Loudspeakers

Sort By:  Post Date TitlePublish Date
Review: Jamie Biesemans, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Dec 01, 2023
hfncommendedThis German institution offers a vast catalogue, including the Reference-inspired Vento range, topped by the 100

Canton is not only Germany's largest loudspeaker manufacturer, it might also be one of the most prolific speaker builders in the world. Yet within an extensive range that includes everything from on-wall and in-ceiling speakers to soundbars and subwoofers, its Vento series has long been a main 'pillar' of the brand, in production for nearly two decades. And now, as part of a recent refresh of the Canton catalogue overseen by technical director Frank Göbl, it's been comprehensively upgraded.

Martin Colloms  |  Nov 21, 2023  |  First Published: Oct 01, 1992
hfnvintageThis slim design offers the traditional benefits of transmission line bass loading yet manages to overcome the drawbacks, says Martin Colloms

New ideas are being introduced at Celestion to bring its upmarket SL series into the 1990s. The first example, designed by Bob Smith, was the 100 [HFN Nov '91] followed now by the 300 reviewed here. This is a £1000 floorstander that aims to bring improved bass extension, power handling and superior dynamics to the genre, while sensitivity remains below average at 84dB/1W. A remarkable aspect of the 300 is its transmission line loading, a first for Celestion, and developed with an unusually authoritative theoretical approach, by the designer Martin Roberts.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 13, 2023
hfncommendedThe baby of MartinLogan's Motion range features a compact version of the brand's second-generation 'Folded Motion Tweeter' – this little box is full of big surprises!

How time flies: it's just over a decade since MartinLogan applied its expertise with hybrids to box-type systems instead of the usual electrostatic-panel-plus-cone-woofer which defined most of its models. Even though MartinLogan started out with a full-range ESL – the legendary CLS [HFN Feb '87] – its engineers swiftly excelled in the black arts of combining two speaker technologies, so the Motion range created a whole new field for them to plough. In this case, it's a cone woofer and a 'Generation 2 Folded Motion Tweeter', found here in the £1395-per-pair Motion B10 standmount model.

Review: Adam Smith, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 06, 2023
hfnoutstandingNo citadel in the sky, these latest Castle speakers are firmly grounded in great sound courtesy of the FinkTeam

What do you get if you take a venerable British loudspeaker marque, mix with the (from 2007) owners' fabrication facility in China, stir in a highly respected German loudspeaker designer and top the whole creation with British assembly? In this case, it's the Castle Windsor Duke loudspeaker, an elegant £4500 standmount design that's the fruit of a truly worldwide network.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 24, 2023
hfnoutstandingDetailed mechanical and component upgrades to B&W's flagship 801 D4 unmask the speaker's full potential

We've been here before: just over a year and a half ago [HFN Nov '21] we pitched the newly arrived 801 D4 loudspeaker from Bowers & Wilkins against the 800 D3, its previous flagship, and played 'spot the differences' between two designs half a dozen years apart. At the time, we also commented on the changes at the company since the D3 models were launched in 2015, not least the acquisition of the Worthing-based manufacturer by Silicon Valley start-up Eva Automation, then by Sound United, the parent brand of Denon, Marantz and others.

Review: Mark Craven, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 12, 2023
hfnoutstandingKEF's innovative 'MAT' absorber has pushed the performance of Uni-Q to new heights. Now it's in the seven-strong R series

It still surprises me that KEF's R series, which features seven models in total, includes only one standmount/bookshelf option. Surprising because compact speakers are extremely popular, and because the R series is the company's mid-tier proposition, above the entry-level Q and a considerable way below the Reference range. Yet the previous generation, which launched in 2018, featured just one standmount – the R3 – so it's deja vu five years later.

Review: Ken Kessler, Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 09, 2023
hfnoutstandingWith technology drawn from its flagship Chronosonic XVX, and already implemented in the Alexx V and Alexia V, the Sasha V is now the most affordable of this new series

Those of an historical bent will know that Wilson Audio's Sasha V isn't merely the fourth-generation Sasha, nor is it simply 'Sasha DAW 2.0'. This two-box floorstander is to the original WATT Puppy [HFN Nov '90] what the current Porsche 911 is to the 911 of 1964: a carefully-developed, decades-long evolution of a brilliant initial concept.

Review: Andrew Everard, Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Sep 21, 2023
hfnoutstandingWith an impressive back-story, impeccable engineering and glorious finishes, these imposing '5th generation' Italian speakers promise much – so do they deliver? Certo!

The Amati G5 sits at the top of a four-strong new 'fifth generation' range of the company's Homage speakers, so-called because they pay tribute to the tradition of musical instrument manufacturing in Cremona, Italy. And they do so not just in name, but in the way they're made, with extensive use of selected woods, handcrafting based on the work of traditional luthiers of the past, and even a lute-shaped profile, which first saw the light of day in the previous Homage series [HFN Oct '17].

