FOLSOM STREET FOUNDRY, San Francisco via "YELP" Reviews:   
View Results of This Commercial Install of our design/manufacturing
AJ S                     
The space is awesome! First off it's huge… Folsom Street Foundry also boasts an awesome sound system
Vanessa N           
10/8/2013 The place is pretty spacious (looks like a repurposed warehouse) and has several projectors and great sound equipment.
Carol C.   

This place is just the perfect chill and hang locale. It's got two beautiful bars, custom tables and chairs (Crazy metal and wood work going on here! (Especially the barstools! So cool! So bouncy!),  a huuuge amount of open space, and a wonderfully clear but subtle sound system

  And A note from a WELL KNOWN Crossover Designer...
----- Original Message -----
From: Siegfried Linkwitz
To: Brian O'Neill
Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2000 10:13 AM
Subject: Re: Excellent, excellent site!

Thank you for pointing me to your web site. I liked your philosophy statement. Just did not catch why you did not include the title of the Muller, Black and Davis paper: "The diffraction produced by cylindrical and cubical obstacles and by circular and square plates." Bell Labs work, both theoretical and experimental. The three graphs (cylinder, cube, sphere) you give are calculated data. Quite amazing since it had to be done mostly by hand at the time, 1937.

You probably gathered that I stay away from boxes and other shaped enclosures these days for a number of reasons, but when I was working with them I wished I had a supply like you provide.

Good luck with your endeavors,
Siegfried Linkwitz


Excerpts from the Academic Publication:
Alternative Voices for Electronic Sound

" Spherical Speakers and Sensor-Speaker Arrays (SenSAs)"

Presented at the 2000 International Computer Music Conference in Berlin, Germany by...

Dan Trueman Computer Music Center, Columbia University
Perry Cook Department of Computer Science, Princeton University
Curtis Bahn iEAR Studios, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Regarding US Enclosure's Mark 6a, 6b, and 6c Series:

The Acoustahedrons


This paper describes several recent applications of spherical speakers (multi-channel, outward-radiating geodesic speaker arrays) and Sensor-Speaker-Arrays (SenSAs: combinations of various sensor devices with outward-radiating multi-channel speaker arrays).   Spherical speakers have long been applied in the study the acoustic qualities of performance spaces (see, for instance, Hidaka and Beranek, 2000) and instruments (Caussé et. al., 1992; Roads, 1996; and Wessel, 1991).   More recently, building on previous studies of the directional radiative properties of acoustic instruments (the NBody Project; Cook and Trueman, 1999), they have been used in performance to reproduce some of the diffusion characteristics of conventional acoustic instruments; spherical speakers engage the reverberant qualities of their performance spaces and allow electronic and acoustic instruments to blend readily.

After custom-building several spherical speakers by hand, we began working with the U.S. Enclosure Company to produce over a dozen spherical speakers of varying sizes ranging from 8-inch to 14-inch.   We will detail their use in the performance and recording of two works by composer Steven Mackey: a concerto combining electric guitar and digital signal processing with full orchestra, and a composition for string quartet and live-electronics/electric guitar.   The electronic improvisation ensemble "interface" (Bahn and Trueman) has integrated a family of these spherical speakers into their standard set-up, completely replacing their previous P.A. diffusion model; as we discuss, this has encouraged us to substantially reinvent our approach to the performance of live interactive computer-music.

Electronic Sound in Conventional Acoustic Ensembles

Combining acoustic instruments with electronic sound is a notoriously difficult problem.  By subtly amplifying the acoustic instruments and adding a judicious amount of artificial reverb, we can often succeed in bringing their sound into the electronic realm, creating a virtual electronic space.   While good for many applications, this approach usually has the effect of negating the natural acoustic qualities of performance spaces and can make it difficult to localize the acoustic sources ("I can’t tell who is playing what," ) is a common complaint.   This may be desirable, but should not be inevitable.   As the size of the acoustic ensemble grows (especially to orchestral proportions), it becomes increasingly difficult to absorb it into the virtual electronic space- acoustic and electronic sources begin to separate, like oil and water.   Finally, this approach presumes that electronic sound is intended exclusively for performance (projecting outwards), and is not a solution if we are interested in making a kind of electronic chamber music, where the social/acoustic context of music making is of primary importance (and performance secondary).   From our work studying the spatial radiative timbral qualities of acoustic instruments (NBody), we have found that spherical speaker arrays offer a compelling alternative.   Since they radiate sound spherically, these speakers engage the reverberant qualities of performance spaces similarly to acoustic instruments.   They also localize well, and provide an approach that does not assume performance (they are remarkably successful in small, chamber music contexts).   Our first significant application of spherical speakers in a musical context is a set a of duos for 6-string solid-body electric violin and Classical guitar (by Trueman).   In this case, rather than amplifying the guitar to match the electric violin, the electric violin becomes "acoustic" and matches the guitar, in both level and reverberation.   These duos are heavily influenced, both musically and socially, by Traditional ("Folk") music, where performance is not necessarily separated from the activity of music making and a divide between performer and listener is not obvious (as in some traditional dance music).

