Manger s1 active loudspeaker $24,995 Review

September 1, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“I’d sum up the Manger sound like this: fast, pure, more articulate than smooth. The bass is present—all there—but don’t expect to bathe in it. The s1 leans more toward exciting than toward comfortable, but not excessively so. I loved the percussive sound of Ellington’s piano, with more leading edge than I’m used to, but natural—and how all the various ‘phones (xylophone, vibraphone, etceteraphone) rang out in space. I expected percussion instruments to sound good on these speakers, and they did. If there was a surprise, it was the corporeal images and fleshy textures.

Not all recordings sounded good because the s1’s are not, at least as I set them up, particularly forgiving. On “The Man’s Too Strong,” from Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms (FLAC rip from Warner 9 25264-2), I heard a metallic sheen I wasn’t expecting—but should have been. That track should be all wood and leather—no metal.

Indeed, it should be—too bad it wasn’t recorded that way. I still recall the thrill of hearing that pristine, ultraquiet recording for the first time. I was in my early 20s, and I already owned the LP. I had just bought a CD player, and this was the first CD I ever bought. I thought I’d never heard anything so fine—like crystal. Precisely what I was hearing from the Mangers. The Mangers were telling the truth.

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