North Acoustics
Kitty Kat Revelator


Book Shelf Specific™ Reference Monitor

Welcome to the North Acoustics Web Site. We proudly present the Kitty Kat Revelator Near Wall Specific™ Reference Monitor, the world's first and only bookshelf-sized, reference level Near Wall Specific™ full range loudspeaker. North Acoustics' loudspeakers are designed by ear to be at their best when placed within three inches of a wall, are constructed with the finest cabinetry from hand picked veneers, and will look and sound wonderful in your listening room, recording studio or home theater.

"We believe that enduring quality is the most significant virtue of any product" - George E. Short III, May 1992

Above is the Kitty in African Pauduk by Lee Taylor and Co.

Hear the Kitties at RMAF Oct 10-12, Denver, CO!

Design Goals

We conceived of the North Kitty Kat as something unique: a true reference level full range high efficiency bookshelf monitor.

Those familiar with high end loudspeaker design will immediately recognize these as a family of competing goals. Never before has a full range monitor loudspeaker been built, neither has a reference level Near Wall Specific™ monitor. Both high efficiency and bass extension have always been the antitheses of a bookshelf-sized loudspeaker. In the Kitty Kat Revelator, we have successfully overcome these challanges.

The most difficult placement position to get great sound in any listening room is also the most convenient: a loudspeaker placed on a stand or bookshelf, with the back of the loudspeaker only a couple of inches from the wall. The aesthetic advantages of near wall placement are obvious: a loudspeaker that takes up less room translates to increased living space; a loudspeaker in a bookcase matches best with other elements in the room; and our informal survey indicates the quickest route to "spouse acceptance factor" is to place the loudspeaker where it blends in with the rest of the room.

However, most conventional "bookshelf"-type loudspeakers are actually designed to be placed on a stand in the acoustic free-field; that is, with the rear of the loudspeaker a minimum of two feet from the back wall and its face three to four feet out. Conventional loudspeakers sound best there because with slight changes in placement, one can optimize the room interactions to minimize early reflections and "tune" the bass to the room. The difficulty of course is that the best sounding loudspeaker position may be far enough into the room where they begin to infringe on traffic patterns or become visually obtrusive.

Kitty American Maple Veneer

The central design element of North Acoustics' Kitty Kat Revelator Near Wall Specific™ loudspeaker family is based on a fresh new look at the performance vs. placement issue: by fixing one boundary condition and optimizing the loudspeaker’s performance for that boundary condition, the owner then has considerable placement freedom as long as the first boundary condition is kept. Specifically, the rear of the North Acoustics' Kitty Kat Revelator Near Wall Specific™ loudspeakers must be between two and eight inches of a wall. In this position, the presence of the wall directly behind the loudspeaker reinforces the output of the rear-mounted port by coupling of the woofer and port with the room, enhancing the loudspeaker's ability to pressurize the room and resulting in a smoother bass response over a wider frequency range. Despite its compact size, by taking maximum advantage of room placement the Kitty Kat Revelator loudspeaker system becomes both more amplifier-friendly and exhibits a smoother, deeper bass quality throughout the listening area.

Even though the Kitties have an explosive low end, they are very clean even at high volume levels while the midbass exhibits the resolution one gets only from a smaller woofer. The midrange is smooth and blends effortlessly into a sweet top end that is flat to 20kHz, but without any hint of sibilant emphasis. The harmonic balance is reminiscent of a much larger speaker, but a little leaner and with a lot more speed.

The North Acoustics' Kitty Kat Revelator Near Wall Specific™ loudspeakers are not particular about horizontal spacing or vertical placement. Whether resting atop 24" stands or placed high on a bookshelf, the Kitties will disappear into a spacious, convincing soundstage that appears behind the wall they are placed against. The Kitties are also magnetically shielded, making these fine loudspeakers equally suited for monitor, recording studio and multi-channel home theater applications.


Driver Complement

The Kitty Kat is built around the unique North D28-IIA Aluminum dome tweeter, made specially for North Acoustics with our exclusive full Faraday Sleeve™ technology, mated with a custom version of the legendary Scan Speak Revelator 5.5" woofer, widely considered the most naturally musical small woofer ever built.