Guess which two loudspeaker enclosures in this picture were Designed & Manufactured by US Enclosure Company

These duos were followed by a chamber work (Machine Language, also by Trueman) for electric violin with acoustic violin, cello, and percussion.   One of the intentions of the piece was to explore how we could expand the sonic palette of a conventional chamber ensemble with an electronic instrument without destroying its rich acoustic surface.   We were also hoping to maintain the familiar modes of interaction between chamber musicians, where sound localization is important and music-making as activity (apart from performance) is (or was) of primary interest.   The success of this endeavor has encouraged us to pursue these possibilities further and has inspired other composer/performers to adopt spherical speaker arrays for their own compositions.

One example is the composer and electric guitarist Steven Mackey.   Mackey’s Troubadour Songs (for string quartet and electric guitar), though successful, have proven difficult for obvious reasons blending the electric guitar and string timbres while maintaining comparable levels is difficult.   Through the use of a new spherical speaker, Mackey has been able to address this problem in both performance and recording; in a recent session, the pieces were recorded in a large hall with open-air microphone placement (conventional for string quartet recordings) and close-mic’ing of the guitar amplifier was unnecessary.

This new "voice" for the electric guitar figured heavily in Mackey’s composition of a new concerto (Tuck and Roll) for electric guitar and orchestra, premiered in April 2000.   Mackey composed the work with these new speakers in mind, and conceived of the electric guitar as a member of the orchestra.   He adjusted equalization settings, quantities and qualities of distortion, chorus and other effects to create a unique new orchestral voice that could match the various instruments of the orchestra in different combinations.

Mackey’s sphere (14-inch diameter, with twelve 4-inch coaxial drivers distributed symmetrically over its surface), is stereo (a plane divides the interior of the sphere, and the two halves are wired separately).   With the orchestra, he used two spheres, arranged as in Figure 2.

Stage Setup.  Arrows point toward US Enclosure Loudspeakers.

The sphere next to Mackey was the primary sphere, the second providing slightly more volume to match the orchestra.   Both were oriented so their two channels could be adjusted "front and back;" the orchestral, "back"-side was initially set rather loud, while the orchestra learned the piece, but as they became more familiar with it, the back-levels were attenuated.

Mackey found that adjusting the relative gain of the front and rear hemispheres had a significant effect on the orchestra’s performance; initially, with the back-side rather loud, the orchestra overplayed, trying to match the level of the soloist- after softening the back-side, the orchestra played more sensitively, which afforded the soloist (Mackey) a greater dynamic range.   In either case, the spatial radiative qualities of the front-side kept the electric guitar in the natural acoustic space, and negated any need for conventional P.A.-style amplification.

Audience feedback consistently indicated that the acoustic effect that Mackey sought- a convincing blend of electric guitar with orchestra- was successful; listeners and orchestra members felt that the guitar "blended effortlessly," that it seemed to "belong."   Ironically, this was initially troublesome to some listeners (and the conductor) whose conception of the electric guitar as musical icon- loud, macho, aggressive, epitomized by the Marshall Stack or Fender Twin amplifiers- was quite different than Mackey’s approach.   For these listeners, there was a kind of cognitive dissonance created by their expectations of the "electric guitar" and Mackey’s new instrument.   For most, however (including the conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas), this frustration eventually gave way as the instrument and composition asserted their own musical personalities.

Making Electronic Ensembles More Intimate

The electronic improvisation duo "interface" (Bahn and Trueman) began as a purely acoustic duo, improvising informally in living rooms, recording studios and other small spaces.   As we integrated electronics and computation into our improvisations, our conventional sound system grew, eventually completely obscuring our acoustic beginnings.   In our most recent season, we replaced our P.A.-style system with a set of five spherical speaker arrays of various sizes, including two 14-inch spheres, a 12-inch sphere, an enormous 22-inch sphere, and an 8-inch tweeter-ball.   These speakers, strewn about the stage in various configurations, function much like instrumental sources and create a sound field somewhat similar to a conventional chamber ensemble.   The spheres localize our sounds, providing distinct points on stage for listeners and performers to grasp, yet also fill spaces and encourage listeners to walk among us; the typical plane of separation created by stage and P.A. system is non-existent.   We find that this sound system drastically affects the way we play our electronic instruments, encouraging us to play softly and explore spare textures.   It also feels familiar, reminding us (distantly) of our earlier, more "acoustic" improvisations.

