Magnetic Fluid Centering System (MFCS™)
The rear cone/voice coil suspension element in a typical loudspeaker driver is called a “spider” and it can add distortion to the drivers output – especially at high levels – because it acts like a secondary speaker cone, corrupting the output of the cone to which it is attached. Terra MFCS does away with the spider and its inherent problems, instead using a specially formulated magnetic fluid to help control and center the voice coil/cone assembly. This design offers several benefits:
- Higher quality sound with reduced distortion
- Enhanced cone suspension and control; guides the voice coil with greater, more consistent precision
- Permits extended cone travel for higher output
- The magnetic fluid dissipates voice coil heat far more efficiently than the air gap found in typical drivers, which increases power handling and reliability
- The suspension fluid doesn’t degrade over time
- MFCS is virtually immune to harsh environments unlike typical linen or cloth spiders
- Anodized Ceramic Aluminum Diaphragm (ACAD)
Anodized-Ceramic Aluminum Diaphragm (ACAD™)
One of the founding principles of Terra is that a properly implemented metal speaker cone is the best choice, as it’s light and rigid (two “ideal” speaker diaphragm characteristics). Terra’s proprietary anodizing method creates a ceramic sandwich that strengthens our single piece (no dust cap) aluminum cone and also damps it to minimize ringing. The result is a cone that delivers exceptionally clear and detailed sound throughout the bass and midrange while easily resisting the elements, indoors or out.
- Ceramic anodized Aluminum sandwich cone is very light and rigid, raising its resonance (break up mode) to well beyond the frequency range it’s required to produce
- Advanced crossover design rolls off the signal to the driver well below its resonance frequency thereby eliminating break up modes and their inherent distortion
- The light and stiff cone delivers extremely fast transient response for exceptional clarity and lower distortion
- The ACAD cone won’t deteriorate with exposure to the elements, UV or over time
- The metal cone enhances heat dissipation for the voice coil (in addition to the MFCS system), which further increases power handling and long term reliability
The best way to keep the elements out is to give them no way in. Terra’s UniCavity polyethylene enclosure is created in one piece, via a rotational molding process that yields uniform wall thickness and a seamless appearance. The spin-on/off end caps that secure the multi-angle aluminum bracket attach to a screw post that is part of the mold (thus there’s no thru screw hole).
How does the UniCavity improve sound? For one thing, its thickness and rigidity helps minimize vibrations (resonances) that can “color” the sound. But the real secret is in its rounded shape.
The edgeless, smooth shapes of the AC Series enclosures are as pleasing to the ears as they are to the eyes. In a typical sharp-edged speaker design, high frequencies not only radiate off the front of the tweeter, but they also travel along the face of the cabinet to the edges where they interact with the transition from the baffle to ‘free space”. This interaction impacts the sound, causing “diffraction effects”, as the sound transitions from the baffle to the free space. This effect creates clearly audible second-order harmonic distortions in the upper midrange and high frequencies. Terra’s smoothly rounded AC Series enclosures purposely have no sharp edges and right angles, and therefore produce virtually none of this second order harmonic distortion. The result? Clearer, more accurate sound reproduction with better dispersion and a wider sweet spot throughout the listening area, especially important when there are several people scattered around the patio, deck or pool.
A fourth technology that we offer isn’t about sound quality at all, but it does make sound possible no matter what the weather. But we have encountered plenty of rusted, corroded, and broken connectors on hundreds of other models. The Terra P and PT speakers solves this issue by feature a 4-foot “pig tail” connection. This is a watertight connection that will prevent corrosion in the wire. It is also available with an optional Conxall® marine-grade watertight quick connector for the speaker cable. In all our years of servicing other brands of outdoor speakers, we haven’t found any that use these heavy duty all-climate connectors.
Clearly, unlike other so-called “weatherproof” speakers, Terra’s models do not have to be mounted under eaves or otherwise protected from rain, sleet, or snow. They’re even rated for salt spray and chlorine mist exposure so sea-going ships or hot tubs are Terra friendly locations.
Form and Function
The engineers at Terra know speaker technology. They know CAD. They know manufacturing. Being Maine natives, they know where to get a fresh lobster tacos and fried lobster tails.
Fortunately, they also know industrial designer Allen Boothroyd. Those in the audio business for any length of time recognize the name Allen Boothroyd and his company, Cambridge Product Design. Boothroyd is one of the most respected product designers in the industry, renowned for his stylings as well as the mechanical elegance of his designs.
When you first set eyes on a Terra AC speaker, you experience its style. When you get one in your hands, you experience its design. For example, the Terra mounting bracket can be installed vertically or horizontally on a flat surface, or span a corner. No tools are needed to attach the bracket to the speaker. Simply spin on the easy-to-grasp threaded end caps. To change the angle of the speaker, simply loosen the end caps and rotate the speaker.
Good design can solve simple problems. For example, the grilles on outdoor speakers are typically pressure-fit — tricky to remove and put back without denting, and able to fall off entirely. The Terra AC grilles are made of dent-resistant plastic, and they are screwed on.