Signature S33 in Detail

Signature 33

Tweeter

The Signatures S33i use the same Ring Radiator tweeter that is used in Whatmough’s flagship speaker, the Paragon. This ultra-expensive tweeter sounds incredibly fast and detailed while also sounding extremely smooth and open. It has a very flat response extending to beyond 40KHz.

The tweeters featured in the Signature S33i are a special 'ring radiator' design as found in Whatmough's Paragon speakers

 
Mid-Range Driver

Mid-Range Driver

The Signature S33i uses a 100mm cellulous fibre coned mid-range driver. This driver has the speed and transparency no bass/mid driver can match. While manufacturing costs of a three-way speaker are considerably higher than that of a two way speaker, the sonic benefits certainly justify this cost.

A three-way speaker allows the designer to use a driver optimized to reproduce bass frequencies for the bass and a driver optimized to reproduce mid frequencies in the mid-range. A bass/mid driver will always be a compromise in the bass or mid-range or more usually both.

The mid-range driver used in the Signature S33i delivers a level of speed and transparency no bass/mid driver can match.

 

The Signature S33i Bass Drivers

The Signature S33i and Signature S8i (centre speaker) use two 170mm fiberglass/nomex hybrid drivers especially developed for these speakers. The cone for this speaker is made of Nomex with a skin of fiberglass. This long throw driver uses a 33mm high temperature voice coil and a large double magnet system.

This driver has very high power handling as well as a very transparent detailed sound quality.

Signature S33i features two 170mm fibreglass/nomex bass drivers specially developed for these speakers.

 

Crossover Networks

The Signature S33i use high grade audiophile film and foil capacitors in critical positions.  Air cored coils are used throughout, wound from a heavier grade of high purity Australian copper.

As in the Performance P33i, the hand built crossover networks used in the Signature S33i are point-to-point hard wired, while all components are critically positioned to minimise any interaction. Catdas (USA) litz cabling is used as internal wiring through-out. This cable is both very expensive and tedious to use since every strand is individually insulated, but the sonic results of Cardas cables are stunning.

 

Binding Posts

Common to all our Signature Series speakers, the Signature S33i use solid copper binding posts from Cardas (USA). These copper binding posts, which are silver then rhodium plated, are considered by many to be the world’s best terminals.

The Signature S33i are tri-wireable and have three sets of terminals. The top terminals are connected to the treble section of the crossover network, while the lower terminals connect to the bass/mid-range section.

Whatmough does not supply bridging links (which would allow the use of single cables) with its Performance and Signature Series speakers. This is because: -

  • To obtain their optimum performance, these speakers should be bi-wired. This involves using a tri-wireable (6-core) cable or three sets of normal 2-core speaker cables. These cables can be connected to one or two sets of speaker terminals at the amplifier. One pair of cables is connected to the speaker’s top (tweeter) terminals, one to the middle (mid-range and the other to the bottom (bass) terminals (negative to the black terminal and positive to the red terminal in each case).
  • If tri-wiring is not being used, (hopefully only a temporary measure) a link should made from the same type speaker cable that is being used to connect the speakers to the amplifier. Using this cable, the three positive terminals (red) should be connected together and the three negative terminals (black) should be connected together.