Bahn has used a hybrid system in performance, combining spheres with conventional speakers.   Four stereo spheres are set amongst live performers amplifying and processing their sound.   Most often, the sound sent to the spheres has a consistent routing, giving the spheres a particular sonic on stage and within the ensemble.   As with all applications discussed in this presentation, this integration of natural and electronic sounds can be strikingly natural and effective.   Signal processing representing impossible acoustic situations, extreme delay, reverb or other effects, can then be cast into a conventional sound system at the back or sides of the performance space.   The hybrid approach allows manipulation of both individual points of sound within natural sonic space, and the altered perception of space provided by conventional sound systems.

Interdisciplinary Applications

Streams is an interactive sonic landscape formed (by Bahn) in collaboration with dancer Tomie Hahn.   Custom sensors capture the tilt and movement of her arms and record pressure of touch on a small resistor in her palm.   A MIDI radio transmitter sends this information back to a computer-performance system where it is mapped into interactive synthesis and signal processing designs within the MAX/MSP environment.   The sonic landscape is displayed using three spherical speaker arrays placed behind her, to her left, and to her right.   Discreet aspects of the composition are uniformly cast into unique speaker arrays forming individual, physically locatable "identities" within the sonic design and installation of a performance.   Signal processing algorithms- granular synthesis, delay loops and reverberation- can be activated by the dancer during a performance.   These altered sounds are cast into spatialization algorithms that pan and distribute sonic grains between spheres.

Conclusions and Future Work

Spherical speakers provide a compelling new "voice" for electronic sound, one that is particularly compatible with acoustic instruments and well suited for intimate spaces.   SenSAs further enhance these qualities and create a new class of electronic instrument.   This work also suggests a more general approach toward working with electronic sound and human-computer interfacing, one which emphasizes outward, multi-directional (though not necessarily symmetrical) diffusion with proximal, physically motivated sensor structures.   In the future, we plan to pursue some of these possibilities, including designs that are more idiosyncratic, asymmetrical, yet retain some of the diffusion qualities of spherical speakers.   As with traditional instruments, these structures have unique acoustic characteristics that may be exploited musically, diversifying the voices of electronic sound.   

The US Enclosure Mark 3
By Anthony Temple, President, Temple Multimedia

While recently visiting Southern California I was privileged to listen to the unusual looking Mark 3 speakers developed by Kris Metaverso and his team at Ultimate Speaker.  I had just arrived from Northern California on a round world ticket and had there been listening to Kef 101s with a Miller amp; Keisal sub woofer.  Also I had a pair of the Gallo nucleus ball speakers with me which spoke volumes for diffraction free speakers.  Minimizing diffraction is to me an important feature of good design.

This brings me to the Mark 3's.  Kris has made many spherical enclosures over the years but decided to develop a wing shaped speaker using a 8" bass driver, a 3" midrange, and a bipolar tweeter.    As we set up the speakers for test I was impressed by the lightness of the cabinets as I had expected them to weigh much more.    Much of this lightness can be traced to the use of high tech composites in the construction of these speakers.    The Mark 3's are a ported design using an excellent bass driver from Eminence.

Editor's note: The newer versions use an 8-inch Peerless

When we fired up the speakers, I was immediately impressed by the clean bass response of the system.  Listening to track 6 of the Backlash Compilation "recycle or die" I heard things that I had not heard before.

The Mark 3's use a forward firing ports so placement should not be too critical.  On the classic Dusty Springfield, "The Look of Love" track on the Café Del Mar 6 album Dusty’s voice seemed very real with good attach and excellent decay, this speaks volumes for the modest Linaeum tweeters on top of the Mark3 doing the high frequency work and that they are well integrated into the system.    The finish on the Mark 3s was a bit unusual prompting me to nickname them the "Halloween Speakers".   However, sound is what is important and Kris assures me that there are a multitude of colors and finishes available.    An innovative product that deserves an audition!
Anthony Temple was a multimedia producer based in Western Australia.

He also designed and modified loudspeakers and audio circuits. He had owned various hifi products- Eico HF30s- LS3/5a speakers Kef Concertos and Dyna and Cambridge amps. He worked as a consultant and also does coaching of life skills. © Temple Interactive Media 2000
The US Enclosure Mark 5
By Anthony Temple is a multimedia producer based in Western Australia.  He produces major corporate shows, etc. throughout the Pacific and Asia

I compared the US Enclosure Mark 5a to my recently purchased pair of Gallo Acoustics Mini's.  I simply could not believe that I paid twice the US Enclosure cost for the Gallo's after hearing the US Enclosure product.  US Enclosure Company's Mark 5a's completely blew-away the Mini's sonically. I was so stunned that I took apart both units looking for the reason(s) why the US Enclosure product was sounding a magnitude of order better.  I discovered that each model's drivers were of similar quality.

