The Transparence is a quite remarkable speaker by designer Thorsten Loesch. It uses
a heavily modified full range Supravox driver mounted on a Acrylic baffle that measures
65cm wide by 106cm tall (slanted). As it does away with a crossover your amplifier
is connected directly to the high quality drive unit which makes it very efficient
at 96dB and very easy to drive. When placed near walls or corners the bass response
is surprisingly extended considering there’s no box to prevent bass cancellation,
and it is this lack of enclosure that gives it one of its main strengths, as the
colorations inherent in most cabinets are absent. Imaging is naturally precise as
is to be expected from a single driver and is has a sense of attack and decay that
is almost horn like - a very high accolade in my book.
3D Sonics Transparence speakers: £2,400 /pair
Audio Note AN-J
The AN-J is the middle model in Audio Notes classic range of speakers. It is a rear
ported design that likes to be used very close to a rear wall and even across the
rooms corners. Several different versions are available, with upgraded drive units,
crossover components and wiring as you go through the range, I’ve detailed these
The pair shown here are the entry level version, the AN-J/LX, and are finished in
Birch Burl. Their sound is immediate and dynamic (as you’d expect of a speaker with
a claimed 93dB efficiency) with very natural tonality and remarkable bass extension
for their size.
The speakers are now also available with blue coloured Hemp cones as well as the
grey Paper bass/mid cones for an extra cost. The Hemp has an effortless sound, with
lower colouration and greater midband resolution. Please see the section on the AN-E
HE model elsewhere for a description of what I feel is special about this driver.
The cabinets are made from solid Plywood (except the AN-J/D Versions) and are available
in a huge range of exceptionally high quality veneers. The options available are:
Maple, Curly Maple, Palisander, Olive, Tulip, Alder, Oak, Apple, Cherry, Walnut,
Black ash, Wenge, Birch Burl, Birds Eye Maple, Makassar-Ebony, Madrone burl, Indian
Rosewood, Poplar Burl and Yew. I’ve pictured a few of the finishes below, we have
samples of these finishes viewable in store too.
The veneers are all available in either satin finish (standard), high gloss or Piano
gloss, please see prices below.
The models available are as follows:
-Audio Note AN-J/D Black Vinyl on high density chipboard cabinets: £POA at manufacturers
-Audio Note AN-J/D/H Black Vinyl on high density chipboard cabinets with Hemp drivers:
£POA at manufacturers request
-Audio Note AN-J/Lx: Speakers with Lexus internal copper wiring: £POA at manufacturers
-Audio Note AN-J/Lx/H: Speakers with Lexus internal copper wiring and Hemp drivers:
£POA at manufacturers request
-Audio Note AN-J/SPe: with Audio Note AN-SPe silver wiring: £POA at manufacturers
-Audio Note AN-J/Spe/H: with Audio Note AN-SPe silver wiring and Hemp drivers: £POA
at manufacturers request
-Audio Note AN-J/Spe/SE/H: with Audio Note AN-SPe silver wiring and Hemp drivers:
£POA at manufacturers request
-Audio Note AN-J/SE/H: As above but with silver voice coils, silver paper in oil
adjusting capacitors and Hemp drivers: £POA at manufacturers request
-Audio Note AN-J/SEC/H : As above but with Alnico low frequency driver magnets and
Hemp drivers: £2POA at manufacturers request
-High Gloss optional finish add £270/pair
-Piano Gloss optional finish add £1,935/pair
A choice of stands are available including Audio Notes own design (a flat back stand
that requires mass loading) and the fully welded skeletal Something Solid XF (please
see speaker stands section) are suitable.
-AN-J Stands: Self assembly steel stands designed to be mass loaded with shot or
sand: £POA at manufacturers request.
Living Voice Auditorium R3
So much has been written in the hifi press about these remarkable speakers over the
last couple of years that I don’t think I can add much more here. Suffice to say
the glowing praise they have been receiving is easily justified as they are amongst
some of the most effortlessly musical speakers I’ve have heard in a very long time.
There are three models in the range, the Auditorium is the most basic yet still uses
high quality hand matched components which ensures superlative imaging when they
are toed in appropriately (due to their offset tweeter).
The high 94db sensitivity is at the expense of a slightly low 6 ohm impedance but
they can still be driven easily by most high quality designs irrespective of output
. However we find they really get going with a good parallel single ended 300B design
(18 watts) which is perfectly sufficient to exploit the designs bass power and expression
in most normal sized listening rooms.
We don’t know of any other speakers that offers this blend of delicacy, sensitivity
and bass extension in such a compact enclosure and its even quite easy to install
in most rooms once some allowance is made to get them at least 0.5 metres away from
the rear wall, due to their rather substantial rear port.
The Auditorium R3 version is new for 2012 and features an improved tweeter.
They are available in Black Ash, Cherry, Maple and Walnut real wood veneers for £3,500.
ProAc Response D28
The D28 is the latest model in the Response range from ProAc. It is an evolved version
of its predecessor the D25 and features refinements throughout the design, including
a re-proportioned cabinet, gold plated crossover circuit board, and improved porting
which exits onto the integral plinth (like the larger models in the range) rather
than straight onto the floor.
These are very refined sounding speakers, having great resolution and a smooth, even
sound. The very well built and heavy cabinets hint at the lack of colouration you
can clearly hear and the bass extension is quite remarkable for their size.
The are available in Black Ash, Mahogany, Cherry, Maple for £3,475 and in Ebony and
Rosewood for £4,170.