Basic Design Elements of the AudioMachina XTAC Master Reference System
Read the White Paper. Yes, it’s really important. Read it.
1. The AudioMachina XTAC Master Reference System is a full-length “Line Array” which is installed at the intersection between two room surfaces (typically in the corners formed by the intersection of two walls), and should extend the full length of that intersection (full height, from floor to ceiling). This design approach was necessitated by the insistence on a level of performance and fidelity far beyond conventional (“sitting on the floor partway out into the room”) loudspeaker systems.
2. XTAC is a powered (Amplified) speaker system requiring only a high-fidelity Balanced Analog Preamplifier for highest performance. This choice was again necessitated by the insistence on a level of performance and fidelity far beyond conventional (historical) loudspeaker systems. All audio signal paths inside the XTAC Amplifiers and XTAC Speaker Modules remain 100% in the Analog domain, without A/D or D/A conversion, and without DSP of any kind, ensuring the absolute highest fidelity in system performance.
3. Each XTAC Line Array is made up of a number of identical small line-array “XTAC Speaker Modules” which are installed end-to-end, permitting the formation of a continuous long line array in rooms of various ceiling heights, while still meeting the requirement for essentially full-length floor-to-ceiling (or, in some HT cases, wall-to-wall) installation. Each channel of the XTAC System is powered by its own dedicated XTAC Amplifier, and each XTAC Amplifier contains 10 separate power amplifier sections, using one amplifier section for each XTAC Speaker Module installed. All XTAC Speaker Modules in each channel always operate in acoustical parallel, achieving a uniform and continuous cylindrical acoustical wavefront in-room.
4. XTAC Line Array length should always be as long as possible while still fitting into the available room dimensions. Each XTAC Speaker Module has an installed length of 15.625″ (397mm). The exact array lengths for systems from 2.0m to 4.0m are listed in the “Specifications” section. It is recommended that you add AT LEAST 1.0″ (25mm) to the listed array lengths, to accommodate the necessary speaker cable exit at the end of the line array. If your room has baseboard molding or crown molding which you do not wish to disturb, this will further restrict the possible line array length in that particular room. The maximum line array length, using 10 XTAC Speaker Modules and one XTAC Amplifier, is a little over 13′ (~4m), which will work properly in rooms with ceiling heights up to approximately 15′ (~4.5m). If necessary for rooms with extremely high ceilings, higher lengths are possible by using a second XTAC Amplifier per channel, to power additional XTAC Speaker Modules. Buyers are strongly urged to contact us prior to purchase, for consultation and to ensure that you purchase the best array length for your particular room.
5. XTAC is installed into the listening room via semi-permanent physical attachment to the room corners. This choice was again necessitated by the insistence on a level of performance and fidelity far beyond conventional (“out in the room”) loudspeaker systems. Potential buyers must confirm the suitability of the room framing or structure, and if necessary, have the room framing or structure modified (or, in new construction or room additions, built from scratch), to accept the installation of the XTAC Master Reference System. This should be a relatively minor expense in almost all cases, and easily justified in financial terms, given the enormous cost savings (and massive performance superiority) of the XTAC Master Reference System relative to the cost of modern top-end “conventional” loudspeakers and amplifiers.
6. In order to achieve the levels of performance and fidelity of which the AudioMachina XTAC Master Reference System is capable, buyers are urged in the strongest possible terms to install at least a basic level of room acoustic treatments according to guidelines recommended by AudioMachina. This is absolutely critical if highest performance and fidelity are to be achieved in-room, and again is extremely inexpensive compared to the cost of modern top-end “conventional” loudspeakers, amplifiers, and speaker cables. Room treatments typically only need be inexpensive off-the-shelf acoustic absorbers and diffusors from well-known acoustics companies, but can of course be customized acoustically or aesthetically by third-party room acoustics designers or architects. The acoustic room treatments for the XTAC Master Reference System are applied almost exclusively to wall surfaces only, as the serious floor and ceiling reflection problems of conventional loudspeakers are almost entirely eliminated by the fundamental design superiority of the uniform full-length cylindrical wavefront of XTAC. When installing room treatments, particular emphasis must be placed on (1) the first-reflection lines on the side walls and rear wall, and (2) bass traps in the rear corners, both of which are easily and inexpensively achieved. Acoustic treatments can vary from quite basic to quite elaborate, with the law of diminishing returns applying as always. We are of course happy to consult free of charge with each individual buyer regarding optimum types, sizes, and placement of room acoustic treatments in their particular room.
