The Pegasus Reference loudspeaker has been upgraded to the Pegasus Reference Xtreme II.
While a perfect loudspeaker would be able to reproduce any musical signal at any level without distortion or coloration, we realize that no loudspeaker can be flawless. Nevertheless, with innovative design and careful implementation we can more closely approach the ideal. Relatively large loudspeakers are required to produce lifelike dynamics, especially at low frequencies. However, most large loudspeakers suffer from limitations related to coloration, imaging, low-level resolution, bass integration, harmonic accuracy, coherency, transparency and soundstaging. In addition, large loudspeakers may be difficult to place in a room.
Pegasus Reference Xtreme II was developed to greatly reduce or eliminate these limitations. Bringing over thirty years of experience to bear upon this project, designer Carl Marchisotto would not be satisfied with a design until he would purchase it himself. This is very different from the typical large corporation "design by committee" routine.
Comments about Pegasus at CES 2006:
Comments about Pegasus at CES 2005:
Comments about Pegasus at CES 2004:
Pegasus Reference Xtreme II is built in two sections that are stacked one on top of the other. The upper section contains all the drivers except the four bass drivers that are located in the lower section. The upper section now uses a high gloss, black acrylic sub baffle to further reduce coloration. A major problem with large loudspeakers having extended bass is in isolating the bass vibrations so they do not obscure low level mid band information. The best solution is to use separate bass enclosures as in the NOLA GRAND REFERENCE. However, this is both very expensive and takes up considerable floor space. Pegasus Reference Xtreme II utilizes a built-in ball bearing system as an effective means of dealing with this problem.
Loudspeaker coloration is most audible through the critical midrange frequencies. Pegasus Reference Xtreme II utilizes two midrange drivers operating in open baffle dipole mode. The open baffle mode eliminates coloration due to cabinet resonances, air chamber standing wave resonances and delayed through-the-cone resonances. These drivers utilize a new 110mm tri-laminate cone, developed to improve low level resolution. These transducers are driven by the highest quality Alnico magnet systems for the lowest possible musical distortion and very wide dynamic contrasts. Two are utilized to double power handling and provide a better match to the air.
The high frequency drivers are domes operating in the dipole mode to eliminate the slowing of the response and resultant slight mechanical sound typical of sealed-back domes. These magnesium / aluminum alloy domes are also driven by twin Alnico ring magnets for the lowest possible distortion and widest dynamic contrasts. Two drivers are utilized to double power handling and provide a better match to the air.
A unique upper bass driver is rear mounted and upward firing. This driver operates as a dipole over the upper bass range with extremely fast response, as there is no enclosure to slow the response. This 200mm driver has its own crossover and also uses an Alnico magnet for highest quality response.
Twin 220mm mid-bass drivers are forward firing in isolated sealed chambers and reproduce the mid-bass through the lower midrange with authority and accuracy. These drivers employ machined magnesium cones with solid copper phase plugs for high speed and low coloration. These mid-bass drivers are the same as used in the Nola Grand Reference.
Upper section cabinet coloration is greatly reduced by using a built-in ball bearing system to absorb vibration and provide isolation from the lower section cabinet.
Four 200mm bass drivers are located in the lower section. They are arrayed in an opposing force vibration-cancelling mode with two drivers on each side and operate as a sealed system. These drivers use the composite fiber cone driven by an Alnico magnet system. Improved cone control is provided by this arrangement, as mechanically the cones are working against each other.
The Pegasus Reference Xtreme II is only 9½ inches wide through the mid-bass to lower mid frequency range. This minimizes diffraction distortion and its negative impact on stereo imaging. Many large speakers can be twice this width, substantially degrading imaging. Pegasus Reference Xtreme II can disappear into the sound stage like a mini-monitor such as NAPOLEON, but with life-like image size and dynamics over the whole frequency range.
From the critical midrange on up, Pegasus Reference Xtreme II uses the same 45-degree mirror imaged array originally developed for the NOLA GRAND REFERENCE, which uses 9 ribbon tweeters and 6 midrange drivers. In Pegasus Reference Xtreme II we use two midranges and two tweeters - but with the same advantage of lifelike image size and improved focus. The mid-high frequency array operates as a cross between a line source and a point source and as in the NOLA GRAND REFERENCE possesses the advantages of both. The mid- and high-frequency baffles use a sculpted mirror-imaged shape to further reduce diffraction distortion and baffle reflections. Since the upper bass, midrange and high frequency drivers operate as dipoles, they naturally limit the amount of sound that is bounced off the floor, side walls and ceiling, via dipole cancellation, for a clearer view into the recorded sound stage.
Low Level Resolution
Several techniques are employed to maximize low level resolution. First, all drivers are designed to reproduce the smallest details of the music signal. The drivers are engineered to have very low loss and therefore will respond accurately to signals in the milliwatt range. We can do this because we design all of the drivers for our own use. We do not use off-the-shelf units as many manufacturers do. There is no feeling of needing a lot of power to "get the speaker going". This quality also makes low-level listening a reality. However, larger amplifiers, as long as they are very high quality, will provide a sense of greater ease and life-like dynamics.
Second, the sensitive mid / high frequency crossovers are mounted in a separate external module, which sits just behind the speaker. This approach isolates these circuits from the magnetic, electric and vibration fields, which abound inside the speaker enclosure near the speaker drivers. Thus low-level information, normally obscured, is now revealed.
