Jacek Grodecki talks with Michel Fertin - the Legend of the full-range field-coil drivers.

In the beginning I need to say that working with Electro Magnet Speaker Katy Fertin and family is a great pleasure and honor to me. It is not by accident that Closer Acoustics chose EMS drivers to use in its loudspeakers. Michel Fertin is a living legend of full-range drivers who devoted his life perfecting its sound.

During my last visit in France, I asked Michel a few questions and here is what he had to say:

Michel Fertin (to the right) in the EMS atelier
1. Why full-range loudspeakers?

Full-range speakers are, to my ears, the only ones able to deliver a three-dimensional image without having to use complex electronics.

2. How did your full-range speaker adventure begin and when did it begin?

It is the use of this type of speaker drivers in the 60s that allowed me to see their superiority over multi-way systems. Notably the search for a controlled directivity and especially the richness of the medium which is an essential component in sound systems.

3. What is the most important feature of a full-range loudspeaker?

It is its cohesion linked to its high efficiency, its ease of use and the absence of filtering.

4. What is the biggest challenge while devising  a broadband speaker?

The most difficult thing is to lighten as much as possible the moving mass while keeping the possibility to send a high electrical power before destruction, because this is for me the main disadvantage of the broadband drivers. Disadvantage compensated, it is true, by the very high efficiency of our full-range drivers.

5. Why an electromagnet? The quality of the magnetic field in the loudspeaker - what depends on it?

It is an alternative to the permanent magnet which allows to vary the parameters by changing the magnetizing power. The sound result is similar to that of the Alnico magnet.

6. How the quality of the magnetic filed can be measured?

As in electronics, the measurement does not reflect the sound result. Only the ear can see the gap between the magnet and the electromagnet. It is in the small details and in the size of the stereo image that the difference lies.

7. The diameter of a broadband driver and the fields of its use, or even specialization?

For a long time it was considered that the diameter of an ideal broadband speaker driver was between 20 and 24 cm. We proved that the LB12/LB12EX with our technology allows another acoustic dimension.

8. What is the advantage of EMS loudspeakers? How do they stand out?

We have been manufacturing drivers by hand for 60 years with a professional clientele and we are able to repair in record time the equipment of that time.

Our EMS LB series drivers are really broadband speakers that do not require the addition of a tweeter. They are always manufactured in small series, 50 to 100 pieces at a time and are controlled at each step of the manufacturing process ensuring a flawless reliability.

9. What is your best speaker driver ever designed and why?

We can't say that one speaker is better than another, they all have their specificities. Our LB5 has a record acceleration factor, and on the other extreme of a range, the LB12 has the energy of a multi-way system.

10. Your desert island loudspeaker?

On a desert island, it would be the LB12 connected to a transistor radio because we could reach 100 dB. 😃

11. What you are particularly proud of?

I am proud that my daughter continues the adventure and also to have found pros like you who know how to highlight our speaker drivers, because without cabinets...

Thank you very much.

Thank you !

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