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Mar 01, 2007

So I just recently learned that M&K has decided to close their doors. This is definitely a loss for the audio world; I haven’t kept up with the speaker market as much as I used to since I got into the custom/DIY speaker world, but back in the day, M&K subwoofers were among the best on the market.

No reason given for the shutdown, but their website implies that cheap Chinese knockoffs may have been the cause. If true, than that would be a shame. I know that microphone manufacturers (both recording and precision measurement) are having issues with some Chinese factories ripping off American and European designs. I’d hate to see that these cheap copies are driving away the innovators in the industry.

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Wired reports on a DARPA proposal to use ultrasonics to reduce sound levels from U.S. military equipment. The DARPA presentation states:

Theory predicts that nonlinear effects of high-power acoustic radiation on the atmosphere can cause acoustic energy to dissipate rather than radiate.

I’m not sure what this statement refers to - certainly the nonlinear effects of the atmosphere can can be used to generate sound, as Holosonics has demonstrated. Perhaps there walking about using ultrasonics to ‘disrupt’ (not to be confused with “cancel”) sound waves in the audible range? If so, I think that would be difficult to do for the low-frequency sound waves typical with heavy equipment.

Admittedly ultrasonic acoustics is not my area of expertise. I’d be curious to read more about the theory that the budget proposal refers to.

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