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Ed Selley  |  Aug 27, 2010  |  0 comments
New way to play Direct-seller Teufel's ambitious Ultima 800 loudspeaker is not only innovative, it's redefining value for money, says Alvin Gold Teufel is set up quite differently from most of its rivals, with a range of loudspeakers that must be ordered off the page, rather than through traditional hi-fi dealers. This does mean making a purchase without the usual safety net, but then part of the deal is that you do get the opportunity of an extended trial period before committing yourself irrevocably. You also get an extended guarantee period – twelve years – and full phone/web-based technical support. Above all, the simplified retail structure means that more of the manufacturer’s resources can be invested in R&D, so factor in unusually strong value for money.
Ed Selley  |  Aug 02, 2010  |  0 comments
A mini adventure Paul Messenger test runs Bowers and Wilkins' stylish CM5 - a variation on a familiar and long established two-way luxury standmount theme The request from the Bowers and Wilkins marketing team to the engineering department responsible for the CM5 loudspeaker, probably went along the lines of “make us something small, simple, beautiful and affordable”. So it did! At £800, it doesn’t come cheap, but it is unquestionably delightfully designed and beautifully finished and a vast improvement over the 685 model (HFC 299), which incorporates many ostensibly similar core ingredients at around half the price, yet which is dressed in clothes that even its friends would call nondescript. And that’s certainly not the description one would apply to the CM5. But its virtues aren’t entirely superficial.
Ed Selley  |  Jul 20, 2010  |  0 comments
Monopulse 62S £1,195 Monopulse breaks the rules on standmount stereotypes with the help of its proprietary super-tweeter The basis of Monopulse loudspeakers lies in applying audio lessons that were learned working with phased-array radar systems, the prime purpose being to reproduce transient leading edges accurately. The consequent need to time-align the outputs of the three drive units at the listening seat imposes some constraints on the driver layout. These are solved by adopting a floorstanding configuration (which determines the height of the drivers above the floor), by placing the tweeter beneath the bass/mid drive unit, and by mounting a super-tweeter on the top, set back from the front panel under a metal protective hoop. The complexity of this arrangement perhaps goes some way towards explaining the decision to go for a fabric covering over the front and sides of the enclosure.
Ed Selley  |  Jul 20, 2010  |  0 comments
PMC DB1i - £985 Probably the smallest transmission line speaker in the world. Someone should inform the Guinness Book of Records In PMC parlance, DB is shorthand for Dinky Box. While somewhat deeper than sealed-box miniatures, like the classic BBC LS3/5a, the front view is barely larger than that needed to accommodate two drive units, so this DB1i is certainly a tiny loudspeaker. Especially when you consider that the four-section transmission line squeezed inside this little enclosure to load the back of the small main driver has an amazing effective length of 1.
Ed Selley  |  Jul 20, 2010  |  0 comments
Roksan Kandy K2 TR-5 - £895 This petite Kandy pitches above its station, thanks to the credentials of its much larger Caspian FR-5 brother Roksan’s fine reputation has been built largely off the back of its fine turntables and electronics, though several interesting loudspeaker designs have also put in an occasional appearance. The fine floorstanding Caspian FR-5 was very well received when it arrived in 2006 and the obvious question for this review is whether this Kandy K2 TR-5 can repeat the same trick. The K2 Kandys are Roksan’s recently introduced and least costly range of components, and while the official price of this TR-5 varies from £895 (high-gloss black) to £945 (the beautifully finished satin rosewood of our samples), substantial discounts are available if other Kandy K2 electronics are purchased at the same time. Besides those two options, the speaker is available in silver, maple and metallic black.
Ed Selley  |  Jul 20, 2010  |  0 comments
Triangle Trio - £1, 449 A touch of French class, both in its tasty cabinetwork and the unusual application of a horn-loaded tweeter The most costly member of our test group, Triangle’s Trio is also one of the largest – and the flashiest too, with its curved cabinetwork, the multi-hued part-external horn-loaded tweeter that protrudes above the top panel, and the shiny flared front port. The Trio is the smallest of three stereo pairs that make up Triangle’s mid-market Genese range, designed to take some of features introduced in the upmarket Magellan models, make them available at lower cost and bridge the gap between the Magellans and the vinyl-covered budget Esprit EX models. A generous-sized two-way standmount, based on a 160-millimetre bass/mid driver, this Trio has much in common with Triangle’s more costly Magellan Duetto SW2 (HFC 317). While the deep front panel is high- gloss black, the rest of the enclosure is attractively finished in a real wood veneer, stained to give a mahogany effect.
Ed Selley  |  Jul 20, 2010  |  0 comments
Spendor SA1 - £1,295 The BBC-inspired, relaunched SA1 isn’t cheap, but its loveable presentation won over our blind listening panel Over the years Spendor has introduced a number of small sealed-box sub-miniatures inspired by the BBC LS3/5a. Its first design, christened the SA1 and with a squatter, dumpier shape than a 3/5a, was launched in the mid-1970s. It was highly regarded, even though the company subsequently took out a license to produce the LS3/5a and this new SA1 revives the name, though not the shape of the original. In fact, it’s similar to a 3/5a dimensionally, albeit swapping over width and depth.
Ed Selley  |  Jul 20, 2010  |  0 comments
MAD My Clapton - £3,999 Newcomer My Audio Design is no slowhand when it comes to building speakers here in England The names are a giveaway. MAD is an acronym for My Audio Design, while christening this particular speaker My Clapton, is further evidence of designer and principal Tim Jung’s background. The My Clapton loudspeaker is designed and manufactured here in the UK. It’s an unusual speaker in a number of respects, mounting a 200mm coaxial drive unit into a generously proportioned, rather bluff and four-square ported enclosure.