TAF2023: Coherent Loudspeakers, Baetis Audio, Allnic, Saturn Audio, Kuzma, Corby’s Audio

TAF2023: Coherent Loudspeakers, Baetis Audio, Allnic, Saturn Audio, Kuzma, Corby’s Audio

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Prices listed in CA$.

If you’re interested in speaker design, chances are you’ve heard the expression: “There’s no replacement for displacement”.

Although today’s technology allows for speaker cones to be designed to very tight tolerances, there’s something to be said about the sound of a classic ”vintage” woofer. The sound reproduced by a 15″ diaphragm can be special and very difficult to replicate.

Frank Fazzalari knows this well. Frank, the designer and manufacturer at Canada-based Coherent Loudspeakers, was at the show demoing a pair of his Coherent Modular 15 Dragon speakers ($58,500/pair). As its model name implies, the Modular 15 Dragon is a modular design that can accommodate two, three or four 15″ drivers (four in the case of this presentation), complemented by a 12″ coaxial driver with a 3″ beryllium compression driver.

Feeding the Modular 15s was an all-Allnic tube electronics setup, including the H-5500 phono stage ($8,400), the L6500 pre-amplifier ($12,460), and the M2500 300B monoblocs ($28,000/pair).

The digital front-end consisted of the Baetis Audio Revolution X4 Streamer/Server/Roon Core ($8,640) and the Saturn Audio 201 DAC ($4,800), while analogue duties were performed by a Kuzma Stabi R turntable ($14,000) fitted with a Corby Audio carbon fibre platter mat ($695), a Kuzma Safir 9″ tonearm ($34,000), and a Kuzma CAR-60 cartridge ($25,000). Rounding out the system were a Saturn Audio 103C Mkll AC power filter ($2,800) and Allnic cabling ($various).

The first thing that impressed me about the system was the speakers’ “Tandem-Parallel” crossover design, which allows for multiple 15″ drivers to be connected together to operate simultaneously, as one channel, while keeping impedance at a safe level for the amplifier. The second thing that impressed me? The sound. Coherent’s driver was the smoothest driver with a compression chamber I’ve ever heard. It delivered a clear, open, textured midrange, with rich, low frequencies that saturated the room. This system produced sound that was completely unfatiguing, with excellent dynamics at all listening volumes.

This is not hyperbole: it was literally hard for me to get out of the listening chair and leave this peaceful, musical oasis. The Coherent Loudspeakers room earns my Best Sound of Show. Well done, Frank, and well done to the companies who partnered together to make this room so outstanding.

2024 PMA Magazine. All rights reserved.


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