Franco Serblin Accordo Goldberg Loudspeaker

hfnoutstandingInspired by the diminutive and still current Accordo, the Goldberg variation features a larger cabinet and bass/mid driver, and integral crossover. Is bigger always better?

Odd though this might sound, it bothers me when PM gives me a sequence of exceptional loudspeakers to review. Can there really be that many miraculous designs, one after the other – or am I growing soft? Following models from DeVore Fidelity [HFN Aug '23] and Wilson Audio [HFN Sep '23], and reborn LS3/5As, I find myself with a new Franco Serblin speaker that has rocked my world. The Accordo Goldberg could be, overall, the best yet to come out of the fertile brain of the inspirational if, sadly, late designer.

Costing £8888 plus £2798 for optional stands (a situation to be discussed below), the Goldberg is slightly dearer than the smaller Accordo sans suffix [HFN Jan '18]. Above it is the floorstanding Accordo Essence [HFN Jan '21], but that's another beast altogether. Moving from the Accordo to Accordo Goldberg, however, is entirely a case of dimensional differences, and re-housing the crossover, though both are standmounts of not-too-considerable sizes.

Yet the Goldberg so audibly exhibits vivid proof of size mattering that it's like moving from a 100W to a 250W amplifier. This is, however, deceptive as the Goldberg ostensibly follows the same formula as the regular Accordo, with the same asymmetrical wing-shaped design. And like the Accordo, the Goldberg is necessarily supplied in mirror-imaged pairs.


The Accordo Goldberg's detachable 'grille' is composed of elastic strands stretched between chromed arcs at the top and bottom of the cabinet. These are in tension, so care is needed during removal

Music Of The Spheres
Sharing minimalist crossovers, moved from stand to cabinet in the Goldberg, the latter also retains Franco Serblin's 29mm silk-dome tweeter, designed by Ragnar Lian. However, the Accordo's 150mm 'sliced paper cone' bass/mid driver is replaced here with a 180mm 'microsphere cone' with aluminium dust cap, and to accommodate this larger woofer, and crossover PCB, the rear-ported enclosure has been upscaled from the Accordo's 36x19x36cm (hwd) to 40.5x24x43cm.

As these dimensions reveal, the speakers are far deeper than they are wide. Do not, however, anticipate viewing a narrow frontal aspect. What you see when the speakers are positioned according to the manufacturer's instructions is a three-quarter view – the cabinets toed-in so that they cross in front of the listener. You will need to experiment with the toe-in up to a point because the Accordo Goldberg and its siblings are speakers that deliver intense focus when it comes to imaging. In this respect, they are not unlike Quad 57s, all Wilson Audio speakers, every line array I can think of and other types which respond audibly to even the tiniest of toe-in adjustments, unlike omni-directional, dipole designs or others which are more forgiving in this respect.

All-Angle Appeal
Which brings us to a key aspect of the Franco Serblin experience. As he was the man who single-handedly revolutionised the way speakers look – and I will challenge anyone who disputes that – the Goldberg is simply gorgeous. So handsome is the design, from the highly polished wood surfaces to the magnesium alloy 'decoupling' plates, chrome accents and elastic string grilles, that even when toed-in quite severely these speakers inspire admiration rather than consternation. They look right from every angle. Then we come to the matter of the stands and the oddity of their separate pricing.


The asymmetric wooden cabinets are 'hand crafted by master artisans' and further braced with aluminium/magnesium alloy sheets. The 29mm Ragnar Lian silk-dome tweeter is joined by a 180mm 'microsphere' bass/mid cone with alloy dust cap

Because of the unusual shape of the Accordo Goldberg, it is – like its smaller sibling – almost impossible to fit onto other, conventional stands, even if you have a pair of the same 74cm height. Too deep and too narrow to rest on a support with a small enough plate to fit within the 24cm width, the speakers must be tightly secured to the stands, and are supplied with dedicated, chromed hardware for the purpose – the fitments are just visible under the top plate of the stand in our pictures.

Come Together
The Accordo is priced with its stands at £7498 because they contain the crossover, while the Goldberg's supports, with their swan-neck pillar and polished chrome top/bottom plates flared for optimum stability, are listed separately despite being absolutely mandatory. You must dismiss any notion that these speakers could be shelf-mounted just because they are small-ish two-ways. Shelf-mounting is not just inadvisable, it's all-but-impossible because the Goldbergs are rear-ported and the instructions emphatically state they should be located at least 100cm from side and rear walls. The point of this is to tell you to treat the Accordo Goldberg not as costing £8888 per pair, but as £11,686 per pair. And they are still worth every penny.

Franco Serblin Studio
Vicenza, Italy
Supplied by: Absolute Sounds Ltd, UK
0208 971 3909