|The PHY-HP sets constructors off -|
a stimulus for development.
exceptional PHY-HP, a widerange speaker of rare qualities, more than
proved its worth by encouraging the development of two speakers
adherent to the same philosophy. Their light-weight cases are made of
plywood in layers as thin as 4 mm, designed to absorb as little
acoustic energy as possible. While cases are naturally given to
vibrate, here, vibrations are of shorter duration and allow for greater
However, the idea is not hot off the rack. In the early
70s, a constructor named Mas came forth with a patented concept that
followed the same principle and was dubbed the "musical speaker". For
obvious reasons, this functional mode could not go unobjected. A case
was not supposed to resound.
And yet, results are extant that
provide convincing arguments against the conventional approach. This is
especially evident in the model manufactured by "Auditorium 23" in
Germany. Here, the ingenious solution of applying high pressure to bend
the wooden side sheets to form an S shape positively affects both
design and sound. The curving profile strengthens the thin material and
makes for excellent esthetics and acoustics. The performance is
balanced, vivacious and coherent to an amazing extent; it brims with
musical power that immediately recalls speaker legends such as
Siemens-Klangfilm which is an item pricily searched after in Japan.
Astonishing how the sound appears in equal purity in front of and
behind the speaker; no less astonishing the clarity and transparence of
what is reverberating beyond the case. This "Rondo" alone is worth
detour via Frankfurt!
With the speaker "Tilia" by "Acoustique et
Lutherie", the sides are straight and their vibrations less well
controlled despite the use of a supporting hardwood construction. The
smaller case has limiting effects upon the bass, and the symphonic
orchestra turns into a chamber ensemble.
On the other hand, this
lightness allows for listening that is free of case-induced tones -
provided one has tuned the port to an optimum. A piezo-tweeter has been
added to this wide-range. Armed with such a treble-support, it manages
additional emphasis in the upper spectrum - but at the same time, it
also hampers the incamparable homogenity of the PHY-HP. If one is
looking for concert feeling, it is advisable to omit the tweeter; the
cabling supports this option. In either case, one will appreciate the
airy, light and unfettered performance as well as the openness of the
overall sound image.
However, since both two solutions vie for
attention and invite comparison, one should opt for "Rondo" by
"Auditorium 23"; while the price range is the same, this product
clearly excels with view to balance, emotion and musicality.
Jean Marie Piel, Paris