Launched in 2015, the mighty Titan 808 is the new flagship of the Kudos range. It takes the place of our original Titan 88, but while the two may share a name, the new Titan 808 is a completely unique design. From the ground up, it has been engineered to be one of the fastest, clearest, most coherent and musically engaging loudspeakers ever created.
Industry-leading drive units
The Titan 808’s drive units are among the best in the world, crafted exclusively for Kudos by renowned Norwegian specialists SEAS.
In our original Titan 88, we took SEAS’ legendary 29mm Crescendo K2 fabric dome tweeter and worked closely with SEAS to further develop its capabilities exclusively for Kudos. For the new Titan 808 we’ve gone even further, again working extensively with SEAS to give the Crescendo a detailed redesign. An improved magnet system incorporating copper shorting rings, a completely new resonance chamber and a new face plate profile all combine to deliver an even cleaner, faster and more musically detailed performance.
The mid/bass driver, which is also exclusive to the Titan 808, has been similarly reengineered to further enhance its match with the new tweeter and hence to produce seamless integration and response over the frequency range.
The twin bass drivers feature high quality hard paper cones, double-coated to ensure excellent stiffness while retaining the natural damping properties of paper. A long voice coil and injection-moulded alloy framework maximise the linear excursion of the drive cone.
Each speaker consists of an independent upper and lower cabinet, separated by precision-machined spacers and a port resonance guide. The upper cabinet houses the tweeter and mid/bass drive unit while the lower cabinet houses the two bass drivers. These are positioned in an isobaric arrangement, where the second driver is placed internally back-to-back with the first. This produces a significantly improved bass response and minimises bass distortion. By separating the cabinet into two parts, the higher and lower frequencies remain unaffected by each other, preserving a remarkable clarity to the sound even at very high volumes.
Considerable investment has been made in controlling panel resonance with a minimum of damping. The cabinets are made from a combination of high-density fibreboard laminates of three different thicknesses: 25mm, 36mm and 50mm. Optimised internal bracing and damping is used, again to minimise resonance. A triple laminate front baffle, angled back to improve dispersion, provides a solid mounting platform for the drive units to further eliminate vibration.
Both cabinet sections are port-loaded into the gap between them, and are controlled by the port resonance guide. Venting the ports into a shared and controlled fixed boundary gap reduces port resonance and minimises phase error, producing a beautifully natural and life-like sound free from the usual issues associated with reflex designs.
The lower cabinet is attached to the plinth via a membrane to control energy transfer. The plinth itself provides the best possible grounding interface with very high-density fibreboard being combined with damping compound and a 5mm steel plate, into which precision-milled stainless steel spikes are fitted.
The details that count
Our obsession with seamlessly matched drive units is driven by our firm belief that one of the keys to a truly musical performance from a loudspeaker is a minimalist, low order crossover.
No expense has been spared in reworking the Titan 808’s crossover, which features even higher-spec hand-matched Mundorf componentry, as well as now having the ability to be completely by-passed in order to facilitate ‘Aktiv’ operation using Linn Exakt techonology (see below for further details).
The Titan’s minimal crossover is a two-and-a-half-way design, where the bass section in the lower cabinet is rolled off early in the frequency range; the mid/bass driver and tweeter are then operated as a two-way design. A slow roll-off from all the drivers ensures optimal coherence though the crossover regions.
Internal wiring from The Chord Company has been carefully selected for its high quality musicality and resistance to the effects of vibration. In addition, Chord Company cables link the two cabinets, which are also fitted with WBT Nextgen binding posts to ensure a superb connection.
As proud as we are of our connectors, we’ve designed the Titan 808’s cabinet sides to ‘oversail’ the rear of the speaker, to both hide and protect the connectors.
Investing in the best
The Titan 808 has deliberately taken its time to come to market. Not only because of the considerable investment in research and re-engineering, but also because we wanted to test and refine our prototypes extensively with a wide range of expert listeners.
Now, having received input from a variety of trusted reviewers around the world, we’re delighted to launch the Titan 808 and proud to say that it takes the Kudos range to new heights of both musical performance and engineering design.
What’s more (and if we say so ourselves), the Titan’s quite a looker! Drawing on principles of industrial design, its form clearly follows function, and combines a progressive avant-garde design with clear links to traditional materials and craftsmanship.