Orca 3" Full Range
Orca 3" Full Range
Orca Normal is the classic, relaxed sonic signature of the Blumenstein brand.
Orca special driver option is a limited edition series of drivers and cabinets distinguishable via the copper color driver frame. The Orca special is (by a tiny margin), the most efficient 3” full range Blumenstein speaker to date! Especially good in the extreme near-field and paired with SET amplification. Get 'em while they last!
But! "normal" Orcas (black frame driver) have simultaneously gotten more amazing than ever with the new front port design, faceted Douglas fir internal bracing, and specialized damping materials developed for them over the years and thousands of pairs of Orcas made.
Orders now ship standard as front ported cabinets for either normal or special drivers. The frequency response of the front ported cabinet is more consistent in real world acoustic environments than the rear port model was. The front port also has better phase and frequency response integration when paired with any subwoofer.
Some rear ported cabinets are still in stock and available in select finishes. call or email for details.
6" x 8.5" x 11.5"
8 ohms, 75hz-35khz
Efficiency: 92.5 dB.
Price is for a pair
Economical international shipping
Selection of any material will yield similar acoustical qualities
thinner wood options=bright, musical
thicker wood options=neutral, warm
Robust solid wood internal bracing structure similar to Marlin
Price is for a pair.
Ships worldwide from Seattle, WA.
Orders are pre-paid. Call or email for a lead time estimate at the time you are ready to place your order.
60-day in-home audition, 1-year warranty
Need help? Feel free to call (206) 407 8439 for advice
Amplifier power recommended
Orcas' beautiful tonality can be hooked up to any amplifier you can dream of. Naturally, certain amplifiers will sound better than others and this doesn't always have to do with how much money you spend on the amplifier.
As a general rule of thumb, between 2 watts and 100 watts per channel is typically recommended. Yes, Orcas can most certainly be hooked up to a clean 100+ watts without a problem. The efficient Orca speakers will only need to use the first (and typically cleanest) few watts of those 100+ watts that might be available. Whatever power is on tap, Orcas are able to get quite loud before their soft clipping mode naturally engages.
Note: All Orcas, including any currently on order, are outfitted with the full complement of parts found in the Depth of Field Enhancement Kit, as well as other enhancements native to this speaker design. These components were 10 years in development as of January 2016, but are applicable to older Blumenstein models via the Kit found here.
On the Orca
Speaker design background
Noise pollution is becoming an increasing issue in many modern living situations and is also an issue for local cetaceans (found in the waters of all 7 continents). Orcas are designed to encourage lower listening levels in the human environment by virtue of the way the speakers were uniquely voiced during the design process. The Orcas' high efficiency, extremely delicate paper cone structure gets mated to a rigid, internally braced plywood cabinet.
On the other hand, most commercially available speakers are designed to be listened to at loud levels during the sales process. This actually sucks because once you buy those mainstream audiophile speakers and bring them back home they encourage the same extremely loud listening levels that worked on a speaker sales floor, the same way supercars aren't comfortable driving around town on basic errands.
Considering the delicate cone structure of the Orca, you are welcome to decide on your own if the Orcas are powerful enough for your applications in your real-world listening environment during your 60-day in home audition/money back guarantee period. You should put them through their paces, discover their limitations, and challenge them with any genre of music. I was a music history major in college - the speakers really are carefully voiced at the service of all kinds of music.
The most successful speaker model in terms of sales, what differentiates the Orcas from most other commercially available speaker designs is that the "torque" of the speaker's motor wakes up immediately - at significantly lower db levels than typical loudspeakers do. This results in crystal clear microdynamic information coming out of the speaker at all volume levels, especially in the vocal range. This feature is a productivity enhancement in many workplace environments, and also becomes a welcome trait in shared living spaces.
Compact high-efficiency speakers
Orcas make the most out of the power they are fed with the support of thick cabinet walls internally braced with an arrangement of solid Douglas fir internal braces. This stiff internal chassis provides excellent control, detailed upper bass, beautiful midrange, smooth imaging characteristics, which all support the clear high frequencies coming from the inner paper cone. The use of an all-paper cone to cover even the highest frequencies additionally imparts a sense of total ease and wholeness to the high-frequency presentation that delivers pure listening pleasure. These enclosures are also almost the strongest for their weight in the entire Blumenstein lineup (second only to the Marlin).
The juxtaposition of an extremely non-resonant, unbelievably stiff enclosure - against the delicacy and organic life of an all paper cone - gives the Orca a unique and endearing way of reproducing all genres of music. They are more realistic and accurate than you'd think, yet simultaneously more forgiving to less than ideal amplification componentry and imperfect recordings than most other modern compact full range speakers. Yet they are also more crucially revealing to the basics going on in the music than most commercially available speakers when attached to mid-fi or even high-end amplification and source components.
