Jordan Eikona TL Array Loudspeaker

 

The benefits of using the Eikona 2 full-range loudspeaker in a line array format has been covered before on our blog. The transient response of a single, lightweight 100 mm cone is retained while greater sensitivity and power handling allow it to compete with much larger systems. The single, vertical line helps overcome problems with room acoustics as well as maintaining a stable stereo image over a wide area.

We have already designed both a reflex and a sealed Eikona Array, but we always knew we could go further by combining the array with a transmission line enclosure.

EJ Jordan Designs has a long history with transmission line (TL) designs. Ted Jordan’s first published article in 1954 described a labyrinth enclosure, a precursor to TLs, and his VTL cabinet has been popular for over 20 years. In recent years, there have been significant advances in the field, notably in software modelling and the types of acoustic damping material available.

The Eikona TL Array has been in development for two years, refining the design to match the characteristics of the Eikona. We wanted an enclosure that combined the natural sound and transient attack of Ted’s iconic drive unit with the resonance-free mid-range and deep bass that truly great transmission line speakers can achieve.

The brief was to design a transmission line that could handle pace and rhythm – many TLs can sound slow, especially in the bass. One of the routes to achieve this was to fold the line a minimum number of times and have the line exit at the port. This immediately makes it sound more open and leads to fewer acoustic problems in-room, with line mouth and drivers closer together. Although the Eikona TL Array looks simple,  it has taken considerable fine-tuning, including careful choice of acoustic damping material.

The Eikona TL Array is straightforward to build as there are none of the awkward folds or angles seen in a number of traditional TL designs. The line partition helps with cabinet rigidity and there are additional braces shown on the plans. The height of the enclosure enables it to be cut from the customary 1.2 m wide sheet side. (Incidentally, although either MDF or high quality birch ply can be used, we strongly recommend the latter for better performance.)

Early builds of the Eikona TL Array have been running for some months now and we’re pleased to report they have matched our design aims. The TL Array has an effortless grace and coherence, enabling it to handle the full scale of any music, from a single female vocalist to the might of a full orchestra. It even does pretty well on the likes of Massive Attack (and thanks to Ian, our early tester, for demonstrating that one!)

Listener feedback has been excellent and we will add full reviews at a later date. Typical comments are:

“The detail from the speakers was quite extraordinary … there was weight and real solidity to the sound.”

“The level of detail is incredible, you can hear everything recorded, separated but integrated, set in its exact position. The bass is beautifully tight and drums…well they sound like drums, which isn’t as easy a task as it sounds, especially for such small drivers. They also go very loud without losing anything!! The soundstage is huge and has real depth and height.”

 

Benefits:

  • A single fold in the line for a simpler build and improved air flow
  • The line exits at the top – so the sound is cleaner and puts the port close to the drivers
  • Increased sensitivity and power handling over a single Eikona
  • 4 smaller, lighter cones have faster transient response than a single, larger bass driver
  • An easy 8 ohm load
  • Tall enclosure but not too bulky
  • Height designed to fit standard 1.2m sheet

 

You can download the Eikona TL Array construction guide here.

As ever, if you decide to construct this loudspeaker, we are always available to answer queries and are happy to host photographs of your project on our Facebook and Pinterest galleries.

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