C wireless active speakers and SOUND HUB COMPACT audio preamplifier couple
simplicity of installation and operation with audiophile sound quality
PICKERING, ONTARIO, CANADA, OCTOBER 6, 2020 – Lenbrook Americas today launched the DALI OBERON CSeries, DALI’s most affordable smart speaker system, bringing wireless active Hi-Fi within the reach of many more music lovers and audiophiles.
The OBERON C Series features
floorstanding OBERON 7 C ($2,499/pr US MSRP), compact, stand or shelf-mount OBERON
1 C ($1,499/pr US MSRP), the compact, low profile wall-mount OBERON ON-WALL C
($899/ea US MSRP) and the SOUND HUB COMPACT ($449 US
MSRP) and will be available for sale in November 2020.
DALI OBERON C is the active
counterpart to the brand’s popular OBERON Series, sharing the same drivers and
cabinet construction, while providing a new SOUND HUB COMPACT wireless
transmission preamplifier perfectly configured for contemporary home media
installations where Bluetooth devices and smart TVs are the primary audio
All three two-way OBERON C speakers incorporate a wireless streaming interface, digital signal processing (DSP) and a pair of 50-Watt Class D power amplifiers – one for bass/midrange driver(s) and one for the high frequency driver – in a module located on their rear panels.
fit into a wide range of décor, the speaker models are available in choice of
four high quality laminate cabinet finishes and supplied with a contrasting
gray fabric: Matt White, Light Oak, Dark Walnut and Black Ash. Use of the
grille is optional.
Complementing the acclaimed DALI RUBICON C and CALLISTO
Series active loudspeakers, OBERON C provides
a more cost-effective, plug, pair and play wireless Hi-Fi solution. To maximize
enjoyment, priority was given to ease of setup and simplicity of operation.
At the heart of the system, the DALI SOUND HUB COMPACT brings
true no-compromise convenience to music and movie lovers. It transmits Hi-Res
audio in true HD quality (24bit/96KHz) to the OBERON C speakers while the user
takes control of the hub via its supplied infrared remote control or user’s
audio source. The DALI SOUND HUB COMPACT will automatically switch to whichever
source is connected and can be hidden out of sight, if so desired, as the
remote control connects via Bluetooth. The SOUND HUB COMPACT Bluetooth input
features AAC and Qualcomm® aptX HD audio high performance codecs and enables
smartphones, tablets, laptop or desktop computers, or any other Bluetooth audio
source to easily and quickly play either locally stored or streamed music. Even
Bluetooth-equipped TVs can be connected via HDMI to create a completely
wireless TV audio solution.
optimum system flexibility and integration, the OBERON C Series speakers are also
compatible with the DALI SOUND HUB wireless audio preamplifier originally
introduced in the CALLISTO and RUBICON C
Series. In addition to providing Bluetooth and a variety of wired audio inputs,
the SOUND HUB is equipped with facilities for future expansion and upgrade. For
example, with its optional NPM-1 BluOS module installed, the SOUND HUB can
provide all the benefits of BluOS, the original hi-res multi-room audio
ecosystem that manages stored and cloud music sources and playback, with
support for audio streams up to 24/192. Integrations with many popular
streaming music services like Tidal, Qobuz, and Spotify as well as featuring
support for FLAC, WAV, MQA, and other high-resolution formats and codecs, BluOS
offers virtually unlimited access to music of all genres for any occasion. Made
up of an operating system and a control application for smartphones, tablets,
and PC desktops, BluOS is the ultimate choice for the modern audiophile.
OBERON C and SOUND HUB COMPACT enhance DALI’s traditional speaker technology
that the brand has made famous with an entirely new perspective on how to make
great-sounding speakers for the modern lifestyle,” commented Jeff Earl, DALI
Product Manager for Lenbrook Americas. “In addition to OBERON C’s simple setup,
ease of operation and superb sound, the SOUND HUB Compact offers a more
affordable wireless Hi-Fi option. For the best performance and experience,
pairing OBERON C to the compatible DALI SOUND HUB and NPM-1 BluOS Module turns
it into a high-res (24-bit/192kHz), streaming, multi-room audio system.“
OBERON C SERIES KEY FEATURES:
SMC Technology the OBERON C bass/mid drivers benefit
from patented Soft Magnetic Compound (SMC) in the pole piece. The result is an
extremely agile, linear woofer with a significant reduction of distortion from
low-mass DALI Bass/Mid-Bass wood fiber cones are optimized to work in perfect
balance with the built-in amplifier. High frequencies are handled by an
ultra-lightweight 29mm soft dome tweeter
Class D Amplifier – the OBERON C Class D amplifier is based
on patented state-of-the-art technology with a global feedback and
self-oscillating design. Chosen for its very musical properties there’s plenty of power even in complex musical passages or massive
SOUND HUB COMPACT is a wireless
audio preamplifier that is compatible and interchangeable with DALI’s CALLISTO, RUBICON C and OBERON C systems.
Cabinet Finishes choice of four
quality laminate finishes in Matt White, Light Oak, Dark Walnut and Black Ash
DALI, (Danish Audiophile
Loudspeaker Industries), was established in 1983, and grew out of Scandinavia’s
leading audio retail chain. Now distributed in 65 countries, and with more than
35 years of experience and global recognition, DALI holds unwavering dedication
to sound that has advanced the state of the art, inspiring music and cinema
lovers and challenging the competition to catch up. DALI is driven by raw
passion for music and an honest reproduction in the domestic environment.
