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Lawrence Audio Double Bass Speakers Review

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Judging a Book by Its Cover

The way an item is shipped often says a lot about the manufacturer. It is apparent that Lawrence Audio gave considerable thought to this issue. Each Double Bass speaker is shipped in its own crate, which undoubtedly provides the greatest protection. But there’s more to the crate than initially meets the eye. The front panel is held in with screws and once removed, the speaker slides out on a support base with casters. But it gets even more clever: The speakers’ spikes (which are of course removable) sit in slots on the bass, thus keeping the speaker from toppling off the base when slid out of the crate and moved. Once in the listening room, the speaker can be (carefully) tipped over onto its side, the base removed, the speaker returned to the upright position (the spikes can be kept on or off, depending on listener preference). Kudos to Lawrence for incorporating both protection and ease of placement into the design.

The Parts make up the Whole

As noted above, the Double Bass is shaped like a musical instrument (as are the other models in the line). The Double Bass is angular in appearance and contains three distinct shapes, with the widest portion below, the narrowest at the top. There are additional angles on the bottom of the front face, and in the rear of the top-most section. Internally, the drivers are separated from one another, but externally, the appearance is one a single cabinet (unlike for example the Wilson Sasha, which is comprised of a small box sitting atop a larger box). The sides, and extreme top and bottom of the front face of the Double bass are MDF, with a black PE high gloss paint. Most of the front face is formed of what appears to be a composite material, to which are mounted the drivers (except for the rear driver, to be discussed momentarily). The lower half of the front face contains vertical indents, adding to the similarity to a musical instrument.  The angular construction, and narrowing on top, are intended to minimize diffraction.

The Double Bass is extremely attractive and aesthetically pleasing, not surprising given Lawrence’s background. It is well proportioned (wish I could say the same about myself), the black piano finish is lustrous, and the combination of angled sides and especially narrow top, make it far less visually imposing than other similarly sized speakers.

The Double Bass is described as a 4.5-way, vented-box. Its rated sensitivity is 89dB, and its nominal impedance is 8 Ohms (6.4 Ohm minimum). All drivers are from Aurum Cantus. The topmost section, which resembles the neck of a musical instrument, contains two air-motion transducers, between which is an aluminum ribbon tweeter. Lawrence refers to the air motion drivers as tweeters; I would classify them as midrange-tweeters and thereby describe the arrangement as MTM. Each air motion tweeters measure 25mm ×120mm; the ribbon tweeter, described as being high power handling, measures 60mm×8.5mm×0.01mm. Each of these three forward firing drivers is recessed in what might be described as its own “waveguide.” An additional aluminum ribbon tweeter, measuring 110mm×14.5mm×0.01mm , is on the rear of the speaker. The output of the AMTs is adjustable + 1 dB via a two-position switch near the binding posts.

AC30075C2C AC20050C2C(--)

The 8” midwoofer is composed of a non-woven carbon fiber/cell/non-woven carbon fiber. It uses a 50mm (2″) copper clad aluminum voice coil with flat wire, and what is described as a “special magnet system” with Faraday ring and demodulation coil, and Ferrite magnet.

The 12” Woofer is of similar construction as the midwoofer, but with a 75mm (3″) voice coil.   A triangular-shaped bass reflex hole is arranged in the side panels at the bottom, a design chosen so as to decrease airflow noise.

Regarding the crossover points, the woofer handles all frequencies up to its crossover point of 150 Hz, the midwoofer handles frequencies from 150 to1.8 kHz, the two air motion drivers cover from 1.8 kHz up to 30 kHz, the front aluminum ribbon handles from 7kHz up to 40 kHz, and the rear aluminum ribbon handles from 9kHz up to 40 kHz. (Lawrence confirmed that the AMT and aluminum ribbon tweeter overlap between 7 kHz and 30 kHz.) The crossover components are described as using MKP capacitors, high purified OFC inductors, and metal oxide film resistors with military industrial standard.

AST25120 G3N G2SI

The WBT binding posts are at the bottom rear of the speaker, and the speaker can be biamped or biwired. (When singly wired, supplied jumpers are used between the posts.) Each speaker measures 55.1″ height ×13.8″ width ×19.7″ depth (1400mm×350mm×500mm), and weighs approximately 115 lbs (52kgs).

System Setup

We initially placed the Double Bass speakers in my large room in the same approximate position as used for previous speakers, and firing almost straight forward. Initial listening resulted in a sound a friend referred to a” veiled,” and which I referred to as “thick.” I suspected the problem was lack of toe-in, so we progressively increased the toe-in. By far the best sound was obtained with the drivers pointing directly at the listener’s ears. Based on this I conclude that the speakers have relatively narrow dispersion, which I tentatively ascribe to the recessed mounting of the air motion drivers and ribbon tweeter.

Although the speakers were sounding quite good when properly toed, I couldn’t shake the feeling that they still were not performing at their best. I moved my seat forward a few feet, re-aimed the speakers so they were again firing directly at my ears, and like magic, everything fell into place. In this final position, the speakers and the listener were in a near equilateral triangle, with sides of 104.”

2 Responses to Lawrence Audio Double Bass Speakers Review

  1. Terry London says:

    I had the pleasure of very briefly meeting you at the Chicago Axpona this spring. I also have reviewed the Double Bass, along with Mr. Lawrence’s Mandolin and Cello speakers, for my website Excellent review and your take and conclusions on the Double Bass’s performance is the same experience I had. I would just add for your readers that the overall “house sound” is carried through the entire line down to the smallest member the Mandolin. My reference speaker is the Cello, which replaced after 18 years a planar speaker, because it offers both the speed and transparency of a panel and the precise imaging and dynamics of a box enclosure speaker. I’m still amazed that Mr. Lawrence was able to get such a seamless blend sonicly from AMTs/ribbons and cone drivers in both the Double Bass and the Cello Speakers. One last point, all the Lawrence speakers are very easy to drive, therefore all types of amps can be used. I use a twenty watt 300B amp in my system and do not lose dynamics at all. So, one can have fun and flexibility driving Lawrence speakers to get the type of musical experience you prefer.

  2. Mike Kay says:

    Wonderful Review! We are a Lawrence Audio Dealer in the Chicago Area and have the Lawrence Audio Double Bass on display. Local potential buyers are welcome to stop by for an audition.
    Many thanks!
    Mike Kay – Audio Archon

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