The North D28 aluminum dome tweeter is custom made for North Acoustics by hand, and exhibits a low fundamental resonance and more excursion capability than many midrange drivers, making it very well suited to mate with the 5 ˝" woofer at the 1651Hz crossover frequency. Also, because it is constructed with a Faraday cap that extends above and below the voice coil’s maximum excursion, the D28 has a gently rising response with just a touch of sparkle at the very top end. The North D28 also exhibits intermodulation and harmonic distortion an order of magnitude lower than any conventional tweeter on the market.

A reference quality loudspeaker deserves a reference quality woofer. There are a lot of very good woofers out there, but we were looking for a driver could deliver both explosive bass in a modestly sized cabinet and a midrange that is super clean, and if it errs at all it must be on the side of being forgiving. Also because this is a Near Wall Specific loudspeaker design, no baffle diffraction step compensation would be required, therefore we needed a driver with relatively flat frequency response though the midrange. In the end, we were not able to find the exact woofer we required, but were able to fabricate a custom version of the Scan Speak 15W Revelator sliced-paper-cone bass driver.

This is a very special driver. Both the cone and dust cap are sliced in a rotated radial pattern, then rebonded with a damped adhesive. The slices and damping create a constantly varying mechanical impedance mis-match throughout the cone body, eliminating the possibility of standing waves between the voice coil and surround. This also allowed Scan-Speak to use a much stiffer cone than would normally be acceptable, pushing the cone’s fundamental break up mode well beyond its operating bandwidth. Terminating the cone with Scan-Speak’s unique variable thickness surround allows complete adsorption of waves travelling through the cone body. This combined with an optimized voice coil inductance result in a driver with remarkably flat frequency response, requiring a very simple low pass crossover topology with a minimum of response shaping circuitry.

Scan Speak Revelator Woofer

The combination is dynamite. With a profile barely larger than one square foot, the Kitty Kat recreates a soundstage with exceptional height, width and depth, then vanishes within it. The voicing is absolutely perfect, and the Kitty Kats can purr like a kitten, growl like a tiger or roar like a lion.


 Frequency Response and Voicing Goals

The key to designing a great sounding loudspeaker is in its voicing. Simply put, voicing is the process of balancing a loudspeakers’ low end strength, mid-bass richness, midrange liquidity and top end sparkle such that the system sounds both natural and involving. Measurements are not particularly useful when it comes to voicing; it can only be done by ear. One can easily hear a small fault in voicing in 30 seconds of casual listening, but it takes months of serious listening and design time to get it right.

The North D28II-A tweeter is responsible for the top end, and here is voiced to be ruler flat 6kHz with just a tiny touch of sparkle in the top octave. A little sparkle here makes the overall sound of the system be more intimate on serious listening and faster when listening casually. Also because the slight rise in frequency response is built into the dome design, the crossover design is simplified which allows a straighter signal path and facilitates getting the most out of the highest quality crossover components.

Throughout the midrange, the Kitty Kat measures almost ruler flat and what tiny variations it exhibits are dips. Dips are always better than peaks, as a midrange with dips will err on the side of forgiving, where as those with peaks will err on the side of over-emphasis. Other than a tiny wiggle though the classic BBC "dip" region centered at 3kHz, from 200Hz to 20kHz the Kitty Kat measures an amazing 87dB +1, -1.5dB. This is a window of over six and a half octaves.

Based on independent measurements, the Scan Speak 15W woofer also exhibits the lowest harmonic distortion of any mid-woofer on the market, and it is this absence of distortion which allows the driver to be both revealing and forgiving at the same time.

We weren't shy with the low end, and the Kitty Kats are voiced with a bit of slam at the bottom. There are two reasons for this: 1) the Kitty Kat has very little output below 30 Hz, so voicing the loudspeaker without slam would make it sound lean overall. Therefore due to the absence of output in the lower half of the bottom octave, a little extra presence the half-octave above it balances the overall presentation, and in fact the Kitty Kat sounds like it goes a lot deeper than it does; 2) subjectively, on most music, slam factor is way for fun to listen to than the absence of slam factor.