Continuous development and refinement of new technologies remains core
to DALI’s quest to create the best loudspeakers in the world. For
more information, visit DALI-SPEAKERS.com.
The Lenbrook Group of
Companies is a privately held Canadian corporation who are the owners of NAD
Electronics, PSB Speakers and Bluesound. Formed in 1978, Lenbrook initially was
a national distributor of electronics and communications products in Canada and
has grown to become a leading global supplier to over 80 countries around the
Lenbrook Americas, a wholly
owned subsidiary of Lenbrook International, is responsible for the sales and
marketing of NAD Electronics, PSB Speakers, Bluesound and DALI in both the U.S.
and Canada. Additionally, it also distributes Tivoli Audio and Master &
Dynamic in Canada.
Deep Bass, Wireless Connectivity, Endless Applications Makes It Easier Than Ever to ‘Just Add Bass’
PICKERING, ONTARIO, CANADA, SEPTEMBER 22, 2020 – Bluesound, makers of the award-winning hi-res wireless multi-room line of audio players, announced the PULSE SUB+, an all-new subwoofer addition to the brand’s high-performance ecosystem. The SUB+ adds deep bass to any wireless or wired Bluesound system and features the convenience of precision app control. The new Bluesound model builds on everything the original PULSE SUB offered and takes it to the next level.
The Bluesound PULSE SUB+ ($749 U.S. MSRP) is offered in a choice of Black or White finish and is configurable to a wide range of applications. For ease of installation, it comes supplied with a wall mount bracket and magnetic rubber feet. Available to pre-order now, the SUB+ will begin shipping in late October 2020.
Like the rest of the Bluesound product family, the PULSE SUB+ is a from-scratch design, created to combine practicality and performance in one elegant product. An 8” long-throw woofer and 150W Smart Amplifier with DSP delivers low frequencies to a deep 22Hz. Acoustically, the design approach is true to the brand’s musically-inclined HiFi heritage and results in a tight, quick, musical subwoofer, equally well suited for music or home theater.
Bluesound aimed for maximum output from minimal size (18” W X 11.8” H X 5.75”D) to blend into any room application and any décor, staying true to the belief that a subwoofer doesn’t have to be either large or imposing. This design philosophy results in a sleek, compact, and versatile product that promises to satisfy in both performance and aesthetics.
JUST ADD BASS
Bluesound designed it to be simple and it starts by using the BluOS Controller app to quickly setup and pair the SUB+ with any Bluesound product. With BluOS onboard, the user benefits from simple and intuitive app controls for volume, crossover, and phase adjustment. Easy software control means more options and more precision as users dial in the best settings for their ideal listening experience.
PLACE IT ANYWHERE
Bluesound believes that a subwoofer doesn’t have to be imposing or inflexible. For placement flexibility, a SUB+ wall mount bracket is included to allow this versatile subwoofer to be located almost anywhere in the room. The magnetic rubber feet can also be used to stand the SUB+ vertically for placement behind or beside a sofa or chair, or it can be placed horizontally underneath a couch or end table. Wireless connectivity and choice of Black or White finish allows an even wider range of décor options.
ADDING IT ALL UP
With its BluOS smarts, the 8” driver, the 150W Smart DSP Amplifier, and the versatility in placement and connection options, the PULSE SUB+ offers a truly meaningful addition to virtually any entertainment setup. With tight, dynamic power and a depth that evokes pure emotion, the SUB+ is an ideal addition for movie and music lovers. For even more bass, add a second SUB+ via the BluOS Controller app and optimize the in-room settings with the advanced audio controls.
Like all Bluesound PULSE speaker models, the acoustic design and speaker voicing was performed at Canada’s National Research Council by Lenbrook’s renowned speaker design and engineering team.
“At Bluesound, we take pride in the uniqueness and innovation instilled into our products and the PULSE speakers are no exception”, commented Matt Simmonds, Product Manager for Bluesound. “The SUB+ builds on our original PULSE SUB and takes it to the next level by combining deep bass, wireless convenience and flexible applications and does so at an affordable price.”
Key Features of the Bluesound PULSE SUB+:
150 WATTS. An all-new 150W Smart DSP Amplifier platform with a custom-designed power supply packs a punch, allowing the SUB+ to play louder and dig deeper, with tighter, more musical control.
8 INCHES. Now boasting an 8” driver, the SUB+ pushes more air and gives the amplifier some more room to maneuver.
WIRELESS. A HiFi WiFi subwoofer. No wires, no mess, no hassle.
BluOS. The world’s leading hi-res multi-room system connects the SUB+ to any other Bluesound Player, and several BluOS-Enabled Players from NAD Electronics, with precise control in the BluOS app.
USE IT ANYWHERE. With a functional compact design meant to work in multiple setups, in any room and any décor, the SUB+ maximises placement flexibility.
An alliance of audiophiles. We are the designers, engineers and individuals who have spent our lives in the music industry. Our founders helped pioneer HiFi in the 70s – innovation and the pursuit of perfection in audio runs deep in our collective DNA. Bluesound’s sole mission is to create innovative wireless audio products and technologies that allow for the most true-to-live performance music reproduction possible, utilizing the most advanced, state-of-the-art digital technology.
