The Secrets behind Bewith’s New Flagship Confidence III Speaker System

Leading Japanese high-end car audio brand Bewith has unveiled its new flagship speaker series, Confidence III. Let’s throw some light on the secrets that make this speaker so unique.

You could say that Confidence is the model that best represents Bewith. The brand started its history with the 2002 release of the original Confidence speaker. This product has become a symbol of the company’s aim to reproduce sound as faithfully as possible.

The latest edition of Bewith’s flagship model is the Confidence III series, released on February 12, 2016.

First, let’s introduce the lineup.

– Confidence III 13cm separate 2-way system – 520,000 yen
– C-50III 5cm wide-range tweeter – 250,000 yen per pair
– C-130II 13cm mid-woofer – 250,000 yen per pair
– C-180III 18cm sub-woofer – 300,000 per unit

Confidence III includes a tweeter, mid-woofer and passive crossover network. Other products are sold separately.

Let’s look at how the Confidence product has evolved to its latest version. The basic concept hasn’t changed at all from the first version. The sole aim is simple – to reproduce sound that’s faithful to its source. This is Bewith’s vision and it underlies everything the company does.

In order to achieve this aim, Confidence uses its PPC (Polar Pattern Control) speaker technology. This unique technology has been part of Confidence from the very beginning. It uses what’s called an eccentric cone, which means that the diaphragm is designed in such a way to offset its central axis. This allows you to control its direction and completely eliminate secondary and tertiary distortion. This technology enables users to control the acoustic field and find the ideal position for the most accurate reproduction of sound.

Furthermore, Bewith has adopted the same construction, same materials and same design for every product in the series so that there is a common circuit design for all units. The aim was for tone quality cohesion in all three speakers all the way up to the sub-woofer in order to realize a flat and smooth frequency response at any range. From the low to high range, it sounds as if you were listening to just one speaker.

The new Confidence III system takes precision to a whole new level by using the world’s first and only all PPC eccentric cone system.

However, with the release of the predecessor, Confidence II and Confidence II Sunrise, great strides were taken to hone the accuracy of the speakers’ sound. To further evolve from a product like that is no easy task.

Bewith has spent the last 13 years accumulating a great deal of speaker design know-how. Its designers can now create an unprecedented level of accuracy. With a technical foundation such as this, it becomes only a matter of implantation. Through a massive amount of trial and error, its speakers have finally reached the point where there is no more improvement that can be made. The Confidence speaker has reached its ultimate form.

In concrete terms, the main points are:

1. The narrowing of the voice coil top plate cap
2. Strengthened magnetic force
3. New center cap
4. Changes in diaphragm material blending ratio

Let’s cover each of these one by one.

1. The narrowing of the voice coil top plate cap

First, a voice coil is used for the mid-woofer and sub-woofer. Inside the speaker’s magnetic circuit is a donut-shaped magnet. A voice coil is an electromagnet that is placed in the hole in the middle of this donut. The gap that is left is extremely narrow.

An audio signal comes to the voice coil and it moves according to Fleming’s left-hand rule, which then communicates to the diaphragm. The diaphragm pushes air to produce sound. This is how a speaker produces sound. But if you narrow the space between the voice coil and the magnet, the coil can move with more force and agility. It also allows the sound to stop more quickly. This leads to better sound than a regular speaker.

However, the placement of the voice coil matters a great deal. If the coil and magnet are not flat enough, or if the gap is too narrow, you’ll have problems. You may hear the sound of the coil and speaker bumping each other or the speaker could be damaged.

For Confidence II, the gap was narrowed as much as possible, but Confidence III goes even further in its pursuit of the ultimate accuracy.

2. Strengthened magnetic force

This point also applies to mid-woofers and sub-woofers. All Confidence magnets use the rare earth metal neodymium. To make neodymium magnetic, the magnetization device must be strengthened.

However, there is an extreme difficulty here as well. Magnetization requires a great deal of electrical power, but too much power can break the magnetization device. This could cost a company dearly in time and budget. However, Bewith to some extent ignored this risk and instead placed its priority on creating a powerful magnetization device. As a result, it could create neodymium with the ideal magnetic force.

3. New center cap

The key to the high level of sound produced by Confidence III is its center cap. In overly-simplified terms, this is the cap of the voice coil. Changes in its material produce changes in the sound.

Bewith tried a variety of different materials to find the best possible option for this key determiner of sound characteristics. What it finally settled on was a Sunrise Red Metal matte finish center cap produced via nano-carbon deposition. This is what produces the speaker’s clear, beautiful sound.

4. Changes in diaphragm material blending ratio

To start with, Bewith considered a vast array of material combinations. It exhaustively tested these materials in order to discover which would work best. The process involved repeat listening trials and exhaustive measurement and analysis of data. Finally, developers chose the material blending ratio that performed the best.

These are the design features that were a further evolution from Confidence II. Their effect on the actual sound was verified through listening trials in a Mercedes-Benz CLS demo car. I was able to hear the sound myself and here is what I found.

First, here is the exact Bewith system used. The source unit was the STATE MM-1D. There were two STATE A6 Pro LR processors. It had six P-1 power amps, the speakers included the C-50III Tweeter, C-130III mid-woofer, and C-180III sub-woofer. The sub-woofers were in stereo.

I sat in the driver’s seat of the CLS and listened to a series of tracks. The first started with a gentle acoustic guitar which shone with the sound of Confidence III. Each individual sound was soft but had its own individual presence. When the voice appeared, it was quite a shock. It was as vivid and real as it could possibly be.

The next track was a pop group. First, there was the bass sound whose tones I could feel inside me. There was a build-up and I could feel the energy of the band. The tone was tight and had a sense of motion, and the tones were deep, thick and heavy. When the whole band was playing, it was astonishing. Each individual sound was dense and fulfilling.

What was especially phenomenal was how sharp the sound was. For example, the attack of the sound of the handclaps was extremely sharp. I could feel it like it was right in front of my eyes.

Also particularly impressive was the sense of texture. When played at high volume on a regular system, a pop song’s many simultaneous sounds can be noisy, but that wasn’t the case at all with the Confidence III system. You could hear each sound and the levels were comfortable. The classical track we were treated to next was also comfortable. It was smooth and warm, and the sounds were delicate.

The Confidence III speaker system is truly a masterpiece. I would certainly consider this the ultimate reproduction of sound. The improvements described above left their mark on every aspect of the sound coming from the speakers. Through the experience of actually hearing what it can do, I could easily understand how this is the concept of Confidence in its ultimate form. Confidence III is peerless.

This product takes all of the ideas behind the Confidence series and the history of Bewith, and condenses it into a speaker that produces near-perfect sound reproduction. It will change the way you think about car audio.

(Translated by Greg Scott)