North D28A Aluminum Dome Tweeter.

Even with a box volume of only 0.5 cubic foot, the Kitty Kat is capable of extraordinary bass performance with solid extension well into the 30's. Dynamics are effortless, but with a wealth of textural complexity and timbral accuracy that most larger loudspeakers placed well into the room can not match.

Measured Performance

The Kitty Kat’s frequency response is shown below. The low frequency curves are taken with the close-mic technique, with the port output scaled via its area ratio to mate correctly with the woofer output. The midrange on up is measured at two meters under anechoic conditions with the exception of the rear wall, which is 3" behind the rear of the loudspeaker. The measurement is set up this way to properly reflect how the loudspeaker system would test in the actual listening room.

North Acoustics Kitty Kat Frequency Response Spread

As described above, the Kitty Kat measures 38Hz to beyond 20kHz +-2db, and through the critical midrange is +1, -1.5dB. System sensitivity is 87dB, very high for a true bookshelf monitor.

The antiphase null is an excellent –24dB, indicating nearly perfect driver integration throughout the crossover transition region.

North Acoustics Kitty Kat Impedance Spread

The Kitty Kat’s input impedance is shown above, both with and without the (optional) impedance twister circuit. Without the twister, the system has impedance minimums of about 3.5 Ohms at 300Hz and 5kHz, while the impedance maximums are evident bracketing the 37Hz port tuning frequency and near the crossover frequency. All told, the Kitty Kat without the twister is a very easy load for most modestly powered transistor amplifiers to drive, and 15 Watts minimum is recommended.

With the twister in place, from 300Hz up the impedance measures 5 Ohms +- 1.5 Ohm, which is ultra-stable. This is a better match for valve electronics or transistor amplification that is picky about the loudspeaker load.

Sound Quality

The most striking aspect of the Kitty Kat’s sound quality is how riveting it can be. In fact, even when outside the listening room, the Kitty Kat’s have such a robust bass presentation and rich, wealthy midrange that it actually draws one in just to get a closer listen.

This loudspeaker even succeeds at this with older recording; Led Zeppelin’s "Kashmir" (from Physical Graffiti, Swan Song SS200-2) not only revealed layers of material but also communicated that the Led Zep boys were getting along very well at the time and had a great time recording the album. Similarly, the Beatles remastered recording of Rubber Soul draws one in for a listen because it sounds so naturally rhythmic and involving.

Sitting down with the Kitty Kats, listening seriously, one is immediately taken by its absence of distortion throughout the midrange and top end. It is a unique quality that the midrange can be fantastically detailed and revealing without being even remotely analytical. This contributes to the loudspeakers’ ability to be involving while it is still relaxing.

Janis Ian "Where the Silence Falls" (Putumayo 128-2) for example, the bass drums have extremely dynamic slams, yet the singer’s voice stays liquid, focussed dead center and well above and behind the loudspeaker positions. Way back at the far left edge of the soundstage, one can hear a rhythm guitar play about three measures and then vanish.

Kitty Kat Rev/Rev Center Channel Sapele Veneer
Photograph courtesy of Lee Taylor and Co.

Rebecca Pidgeon performing "The Word Around Town" (Chesky CHE10), one is immediately taken not only by the vocal clarity but also the touch of humor that is easily communicated.

Lower down in frequency, Don Williams "I'm Just a Country Boy", the Kitty Kat also shines. Vocal inflections are carried with remarkable clarity and immediacy and a complete absence of coloration, and with just the right amount of robustness.

Voicing is definitely full range in nature, and even though the Kitty Kats 3dB down point is only 35Hz, their 10dB down point measures a very low 28 Hz and they sound like they are a much much larger loudspeaker. These Kitty’s can rock and roll. Beck's "Scarecrow" (Guerro Interscape B0003481), for example, the driving bass guitar effortlessly fills the room while Beck’s vocals are clear as day.

For those looking for a reference quality near-wall monitor that is capable of recording studio resolution while still being forgiving, the North Kitty Kat is their best choice.


