FAQs

What is Sunship Audio?
Sunship Audio started as a passion project for TAD-Pioneer (Technical Audio Devices) 2" High-Frequencies compression drivers and 15" Low-Frequencies woofers. I build a two-way system with controlled-dispersion wooden horns and passive crossovers.

Why TAD?


A 1980s studio using TAD components.

TAD components are exceptional, the TD-4001 compression driver uses a gigantic Ø 4" (10cm) diaphragm made of evaporated beryllium behind a 2" (5cm) throat. It is the lightest and stiffest material on the planet. The unique manufacturing process by evaporation makes it very different from other beryllium diaphragms. It is extremely light (2g) and has no resonances and colorations.
Correctly filtered, the TD-4001 can reproduce frequencies up to 20 Khz.

Both the TD-4001 and TL-1601 woofers use AlNiCo magnets. Alnico magnets are pretty much extinct in the audio world today because of their cost. But they offer a unique listening quality that is dynamic, un-tiring and wholesome. Their balance remains the same at all volume levels. There is a quality to AlNiCo magnets that is difficult to put in words.


Why no super-tweeter?
The whole point of the TAD TD-4001 is that with the right horn and the right crossover it is the only compression driver that can reproduce frequencies up to the limit of human hearing at 20Khz.

The difficulty and cost of manufacturing the unique diaphragm of the TD-4001 are justified because it makes a two-way design possible without compromising the super-high frequencies.
A two-way design will always sound more coherent and seamless than a three-way design.
The smaller membrane of a super tweeter (Including TAD's own ET-703) cannot have the stress-free dynamics and punch of the large Ø10cm membrane found in the TD-4001.


How do they sound?

Most people are flabbergasted by the sound quality of these loudspeakers. The dynamics, the effortlessness of the sound, its fullness even at low playback levels and the absence of distortion and coloration even at very high volume are unusual. A lot of visitors use the word 'emotional' to describe their experience in front of the music reproduced.

But talking about sound quality in words, online, is a difficult exercise. Everyone that makes audio equipment claims to be "the one" that will let you "experience music the way musicians meant it". All hyperboles have been exhausted to death.


How big?
The pictures are misleading, this room has a very high ceiling on one side that makes the loudspeaker appear small but they are big. Roughly 110x70x55 cm. The pair weighs just under 300kg.


Why passive crossovers?
A well designed passive crossover is a plug-and-play, set-and-forget solution. It is difficult to develop and build but protects the drivers and simplifies the upstream installation. Fewer switches to turn on, fewer chances to do something wrong, more chances to listen to music.


What amplifier?
These are high efficiency loudspeakers that can produce 96 decibels with 1 Watt. Many High end loudspeakers have an efficiency of 10db less at around 86db/1W. To create +10 decibels you need x10 Watts. It means that these loudspeakers need 10 times fewer Watts than most conventional loudspeakers. They will do with a 30 Watts amplifier what others do with 300 Watts.

Equally important, their impedance is a very stable 8 Ohms which presents no difficulty to amplifiers. So basically they will work with pretty much any amplifier tube or solid state.


Why the funny logo and manual?
Why serious?

If this logo looks like it was drawn by a 6 years old because it was.

The Owner's Manual.
Are they "vintage"?
Not in the least. All the parts and materials used, drivers, inductors, are at the leading edge of what is available today, still manufactured and sourced directly from the manufacturers. No refurbished parts are used.

How to listen?
There are a couple of options to listen in Berlin and Haarlem. We can meet on a ZOOM call and organise a listening session. If you come from the DIY world and have your own project going on, I cannot help you sorry. I do not sell the horns or the crossovers I build separately.

And lastly... How much?
As you see them here with two coloured feet and glossy automotive wet paint they are €58.000.
It is a lot but it reflects the cost of TAD parts and of a complex horn (With multiple fins) in solid wood as well as the raw materials for the crossovers and difficult car paint.

More questions: e-mail sunshipaudio(at)gmail(dot)com