Loudspeakers

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Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 22, 2015
This tall floorstander takes its place as the top model in Elac’s Line 400 series. All use the JET 5 tweeter, Elac’s development of a concept patented by Dr Oskar Heil called the Air Motion Transformer (AMT). In the Heil AMT, the moving element is a very light plastic membrane that carries a fine metal track to conduct the audio signal. Suspended between powerful magnets, this membrane moves when current flows.
Richard Holliss  |  Jan 22, 2015
At the pinnacle of JBL’s loudspeaker range, the Everest is a monster of a speaker weighing 142kg and priced at a whopping £35k each, its 250-litre enclosure 1110mm wide to accommodate two 15in drivers side by side. While it doesn’t require an enormous listening space, a room does need to be adequately wide in order to space a pair apart satisfactorily. The Everest has been JBL’s flagship ‘Project’ speaker for nearly three decades. Carried over from the out-going model are the speaker’s two horn-loaded beryllium compression drivers: the 100mm diameter 476Be high frequency unit and the 25mm 045Be-1 ‘UHF’ supertweeter, working up to a claimed 60kHz.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Dec 22, 2014
When the BC III was launched in 1973, Spendor’s ads described it as ‘An extension and refinement of theBC I and BC II’, while Thomas Heinitz, doyen of hi-fi consultants in those days, could not resist using the headline‘Hey, big Spendor’. The BC III was rooted in Spencer Hughes’ work at the BBC: he was part of the legendary BBC research team, working under both D E L Shorter and H D Harwood. It had an 8in driver with 40mm voice-coil, working in its own sealed chamber as a midrange unit while the 12in bass unit was reflex-loaded by a carefully designed port. The crossover point was 700Hz.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 16, 2014
In 2012 Kudos introduced the £3500 Cardea Super 10 [HFN June ’12], a go-for-broke ‘supercharged’ version of the company’s 12 litre two-way standmount. Now the company has followed up with a ‘Super’ version of its Cardea C20 floorstander. Kudos has worked extensively with SEAS in developing specific drivers for its various speaker models, the Super 20 employing the 29mm ‘Crescendo K2’ soft dome tweeter first introduced in the £13,000 Kudos Titan T88 flagship. The bass/mid driver in the Super 20 is a newly-developed version of the SEAS 18cm unit with hand-treated paper cone.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 16, 2014
Magico has wisely decided to ‘trickle down’ its Q series know-how into a new and mildly more affordable series: the S1 and S5 floorstanders. The latter is a good £11k shy of the similarly-proportioned Q3 [HFN Sep ’11] and yet it offers almost exactly the same sensitivity, an even flatter response but a measurably and palpably superior bass extension. The S5’s body comprises three main sections – a thick alloy baffle plus two curved, 0. 5in-thick side extrusions that increase stiffness while minimising internal standing waves.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 16, 2014
Peak Consult is a Danish boutique high-end loudspeaker manufacturer which can arguably be regarded as a Danish equivalent of Sonus faber. The engineering focus, lush aesthetics and fastidious attention to detail are certainly at one with the philosophies of the Italian speaker brand, and price points, from the entry-level Princess V to the six-figure Peak Consult Dragon, are up there too. The Princess V is a compact yet extremely hefty speaker with superb woodwork and an all-Danish driver array. The tweeter is a custom Scan-Speak model with a 1in silk dome and the main driver a bespoke 5in AudioTechnology unit.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 16, 2014
Customer and retailer reactions have suggested the need for a new Wilson speaker closer in performance to the universally-acclaimed Alexandria XLF [HFN Nov ’12], but one that swallowed no more real estate than a Sasha. With a footprint close to the Sasha’s, the Alexia hosts only a slight increase in height, due mainly to the necessarily larger woofer enclosure. To provide a goodly portion of the XLF’s adaptability, precision and coherence, the smaller Alexia had to offer adjustability of the midrange and tweeter positioning with to-the-millimetre accuracy, according to room specifics and the location of the owner’s ‘hot seat’. That meant a head section with movable segments, but with a volume akin to that of the original WATT.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 16, 2014
Sitting just below the Reference models in Acoustic Energy’s line-up, its Radiance Series is intended to offer a good proportion of their abilities at a lower price. The Radiance 2 occupies the centre of the three-strong range of stereo designs [a matching subwoofer and centre channel are also available] and utilises three drive units in a two-and-a-half-way configuration. The two main drivers are 130mm in diameter and consist of a pressed alloy cone with matching conical dust cap, allied to a rubber surround. Voice-coils are wound with aluminium wire for lightness; each driver has its own enclosure with separate port tuning.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 16, 2014
Here, B&W has launched a floorstander that extends the CM Series upwards and fits into the price slot vacated by the old 804S. Like the 804, the CM10 uses a separate [but new] tweeter module. A standard 50µm-thick dome with most of the centre removed forms a stiffening ring and on the front of this is stuck a full dome only 35µm thick. This gives a higher first breakup frequency, said to be 38kHz, yet with a similar moving mass, compared to the standard 50µm dome.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 16, 2014
These Estelons deftly bridge the gap between the radically bizarre and domestically acceptable. Simply put, they look wonderful. Made from a marble based composite, standard finishes include black or white gloss, or matt black for £22,000 per pair. The review pair was finished in ‘Red Rocket Liquid Gloss’ [+£3000].