 Kitty Kats in Zebrawood and Pauduk by Lee Taylor and Co.


Kitty Kat Revelator loudspeaker system
(fully assembled, bi-wired, in American Cherry or Maple) ...$2499.00/pair

Kitty Kat Loudspeaker System - Lee Taylor
(fully assembled, bi-wired, custom veneered Lee Taylor cabinets) ...$2999.00/pair

Kitty Kat Revelator Center Channel
(fully assembled, bi-wired, in American Cherry or Maple) ...$1499.00 each

Kitty Kat Center Channel - Lee Taylor
(fully assembled, bi-wired, custom veneered Lee Taylor cabinets) ...$1899.00 each


Other than through the showroom, one may order North Acoustics loudspeakers via our voice/fax number (315-369-2500), via email, or via mail to North Acoustics, PO Box 1120, Old Forge NY 13420-1120.

Hear the Kitties! October 10-12, Denver CO


North Acoustics loudspeakers are available in the United States and Canada directly from the factory. The North showroom is open on weekends and evenings by appointment only. If travelling through the Thendara area (Central New York Adirondack Region) and interested in an audition, please call or drop us an email a few days ahead of time so we can schedule a mutually convenient time and have the loudspeakers and appropriate equipment set up. We will make every effort to have requested electronics on hand.

Thendara is located in the heart of the New York Adirondack Park, a six million acre forest preserve (the largest in the world) protecting the watershed of the Hudson River. We are about 2 hours north of Syracuse, five hours north of New York City, five hours west of Boston, and four hours south of Montreal.

The North showroom is not open to walk-ins or the general public.

Please email or call 315-369-2500 for an appointment.




Kitty Kat Center Channel

Kitty Kat Monitor


2 x 5.5" Scan Speak

5.5" Scan Speak


1.1" North

1.1" North


QB3 ELF-port

QB3 ELF-port


1.6kHz 3rd order

1.6kHz 3rd order

Tweeter Capacitor



Inductor Gauge

12 AWG

12 AWG

Tweeter Wiring

14 AWG Silver

14 AWG Silver

Woofer Wiring

10 AWG OFHC Copper

10 AWG OFHC Copper

Frequency Response

39Hz-20kHz ± 1.8dB

38Hz-20kHz ± 1.8dB





8 Ohm (6.8 Ohm min)

6 Ohm (3.6 Ohm min)

Dimensions (inch)



Dimensions (cm)




51bs (23.25 kilos)

38lbs (17.25 kilos)

MSRP (most veneers)

$2500USD each


Factory Direct: Standard veneers
Lee Taylor veneers

$1499USD each
$1899 each




North Acoustics is dedicated to developing and applying the most advanced technology available to manufacture the world's most musical loudspeaker systems.

Our drivers from Denmark and Norway are considered the finest made, while those we build ourselves are superior to all others available for their specific applications. All North drivers are broken in for 48 hours, numbered, tested and hand matched to within ± 0.5dB.

The crossover network is the heart of a loudspeaker, and not only our crossover topologies but the actual crossover components have been designed by ear to sound better than any others available. North Acoustics incorporates 12 AWG inductors, the finest polypropylene film-and-foil capacitors, military grade non-inductive resistors, and the finest silver and OFHC internal wiring. Our crossover manufacturing process is the most advanced in the world, featuring point-to-point hard wiring of all components built by silver-soldered mechanical welds. Furthermore, all of our crossover components are hand matched to ± 0.5% to assure perfect pair matching of each loudspeaker system. This combined with our driver matching translates immediately into the large, convincing soundstage and precise, accurate imaging.

The unique North ELF (Enforced Laminar Flow)-port combines egress flare and multiple sub-ports to provide dynamic bass performance that remains tight and detailed even at the highest volume level.

Our measurement equipment is the most advanced available and accurately measures frequency, phase and room response in both frequency and time domains.

But the most important technology we have is our ears, and all North Acoustics' loudspeaker systems are designed by ear to be the most natural sounding, musically involving loudspeakers available today.

Cabinet Cross-section and photo courtesy of Lee Taylor and Co.




