Fyne Audio F702 Review

November 13, 2019 § Leave a comment


“The company quotes a power handling of 30 to 200W, and the speaker can stand 100W RMS of power continuously. Sensitivity is put at 92dB per watt, which is very good by class standards and means that many valve amplifier users will naturally be drawn to the F702. Nominal impedance is 8ohm, and Fyne Audio says that in a typical room, the frequency response is 30Hz to 34kHz (at -6dB). Being a human being, my ears prevent me from verifying the higher frequency claim, but the back of my chest confirms that the F702 goes down extremely low in my listening room, at least.

One of the joys of loudspeaker reviewing is the sheer diversity of sound you get to hear. Experience soon teaches you to expect a certain style of presentation from a particular type of speaker; for example, Quad electrostatics are way different to horn-loaded Klipschs. So with a large floorstander with a point-source treble/midrange driver and an equally sizeable bass unit, odds are that it’s going to be expansive, widescreen fun – and so it proves. “

Alta Audio Alec Loudspeakers $10,000 Review

November 12, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“At only $10,000/pair Alta Audio has indeed pulled a rabbit out of a hat with the Alec. As a low cost compromise between the majestic Titanium and its smaller and addictive sibling Celesta while retaining the unique signature sound quality that makes all of Alta audio speakers so special, another winner is born; within arm’s reach of perfectly bridging the two.”

Wilson Audio • Sasha DAW Loudspeakers $37,900 Review

November 8, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Compared to the Salinas, the Goss Concerto provides a stark contrast, in terms of scale, orchestration and, musically speaking, within itself. It is classically structured in three movements for a single guitar and full orchestra, the composer overcoming the dynamic constraints and limited level of the solo instrument by amplifying it to allow broader dynamic range and greater musical contrasts. The three movements are also essentially independent, the first reflecting the music of the United States, with its own distinctive musical idiom and jazz rhythms, the third a Latin piece with a broader, typically elegiac second movement evoking British classical traditions. When the piece is played live, the orchestra can effortlessly shift between the different tonal and chromatic palettes demanded by the score, but for audio systems, the switches are not so easy, their dynamic and tonal limitations compressing the distinctions — especially given the composer’s stated dynamic goals. It’s an acid test of any speaker’s expressive capabilities, reflecting both bandwidth and musical coherence, dynamic and tonal compression — a test paper that definitely favors the bigger, more sophisticated candidates.”

Elac Adante Review

November 7, 2019 § Leave a comment

KEF Blade Speakers Review

November 6, 2019 § Leave a comment


KEF’s goal was to not only create a full-range point-source speaker system with the Blade, but also one more forgiving on the listener. Their intent was to improve off-axis imaging so there was less dependence on the sweet spot. Sonically, the Blades do a very impressive job of delivering a convincing soundstage to not only the sweet spot listener but also someone sitting to the left or right. A properly acoustically treated audio room could very well further enhance the off-axis presentation.  I found that precise micro adjustments to the side walls and front wall vastly improved the sonic character. Instruments seemed to float in their own space and there was a real sense of a black background for each one. While toe-in is recommended, I discovered foregoing toe-in widened the soundstage and improved the imaging. Naturally, this is very room dependent.

ELAC Navis ARF-51 Active Loudspeaker

November 5, 2019 § Leave a comment


The driver complement kicks off with a concentric treble/mid unit, the 25mm soft-dome tweeter being mounted centrally within a 10cm aluminium-cone midrange for enhanced integration and focus, both the shape of the mid cone and a mesh grille helping control the tweeter’s dispersion. Below that sits a pair of 13.5cm bass units, again with aluminium cones, while within the speaker are the amplifiers for each driver. These comprise a 160W BASH (Bridged Amplifier Switching Hybrid) module for the bass, a similar 100W amp for the midband, and a 40W conventional Class AB amplifier that drives the tweeter.

ELAC may, rather modestly, describe these speakers as being ‘powered’, but by any accepted use of the term this is an active design, with separate amps for each drive unit, and a user-adjustable electronic crossover. There are ±1dB adjustments for the mid and treble, a +1/–4dB selector for the bass, and also a 60Hz/80Hz/flat high-pass filter, handy should you want to use the speaker in conjunction with a subwoofer. The idea here is that – at least when used wired – the speakers are ‘analogue in, analogue out’, with no digital intervention in the signal path. It’s worth noting that the amps used here are all analogue, including the BASH modules for the midrange and bass, which combine a modulated switching power supply with a conventional Class B amplifier [see Investigation,

Olympica Nova from Sonus Faber | Review

November 2, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“My first impression revolves around the huge and particularly well-defined soundstage the Olympica Novas offered. We’re not just talking about wide and deep. The Novas did a wonderful thing—they replicated the size of my own listening room on the other side of the wall. The illusion was clear. I could easily imagine a stage of equal size beyond the speakers where the performers stood and played. The wall boundaries were clearly fixed in space on both sides of the mirror.

That sounds strange, right? But that’s what I found most intriguing about that sound, the projection of a known finite space that was perfectly natural. Do we really expect a lone note played in the middle of the Mojave? Those boundaries I sensed replicated the feeling of being in a room where music is played. It was a distinctive sound, one that seemed perfectly logical and natural.”

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