Music, timed to perfection.
This floor standing speaker is relatively conventional in looks, a two way rear ported bass reflex design, using a 1st order crossover.
The finish and sleek styling is exemplary, the artful use of the Baltic Birch ply laminations is also visually very appealing. That said my wife commented on the bass driver impinging on the laminations on the edge of the front face, though this didn't bother me particularly. As a floor stander they are rather deep, but this allows a narrower frontal cross section.
The drivers are both from the SEAS prestige range ..of which I know nothing. The tweeter appears to be a fabric dome and the bass unit appears as you would expect, [as I write this I realise there's no grill or fixings, or even mention of one. Which maybe something that needs to be addressed, fortunately there are no little curious fingers in my household ]. The bass port is situated at the lower rear and set on the same plate as the crossover and binding posts.
The crossover is a 1st order design using high quality components and wired with the same multi strand that's used for the jumpers.
Hooking them up to my system was easy enough. They come fitted for biwiring and jumpers are provided to facilitate a single wire option, as used in my system. As to feet I set them up in 3 spike mode, but if the mood takes you they can be set up in 4 spike or even 5 spike configurations. To help in the set-up process a large bubble level is provided which was useful.
Each cabinet is a significant weight which means its best to get the move right the first time ! The cabinets give a reassuringly inert sound when Knuckle wrapped too..... The dimensions of each speaker are considerably shorter than my Martin Logan Aerius i's [This will become important later], but the foot print however, is much the same so it was easy to slot them straight into the same position.
So now to power up the amps and play some music, its immediately apparent that these speaker are doing something very interesting. The initial impression is of fast clean deep rich beguiling sound, very promising so far. My ML's are 89db and these speakers need a tad bit more volume to get the same perceived level, so my guess is there about 87-88db efficiency. Bass is prodigious, compared with the ML's at any rate and more than myself or next door are used to ! I have to say I've never been a fan of bass ports having lived and suffered through the 70's and 80's with various honkers and chuffers. That said there were only a few occasions when I thought the reflex port had stepped out of line and even then it was fairly benign. The mid range and treble behaved impeccably[ in respect to music used] . Its clear that the first order crossover is having an effect, this revealed itself as if your listening with a slight bass and treble boost. In reality it means the mid range is slightly reduced, if I've got my head round it correctly. This is very exciting to begin with, but I found it became rather relentless and even dropping the volume oddly only reduced the sound level ! This really manifests itself listening certain artists like Joanne Newsome [the mad harp woman as my wife calls her], playing the Milk eyed Mender, her voice which is at best eclectic ! started to get uncomfortable but not totally unlistenable but we were getting fairly close . I'm a big fan of imaging and I expect my system's tuned to get the best it can from the stereo illusion. These speakers didn't disappoint in this respect providing a wide and deep sound stage, extending well beyond the speakers. Though this did throw up some quirks, the mid level height of the image positioned its self about half as high again as I'm used too ...to study this I set the tv up using the Quad PA1 to decode the optical signal from our wall mounted 55" 4k tv feeding the preamp ...normally[with the ML's] the mid height of the image coincides with the tv . This time however the sound was perceived to be coming from the top edge of the tv . This produced a rather strange disconnect, almost like when speech is out of sync on a badly dubbed film. Further listening confirmed that the vocal imaging wasmuch higher than expected , of course this is not an issue unless your trying to coincide the sound image with the visual ! Another observation especially with the male spoken word was a slight burr or blur. I've had this similar effect before and is in my experience associated with large strand counts in cables ie single solid cores don't do it and high numbers of strands do, hay ho !Don't get me wrong these speakers are without doubt very good indeed, very enjoyable to listen to, though they may not for the faint hearted!I'm certain my system, set up and room have made a contribution to the slightly anomalous effects heard.Would I buy these?Yes without reservation and happily overlook the idiosyncrasies. [assuming I did not have the ML's]Would I swap my ML's for them ..?now that's a much harder question that will have to wait till I've good long listen the ML's again.Have they sown a seed of doubt ?definitely !the listening was carried out using the following equipment.....Sony HAP Z1ESBeard ca506 in active mode, with psvane valvesopera consonance cyber800 with electro harmonix power valvesQuad PA1 acting as a dac taking the tv's optical signal then feeding the Beard