NEW YORK (PTA) — Launching today, a new special edition of the already popular Il Cremonese. This new speaker is was inspired by the 30th Anniversary edition Ex3ma. More details and photos are enclosed below. Enjoy! SONUS FABER LAUNCHES THE NEW EXCLUSIVE LIMITED-EDITION II CREMONESE EX3ME INSPIRED BY THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY PROJECT EX3MA Sonus faber is proud to introduce the new special edition Il Cremonese ex3me. Introduced in 2015 with the intention of completing the Sonus faber Homage Collection, the speaker was named after a traditional Italian violin, the Il Cremonese. This violin is the most famous among the master Antonio Stradivari’s creations. Due to its superb sound capability, the new Il Cremonese speaker immediately placed among the ranks of Sonus faber’s Reference Collection catalogue, becoming a favorite among the Sonus faber R&D team members. This predilection turned the Il Cremonese into a crucial internal Sonus faber work instrument, serving as an effective test bench for the development of various technical solutions due to the innate versatility of its electroacoustic configuration. This concept led to the idea of using Il Cremonese as the foundation for a unique loudspeaker system characterized by new technical features with a precise performance target: absolute [...]
Eminence, KY (September 16, 2020)—Eminence Speakers has introduced Eminence Digital, its Impulse Response (IR) library. Developed in conjunction with amplifier profiler and guitarist, Michael Britt, the library provides users and recordists with digital versions of some of the company’s most prominent guitar speakers.
The company’s guitar speakers such as Cannabis Rex, The Governor, and Swamp Thang are among the offerings of the new IR library. The collection was developed by Michael Britt, a professional musician and longtime IR developer/modeler.
Aiming to ensure accuracy, Britt used an open back, 112 3rd Power cabinet to capture each guitar speaker’s unique character. With its flat response and reduced resonant frequencies, the cabinet choice minimized the sound it imparted to the speaker, helping to deliver a true representation of the speaker sound. He then profiled each speaker using seven different industry-standard microphones, with different placements to generate seven different IRs for each speaker.
Delivered as 24-bit .wav files in multiple sample rates of 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz and 96 kHz, the IRs are available only at Eminence-Digital.com, starting at $11.99, and are compatible with most DAWs and amp profilers.
Founded in 1995, Verity Audio hit the ground running in 1996 with the debut of their first speaker, the Parsifal. The Parsifal has gone through at least four iterations since its introduction, retaining the qualities that made the original so special. The speaker was known for a smooth treble that tended oh so slightly toward the dark side of neutral, a midrange that was transparent but is somewhat laid-back and bass that has weight and meaningful extension. They were a speaker that was never in your face but drew you into the music in a very relaxed and enjoyable way. Since Parsifal’s introduction, Bruno Bouchard and Julien Pelchat, the company owners and designers have not rested on their laurels but have expanded the line to include seven speakers ranging from the entry-level Finn to an all-out assault on the state of the art, the Monsalvat. Each speaker in the line carries the same overall sonic signature of the Parsifal, just in different degrees of refinement and extension.
Now I must admit that I have been in love with the Parsifal since I was introduced to the speaker in the late 1990s by the late Lars Fredell, audiophile extraordinaire, and reviewer for Ultimate Audio magazine. For many of us “old guys,” Lars was a legend in audio circles due in large part to his knowledge of the hobby as well as his friendship with other audiophile journalists. Lars, and his delightful Swedish accent, always seemed to be at the center of these stories. After I got to know Lars, he became a great source of ways to improve my system as well as a great source of music that should be in the rotation in my system.
As I said, I have wanted to listen to the speakers in my system ever since Lars introduced them to me at one of the NYC-based shows. Sadly, I was never able to try a pair before my unexpected “retirement” from reviewing due to a stroke I suffered in 2008. Fortunately, Steven R. Rochlin of Enjoy the Music.com kept after me to come back to writing simply because it would be fun and stimulate my brain. I agreed as long as I could, at some point, review a pair of Verity’s.
Steven put me in touch with the delightful Paul Manos of High Fidelity Services, the USA importer for Verity. After discussions with Paul and Julien Pelchat, I received a pair of the Otello Loudspeaker for review. The Otello’s are part of Verity’s mainline and fall right below the Parsifal Anniversary in the lineup. Replacing the Leonore in 2017, the Otello offered redesigned woofers allowing for smoother bass response, changes in the crossover network to allow for more balanced midrange reproduction, and a redesign of the front baffle to allow for better midrange tweeter alignment.
The Otello shares the same advanced technology found in the Parsifal Anniversary in a slightly smaller package. Interestingly, the Otello is approximately the size of the original Parsifal that I fell in love with so many years ago. The speaker is a dual isolated chassis design, which, according to Julien Pelchat, eliminates any resonance between the high/midrange and low driver cabinet. The top cabinet houses a custom 1″ neo-dome tweeter and a 5″ midrange in a sloped baffle that seamlessly blends the frequency and time response of the two drivers.
The tweeter is the latest innovation in ring-domed tweeter designs from S.B. Acoustics. In ring-dome tweeters, the voice coil activates the cone from its center rather than from the edges, as in most tweeter designs. The benefits of using a domed tweeter of this design are that it offers exceptional linearity and a smooth decay throughout its operating bandwidth, which extends from 4.5kHz to over 50kHz. One surprising thing that you will notice about the Otello’s tweeter is that it has a dimple in the middle. Don’t panic when you see it, that is how they designed it. Depending upon the complexity of the musical passage, a tweeter’s dome can move more than 20,000 times per second.
This movement can generate significant G-Forces, which can cause the center of the dome to collapse. To remedy the issue, various types of cone material such as metal to combat the problem. However, many of these alternatives, such as the metal dome, resonate and store energy. The tweeter, as used in the Otello, addresses and solves these issues. According to Pelchat, the tweeter is also very close in performance to their in-house manufactured ribbon tweeter found in the company’s top offerings.