The Orcas are tried and true audiophile speakers - yet they are different in that they are bravely engineered to excel at making real-world listening levels. And they are also designed to last for generations with considerate use.
Compared to other Blumenstein Full Range Speaker models:
The Orcas sound most similar to the Triton 8" full range, that doesn't get as loud. Granted, the Triton is, similarly to the Orca, an all paper cone. Compared to the Orca, the Triton is a slightly more efficient loudspeaker that does make deeper bass and these are two very nice improvements to the Orca's presentation. However, there are other factors that might be worth considering depending upon the specific circumstances in your unique listening environment, as follows:
Smaller Aperture = clearer depth of field
Because of physics, the Triton will never be able to image quite as sharp and well defined as a well-tuned pair of Orcas in a small room. In small listening spaces, you, or your guests/dance partners are more likely to be listening off axis. Yet, the Tritons are fantastic speakers off-axis because of the careful implementation of a super tweeter. However, the Orca still bests the Triton in off-axis listening, because it is a small diameter full-range, which spreads high frequencies throughout the listening space evenly by virtue of its truly small size.
Louder than you'd think
It is worth considering that countless people are using their Orcas daily to fill any large room at medium to medium/high volume levels, small rooms at high volume levels, in restaurants and even warehouses at low/medium volumes, with as little as 2-3 watts per channel. Orca owners have been pleased because of its radical performance and gently balanced sonic signature.
The favorite "deep field" lens into the music
Whenever you don't need to crank it or analyze it, the Orcas are your natural choice for pure, laid-back listening enjoyment. Surprisingly, for most non-professionals, this is 95% of music listening - likely laid back or casual. Compared to the Marlin, the Orca is a tad more subtle in making microdynamics and is therefore tuned for slightly lower listening levels.
The Orcas are actually the "original" flavor in this lineup of Blumenstein speakers. If you just want to know what the tiny boutique single driver speaker brand called Blumenstein is all about, then a pair of Orcas is probably the easiest way of assessing if any other speaker model I make is up your alley. However, if you have a big space to fill or if you occasionally like to really really blast music, opt for the Triton as your first choice. On the other hand, chose the Marlin if your needs go for speakers that are physically smaller than the Orca or higher volume professional use (still within the limitations of a 3" full range driver) in which case then the Marlin would be your best choice.
Interestingly, the Orca's comfortable way of reproducing music is actually the original sound-design platform upon which I designed the sound quality and performance of both the Marlin and Triton variations. So it is worth bearing in mind that no speaker I make is going to sound harsh or overly bright - just that the Marlin and Triton are slightly brighter than the Orcas, which start out somewhat relaxed and get more relaxed with long-term break in.
The Triton has been imparted with the same slightly soft sonic signature as the Orca, yet it is sized appropriately for the ultimate in power handling and raw efficiency possible on a bookshelf, which slightly compromises its ability to image as truly holographically as the Orca does. The Orca is the original Gentle Giant approach to a compact loudspeaker, and it is also the speaker design that planted Blumenstein's on all 7 continents. If you are confused, feel free to call or email directly to get help deciding which Blumenstein full range model is right for you.
Orcas speakers with subwoofers
The Orca has a full sound and ample amount of bass either on their own, or paired with the Benthic Bass Unit passive subwoofer and Outboard Subwoofer amplifier. Good quality subwoofers from any other manufacturer (for instance, that you may already own) will likely to be compatible with the Orcas as well. I have found that in general, my clients get back to me letting me know that their Orcas, with or without subwoofers make them quite happy. While Blumenstein accessories like floor stands and subwoofers are generally going to sound and look the best, the Orcas also play well with most other audio gear available on the market. Even really cheap or really expensive stuff. The design is really sort of a paradox in this way. Yet, the point is, that whatever you have them hooked up to, the Orcas will take care of the basic (and not so basic) task of getting your music to sound fundamentally beautiful so that you can get back to the more important task of exploring and enjoying your expanding music collection. You'll most likely be done spending money on speakers once you own your first pair of Orcas.
If you already own a rear port Orca produced between 2006 and 2018, you should go ahead and get a depth of field sonic upgrade kit, align them in an equilateral triangle pointed directly towards the listening position in your room and pull them a foot or so out into the room on floor stands or desktop wedges, use Waterline cables, and with any one or combination of these basic upgrades to your room placement/internal parts, your old Blumenstein cabinets and broken in drivers can sound magical to you all over again, even hooked up to the same amplifier you've been using. Due to the availability of the depth of field sonic enhancement kit, no Blumenstein speaker made since 2006 is obsolete from upgrades to sound that get them almost as good as a new pair of Orcas.