Designer's Background

All North Acoustics' loudspeaker systems are designed by George Short. George began building loudspeakers in his early teens in Rochester, NY. He received a Bachelor's of Science in Physics in 1986 and, following a two year independent study of electroacoustics and for the successful defense of his Master's Thesis, The Aperiodically Damped Loudspeaker System , was awarded a Master's of Science in Applied Physics (Electoacoustics), both from Virginia Tech.

George began his professional career with Acoustic Research (AR), then the world's fifth largest loudspeaker manufacturer. His responsibilities included basic research in cabinet and cone construction, crossover design, and fundamental listening evaluation of drivers and crossover components.

In 1990 George joined the engineering team of Apogee Acoustics. Apogee was and remains history's only full range ribbon loudspeaker manufacturer, and considered among the most respected loudspeaker companies of their day. Throughout the 1990's, virtually every loudspeaker made by Apogee could be found among Stereophile Magazine's Recommended Components. George did both crossover and ribbon design for Apogee. 

In 1992, George founded North Creek Music Systems, a company dedicated to the advancement of the science of loudspeaker crossover component technology. North Creek was the first company to promote the use of military grade electronic components in crossover applications, developed several new technologies specific to high performance crossover manufacturing, was among the earliest distributors of Scan-Speak in the United States, and is quite possibly the only company in history to design a family of crossover components by ear specifically for high end audio applications.

George founded North Acoustics in 2001, a company dedicated to employing the most advanced drivers, crossover components, cabinet technologies and manufacturing methods to design and produce the world's finest loudspeaker systems. Four years later, evolving from North Acoustics' first Near Wall Specific™ loudspeaker, the Okara II - North Spirit, came the amazing Kitty Kat Revelator.


Designer's Comments

Bending or breaking all of the rules made the Kitty Kat a very fun, if challenging, loudspeaker to design.

It was a long process, as after trying several different woofers from Scan Speak, SEAS and Peerless, and not being able to get the low end extension I wanted, I finally ended up with a custom version of the Scan Speak 15W made with increased motor strength, then developed a special, proprietary coating for the cone (to smooth out its frequency response).

The crossover design was a bit of work. The modified woofer has a very powerful bottom end, and to keep it from overpowering the rest of the spectrum an absolute minimum of reactance was required until just below the crossover frequency. The best way I can describe the finished low pass network is that it uses a very gentle application of response shaping circuitry to get the required slopes.

North Kitty Kat tweeter crossover network

Because the North D28 tweeter was designed with a very slight rise at the top end, the high pass network is a straight forward second order with only a single reactive element in the signal path. For this we use a full cascade-bypassed Crescendo film-foil capacitor bank.

All of this said, the most striking aspect of the Kitty Kat is its voicing. The bass goes so deep and it is so dynamic that it is hard to believe it is coming out of this little box. It just effortlessly energizes the room.

The midrange is perfectly balanced and the transition to the tweeter is seamless. Vocal clarity is simply stunning. All told, the Kitty Kat's have a sense of continuity about their sound that I have rarely heard in loudspeakers at any price, and never when stuffed practically against the wall.

We first showed the Kitty Kats at the New York Vacuum Tube Valley show in May of 2006, we were playing them with a Consonance CD player and integrated amplifier driven through Igor Kuznetsoff's Blue Shadow cables (simply the best interconnects I have ever heard, and in my opinion the highlight of the show). Feedback was overwhelming, as no one had ever heard anything quite like them. All of that wonderful sound coming from those two tiny boxes.

Since the NY show, we have shown the Kitty Kats twice at Rocky Mountain Audiofest and numerous times in the North Acoustics showroom, to those individuals brave enough to make the trip. The opinion is unanimous that it is the best near-wall loudspeaker any of us has ever heard. In fact, almost every person who has ever heard the Kitties in our showroom has bought them.

 Kitty kat in Beech Veneer

But my favorite praise came from the president of another loudspeaker manufacturing company, who after listening to the Kitties for quite some time at RMAF with his own music, came out in the hall and told me, "those are really good speakers!"

