Genesis of Acoustic 3D

Twenty-odd years ago, Joe Hayes  made a scientific breakthrough in audio amplification and discovered how to generate an audio hologram.

Joe Hayes

Joe Hayes

“The sound quality of our Acoustic3D speaker technology has its genesis in my attempts to understand why Stradivarius violins sounded so good. When I graduated from my electrical engineering studies I knew what I wanted to do – make violins of course!

I went to the local luthier who calmly explained that instead of him paying me an apprentice’s wages I would have to pay him tuition fees because I would slow him down and make him less productive. OK, I thought – I need another approach.

I discovered the Master of Science (Acoustics) coursework studies at a university in Sydney. I moved down and started studying while working as a tutor in electrical engineering. Dr Anita Lawrence there was wonderful. She had 30 years plus of psycho-acoustic knowledge and a bibliography of contextual research she shared with us.

Slowly I put together my own understanding of musical instrument acoustics. Soon I had enough understanding to start PASSAC, a company specialising in amplification of acoustic instruments. Studying musical instrument resonant patterns, I started to see prime number relationships. Next with PASSAC, I made electric guitars sound like acoustic guitars – and acoustic guitars sound like electric guitars. Things were getting very interesting. As my understanding progressed and I put it all together – the work of Edmund Zwicker, the prime number resonances, the pitch detection of MIDI guitars, and the Chladni patterns of modes of vibration of the musical instrument soundboard – I suddenly could see something extraordinarily special. Perhaps the secret behind the Stradivarius! But instead of building a musical instrument, I built a pair of loudspeakers.

With the help of Frances Mahony I built the 1st pair of Acoustic3D prototypes 21 years ago and they sang like a natural voice. I had obviously solved a major issue of loudspeaker sound reproduction. I had unlocked the magic of the Stradivarius, but put it inside a loudspeaker!

In this way everything could have the same sound quality as a Stradivarius.  Acoustic3D was born to bring quality listening to the people – all the people, not just the ones who can afford $30,000 speakers!”.