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A Song Of Fire and Metal – Totem Elements Speakers Move to V2

By | May 16th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , |

Totem Acoustic Element Series Metal Loudspeaker

With the summer audio show circuit landing squarely around us, it is the season for product launching of all stripes. Fresh out of the email box and just in time for the season spending comes an update from Totem Acoustic to their Element Series Metal and Fire speakers.

Pushing the price tag into the mid 15s will keep these loudspeakers out of reach for many, but the recent announcement in time for the Munich show in Germany focuses on improvements from the previous versions of Elements.… Read the full article

Mike and Neli went on a little audio adventure

By | May 16th, 2019|Categories: Audio Federation|Tags: , , , , , |

Mike and Neli went on a little audio adventure to visit Audio Note in the U.K., the Munich High-end 2019 show, and the Acapella Audio arts factory where we listened to the Sphaeron Excalibur speakers (pictured) for most of the day.

Details galore forthcoming after sleep and uploading and sifting through several thousand photos, 100s of videos and many recordings of various systems in 24×96 hi-res audio.

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The look of love (Part 2): Q Acoustics Concept 300

By | May 13th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

Contiguous: “to share a common border or touching”. The traditional loudspeaker stand’s top and base plates act as common borders to its pillar/s. In unboxing the loudspeaker stand that Q Acoustics ship with their Concept 300 2-way standmount (US$4499/£2999), we are confronted with something completely different: three non-contiguous poles that don’t touch and have no ‘common border’ base plate. Instead, they are kept separate and held together by a series of contiguous and tensioned wires to meet the definition of tensegrity, a portmanteau of tensional integrity: “the characteristic property of a stable three-dimensional structure consisting of members under tension that are contiguous and members under compression that are not.”

It isn’t just smart engineering, inspired by the work of Bucky Fuller and Kenneth Snelson, that sets this loudspeaker stand apart from the steel-pillared norm.… Read the full article

Sonus Faber’s New Little Bookshelf – The Minima Amator II

By | May 9th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , |

Sonus Faber Minima Amator II

Two-way designs in the bookshelf form factor can be magical in the right space. It takes a special skill set to deliver optimal near field or low-level listening for an office space while still maintaining some of that angelic high-end sparkle. Sonus Faber makes some of the best sounding flagship floor standers out there, and now they hope to replicate some of that hifi mojo with their new Minima Amator II loudspeaker.

While not the least expensive 6″ speaker out there, the Amator II builds upon much of the stellar industrial design that is utilized in some of their other high-end products.… Read the full article

A short film about the HEDD Tower Mains

By | May 3rd, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

I first heard the HEDD Tower Mains at their (local) Emil Berliner Studio launch event in January; a pair of active loudspeakers, over two meters tall in their full configuration (€27,000/pair), playing a range of classical, opera, pop/rock and, at the very end, a cut from Kangding Ray. No Iggy and no Bowie — odd given that both recorded career-defining albums in the very same building.

How did they sound? Big and majestic. Just as one might expect for loudspeakers of this size and of this calibre.… Read the full article

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FinkTeam Borg Loudspeakers

By | May 1st, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

The enormous WM-4 FINKTEAM loudspeakers caused a lot of confusion among people during the High End 2018 exhibition  in Munich. Looking at them and not knowing what it was all about, it was hard to say why, however. They did look a little different than most loudspeakers at the exhibition, but they still seemed to be mainstream—these are stocky loudspeakers with D’Appolito arrangement—two midrange drivers and a tweeter, with a really large woofer below.

Only having looked at them closely, one could become suspicious of their “ordinariness.” It was then possible to see that the tweeter is an AMT Mundorf driver, the midrange drivers have flat membranes and they have been made in-house according to the FMWD (Flat Membrane Wide Dispersion) concept (do you remember the NXT technology?), while the woofer is an enormous 15-inch unit with a paper membrane and textile surround.… Read the full article

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A short film about the Klipsch RP-600M

By | May 1st, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Klipsch is one of the USA’s longest-running loudspeaker companies. Their calling card is horn-loaded drivers that keep sensitivity higher than average to broaden amplifier agreeability, thus putting a firm tick in the ‘positives’ column.

Concerned about horn honk – the horn’s vibration colouring the tweeter’s lower treble? Klipsch has lined the RP-600M’s (Tractrix) horn surround with a silicone composite to tame any colouration. Still – a quick listen might lead some listeners with certain types of music to dismiss the RP-600M’s 1″ rear-vented titanium tweeter as leaning too far in the direction of etched.… Read the full article

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Acapella Sphäron Excalibur – The holy grail of high-end audio loudspeakers

By | April 30th, 2019|Categories: Audio Federation|Tags: , , |

Acapella Audio Arts has upped the bar significantly with their new statement-level loudspeaker, the Spharon Excalibur:

Frequency range: 15 Hz to 40K Hz.

4 x 18 inch woofers per channel

Sensitivity: 103-107 dB / 1 W / 1 m

Impedance: 8 ohms.

Over 2500 pounds. Each.

1 x ION plasma tweeter per channel

From $620,000 a pair. Active version available for additional cost.

The specifications really do tell the story here. Very big. Very efficient. And, given the Acapella brand sound, it will sound like music, and not a high-school science-day project or mad scientist’s laboratory experiment gone bad.… Read the full article

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How best to audition loudspeakers?

By | April 25th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

A bitter pill to swallow: every single piece of a loudspeaker system adds colour to the sound. Adding the most colour of all is the room — it’s the lens through which we hear our loudspeakers. Its colour isn’t fixed. By adding/removing furniture, acoustic panels and bass traps, we can shift its audible impact. And for those with uncorrectable shortcomings, time allows us to get to know the room’s characteristics – the lens’s optics – to better mentally separate its colour from the loudspeaker’s.… Read the full article

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Fern & Roby Send A Raven – AXPONA 2019

By | April 23rd, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Fern And Roby Raven Floorstander

AXPONA 2019 was busy show from many who attended. Press and attendees were divided by 190+ rooms and a personal audio hall called EGX to cut up the time between a Friday morning and Sunday afternoon.

One of the highlights for me was visiting the Fern and Roby room who had two new loudspeakers on display. Lined up for most of Friday and Saturday was the Raven Floorstander ($9,500/pair) firmly attached to LTA’s MZ3 pre ($3,700) and ZOTL40 Power Amp ($6,800).… Read the full article

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