I was recently asked if I could import a pair of the Mark Audio MAOP (Micro Arc Oxidation Process or Plasma Electrolytic Oxidization) drivers for them. After speaking with Mark and the team extensively they were shipped from the factory for the customer.
These wide band drivers have mainly only sold in China having been made in extremely small production runs and being extremely collectable by the local customers. This means not many have found thier way out this far West. In fact as far as we can work out the pair my customer received are the only ones in the UK.
The Magnetic Arc Oxidisation Process is done at extremely high temperature in a flux bath that is prone to differential temperatures (hot/cold spots) which can warp the cones. The process is 10 times the cost of normal cone production, at least half are scrapped as it does render cones unusable if they are warped even slightly. The MAOP process involves a chemical conversion where the cone material is converted into its crystalline oxide. The crystal grows both outward into the substrate and outward. As such the new coating is not a deposited coating it is part of the original structure which gives excellent adhesion. The large crystal structure provides excellent stiffness and resistance to damage. The crystalline structure also encapsulates microscopic voids. It is supposed that it is the blend of microscopic voids and stiff structure that lend the cone the audio properties of both the metal cone and the paper cone, accuracy and a listen all day quality.
After construction, each driver is individually measured in the anechoic chamber at the Markaudio factory and pair matched based on that data to within, 0.5% tolerance. Each pair is supplied with individual electrical and acoustic measurements.
This attention to detail adds to the cost substantially of course and a pair of Mark audio full range MAOP 10 speaker drivers comes to about £600 at the time of press exchange rate. If you want a pair drop us a line but be prepared to join a waiting list!
As these drivers are identical electrically to their peers the Alpair 10 and Alpair 7 they will work just fine in cabinet kits like the Frugel Horn 3, Frugel horn XL, and Pensil speakers that are designed with those drivers in mind.