Dr Chris Liauw is a materials scientist with a soul that is always hungry for music. These two aspects are combined in his passion for high fidelity audio. The latter is also very much a family interest; there are audiophiles on both the Chinese and English sides of the family. Studying for his degree and PhD at Manchester Polytechnic / Manchester Metropolitan University from 1986 to 1994 gave him student priced access to the Hallé and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras and the RNCM and Manchester University ensembles and of course the free chamber music concerts at BBC Studio 7 on Wednesday evenings. At least three concerts a week back then was typical; this was an excellent education for musical palate and made me very critical in terms of how reproduced audio should sound in domestic surroundings.
Chris began making loudspeakers as a hobby in the mid-1990’s, starting off with the Falcon Acoustics Focal C800 kit then moving to a completely rethought Focal based design with a highly filled polyurethane foam-cored curvaceous birch plywood cabinet. Whilst both these designs were technically very effective, they did not afford reproduced music with the temporal coherence of a live musical event, this inhibited deep emotional involvement in the music. This led me to investigate the then technically elegant Jordan controflex wide bandwidth drive units – the Curvi cabinet design was registered in 2006 and has been evolved via several iterations into the current Curvi-BMR which is the only single BMR full range loudspeaker on the market to date.
Chris is an early adopter of balanced mode radiator (BMR) drive unit technology (The Etude 1 was launched at the 2010 National Audio Show) and has an ongoing collaboration with Christien Ellis (CE Electroacoustics), one of co-inventors of BMR drive units. The BMR approach comfortably supersedes the Jordan Contro-flex technology and is by far the most effective way to make a wide bandwidth drive unit.
Chris’s mission is to design and build musically accurate and deeply involving loudspeakers using BMR drive units.