Review: Jamie Biesemans, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Sep 18, 2023
hfnoutstandingWith the 'proof of concept' SourcePoint 10 already under his belt, MoFi's Andrew Jones has engineered a more compact coincident driver array for the SourcePoint 8 cabinet

Speaking to designer Andrew Jones at High End Munich in May '23, he kidded that his latest loudspeaker could be considered the 'European' version of his larger SourcePoint 10 [HFN Apr '23]. 'People were often surprised by its size – it does host a 10in driver after all – so something smaller was needed', he explained. Cue the 'modest' SourcePoint 8, with its 8in version of the launch speaker's inaugural 10in coaxial driver.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Sep 04, 2023
hfnoutstandingDeVore's 'Orangutan' loudspeaker range now has a funky sibling – the aptly-named O/baby that extends the brand's high sensitivity DNA into a very compact cabinet

Even the name sounds like a clarion call: 'O/baby!', straight out of Austin Powers. It resides 'one from the bottom' in DeVore Fidelity's Orangutan range, with only the minuscule, 25x25x25cm micr/O sealed cube below it. But the O/baby is the one that screams 'Buy me!' at this jaded hack. How so? This trickle-down gem from DeVore, smaller than the O/93 [HFN Mar '23], just may be the answer to my bucket list dreams. Or would be, had I the £6298 for a pair. And £1398 more for the stands.

Review: Jamie Biesemans, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 25, 2023
hfnoutstandingA mid-'80s audiophile favourite from UK brand Epos is reimagined by the go-to-speaker designer, Karl-Heinz Fink

Revivalist products are in the ascendant, but they range from the dubious, cashing in on nostalgia, to more respectful attempts aiming to recreate something remarkable from yesteryear. Rest assured – the ES14N is firmly positioned in the second category. In fact, it goes one step further by claiming to be both truthful to the design ethos of the original '80s speaker icon, while also improving on it.

Martin Colloms  |  Aug 21, 2023  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2003
hfnvintageAfter years of development, the US company has come of age with a design that's a landmark in speaker engineering, says Martin Colloms

It was a thought-provoking discussion with Avalon president Neil Patel on the virtues of absolute tonal accuracy in a speaker, and how to achieve it, that led to an opportunity to evaluate the Eidolon. It was to prove illuminating to discover just how closely his objectives had been realised in this design.

Review: Mark Craven, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 07, 2023
hfnoutstandingAmerican marque's flagship Motion tower is a three-way that showcases driver upgrades and a bold new aesthetic

Although MartinLogan is known for its electrostatic loudspeakers, culminating in the flagship Neolith [HFN Jul '16], and 'static/moving-coil hybrids [HFN Jan '17, Feb '18 & Nov '21], the Kansas-based brand has, since 2003, ploughed another furrow with conventional cabinet models targeted at a wider audience. And since 2010, MartinLogan's Motion range, now headed by the Motion XT F200 reviewed here, has employed a tweeter technology the company says offers 'electrostatic-like high frequency detail'. There's a strong suggestion that the move from specialist brand to mass-market competitor hasn't extinguished ML's raison d'etre.

Review: Andrew Everard, Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jul 24, 2023
hfnoutstandingThe 'Blade' models fly the flag for KEF's speaker tech, but its Reference 5 offers a more accessible route to 'high-end Uni-Q'

Fortunately, the Reference 5 Meta is the £17,500 flagship of KEF's 'conventional' speaker range, bettered only by the striking-looking Blade designs [HFN May '22]. Fortunately? Well, yes, because this is an imposingly huge design, standing just over 1.4m tall, even if some of that impression of scale is minimised by the slenderness of the cabinets. Indeed, if the enclosures were any narrower than their 205mm, there wouldn't be room on the front baffle for the quartet of 165mm aluminium-coned bass drivers, arranged in pairs above and below the company's 12th-generation Uni-Q treble/midrange unit.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jul 13, 2023
hfnoutstandingThey started out as a Concept, and have become a reality combining a skeletal form and novel engineering solutions – but do they sound as other-worldly as they look?

As safe bets go, that you've never seen anything quite like the £70k Monitor Audio Hyphn speaker is pretty much a dead cert. Yet look closer and there's actually a lot of 'form following function' going on here in those two columns with a gap between them, linked by a central belt. And while to unsympathetic eyes they may look like two huge clothes pegs, it won't take long for audiophiles to understand the thinking behind the configuration, however unusual the speakers look by comparison with traditional 'box, domes and cones' designs.

Pages

X