A HISTORY OF THE BLUE ROOM
Future Shape Of Sound
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2000 • DARK SIDE OF THE BASS

BIRTH OF THE BASS STATION

With the prospect of competing in a cinema set-up it was apparent that the MiniPod needed some extra bass extension and so a new design brief was set. Modern music listening and the emergence of home theater have created a need for amplification of that bottom octave without wanting to return to big speakers. Traditional subwoofers have always been large chunky boxes, and because most of them have built-in amplification, they usually sport unsightly heat extrusion fins.

I took inspiration from the ancient form of a percussionist’s drum for the shape of the MiniPod bass-station. The sub bass driver sits horizontally on top and vibrates like a drum skin, conducting sound through the cylindrical body of the subwoofer cabinet to the bass-port horn sat underneath.

The Bass Station cabinet is created from a two-piece plastic injection molding, internally braced for acoustic rigidity. Its cylindrical form is gently contoured to minimize air turbulence, and the near-spherical enclosure keeps internal resonance at a high frequency to avoid any colouration of the sound.  All the low frequencies emitting from the Bass-station come through the downwards firing bass reflex port, which is gently flared to keep the airflow smooth. Placing the inner end of the port at the center of the Bass Station cylinder helps to keep unwanted overtones out of the frequency band. In keeping with the MiniPod, the shape stationed on four aluminum sputnik legs, which also lift the bass port from the floor. A gentle curve sweeps around the cabinet finishing in a teardrop mount for placement of the product badge. The Bass Station is powered and includes 75 watts of amplification neatly concealed on the backside of the cabinet. When the speaker is active, a blue LED light emits behind the front translucent product badge to indicate it is turned on.

This piece of complementary acoustic technology can come out from behind the sofa and unobtrusively positioned to join the MiniPods.