The custom 5″ midrange driver manufactured by Audio Technology covers the frequency range from around 200Hz to 4.5kHz. Audio Technology is a Danish company owned by Per Skaaning, the son of the company founder, EjvindSkaaning. Skaaning was well known in the audio world as he founded ScanSpeak and is a co-founder of Dynaudio. The midrange driver is a revised version of the unit used in the Lohengrin, one of Verity’s two flagship models. Its unique geometry, mineral-filled polypropylene cone, is optimized for maximum cone rigidity, low cone storage, and smooth breakup.
The lower cabinet contains two highly accurate 7″ woofers wired in parallel, increasing the resistance of the drivers to 4 Ohms from 8 Ohms. By doing this, Verity was able to make the speakers compatible with a broader range of amplifiers. The woofers are a one-half inch larger than the woofers used in Otello’s predecessor lowering the speaker’s bottom end to 30Hz from 35Hz. The lower cabinet features a pair of Furutech high-quality binding posts.
The speaker presents a nominal 8 Ohm load that drops to 3.8 Ohms at its minimum, indicating that it should be an ideal candidate for most amplifiers. In the course of the review, I used both the Audio Research VT-80SE and the amazing Audio Research Reference 160 monoblocks with the Otello’s. They did not care which amp was upstream; they just did their thing.
The Otello also includes Verity’s Mechanical & Airborne Sound Isolation System (MASI). The MASI System is an insulating base that diffuses vibrations between the loudspeaker and the floor while, at the same time, it absorbs excess sound waves. The base performs two functions by preventing sound waves from bouncing off the floor. It also minimizes excessive vibrations from the cabinet and the floor, particularly when the speakers are played at high volumes. The MASI System consists of a plate made with a material with a high level of acoustical transmission loss sandwiched between two sheets of elastomers that control low-frequency vibrations.
The resulting composite is assembled within a thin shell and sits between the bottom of the loudspeaker cabinet and a set of four round feet. The impetus of the design of the MASI System was to create an optimal performance that is consistent regardless of the type of floor (e.g., hardwood vs. carpet). Spikes, for example, impart a difference in sound depending on the type of floor that they are on. An additional benefit of the base systems feet is they allow for easy movement of the speakers via carefully sliding them vs. having to pick up spiked speakers. As a reviewer, this is beneficial, given that I am continually moving speakers around my listening room.
Each layer plays an integral role in the design of the MASI. The high acoustical transmission loss layer captures excess noise and dissipates it as heat. At the same time, the elastomer layers absorb and neutralize excess energy produced by the speaker, especially at high listening levels. Excess energy in a speaker can result in an image that is smeared or unfocused.
Setup And Listening
After moving the speakers from my garage and dragging them up the stairs to the listening room, I enlisted the help of my wife in helping me unbox them. While the Lohengrin IIS and the Sarastro IIS, come packed in Verity’s famous flight cases, the Otello’s and the other speakers in the line are double boxed. Darn, I wanted the cool flight cases. Oh well. The first surprise on opening the boxes was that the speakers were in stunning Makore Wood with a high gloss Italian lacquer finish. Verity is known for the quality of the finishes on their speakers. Whether finished in the standard high gloss black or white lacquer or one of the many optional hardwood finishes, the look is stunning. When I think of the companies that do high gloss lacquer finishes, two companies spring to mind, Wilson and Verity. The two companies are on par when it comes to lacquered paint finishes; nobody does veneer like Verity.
The Otello’s and all of the Verity lines are a feast for the eyes when finished in a hardwood veneer. I was thoroughly impressed with the Makore veneer on the Parsifals so many years ago, and I was happy that the quality has not diminished over the years. I am particularly impressed that you cannot locate a seam on the cabinets anywhere. I also was impressed when I discovered through my conversations with Verity that they keep two versions of the raw cabinets with slight differences in their dimensions to account for the differences in thickness between the high gloss paint and veneers. That is attention to detail.
Paul Manos, Verity’s USA representative, was kind enough to send me recommendations for placement in my 22′ x 19′ x 9′ listening room. The speakers ended up 15′ from the listening chair, about four feet from the rear woofer’s center to the front wall and about four feet from the center of the rear woofer to the side walls. It is my understanding that Verity’s require no or very little toe-in for optimal imaging. In all of my listening, I found that no toe-in was needed.
Straight out of the box with no break-in other than what occurred at the factory, these speakers were terrific. Greeting me was a wall of sound that extended well beyond the outside of the speakers. The soundstage was genuinely three dimensional with pinpoint imaging. The treble was crisp, clear, and extended with no smearing or shrillness with a midrange that was supple, rich, and accurate. Bass was tight, tuneful, and very extended. The amount of bass was integrated with the treble and midrange. All were beautifully blended. My wife’s only comment was, “these things are amazing. I know you are going to hate sending these back at the end of the review period.” All I could do was nod in agreement, thinking what was going to happen as they broke in. How could they get any better?
As the speaker broke in, things just got better. The speakers never called attention to themselves. They just disappeared and let the music just flow. As I played album after album, there were many times when I noticed I had not written down any comments as I just became emotionally involved with the music.
