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RAW Acoustics RA8 Line Array Floor-Standing Speakers

Part I

February, 2006

Jared Rachwalski

 

Specifications:

 

● One RA104.5 Ribbon Tweeter; Eight Peerless
    M-130 5.25" Mid/Bass

● Nominal Impedance: 6-8 Ohms

Sensitivity: 95 dB/w/m

Recommended Amplification: 8 - 100 Watts RMS

Ported Cabinet Tuned to 49 Hz

Dimensions: 65" H x 8" W x 14" D 

Weight: 110 Pounds/Each

● MSRP: $2,999.99 USA; $3,800 Cdn (Finished);

    $899.99 USA (Kit); $1,150 Cdn (Kit)

 

RAW Acoustics

 

www.rawacoustics.com

Introduction

With everything from a single driver kit (which includes magnetic grilles and baffles) to a huge line-array speaker (with 18 mids and 12 ribbon tweeters per speaker), Raw Acoustics has a very wide line of speakers

Custom made and finished beautifully with your choice of real-wood veneer, they hand-build the speakers out of Surrey, BC, Canada. Since each pair of speakers is built at the time of order, you will not find them in stores.

The fact that they don't keep built speakers as an inventory item keeps the price down, and if you looked at the spec box on the left, you were probably shocked at their prices.

Al, from RAW Acoustics, is not only a great speaker builder, but he is also a very nice guy - personally delivering three pairs of finished speakers to my door.

Imagine my delight when I saw that two of the boxes were taller than I. These five and a half foot tall floor-standers are manufactured using high quality drivers (Arum and Peerless), top-shelf Solen crossover parts, and a lot of MDF.

The review pair came finished in a stained cherry veneer that had been custom matched to the lucky customer's home.

You might think that the addition of two speakers of this magnitude would not carry a high SAF (spousal acceptance factor). Well, once they were unpackaged and set up, I was surprised with how much my wife liked them. Perhaps it was due to the beautiful finish and subtle drivers, the slim design or even the detailed sound. Perhaps it was due to the fact that these speakers were to be picked back up in less than three weeks. My guess is that she just liked them, period (cherry is very popular right now).

For the crafty audiophile, Raw Acoustics also sells this (and most all other speakers they offer) as a kit, providing you with the drivers, crossover, ports, and binding posts, so you need to buy your own MDF and whatever veneer you like, to finish them with.

The RA8s are easily built, utilizing top mounted (not flush) mid/bass drivers, which reduces the amount of time with the router. That is, of course, if you think a five and a half foot tall, fourteen inch deep cabinet is easy to build.

The Enclosure

The front and rear baffles have curved edges, multiple rear ports, recessed high quality binding posts, and nine drivers per side. Those nine drivers include eight 5-1/4" mid/bass drivers and a custom built Arum Cantus ribbon tweeter. Crossover parts include Sonicap caps, bypass caps, Alpha-Core inductors, and metal oxide resistors. The tweeter and one midrange driver on each side of the tweeter are arranged as MTM. They are in a separate enclosure. The other six drivers - three above the MTM and three below - although the same size as the midrange drivers, are designated as woofers.

The drivers are arranged in a Line Array. This means that there are a large number of drivers, arranged in a column, or line.

The finish on these speakers is downright gorgeous. A dark stained cherry veneer wraps from the front to the back with the seam visible just off-center on the back. The wood grain is very subtle, but upon closer viewing the veneer has wonderful depth. The finish and build of theses speakers allow them to be integrated into a room as furniture, rather than simply as speakers.

Click Here to Go to Part II.

Copyright 2006 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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