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A bass loudspeaker driver that offers increased power without compression is the result of the extensive development behind Ashdown Engineering's Neodymium drivers.

The new drivers make their debut with the launch of Ashdown's Classic series, a range of British-built, high-powered bass amplifiers that includes 500 and 1000-Watt heads, Neo driver combos and Neo driver cabinets.

"While we were designing the Classic series we realised that to allow us to get the best out of the amplifier we needed to revisit the one of the most important parts in the signal chain: the loudspeaker," explains Ashdown's Mark Gooday.

To Gooday, this meant developing a speaker that could deliver high SPL at low frequencies without power or pneumatic compression, delivering a powerful, consistent bass tone at all volume levels and with no power loss over long performances.

To achieve this, the new Ashdown Neo Drivers are based on a highly efficient design, utilising lightweight Neodymium magnets. All the drivers feature die-cast aluminium baskets with thin brackets to avoid sound wave reflections and a magnet circuit with heat sink rims to ensure rapid heat dissipation and vastly improved efficiency.

In addition, an oversized 65mm voice coil ensures the nominal impedance remains constant, avoiding power compression, which can gradually decrease the SPL over a performance. Both the voice coil and the cone also feature decompression holes to eliminate pneumatic compression and the wide area of overlapped glue surface between the suspension and the cone creates an effect that greatly reduces break up and distortion.

The new Neo Drivers have already had a successful road-test with bass virtuoso Mark King on the current Level 42 tour.

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