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Focal Scala Utopia V2 Loudspeakers - The Audio Beat - Focal • Scala Utopia V2 Loudspeakers A French coming-of-age story. by Roy Gregory | February 21, 2014.

Focal Scala Utopia V2 Loudspeakers - The Audio Beat -

Focal Chorus 807 W Prestige - The Audio Beat - Focal • Chorus 807 W Prestige Loudspeakers "Underestimate the 807 W at your peril.

Focal Chorus 807 W Prestige - The Audio Beat -

" by Roy Gregory | April 4, 2013 ay back when, I wrote a short review in praise of Focal’s excellent 807 V loudspeaker, a stand-mount design of deeply unfashionable size and shape, but one that possesses that rare ability to satisfy musical cravings on a beer rather than a champagne budget. The $1199-per-pair 807 V has competition from slim floorstanders and diminutive two-ways; but the one thing these speakers all have in common is a 4" or 5" bass-midrange driver. Compare that to the 7" unit found in the 807 V and you’ll notice a distinct paucity of surface area -- around 39 square inches versus a maximum of 20 for a 5" unit or 12.5 for the 4"! Of course, every playground has both swings and roundabouts, and speaker designers will be quick to point a finger at the difficulty of getting a 7" or 8" driver to cross over smoothly to a typical 1" dome tweeter, and they do have a point.

Bottom line? Kaiser Acoustics Chiara Loudspeakers - The Audio Beat - Sn’t there a well-worn business maxim about avoiding overcrowded markets?

Kaiser Acoustics Chiara Loudspeakers - The Audio Beat -

Let’s face it -- you don’t get much more crowded than the loudspeaker market, and what isn’t immediately obvious is that the further up that market you go, the more crowded it gets. That might seem counterintuitive, but stop for a second and work it out. How many companies offer $1000 loudspeakers? Lots, right? But then there are lots of potential customers to buy all those various models. Kaiser aren’t exactly a start-up, with two previous well-regarded models to their name, but they’ve definitely been flying under the radar as far as brand recognition goes. Any fool can buy a few off-the-shelf drivers and bolt them into an identikit cabinet, which helps explain why there are so many loudspeaker companies and designs out there. The first thing you’ll notice is that the Chiara's cabinet is of an unusually complex, facetted construction.

Take a deep breath. . . Let’s take a lesson from history. . . .and let it go! The Spendor SA1 Loudspeaker. Maybe I just like swimming against the tide… Maybe I just want to be different… Or maybe, just maybe I resent being told what to think… Anyway, more years ago than I care to remember, when I first started out in hi-fi retail, the mini-monitor debate was a whole lot more focused than it is now.

The Spendor SA1 Loudspeaker

Long before the arrival of the SL6 there were only two camps – the LS3/5a and the Linn Kann – and you were in one or the other, fuddyduddy or young Turk, reactionary or revolutionary. Except that perched on our shelf next to these two was a third speaker, a speaker that I felt was considerably better than either of them. Well, the SA1 is back – in name if nothing else. I’ve been looking forward eagerly to the arrival of the new version, whilst quietly having qualms about rose-tinted memories. I needn’t have worried; this new version is just as impressive, just as distinctive and even more worthwhile than the original. Spendor A6 Loudspeaker (Hi-Fi+) One of the most enjoyable and engaging speakers to come our way last year was Spendor’s diminutive SA1, a speaker that could and should finally banish the LS3/5a to the annals of history.

Spendor A6 Loudspeaker (Hi-Fi+)

But as wonderfully musical and lucid as the SA1 assuredly is, there’s no escaping the limitations imposed by its tiny cabinet. Well, for those who fancy that unobstructed mid-band clarity and musical coherence, but allied to the greater weight, scale and authority that comes with increased bandwidth, Spendor offer the new A5 and A6 compact floorstanders. The new models replace the existing, well-regarded A series equivalents, bringing with them cleaner, sharper and more modern styling. But the changes here are far more than just skin deep. Both designs have been deliberately engineered to pass the signal as easily as possible, with minimum disturbance to the sense of musical flow.

Avalon Time Loudspeaker (Hi-Fi+) Avalon’s has long held a reputation for delivering astonishingly low levels of distortion with commensurate neutrality, but the emergence of the flagship Isis (and the budget NP 2.0) signaled a new mastery of the time domain.

Avalon Time Loudspeaker (Hi-Fi+)

The Isis was a stunning achievement, but it was simply too big or too expensive for many UK homes. The new Time, on the other hand, fits right in… Marten Coltrane Soprano Loudspeaker (Hi-Fi+) More often than not, a high profile, high-priced and technologically advanced design is followed by simplified versions at lower prices, models that dilute the performance whilst slashing the purchase price.

Marten Coltrane Soprano Loudspeaker (Hi-Fi+)

Not so with Marten: Their first model, the flagship Coltrane was followed by an even more ambitious project, the massive, four-cabinet Coltrane Supreme. Marten Coltrane 2 Floorstanding Loudspeaker (Hi-Fi+ 90) I first reviewed the Marten Coltrane back in 2004.

Marten Coltrane 2 Floorstanding Loudspeaker (Hi-Fi+ 90)

I liked a lot of what it did, but also found it flawed by a cool tonality and overly analytical presentation and reported accordingly. What goes around comes around and that very same pair of Marten Coltranes were destined to reappear in my listening room. The intervening 18 months of solid use changed the speakers out of all recognition. MartinLogan Motion 15 Loudspeaker (Hi-Fi+)