T+A Solitaire S 530
Combining the performance of electrostats and the usability of dynamic systems, the S 530 is immersive, dynamic and distortion-free, making it one of the best speakers on the market.
The history of the Solitaire name can be traced back over 35 years: since the 1980’s this term has been a byword for our accumulated competence in the field of transducers. The Solitaire S speakers continue this heritage, and link our loudspeakers even more closely to a particular independent bearer of the Solitaire name: our range of headphones. In terms of technology as well as nomenclature the two series of equipment are very closely related: as with all Solitaire P headphone models, the Solitaire S floor-standing loudspeakers exploit the magnetostatic principle.
In the Solitaire P headphones the entire sound transducer is magnetostatic, whereas the Solitaire speakers utilize this principle only in the treble range: they use two special drivers which are a completely new development, replacing the electrostatic treble units of the preceding series. The models of the S 530 and S 540 are based on the cylinder wave principle, whereas the S 430 make use of our Symmetric Directivity System. Shared by all Solitaire speakers is their amazing combination of musical enthusiasm and audiophile resolution, analytical ability and fine dynamics.
Loudspeakers are subject to a large number of external influences. The smallest idiosyncrasies in their design can be amplified by room influences in such a way that sound quality is made perceptibly worse. Reflections of the radiated sound from ceilings, floors and walls are a particular problem, as they can result in interference effects and delays which have a very harmful effect on the speakers’ imaging characteristics, transient handling and tonality. For this reason our Solitaire speakers feature several key technologies which enable them effectively to reduce these influences. The Solitaire S 530 neutralizes the problem with our cylinder wave technology.
The Solitaire S 530 is equipped with our unique magnetostatic treble drive units the Mag850, whose 85cm length is driven by 64 magnets. Its design generates a precisely linear magnetic field. The results are enormous dynamic range and high peak sound pressures, combined with impressive linearity and freedom from distortion. The refined design of the Mag850 combine the sonic performance of electrostats with the simple usability of dynamic systems.
The cones of the mid-range and bass drivers are made of embossed aluminum, making them particularly stiff and light in weight. The result is not only a highly linear frequency response, but also superb dynamic and transient characteristics; this is essential for their interplay with the extremely fast magnetostats.
The Solitaire S speakers are equipped with very complex, double-sided Fast Signal Response (FSR) three-way crossover units. These extraordinary crossovers play a crucial part in the outstanding imaging
and dispersion characteristics of the system as a whole.
This system represents the latest iteration of our Cylinder Wave Technology: a revolutionary concept which generates a homogeneous sound field between the loudspeakers, and effectively minimizes the disturbing influences of the listening room.
Design and Construction
The introduction of the Solitaire S loudspeakers also marks the debut for a new T+A design language. After almost forty years of “timeless reduction” the new Solitaire speakers are the first T+A products to be based on the new maxim of “classic modernity”, which incorporates modern style elements and ideas, but re-interprets them in a timelessly classical framework.
As a homage to the speakers which were their direct predecessors, all Solitaire loudspeakers feature an aluminum baffle machined from solid metal. This is enormously strong, and working together with the cabinet is the reason for the units’ outstanding dispersion characteristics. The baffle gives the Solitaire an indefinable presence in the listening room, while its gently curved cabinet form creates a harmonious link between the technically sober Bauhaus-style front panel and a cabinet design inspired by Art Deco. This excitingly different shape makes an ingenious contribution to concealing the speakers’ actual external dimensions: their substantial internal volume of up to 120 liters is the key to their impressively natural ultra-deep bass reproduction, whilst their carefully sculpted shape and lines give them an elegant aesthetic.
The solid cabinets are manufactured from high-density MDF and HDF, with multiple braces and stiffening elements, and are totally resonance-free. All external surfaces are assembled in a sophisticated multi-lamination process and feature a high-gloss finish. The refinement of the internal construction is matched in every respect by the speakers’ external appearance: the independent airtight chambers for the bass and mid-range drivers, the partition walls which suppress cabinet sound, and the separate magnetostat housings with bevelled back panels – all these features exemplify the perfection, solidity and durability which are the epitome of the T+A brand.
Cylinder Wave Technology
We place great faith in proven technologies, but also embrace the advantages of carefully conceived evolution. Our Cylinder Wave Technology was originally developed more than ten years ago for the ground-breaking Solitaire CWT models of that time. Then and now, Cylinder Wave Technology is used to avoid detrimental room reflections and allow for an undisturbed listening experience. The Mag850 and the seven mid-range drivers join forces as a Line Source and Line Array, respectively. As every point on Mag850’s diaphragm is moved simultaneously, it constitutes nothing short of a perfect Line Source, creating a planar dispersion characteristic. The oval shape of the seven mid-range units allow the individual units to be positioned much closer to each other. This arrangement creates a flat sound wave whose greatest power is directed forward into the listening area, in front of the loudspeaker. Radiation towards the ceiling and the floor – which generate the major part of harmful reflections – is prevented before it can develop, and in this way the musical reproduction becomes significantly more authentic and pure.