Third, the crossovers are all hard-wired using oxygen-free copper wire. No printed circuit boards or fuses are used anywhere in order to preserve low-level resolution.
Fourth, the crossover components are state of the art. Proprietary low loss polypropylene 1200 volt capacitors are utilized - same as in the NOLA GRAND REFERENCE IV. While it is common practice to compromise on inductor quality for low frequencies by using non-linear iron core or ferrite core units, this approach was found to be not good enough for Pegasus Reference Xtreme II. Indeed the low frequency inductor is a massive custom linear air core design employing 17 pounds of oxygen free copper! This inductor is distortion-free at levels beyond 1000 watts with no loss of milliwatt low level information.
Fifth, the crossover module now sits on the IP-1 Isolation Platform, which uses the same sophisticated ball bearing isolation system as the speaker, to further improve low level resolution. The crossover module now utilizes 5 pairs of premium solid copper binding posts and Nordost Valhalla spade-to-spade jumpers, to provide the highest quality connection from crossover to speaker.
Instead of using large bass drivers with small midranges or large and medium size bass drivers in the same cabinet with smaller midranges, Pegasus Reference Xtreme II eschews these common approaches and uses a different concept which avoids integration limitations. All bass drivers are in fact the same size and have the same moving mass, so we have crossovers from and to units with identical parameters in the bass range. These drivers are utilized in three different ways to cover the bass range. However, the character of the bass, by definition, is the same from below 20 Hz through 500 Hz and this eliminates bass integration problems and helps to allow Pegasus Reference Xtreme II to sound like a single driver.
These are all related. Pegasus Reference Xtreme II utilizes only slow slope, essentially linear phase type crossovers throughout. While Pegasus Reference Xtreme II is technically a 5½-way system, it speaks with one voice from top to bottom. This crossover design allows excellent pulse reproduction for superb transient response and sound staging. High slope crossovers (24 dB is popular, and some use infinite slope) all compromise transient response, harmonic accuracy and soundstaging, to ultimately produce an unnatural sound. The Alnico magnet systems used in the system promote natural harmonic structures without the "edge" so often associated with dynamic systems. The combination of harmonically correct low distortion drivers, low phase shift crossovers with low energy storage, reduced diffraction and excellent transient response, maximizes all of the above qualities.
Because Pegasus Reference Xtreme II is built in two stackable pieces, optimum room placement is much easier to obtain than with typical single piece heavier construction. Also, the use of ball bearing isolators reduces resonance and allows easier placement in the room.
Xtreme Crossover Module
The Xtreme Crossover Module was developed for our statement loudspeaker, the new Grand Reference IV. It was found that this same technology yielded greatly improved performance for Pegasus so it has become the standard crossover module for the Pegasus Reference Xtreme II as well. The module has been increased in size in order to accommodate the oversize ultra-premium passive components. Capacitors wound with silver and gold conductors and rated at an extreme 1200 volts are utilized. Solid copper foil inductors and silver mono-filament crossover wires are also standard. The net result of all the changes is a substantial improvement in sonic performance across the entire spectrum without sacrificing the musicality of the design.
Note: Note: It is our opinion that specifications are useful
during the design process but in no way can they be used to judge the
suitability of a loudspeaker for reproducing music. While only the
palette can distinguish a great wine from a good wine, similarly only
the human ear can distinguish a great loudspeaker from a good one. It
is often heard that a particular listener may like the way a given
loudspeaker is "voiced". This is to provide a certain type of sound
from a loudspeaker and is not about accuracy. Many popular
loudspeakers are not particularly accurate. Many loudspeakers
advertised as accurate do not sound like music. Pegasus Reference
Xtreme II is not voiced but instead is designed to replicate as
closely as possible the music signal fed to it, without being
characterized as being analytical. Pegasus Reference Xtreme II is
intensely musical in the best sense of the word. Our goal is to add
nothing and to subtract nothing from the music signal. To this extent,
Pegasus Reference Xtreme II can be almost chameleon-like in
sounding soft, hard, full, thin, up front, distant, dull, bright,
large, or small in reproducing the input signal.|
It is advised that only the best equipment be used with Pegasus Reference Xtreme II as all system limitations will be instantly revealed. We feel this is as it should be.
High frequency: Two 25mm magnesium alloy dipole domes driven
by dual Alnico magnets|
Mid frequency: Two 110mm dipole tri-laminate cones driven by Alnico magnets
Upper bass: One 200mm rear mounted dipole composite cone driven by Alnico magnet
Mid bass: Two sealed forward firing cast frame 220mm magnesium cones with solid copper phase plugs
Bass: Four sealed side-firing 200mm composite cones driven by Alnico magnets
Frequency Range: 20 Hz to 25 kHz
Amplifier range: 30 watts or more
Connection: 5 way solid copper binding posts / tri-wire
Impedance: The impedance curve is smooth with a nominal value
of 8 ohms and a minimum value of 4 ohms from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The
phase angle varies only ±30 degrees over this range thus
presenting a near resistive easily driven load to the amplifier.|
Finish: Piano Rosewood (standard)
Tower: 9½" W x 65"H x 25"D (Weight: 90 lb. upper section, 100 lb. lower section)
Crossover: 10½" W x 6¼" H x 15"D
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