7. The XTAC Amplifiers deliver extremely high fidelity and extremely high power in a very compact package while keeping the audio signal 100% in the Analog domain, and require that their high-efficiency precision machined heatsinks be able to maintain clean and unimpeded air flow for proper cooling. The XTAC Amplifiers must NEVER be placed directly on carpet or other soft surfaces. If the room has carpet or similar soft surface, the XTAC Amplifiers must be placed on rigid, flat platforms, to preserve the full unimpeded height of the heat sink inlets above the surface. Platforms can potentially be made from a wide variety of materials, from simple plywood to butcher block to stone, or dedicated aftermarket amplifier stands if you wish. Similarly, the XTAC Amplifiers must not have shelving or other impediments to air flow above the heat sink outlets, for a distance of at least 2″ (5cm) above the top of the Amplifiers. XTAC amplifiers are designed to be placed very near their respective speaker arrays, to minimize the required speaker cable lengths. Audio signal should run from the preamplifier to the XTAC Amplifiers via balanced interconnect cables of your choice.
8. The AudioMachina XTAC Master Reference System is designed and manufactured to the very highest and most uncompromising standards in every way, from the smallest parts to the meticulously perfected layout to the manufacturing process to the final finished product. All enclosures are precision CNC machined, in our own manufacturing facility, from 100% aerospace-quality solid Aluminum Block. The XTAC Amplifiers are each made up of solid precision machined blocks, and the XTAC Speaker Modules represent, to our knowledge, the most advanced cabinet design ever achieved in the history of the world: Each XTAC Speaker Module is precision CNC machined, inside and out, from only one solid block of solid Aluminum. Yes, you read that correctly: The XTAC Speaker Module cabinets are one single piece of solid machined metal, with no joints, no separate pieces, no hardware to bolt those pieces together, or anything else that would reduce the insane stiffness, strength, and inertness achieved by making them out of a single solid block of metal. This is but one example, out of dozens upon dozens of examples, all leading to the same conclusion: The AudioMachina XTAC Master Reference System is so far beyond any other loudspeaker ever made, in so many ways, that there is simply no comparison.
9. The AudioMachina XTAC Master Reference System has been meticulously designed and manufactured to operate at extremely low noise levels, with tremendous dynamic range capabilities. Upstream system components, including sources and preamplifier, should be chosen with a similar dedication to extremely low noise and high dynamic range, if the XTAC Master Reference System is to deliver its full potential performance and fidelity. Input to the XTAC Amplifiers should come from a true balanced-output preamplifier via true balanced XLR interconnect cables of your choice. There are several world-class preamps of this type which we can recommend without hesitation, so please ask. Single-ended preamplifiers with unbalanced XLR outputs can be used in some cases, but at the risk of significantly higher system noise and/or hum compared to true balanced-output preamplifiers. We are happy to consult with you for any questions.
Read the White Paper. Yes, it’s really, really important. Read it.
Frequency Response, In-Room: 20Hz-20kHz, +/-3dB (Depends on Acoustic Treatment)
Maximum Peak SPL, both channels driven, 4m, 200Hz: >120dB
Amplifier Power: 10X >60W Audio Power per Speaker Module, >600W Total per Amplifier
Amplifier AC Input: 90-250VAC, 50-60Hz, Universal Worldwide AC Compatible
Amplifier AC Fuse: 6.3A or 12.5A (Please Specify High Voltage or Low Voltage AC Input)
Amplifier Audio Input: Analog XLR (Standard Pin Configuration: 1=Gnd, 2=Pos, 3=Neg)
Amplifier Sensitivity, XLR Input: ~1V-2VRMS for Full Output (Depends on Audio Spectral Content)
Amplifier Adjustments: HF adjust, LF adjust, 7-position precision switches, 1.5dB increments
Amplifier Dimensions: 15.6″ (40cm) W, 3.9″ (10cm) H, 5.9″ (15cm) D, excluding rear knobs/cables
Length, XTAC Speaker Module, single module: 15.625″ (397mm)
Width, Installed XTAC Speaker Module: ~10″ (~26cm)
Length, XTAC Line Array, 2.0m System (5X XTAC Speaker Modules): 78.125″ (1985mm)
Length, XTAC Line Array, 2.4m System (6X XTAC Speaker Modules): 93.75″ (2382mm)
Length, XTAC Line Array, 2.8m System (7X XTAC Speaker Modules): 109.375″ (2779mm)
Length, XTAC Line Array, 3.2m System (8X XTAC Speaker Modules): 125.0″ (3175mm)
Length, XTAC Line Array, 3.6m System (9X XTAC Speaker Modules): 140.625″ (3572mm)
Length, XTAC Line Array, 4.0m System (10X XTAC Speaker Modules): 156.25″ (3969mm)