While the Otello’s don’t call attention to themselves, one cannot help but notice that tonally the speakers are dead nuts on, as we folks in the precision shooting world like to say. Voices and instruments sounded real. My old audio buddy, Frank Peraino, introduced me to an album many moons ago that is worthy of being a reference for everyone. The album is Chris Jones’ Roadhouses & Automobiles [Stockfish Records, SFR357.6027.2]. “The Last Fallen Leaf” is an acoustic guitar that is soul-stirring in its presentation. The Otello’s realistically reproduced the tones, decay, and harmonics of Jones’ guitar. They were not slow or thin. If the Otello’s were bright, the lowest notes tend to sound lean and steely, while colored speakers tend to make them sound like they are coming from a bass guitar. With the Otello’s, the guitar sounded like you would expect an acoustic guitar to sound.
Enjoying The Immersive Soundscape
The soundscape on the Otello’s was exemplary! The stage extended well beyond the speakers with great depth. Instruments were pinpoint in their location. The Turtle Creek Chorale’s performance of John Rutter’s Requiem [Reference Recordings, RR-57] features 200 plus members of The Turtle Creek Chorale and 100 member Women’s Chorus of Dallas performing in the Meyerson Symphony Center. The album also features the 4535 pipe Lay Family Organ. One of my favorite tracks is “Pie Jesu.” The piece opens softly with a cello followed by a flute, and filling in behind is the Lay Organ.
Each instrument occupies a defined space with the front soundstage. As the piece continues, the music slowly fades until we only the organ playing pianissimo remains. Soprano Nancy Keith’s comes in, and her voice helps fill the space. Once the men’s and women’s choirs join her, we get an accurate picture of the size of the hall’s immersive sound. As the choruses and the organ swell, the music expands and gloriously fills the chamber. The Otello’s presented an immersive listening experience that wrapped around the speakers and broadened into my room, giving me the impression that I was seated orchestra center in Meyerson Hall.
While the upper frequencies were airy and extended, they were also sweet and delicate. On the Analog Productions 45rpm reissue of Bill Evans’ Sunday At The Village Vanguard [Analog Productions/Riverside Records, AJAZ 9376], Evans’ playing was quick and light but did not give up any body. I also loved how the Otello’s treated cymbals. The cymbals on Buddy Rich’s Buddy Rich And His Sextet – Blues Caravan [Verve, V6-8425] have the right amount of sheen and extension without sounding metallic, clangy or glassy. They got them just right.
The midrange of Otello’s is one of its many strengths. The Otello’s have one of the best midranges I have ever heard on any speakers I have auditioned. This speaker is stunning on strings. I have been doing quite a lot of listening to the marvelous recording of Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E-Minor, Op. 85 [Sebastian Music, Tidal] by Sara Sant’Ambrogio and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Her playing was passionately capturing the range of emotions Elgar was experiencing 1919 after the war. Her cello never sounded hard, swollen, or sugary but rather vibrant and true to life. The initial attack, followed by the natural decay, was magnificent.
I have never used a speaker with rear-firing woofers before, and I was concerned that the bass might be a bit boomy due to the lack of treatments on the wall behind the speakers. Following the guidance of Paul Manos regarding the placement of the speakers in my room, you are rewarded with bass that was articulate, full-bodied, and rich. One of Verity’s claims is that their speakers’ interaction with the boundaries of the room provides all the low distortion bass you could ever want. An album I have listened to in several years is Bela Fleck & The Flecktones’ Flight Of The Cosmic Hippo [Warner Brothers Records, 9 26562-2]. This album was my introduction to the Blues, and I fell in love with them. On the track of the same name, you get a picture of a big ole hippopotamus lumbering around your room; The Otellos gave you a very real three dimensional of that lovable hippo as he is stumbling around your room stepping on your records and remotes.
The only negative I have found with Verity Audio Otello is that you have to play with set-up. You cannot just plop them down in your room and get the best out of them. They require that you put in the time needed to place them in your room in the best position. My recommendation is that you work with your dealer and have them run the program that Verity has for determining the ideal location in your room. It provides the perfect starting point. Don’t be surprised if they don’t end up right back in the position from which you started. I did.
Verity Audio’s Otello is a speaker for the music lover who is not interested in colorations. These are the most natural-sounding loudspeakers to ever grace my listening room. They never call attention to themselves; they just let the music flow. It is a joy to listen to music with these floorstanders.
Well done, Bruno and Julien! Oh yeah, Julie, I figured out what I would feel at the end of the review period. Very happy. Why because I sent Paul a check.
Type: Floorstanding loudspeaker Frequency Response: 30Hz to 50kHz (+/-3dB) Woofer: Two 7″ edge coated reed/paper pulp cone Midrange: Proprietary 5″ mineral-filled polypropylene cone with 2″ symmetrical-drive voice coil Tweeter: Proprietary 1″ ring-dome Power Handling: 100 Watts musical power Impedance: 8 Ohms nominal, 3.8 Ohms minimum Break-in Time: 75 hours for 63% and 400 hours for 99% Dimensions: 43.6″ x 10.9″ x 18.6″ Weight:75 lbs each Connectors: Furutech MASI Isolation Base: Included Available Finishes: High-Gloss Black, White or Makore Wood Special Order: Miscellaneous colors and wood veneers Price: High Gloss Black or White is $17,995 High Gloss Makore Wood is $19,795
Vicenza, Italy (September 8, 2020) — Sonus faber is proud to announce Lumina collection, the new line conceived on the notion that now, more than ever, it is important to savor time for ourselves and celebrate life’s precious moments. In today’s world, we have come to fully appreciate our living spaces where these moments come to life.