Star Stabilizer Diagrams
In common with all T+A devices, the Solitaire S 530 is infused with our desire to reproduce the music exactly as it was initially generated. Our StarStabilizer diaphragm system makes a crucial contribution to this aim in two ways: on the one hand the shape of the diaphragm follows an accurately calculated conical arc, and on the other, the center of the diaphragm below the star is deliberately stiffened. These two features work together to prevent natural resonances and modes, in which the drive units tend to break up by themselves, rather than transmit the actual signal. Our T+A StarStabilizer technology ensures that the diaphragms operate like pistons, without distortion, even under heavy load, and the music remains exactly as it arrives at the loudspeaker from the amplifier.
Mag850 Treble Driver
With a system length of 85 centimetres and a rear volume of more than three litres the Mag850 occupies a large part of the front section of the Solitaire loudspeaker. Its design, consisting of 64 magnets arranged in a single line, allows the diaphragm to vibrate unhindered in the room, while a Draft Control System – based on our TPM 3100 headphone transducer – eliminates sonic disturbances. The magnetic field is of identical strength over the entire surface of the diaphragm, and this is only possible through the precisely calculated position and shape of each magnet in the system. The result is a constant, even, powerful force at each individual point of the diaphragm, with its area of more than 200 square centimetres. The diaphragm also operates permanently in the linear part of the field, which means that the Mag850 constitutes a classic line source. Alternative designs are susceptible to partial oscillations and excess travel at particular points, which are harmful to sound quality, but the Mag850 avoids these effects both effectively and efficiently. The result is speed and precision comparable with electrostatic treble units, without having to accept the drawbacks of such systems, such as high operating and power supply voltages.
Like few other loudspeaker drive units, the design of bass systems suffers from a paradoxical problem: the higher their performance, the greater their potential to transmit vibration to the cabinet as a whole. Bass drivers are usually positioned on the front of the cabinet, but the Solitaire S 530 and S 540 feature two opposed long-throw bass drivers installed in the solid side panels of the cabinet. The cabinet sides are coupled to each other at this point by additional braces. This form of installation allows the drivers to balance each other out exactly, thereby eliminating vibration and resonances: the cabinet itself remains totally unmoved at all times, and exhibits no tendency to resonate even at extremely high sound pressures. Thanks to these characteristics the speakers form a harmonious unit, delivering an unbelievably dry, clean, high-pressure bass combined with mid and treble ranges utterly devoid of interference. High sound pressures not only make very special demands on the cabinet, but also on the drivers themselves: if they are not designed from the outset to satisfy these requirements one hundred percent, harsh non-linearities can easily occur very quickly. That is why our drivers are equipped with the StarStabilizer principle, as well as a new high-performance suspension which allows enormous travels. The reward for this additional refinement is apparent above all when the speakers are driven very hard: they are much more stable, and any non-linearities occur with far softer transitions.
The S 530 is equipped with two newly developed long-throw bass units with a diameter of 22 centimeters. The large cross-section bass reflex system, calculated precisely to match the cabinet volume and the driver parameters, provides superb deep bass reproduction as well as a highly dynamic bass range overall, harmonizing superbly with the ultra-agile mid-range system.
The Solitaire S speakers are equipped with very complex, double-sided Fast Signal Response (FSR) three-way crossover units. These extraordinary crossovers play a crucial part in the outstanding imaging and dispersion characteristics of the system as a whole. The earth has a dedicated layer in order to ensure that even very high currents and large signals can be processed without distortion. Accurately calculated and optimised for superb transient and transmission behaviour, they effortlessly process even extremely high levels, and ensure that all three frequency ranges are correctly driven. The filter stages and bandpasses are optimised for phase and group timing. We even employ special cable for the internal speaker drive unit connections. Since the magnetostats are capable of handling more than 50 kHz, we use our own co-axial cable which can reproduce even the highest frequencies without losses. Bass, mid and treble ranges can be fine-tuned by means of switches. Since the circuit boards for the bass and mid-range areas are completely separate from each other, the Solitaire S is ideal for use in bi-amping arrangements.
|Principle||Floor-standing 3-way bass reflex|
|Power Rating||Nominal load: 200 W
Music power: 250 W
|Frequency range||29 – 45000 Hz|
|Bass Drive Unit||2 x 220 mm|
|Midrange Unit||7 x 90/60 mm|
|High-Frequency Driver||1 x 850 mm magnetostat|
|Crossover Frequencies||180 / 1800 Hz|
|Dimensions HxWxD||128 x 26 x 45 cm, Hight incl. base|
Visit us for a listening session and free consultation
You are cordially invited to experience Bliss. We are located in Minnetonka, MN on the Deephaven border. We accommodate visits by appointment only and give you our complete attention when you are here. You should expect to have the opportunity to listen to a reference-level system and being engaged in discussion so we learn how to best help guide you further along your journey.
Hours: By appointment only