeJeune

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I'd love to hear some full orchestral music. :)

Unfortunately I don't know whether any full orchestral was caught by anyone recording in the room.

Michael Fremer came in and we played "Fanfare for the Common Man" (Eiji Oue directing the Minnesota Orchestra) and several times during the piece he said "very good" and when it was over he said "that was great."

I listened early on Saturday so perhaps with additional adjustments the room sounded better late Saturday and on Sunday.

We did make an adjustment after Saturday morning and people who heard before and after often commented that "now the system is opening up".

Now that we have some experience with the speakers (they were eight days old when the show opened and had spent most of those eight day in transit) we'll be better able to make the adjustments before the show opens.

Also the internal wiring was not what we had planned to show with. The speakers were assembled and tested with ordinary wire and then shipped, the plan being to install the Infigo Sparkle wire on set-up day, but the suitcase with the Infigo wire and many other important pieces of equipment was lost by the airlines and never did show up. (The missing suitcase was a real nightmare, and most of set-up day was devoted to coming up with work-arounds so that we had SOUND at all! Kudos to Hans for finding solutions.)
 
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