Scaena Model 1.4 Speaker System

I've written about line-array speakers in this blog several times, and for good reason—tall stacks of drivers deliver smooth horizontal dispersion and sound levels that fall off more gradually than point-source speakers, creating a coherent, open soundstage. That's the idea behind the so-called iso-linear speakers from American maker Scaena, whose name is Latin for "stage."

Scaena offers a variety of configurations that differ only in the number of drivers. Standing nearly eight feet tall, the flagship Model 1.4 includes 18 wideband, 4-inch midrange drivers, each in its own isolated enclosure to avoid vibrational interaction. The enclosure's ovoid shape is designed to minimize diffraction and cancel the driver's backwave.

Next to the stack of midrange drivers is a slender tower housing 12 planar-ribbon tweeters that cover the frequency range from about 6kHz to 21kHz. The crossover between the mids and highs is as simple as it gets—a single capacitor removes the mids from the tweeters, and a single inductor removes the highs from the midrange drivers, which exhibit a natural low-end rolloff starting at 90Hz.

The bass is handled by four 18-inch coated-paper woofers, each mounted in its own cylindrical and ported enclosure that allows full output down to 16Hz. Instead of a conventional crossover from the main tower, a fully active bass-management system with integrated amplifier utilizes 32-bit SHARC DSP from Analog Devices and 24-bit A/D and D/A from Crystal Semiconductor.

As the top of the line, the Model 1.4 carries a flagship price of $99,600, though many smaller configurations are also available, down to the Model 3.1 with 12 midranges and nine ribbon tweeters per channel and one woofer for $46,800. These speakers have garnered high praise from various trusted audiophile publications, so I have little doubt that they sound spectacular.