Clar­ion Full Dig­i­tal Sound Sys­tem


Pasmag (Canada) - - Test Report -

AClar­ion has part­nered with Tri­gence Semi­con­duc­tor and their Dnote tech­nol­ogy to be the first car au­dio com­pany in the world to de­velop a true fully dig­i­tal au­dio sys­tem. Fully dig­i­tal from the source, all the way to the dig­i­tal­ly­driven voice coils in the pro­pri­etary speak­ers. With this sys­tem, you can for­get about ohms and volts, as there are no ana­log sig­nals be­tween the source and the speaker cones. You can also for­get about the tra­di­tional noise and in­ter­fer­ence is­sues we have dealt with for 30 years, as this sys­tem's sig­nal is fully dig­i­tal from the front to the back of the car, thereby elim­i­nat­ing the en­try points for com­mon sources of noise.

The Clar­ion Full Dig­i­tal Sys­tem (FDS for short) is com­prised of three fun­da­men­tal com­po­nents that must be used to­gether. First there's the “brain” of the sys­tem, the Z3 pro­ces­sor. The Z3 is a small de­vice that serves as the main con­nec­tion point for all the in­puts and out­puts, and is pack­aged with a pair of one-inch soft dome tweet­ers and a re­mote com­man­der unit for con­trol­ling the sys­tem. The tweet­ers plug di­rectly into the Z3 and are driven by an on­board dig­i­tal am­pli­fier. Next is the Z7 loud­speaker, a 6.75-inch woofer/midrange with built-in cus­tom LSI cir­cuitry (more on this later). The Z7 speaker is equipped with six voice coils, and a fully dig­i­tal drive cir­cuit is mounted on the rear of the mag­net. What would nor­mally be the speaker wire is a small gauge dig­i­tal in­put wire that also plugs di­rectly into the Z3 pro­ces­sor. Last, but not least, is the Z25W sub­woofer. It shares sim­i­lar con­struc­tion con­cepts with the midrange woofer, in that it also in­cor­po­rates built-in LSI dig­i­tal drive cir­cuitry.

The LSI tech­nol­ogy found in the Full Dig­i­tal Sys­tem has been cus­tom de­vel­oped by Clar­ion specif­i­cally for use in au­to­mo­tive ap­pli­ca­tions. LSI stands for “Large Scale In­te­gra­tion” and it is the process of in­te­grat­ing or em­bed­ding thou­sands of tran­sis­tors on a sin­gle sil­i­con semi­con­duc­tor chip. In the case of the LSI used here, the re­sult is a mi­cro­pro­ces­sor that con­sists of mul­ti­ple com­plex sub­sys­tems, and is re­ally more of an in­te­grated sys­tem than an in­te­grated cir­cuit. The Clar­ion sys­tem is ca­pa­ble of main­tain­ing a 96-kHz/24-Bit dig­i­tal au­dio sig­nal from the source to the speak­ers with­out ever con­vert­ing it to ana­log or pass­ing a sig­nal through a tra­di­tional am­pli­fier. The re­sult is a faith­ful re­pro­duc­tion of high-res­o­lu­tion mu­sic files ex­actly as they were mas­tered, with ab­so­lutely no degra­da­tion in qual­ity.

The Clar­ion Full Dig­i­tal Sound speak­ers, each equipped with their own LSI chipset, uti­lize Dnote dig­i­tal sig­nal pro­cess­ing to trans­mit six dig­i­tal sig­nals to the multi-driver's six-layer multi-voice coils, which de­liver pre­ci­sion cone con­trol that trans­lates to ac­cu­rate sound and highly ef­fi­cient per­for­mance. Be­cause this ap­proach more than dou­bles the speed of con­ven­tional dig­i­tal sys­tems, it al­lows higher out­put power while re­quir­ing about half the in­put power, mak­ing this method­ol­ogy of driv­ing a loud­speaker far more ef­fi­cient than even the best tra­di­tional Class-D am­pli­fiers. Ad­di­tion­ally, be­cause of the way the drive cir­cuits are mounted di­rectly to the speaker and have very short dis­tances to the mul­ti­ple voice coils, there are lower dis­tor­tion lev­els and in­creased speaker cone con­trol at all vol­ume lev­els.

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