Sound is one of the main elements that defines the way we live, with music raising our spirits, echoing our emotions, inspiring feelings of nostalgia and creating an atmosphere of belonging that starts in our homes. Music is the universal language able to activate processes in your body, in your mind, in your heart and in your soul. The true sound of music is something everyone deserves to have in their homes.
“Lumina” in Latin means “LIGHT”, but also a source of energy and life. To Sonus faber, this name can be broken down further to add complexity to the term, becoming a sort of acronym:
“LU” –LUXURY SOUND EXPERIENCE: The first two letters stand for luxury— the taste of precious moments, the discovery of refined details and the understanding of truly relevant things. This element symbolizes our commitment to deliver a luxury music experience in all Sonus faber homes, which is facilitated through our longstanding tradition of refined materials and careful craftsmanship.
“MI” –MINIMALIST DESIGN: The second two letters stand for minimalist. This principal of minimalism directly captures the essence of the product, which was thoughtfully designed in conjunction with the theory “less is more.” The new collection comprises the core values of Sonus faber and the precious materials that identify the brand, such as real multilayer wood and leather and combines them with incredible performance in a simple yet luxurious design. Simplicity remains central to the collection’s identity with its easy set-up, accessible price point, and excellent sound performance– empowering everyone to enjoy a true Sonus faber experience.
“NA” –NATURAL SOUND: Finally, the last two letters embody the natural sound reproduction and Voice of Sonus faber. The Lumina electro-acoustic project is targeting solutions designed for modern lifestyles and various listening environments, without compromising performance. Multichannel systems and multimedia solutions are perfect for Lumina, offering excellent room coverage for audiences to enjoy a captivating and authentic experience from every seat in the room. Due to updated technology, Lumina speakers are incredibly adaptable and sound excellent wherever they are placed—even close to a back wall or on a bookshelf. The beauty of the new Lumina collection is that they can be placed virtually anywhere and will still deliver a breathtaking performance.
Sonus Faber Lumina I
LUMINA COLLECTION AND THE HOME THEATER EXPERIENCE
The Lumina collection features three models: Lumina I, an extremely compact bookshelf speaker, that looks great as an individual stereo pair or as surround speaker in a cinema set up; Lumina III is an elegant floor-standing model that ensures powerful, distortion-free sound and high speech intelligibility for games and movies; Lumina Center I is a center channel speaker option aligned in appearance and acoustics that fit perfectly with its siblings in the full collection. This essential combination of models is a perfectly balanced solution for traditional stereo system enthusiasts as much as for those looking to experience a multichannel home theater system.
Lumina collection is available in three finishes: Walnut, Wengè and Piano Black.
The suggested retail prices for the collection are:
– Lumina III: $ 2.199
– Lumina I: $ 899
– Lumina Center I: $ 699
Lumina Collection will be available worldwide beginning September 2020 through authorized Sonus faber dealers.
Trio of Sleek, On-Wall Speakers can be Utilized
Vertically or Horizontally for Left, Center, Right or Surround Applications
PICKERING, ONTARIO, CANADA SEPTEMBER 3, 2020 -– PSB Speakers, long renowned for excellence in loudspeaker design, announced the immediate availability of their PWM Series, a new range of high-performance wall mount speaker solutions. Three models comprise the series: PWM3 (US$2,499 ea MSRP) PWM2 (US$1,499 ea) and PWM1 (US$799 ea). All can be utilized in horizontal or vertical positions for left, right, center or surround performance applications. Additionally, all three PWM models are offered in a choice of Satin White or Satin Black finish, to satisfy the most demanding design requirements.
Today’s home audio applications call for solutions that traditional designs are simply not able to fulfill. Regardless of the installation, however, PSB believes performance should never be compromised. Carrying on its longstanding tradition of high performance and innovative design, PSB offers the PWM Series, a fresh range of on-wall speakers with renowned PSB natural sound.
The slim profile of the PWM models allow them to hug the wall and maintain a minimal visual presence. Their clean and simple lines complement virtually any design aesthetic. Each of the PWM models is only 3 1/2” deep and 6 1/2” wide and measure 28”, 36” and 48” long for the PWM1, 2 and 3, respectively. A mounting bracket is included with each model and the Satin White or Satin Black finish with a soft magnetic, cloth grille complements any décor. While these models provide a visceral home theatre or music experience on their own, PSB’s in-wall subwoofer options with matching amplifier can be employed should additional bass performance be desired.
layer voice coils with powerful magnets and carbon fiber cones for exceptional detail,
low distortion and superior power handling. The new proprietary 1” titanium
dome tweeter is ferrofluid cooled and features a Neodymium magnet for high
sensitivity and power handling. A wave guide on the front of the tweeter helps
match the response of the tweeter near the crossover point with the woofer for
a seamless transition.
Interior designers, architects,
builders and system integrators will readily appreciate the elegance and
highest performance levels offered by the Performance Wall Mount Series. The
entire PSB family of products are tonally balanced providing the flexibility to
seamlessly mix and match between on-wall, in-room, in-ceiling and in-wall PSB
models to suit the specific requirements of each application.
Beyond the visual appeal and ease
of application is a sonic performance which lives up to the PSB heritage. Like
all PSB speakers, final voicing is performed by Founder and Chief Designer,
Paul Barton, at Canada’s famed National Research Council. PSB’s research has
discovered how listener preferences can be integrated into a wide range of
speaker designs for many different applications, yet all featuring consistent
sound quality that is natural and lifelike.
