When Phil Jones, the man behind Phil Jones’ Bass and AAD, decides he wants to put a pair of speakers together, you can prepare yourself for speakers with small drivers that are going to be pushed to very limits of their low-frequency response. Phil Jones claims to be a man of having grown up with the thought that bass can only come from large speakers. That stereotype however, was tossed aside when he started to tinker with cabinet designs and small driver sizes with an almost crazy obsession. It is from this obsession that we bring to you his Silver Reference 7 tower speakers, from his Silver Reference series.
OUT OF THE BOX
This is what you call ‘tower’ speakers, because of their slender yet very tough boned cabinet soars to the skies like Donald Trump had something to do with it. They are remarkably heavy for their size, but mass is always a good thing in floorstanders, especially when you see only four little drivers staring at you from the metallic finished front baffle. The speakers terminate their height with a curvy top plate that sure perpetuates the bulkiness of the glossy veneer finished cabinet. The back contains little bass reflex ports above the bi-wirable binding posts, the finish of all these components kept as classy and refined as the cabinet and drivers themselves.
After disarming the grills from the front baffle, the drivers that looked back at us were namely three proprietary 5” Kevlar/Carbon Fibre drivers with a Helical Conductive Tweeter or HCT on the very top. Unlike standard dome tweeters, the HCT has a flat horn-loaded diaphragm to reduce harshness and improve the off-axis response. The tweeter, as AAD claims, can go all the way up to 40kHz without a dip or a rise in the frequency response, something that’s extremely hard to pull off.
As for the honeycomb bass drivers, they are split over different crossover points to give them their own share of the mids to the lows, while the three little bass ports on the back expel the cabinet’s role in the acoustics. The reason for using small drivers or rather 5” drivers to reproduce bass rather than larger drivers is primarily for their quickness. The reason why they aren’t used in other speakers is because the bass produced by smaller speakers doesn’t project as far as that of a large driver. However, if you were to put several small speakers in an array, the total surface area of all the little speakers is equivalent to that of a large driver, with quickness that can only come from the magnets and voice coils of small drivers. You get much better control, heat dissipation and massive motor force to control a small 5” cone. The crossovers you apply break the frequency bands down into specifics; letting each driver work at its optimum in the concentrated frequency range it is given. As for the cabinet, it has been braced and dampened at very specific resonance points to minimise internal resonance and colouration.
Judging by the amount Phil Jones concentrates on bass response, we were really getting ourselves ready for a low-frequency heavy performance. However, don’t think for one moment that he’s forgotten about the highs.