Our next trip, to Denver's Rocky Mountain Audiofest, promises to be the Kitties' best showing yet, as it is the official introduction of the center channel and the first time the Kitties have been exhibited in 5.0. See ya' there!



Kitty Production Run June 2008 

Listener's Comments:

 Hi George,

The North Acoustics Kitty Kat Revelator had my heart in the first few seconds of listening. This monitor had a large soundstage, excellent resolution, unbelievable transparency, and much more bass than I expected from a monitor. I heard no mistakes. The Kitty Kat sound had the quality of realness which it delivered effortlessly with authority; yet, there was also delicacy as if an artist were at work on the portrait of a stunning beauty.

The Kitty Kats are superb and easily the best monitors I have ever heard. The decision to buy them is a no-brainer.

John F., Maryland


The Kitty Kats are amazing speakers. Their voicing is exactly what we've come to expect from George: they reproduce all kinds of music with precise detail and generate a sense of space around each instrument. And they seem to do this effortlessly. But what surprised me (in fact, shocked me) was the bass that these little speakers exhibit: not a hint of muddiness, very tight and controlled and plenty of it. Nothing short of remarkable.

Can't wait to set them up in my office.

Martin S., Ontario


Hi George,

I just wanted to thank you again for your hospitality last Sunday - I really
enjoyed our visit, and listening to the speakers you've created was a

The Kitty Kats were really beautiful in their even frequency response and
generally uncoloured sound - the bottom end was surprisingly full and warm,
and the way that they filled the room was impressive. The Metros were truly
stunning - your development of ribbon technology is remarkably creative, and
the results are astounding - I played a lot of different cd's from a lot of
different musical languages and sonic approaches, and the imaging, clarity
and warmth remained consistent throughout - it was a terrific experience.

Sound is such a subjective area, and there's so much voodoo mixed in with
the physics - i really enjoy your approach to the whole process, and my own
sensibilities definitely align with what you're going for...

Thanks again, and

Best regards,

Jonathan G., Toronto

p.s. the huevos rancheros rocked, also.



George and Lee,

I just want to say that I am really enjoying the total Kitty Kat package. The quality and build of the cabinets were top notch. Especially since my wife liked the veneer.... Lee you were right on the grills, you are simple are not going to get any reflections from the grills. I am glad that I paid a little extra from them.

The quality of music coming out of the Kitty Kats is astounding. I have a pretty decent home theater set up with tower mains speakers. The tower speakers is a 4 way design with Vifa ring radiator tweeter, one 4" midrange, four 5.25" woofers, and 8" 350 watt powered woofer. I also use the tower mains for all of my 2 channel music listening. Well, my goal for the Kitty Kats is to use them for my main floor leaving room. Ideally, I was hoping for the Kitty Kats to produce the same level of dynamic sound but with better quality compared to my HT main tower speakers. I knew matching the tower speakers as far as dynamics is concerned was going to be a tall order. But I was surprised.

Over the weekend, I did some A/B music testing with the Kitty Kats and my main towers. As far as quality, the Kitty Kats came out on top. It was kind of weird, the Kitty Kats had a wide sound stage but the sound was very neutral. I can not think of any other words to describe it. Compared to my tower speakers, the towers also have a wide soundstage but the sound seemed to have some sort of surround effect. This surround effect made the music reproduction sound slightly colored. I did not notice this with the Kitty Kats. I guess this would make the towers better for HT rather than 2 channel music listening.

The the next major difference I notice was the bass response. With the powered woofers on in the towers, the bass coming from the Kitty Kats were not as loud but it was very close. This is pretty impressive for one 5.5" driver. The tower speakers I own can also be purchased without the powered woofer. So I shut off the woofers and compared the bass response again. This is were the Kitty Kats really shined. There was no comparison, my towers without the powered woofers could not compete. Even my wife noticed this.

I am so excited about the potential of these Kitty Kats. So much so that I am know looking to piece together a 2 channel music system. This is something I was not really considering on doing in the past.

Thank you George and Lee for all the help.


Akono G






Debuted 3-6, 2008, Montreal Quebec


This publication is copyright © 2008 by North Creek Music Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.