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Bewith Essentials of Sound No. 04 – The Evolution of the Flagship “Confidence” Speaker

Let’s shine our spotlight on Japanese premium car audio brand Bewith’s product, the Confidence speaker. Looking at the technology and ideas incorporated in the Confidence’s development, we’ll also gain a better understanding of how speakers and car audio work. We’ll consider the difficulties in car audio development and see how Confidence evolved to confront and resolve these difficulties.

Last time, we explained the contradictions that stand in the way of creating the ideal sound through car audio. We explained how Bewith tackled and overcame these contradictions one by one. We touched on the fact that a car audio speaker unit is essentially an unfinished product. Now, let’s look further at this problem.

THE PROBLEM OF DEADENING AND WHY NO MANUAL CAN COVER IT

You’ve probably heard the word “deadening” before. It refers to efforts undertaken to adjust the factors that influence sound around the inside of car doors.

A great deal goes into deadening. Key points are the mitigation of vibrations in the plating of the inside of the door and handling the pressure from the energy produced at the back of the speaker. There are many ideas for how these efforts should be undertaken. Differences in the specific characteristics of the power amp and speaker unit used present challenges, as well as the fact that each car model has its own molding for the inside of the doors. There is no way to put all of this in an instruction manual. As a result, there can be differences in sound due to the way the speaker is installed.

To deal with these problems, Bewith offers the SIEG in-vehicle acoustic measurement system to vendors and the sound verification program that’s at the heart of it.

Actually, Bewith has also attacked these problems by recommending the use of enclosures. You can install a speaker in an enclosure for car audio just as it’s done for home audio, and in many cases this is better because it focuses on controlling the speaker, rather than trying to control the environment around the inside of the door. Controlling the speaker unit itself is a more logical approach.

BEWITH’S BOLD 13cm SPEAKER AND THE REASONING BEHIND IT

For its enclosures, Bewith uses a 13cm mid-woofer. Usually, mid-woofers are 16 to 17cm. This is because a larger aperture is good for lower tones. However, a larger aperture requires a larger enclosure, and an enclosure that could house a 16-17cm speaker isn’t suitable for the inside of a car door.

This is why Bewith chose instead to create a 13cm speaker for this application. This speaker is small enough to be housed in a small enclosure but is also designed to produce tones the 16-17cm speaker can produce.

The company developed its enclosures for this purpose in a “bass reflex” style. What this means is that there is a hole in the back of the enclosure called a “port.” It boosts the low frequencies the speaker produces through the backward pressure that’s produced at the back of the speaker.

One disadvantage of adding an enclosure is that the lining of the inside of the door must be fabricated in order to house the enclosure. For users who don’t want fabrication, adding an enclosure is not a feasible option.

However, Bewith doesn’t consider adding enclosures to the Confidence as a given. It has developed other methods for bringing out 100% of a speaker unit’s performance without using an enclosure.

LUXURY CAR AUDIO DESIGNED FOR LUXURY AUTOMOBILES

Some exciting news revealed in the fall of 2013 showed how far Bewith’s product development had evolved. The news was that Bewith received an order from Pagani Japan to provide an optional audio system for the Japan version of Italian car maker Pagani’s Huayra.

Pagani is a supercar maker founded by Horacio Pagani, a designer who worked for Lamborghini. The Huayra is Pagani’s latest model, released in 2011. It is the successor model to the Zonda supercar and starts at 150,000,000 yen.

Bewith created the Bewith Prime Ensemble for Huayra, an optional audio system built especially to match the Huayra’s body construction. It is a major step forward based on the system Bewith designed for the Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren Roadster 722S. The system is simple yet high-grade and made to match the world’s highest level super sports cars. Its design gave meticulous consideration to every detail to ensure that its installation would not lessen the value of the car. As befits a supercar, it was designed so that the user could change its positioning and the entire system is lightweight and constructed with no enclosure.

The speaker used for the Bewith Prime Ensemble for Huayra is the Confidence II Sunrise Trio. It is a 3-way system built with the Confidence II Sunrise series, which was released in fall 2011 and is the top model in the Confidence speaker’s history.

THE NEWLY DEVELOPED “MAGNEOLA” MAGNESIUM ALLOY FOR ACOUSTIC APPLICATIONS

Confidence II Sunrise is a continuation of the idea behind the Confidence speaker. It’s an even further condensation of the original design concept. The Bewith Prime Ensemble for Huayra uses the newly developed Magneola magnesium alloy for acoustic use for the speaker’s baffle (the mounting surface). This is one way to tackle the problems of car audio that’s an alternative to adding an enclosure.

Magneola is a material that was first used for Bewith’s Accurate A-110S II power amp, which was released in 2012. Magnesium is an ideal material to use for acoustic devices in cars, and Bewith used it for the first time in the world for a mass-market model. Among practical metals, magnesium is the lightest. It is 1/2 to 2/3 the weight of aluminum and less than 1/4 the weight of iron. The reason why it is ideal for car acoustics is that it has high vibration absorbability. Theoretically, it has more than 250 times the vibration absorbability of aluminum. Using this for the buffer (the plate that attaches the speaker) allows you to control the Confidence II Sunrise without making large-scale changes to the inside portion of the door. The news of the Bewith Prime Ensemble for Huayra showed that Bewith’s Confidence had truly progressed to the next stage in its development.

Although Bewith’s Confidence is a speaker in a class of its own developed by thinking outside the box, it is simple and compact. Built on sound theories and principles, its only aim is to reproduce a sound source’s frequency, volume and tone color as faithfully as possible.

Bewith goes as far as managing installation and sound tuning in order to bring out 100% the performance of its speakers. It tackles one-by-one all of the difficulties faced in development, including the contradictions in speaker development as well as the contradictions in car audio.

Confidence will surely continue to evolve into the future. Many eyes are on this unique premium audio brand to see how it will grow and where it will go next.

(Translated by Greg Scott)