(October 15, 2020) Chief Designer and audio veteran Trevor May says several factors sparked his decision to establish a new speaker company. "I was inspired to start MayFly Audio Systems after reading [a] BBC paper on skyline diffusers and later visiting a local CNC woodworking shop. Putting the two together, I wondered what the benefits of putting a diffuser inside a loudspeaker cabinet would be." Sprinkle in more inspiration from Vance Dickason's recreation of Olsen's diffraction experiments in the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook, and May was deadset on doing something never done before.
The MF-201A speaker ($3,000/pair; $3,500 as of January 1) takes a concept that's typically deployed on a wall and hides it inside the speaker cabinet. The resulting 24x24 internal diffuser comprises 24 rows of hand-glued birch ply layers that join to create the cabinet body. The reason? Elimination of inner reflection and diffraction artifacts, lobe tilting effects, and woofer breakup to improve midrange and bass output.
"With the skyline diffuser you can control the frequencies that you want to diffuse and leave other frequencies alone. This allowed me to tune the cabinet to make the best use of the bass response of the driver but at the same time tame the mid-frequencies from rattling around inside and reflecting out of the driver opening. An additional unforeseen benefit was that the diffusers enable control of the resonance of the cabinet itself. So the sound you hear is just from the driver and not from the surface of the cabinet, which would muddy the sound," added May.
The speaker stands at a reasonable 20.5" H x 11.8" W x 10.63" D and is finished with a hand-applied instrument-quality French polish. Because it's designed to sit between 5" and 14" off the ground, MayFly sells matching stands at custom heights ($500/pair).
Components include Seas Drivers, Soken Caps, Aire Core inductors, and non-inductive resistors. The resulting point source design couples an 8" driver and a 1" tweeter, boosted by a front-firing bass port, for output digging down to 30Hz (30Hz - 20kHz, 88dB, 100 watts max).
The MF-201A can be purchased with optional MF-301 bass modules ($12,000 for a full system); MayFly Audio also sells dual MF-301s separately to MF-201A owners ($10,000/pair). The 301 is large (38.18 H x 17.72 W x 15.75 D) and features hand-finished birch cabinets. It's 10" woofer and integrated cabinet bass port take infrasonic performance down to 15Hz.
The speakers are available with a walnut, white oak, or cherry veneer exterior, purchased direct from www.mayflyaudio.com. All speakers are sold with a 30-day trial period (full refund less return shipping costs) and are backed by a one-year warranty.