“Following up on our long-time success of the PSB W1 on-wall, the
PWM Series was conceived based on direct feedback we have received from the CI
marketplace”, commented Joe de Jesus, Lenbrook’s Product Manager for Custom
Installation. “Whether as part of a complete on wall system, a basic TV
application or as an on-wall center channel solution for floor standing
speakers; we believe the PWM models will exceed expectations in every way. These
three PWM models have been created solely with the professional installer and
their clients, in mind”.
Key Features of the PSB PWM Series
models are on-wall speakers that can be mounted vertically or horizontally
mount hardware for horizonal mounting will be included
be used for left, center, right or for surround speaker
in Satin White or Satin Black
and final voicing engineered by Paul Barton
Since 1972, Founder and Chief Designer, Paul Barton, has been cementing his legacy as an expert in designing and building high-fidelity speakers that incorporate scientific principles in psychoacoustics. Almost 50 years later and now a strategic part of Lenbrook International’s global portfolio, PSB Speakers’ products are sold in more than 70 markets where the brand sets the standard for “True to Nature” sound and is critically acclaimed for its value-driven and non-fatiguing speaker design. With an expansive suite of products that include audiophile speakers, ANC headphones, powerful and musical subwoofers, and a family of installed speaker solutions, PSB Speakers is designed and built to bring life to recorded music at world class levels.
PICKERING, ONTARIO, CANADA (PTA) – One of the best in-wall mounted speaker demonstrations I’ve ever heard came from a trio of PSB wall mounted loudspeakers. So with due excitement, I am happy to report that PSB has launched the PMW Series of wall mounted loud speakers. Taking on the traditional L/C/R configuration, stereo, or to be used in anyway you can imagine, the three new models mean serious business. They are the PWM2 ($2,499 USD), the PWM2 ($1,499 USD), and the PWM1 ($799 USD) that make up the collections. Available in Satin White or Satain Black, with removable grills and an enclosure depth of only 3.5 inches. More photos and a press release are enclosed below. Enjoy! Press Release Enclosed PSB Launches PWM Series, An Innovative Range of Versatile Performance Wall Mount Speaker Solutions Trio of Sleek, On-Wall Speakers can be Utilized Vertically or Horizontally for Left, Center, Right or Surround Applications PSB Speakers, long renowned for excellence in loudspeaker design, announced the immediate availability of their PWM Series, a new range of high-performance wall mount speaker solutions. Three models comprise the series: PWM3 (US$2,499 ea MSRP) PWM2 (US$1,499 ea) and PWM1 (US$799 ea). All can be utilized in horizontal [...]
On more than a few occasions I have been asked to name my favorite actors and while my preference for certain thespians over others doesn’t manage to raise eyebrows, sparking discussion, my opinion surely does. I like the roles actors play to be memorable and for the actors themselves to be not so much. Case in point is one of my favorite films of 2000, Almost Famous, and the roles Philip Seymour Hoffman and Terry Chen played: Lester Bangs, editor of Creem Magazine, for Hoffman and Ben Fong-Torres of Rolling Stone Magazine for Chen.
Within a minute of their appearances on screen, they were so into character that I only saw and heard them as Bangs and Fong-Torres. And that’s how I like to experience HiFi gear. I want for it to be memorable for the right reasons and not be the elephant in the room, constantly reminding me that it’s there. Sure, it takes a few weeks for the novelty, the newness of it all, to wear off, and then I get down to some serious listening.
We are living in special times, so when a distributor goes above and beyond, I have to duly note. John McGurk of Audioshield Distribution drove the pair of Credo EV Reference 900 speakers from New Jersey to me here in Ohio, unpacking them and setting them up for me. Not to be outdone, the plan is for him to collect the speakers following the above process in reverse J.
Visually, the speakers are unassuming, easy on the eyes. They belie their physical dimensions.
The well thought out isolation pods easily attached to the speakers at set-up and are designed to disperse and dissipate energy transferred as heat from the speaker to the extending polyurethane pucks at each corner. Looks and dimensions can be deceiving. There is far more to this pair than meets the eye. Standing a mere 35.5” (90 cm) high, just over 7” (18 cm) wide, and almost 9” (22 cm) deep without the isolation stands attached, the EV Reference 900s were economical concerning the floor and air space taken but filled my spacious room with sound, from side to side and top to bottom.
And, at 33 lbs (15 kg) net, absent of packaging, while hefty, the Credo EV Reference can be moved and positioned rather easily. Unique to these speakers is their rough, seemingly hewn textured finish, which grew on me.
There are as many ways to skin a cat as there are to attach cables to a speaker. Credo’s binding post configuration is no exception and I like that its owners can have it as they wish whether it be single wiring with jumpers with an optional extra 2dB increase or bi-wiring without jumpers and the optional extra 2dB.
Here at the homestead, there is no waiting for source material of which to make use. My digital library numbers upwards from 20,000 tracks and, as for vinyl, comfortably 2,000-plus albums. I decided to take a more ordered approach to put the Credo EV Reference 900s through their paces. Rather than throw just anything at them I decided to spend two weeks of solid listening moving from one genre to the next:
Madrigals and Choir
Chamber Music: soloists, quartets and a quintet (Schubert’s The Trout)
Jazz from Alice to ZawinulJ
There were days of vinyl and digital, but never were the two mixed in the midst of a listening session. I played music I knew intimately. These were selections that allowed me to focus on their reproduction. All I wanted to listen for is just how the speakers managed to convey the expected and, in that rare moment, the unexpected.