The only element that was different was the Enclosure.  

US Enclosure Company's loudspeaker enclosure materials are the "transparent aluminum"* of the loudspeaker industry and are superior to any material currently on the market. Obviously their enclosure materials are the basis of their sound quality, no matter what loudspeaker enclosure shape is used. 


* Transparent Aluminum... (1)  the hull material of spaceships in Star-Trek... (2) engineering term-- a totally new material that simply and cleanly outperforms all existing technology.


Previous Projects:


I do remember that they sounded better than any speaker I heard before or in fact since. On a different topic, about 2 months until I press the new CD. Getting close. just waiting for some drum tracks to appear from Cleveland. I need Studio Monitors that won't give me a headache after listening for a few hours and your products are the only products available that fit the bill... I am officially placing an order.

Keith         Ohm Sound (Keith Kofren)

Well, it works great, with Audax HT080G0. I love the tiny spheres. I've been considering about the next purchase suitable to SEAS P17RCY or similar class drivers, but have not decided yet. If you have newer info regarding US enclosures products, please let me know.


Dr. Ryuichiro ARAKI
Preventive Medical Institution (PMI) _/_/_/_/_/ _/_/ _/_/ _/_/_/_/_/
Dept. of Hyg. & Preventive Medicine _/ _/ _/_/ _/ _/
SAITAMA MEDICAL SCHOOL JAPAN _/_/_/_/_/ _/ _/ _/ _/_/_/_/_/
Phone : 00000000000000 _/ _/ _/ _/
Fax : 000000000000000 _/_/_/_/_/ _/ _/ _/_/_/_/_/


From: Daniel
Hi- External diffraction very good of course. Thanks for the follow up. Dan

From: Daniel Espley
To:     Brian O'Neill
Subject: Re: Follow up on your US Enclosures loudspeaker enclosure order

Hi Brian,

I ordered two 8" spheres from you, in which I've installed 2" Bandor (an English company) aluminum drive units.  They are near full range, but I've got them crossed over at 500Hz to similar 8" bass-mid units to give them good power handling.

I'm very pleased with the sound - it's very pure, fast and un-colored, which was what I wanted.   Overall I'm happy - they make great  talking points for visitors, who always seem to be interested.

I have some further plans for more, but that's for the future.



From: Hale, John
To:     Brian O'Neill
Subject: RE: Follow up on your US Enclosures loudspeaker enclosures

Hey Brian.

I still have them in my living room.  They still sound fine.  For the price paid, they are fine.  I hope everything goes well for you.


From: Kobayashi
To:     Brian O'Neill
Subject: Follow up on your US Enclosures loudspeaker enclosures

Mr. O'Neill,

This is Makoto's wife, Yoko.   


I am very sorry to have to report to you that Makoto passed away in April last year due to a sudden illness.

From your mail, I assume you are the one who created the casings for Makoto's "Eye-ball" speakers?!
Makoto was very happy with the quality of the sound he could get from the new speakers.

Best regards,

Yoko Kobayashi

From: Dr Paul T. Kolen
To:    Brian O'Neill
Subject: Re: Follow up on your US Enclosures loudspeaker enclosures


Good to hear from to the enclosures, structurally the sphere were fine

I only have good comments -- the drivers fit perfectly and the sphere was very rigid and totally dead. this makes for a great sounding speaker. I have made more enclosures then I will admit to but these structurally are the best I have worked with.

All in all the product is good

Good luck

p. kolen

From: Moriyasu, James
To:    Brian O'Neill
Subject: RE: Follow up on your US Enclosures loudspeaker enclosures

Hi Brian,

They were only used for testing for a study on internal midrange enclosure shapes that was published in 2000 in Speaker Builder.



From:  James P. Reilly
To:      Brian O'Neill
Subject: Re: Follow up on your US Enclosures loudspeaker enclosures

Hi Brian,

Ok, you must work with Kris Metaverso. I still haven't totally finished that speaker project, but I was very pleased with the sphere that was done to house my Manger drivers.


Jim Reilly

From: david.weill
To:     brian o'neill
Subject: Re: Follow up on your US Enclosures loudspeaker enclosures

I am still waiting for the last one to arrive. I am delighted with the little ones and am sure that the others will be fine once we sort out the size problem.