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 16, 2014
The M’inenT range [one standmount and two floorstanders] is new from GamuT. The M5s have a tall and commanding presence yet somehow seem less bulky than their paper dimensions would suggest. The cabinet is exceptionally well finished in a flawless real wood veneer and a wide range of finishes is available at extra cost. The three drive units are configured as a two-and-a-half way design, with crossover points at 500Hz and 2.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 14, 2012
Audel gets down to basics with a speaker that combines contemporary design with traditional craftsmanship Italy has a prized reputation for flamboyant and uniquely styled luxury goods. The nation’s passion for design is woven into the very fabric of its culture. That’s why the country’s cars look like Ferrari Enzos rather than Ford Cortinas and why the men driving them are probably wearing Gucci loafers, rather than grubby sneakers. For a new high-end hi-fi company to be launched and get noticed is no easy task, especially in the loudspeaker market, where, to some, looks can be as important as sound, and where rivals include exotic brands such as Sonus faber and Zingali.
Keith Howard  |  Dec 16, 2011
An aesthetically attractive and somically capable loudspeaker Surely the most impressive-looking speaker of this group, the Elac FS 189 is a five-driver three-and-a-half-way sporting three 175mm bass drivers, a 140mm midrange unit and Elac’s vaunted JET tweeter, whose pleated diaphragm identifies it as a development of Oskar Heil’s famous Air Motion Transformer. The lower two bass drivers are rolled off at 180Hz, leaving the upper bass unit to crossover to the midrange driver at 500Hz and it to the tweeter at 2. 8kHz. Like the FS 247 Sapphire [HFN July ’11], reflex bass loading is accomplished via two ports, one located near the top of the back panel and the other in the cabinet base, where it vents to the outside via the gap between the cabinet and integral plinth.
Keith Howard  |  Dec 16, 2011
Larger than average drivers give the Dali a performance edge Compared to the other speakers in this test the Lektor 8 – largest of Dali’s five-model Lektor range, not including the centre speaker and sub – looks almost old-fashioned. It isn’t size zero thin, for a start, because it uses twin 8in (200mm) bass drivers rather than the ~170mm units of the Quadral, Elac and Paradigm. Moreover, those drivers – along with the 5in midrange – don’t boast hi-tech- looking metal diaphragms but Dali’s familiar wood fibre reinforced coated paper cones, which are a dull brown colour. It’s a lot of speaker for the price, though, and those unmodishly large bass drivers – reflex loaded by ports front and rear – promise to move plenty of air.
Keith Howard  |  Dec 16, 2011
A handsome design with some likeable characteristics If you ask me, the bow-fronted Aviano 8 succeeds in looking modern while retaining a certain British reserve. Certainly it’s a notable contrast to the rather garish Teufel, and not just in the looks department. A four-driver two-and-a-half-way, the Aviano 8 has three 6. 5in drivers featuring M-S’s dished CPC (Continuous Profile Cone) aluminium diaphragms and a 25mm aluminium dome tweeter, nestled behind a protective grille.

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