There was no straining with these speakers. In a word, they were effortless, never managing to have me tire from listening to them. I was amazed at how they can sound so big given their physical dimensions.
I’m a sceptic. My readers know that, so when playing all of my music I wanted to get the speakers’ true measure by playing some bass-heavy recordings. The EVO Reference 900s rated frequency response is 37 Hz – 20 kHz, +/- 3 dB. Now that’s something, and impressive as that may be on paper, I had to hear for myself and make use of my trusty SVS SB-4000 subwoofer to make comparisons. The speakers on their own did as promised and got down with their bad selves. The inclusion of the sub-woofer was a plus but not a necessity; then again it didn’t hurt to have the extra oomph.
Color me shocked as to how these relatively diminutive floor-standers with their no-nonsense appearance could consistently sound this good across so many music genres.
The term soundstage gets tossed around a fair bit, and I fear that it is a conflation of two terms: Auditory Image and Spatial Impression. If one were to plot the two on Cartesian graph paper, the former would reside upon the x-axis and the latter upon the z-axis, the province of the set of imaginary numbers in terms of Cartesian coordinates.
The Credo EV Reference 900 scores high marks on both counts — on both its lateral imaging, a full stereo effect, and its sense of depth, a richness of perspective where layers of sound can be properly distinguished.
Some will say that speakers have a certain sound, a particular characteristic differentiating them from others. I’m a firm believer in that being a design flaw. A properly thought-out, well-constructed pair of speakers should never dictate how one listens to and appreciates music.
After being re-awarded its “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant” (Living Heritage Company) certification in June 2020, the St. Étienne brand specializing in high-end acoustics is today honored by the international press. The EISA (Expert Imaging and Sound Association) panel, bringing together the best in press specializing in audio, video and electronics (over 61 magazines across 29 countries), has voted the Chora 826 loudspeaker the “Best Value Floorstanding Loudspeaker”. This recognition honors Focal’s unique know-how, its passion for innovation and its high-fidelity products made in France.
Since 1982, the EISA (Expert Imaging and Sound Association) panel has been recognizing the most innovative and high-performance products in the following categories: Hi-Fi, Photography, Home Theatre Audio, Home Theatre Display & Video, In-Car Electronics, Mobile Devices. This year, the Chora 826 3-way bass reflex loudspeaker is honored with the “Best Value Floorstanding Loudspeaker” award.
“Drawing on its extensive expertise, from the manufacture of drive units to final assembly, Focal has developed an affordable floorstander able to sound great on demonstration and in the home. At the heart of the Chora 826 is a new ‘Slatefiber’ driver, for speed and bass extension, and the speaker has a sound that’ll make you want to keep on listening, with both bass weight, treble clarity and sparkle. It’s also easy to set up and position, will work with modest amplification, and sounds good in almost any room. However you look at it, this speaker offers a lot of performance for the money.” EISA Jury 2020
Made in France at the Focal workshops, the Chora 826 3-way floorstanding loudspeaker offers outstanding performance, quality design and affordability for everyone to step into the high-fidelity world. The sound is full and balanced thanks to the speaker drivers featuring the Slatefiber cone. This exclusive and unprecedented Focal technology provides balanced midranges, articulated bass and plenty of dynamics. The treble is mellow and precise thanks to the Aluminum/Magnesium TNF tweeter, another Focal technology made in France. Finally, the positioning of this bass-reflex loudspeaker on a tilted stand has the effect of centering the soundstage more on the listener (Time Alignment). With its modern finishes and the slate color of its Slatefiber cone, Chora 826 is the designer loudspeaker that reveals High-Fidelity at the best price. This loudspeaker is part of the Chora line, which includes the Chora 826-D 4-way Dolby Atmos enabled speaker for an immersive Home Cinema experience, the Chora 816 floorstanding loudspeaker, the Chora 806 bookshelf loudspeaker, and the Chora Center and Chora Surround loudspeakers to add center, side and rear channels to its installation.
Unique association uniting 61 multimedia magazines, the EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) is internationally renowned for the EISA Awards. Member magazines extend beyond Europe to 29 countries, including the USA and Australia. The event was created in 1982 when the editors-in-chief of five of the most reputed photography magazines nominated the “Best Camera of the Year”. Since then, more prize categories have been introduced: Hi-Fi, Photography, Home Theatre Audio, Home Theatre Display & Video, In-Car Electronics and Mobile Devices. About EISA: www.eisa.eu
Focal has been manufacturing speaker drivers and acoustic loudspeakers since 1979. The expertise of the St. Étienne company (based in the Loire) extends to monitors, in-car audio, integration products and headphones. Thanks to its heritage rooted in engineering and excellence, Focal is one of the world’s leading audio brands, as well as being recognized as a stand-out French brand: Focal has been titled by the French State as an “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant” (EPV, or Living Heritage Company) since 2014. All of the brand’s products are designed and developed in France, benefiting from over 40 years of innovation in exclusive and patented acoustic technologies. Having merged with British electronics leader Naim Audio to create Vervent Audio Group, Focal has a global offering and exports nearly 80% of its production, primarily within Europe and to North America and South-East Asia. About Focal: www.focal.com/en.
About Focal Naim North America
Born from the merger of Focal, world leader in acoustic sound made in France, and Naim Audio, world leader in British-made hi-fi electronics, Vervent Audio Group’s brand subsidiaries signal a new investment phase and direction for Vervent in the US and Canada. By creating its own distribution entity, the group is striving to turn the North American territory into the market leader for Focal which turned 40 in 2019, and Naim which just turned 45.