Audio Affair Delivers!
Certain speakers we sell mean I get a holiday, namely Acapella. When I say holiday, I may be slightly overstating things, but I get a trip away with them. Due to the sheer size and value, conventional couriers will not touch them, not even in the UK! They also require careful handling and setting up. This time I travelled with a pair of Acapella Violon MKVI – featuring Horn loaded mid range and Plasma Tweeters, a true audiophile reference speaker.
The Violon MKIV
A great speaker but one that poses some problems! Being spread over two boxes and having a combined weight of over 250Kg means lifting them is not simple – a pallet truck and delivery van needed to be rented, as well enlisting as a friend who kindly agreed to help shift the boxes, first thing to get out the way is breakfast:
Tired eyes elevated by Macdonald’s coffee!
We collected the speakers from Martin over at Audio Reference, Guildford Surrey:
Martin is a great chap who offers arguably the best Hi-Fi products from around the world – with brands including Kubala Sosna, Gamut and of course Acapella. As much as I could have chatted all day with Martin regarding the finer things in sound reproduction, I needed to get the speakers to the new owner so it was back on the road with the cargo on-board. To say these speakers were substantial is an understatement – comprising two crates, one weighing 80Kg and the other around 150Kg, quality weighs!
Upon a warm welcome from the customer, who was pleased to see the van pulling into his drive, we set about the logistics getting them out of the van – the bigger box took four of us to lift on it’s front from where the screws could be removed and the box taken off – revealing this:
The lower part of the speaker housed the woofers and Plasma tweeter, a substantial two man lift – quality was evident from the onset.
Pictures do not do justice to the size of the units and the weight. We used a smaller sack truck to get them to the listening room, being a self-titled audiophile I am always interested in the kit other people have – this customer’s listening room did not disappoint – it was a room of treasures, from the Audio Reference Preamp to the Narga VAP mono-blocks. The other speakers in the room (set-up for 7.1) hailed from such brands as German Physicks and Wilson Audio, with the Acapella the main focal point and speaker, this gives you some idea as to how good the speakers really are!
Being a Horn loaded speaker – transportation with the horn in place is not possible, hence the two boxes – the horns although not huge were very well made and extremely heavy, the horn needed to lifted into place and to be secured with two screws:
One Horn loaded mid range driver
Lifting the above horn was a two-man job – one might even say three!
As aforementioned, the mid range unit was slotted in then secured by two screws – at this point connections could be made – the Plasma tweeter had a separate connection encapsulated and fitted with a high quality WBT plug – which from my own listening experience are the finest available anywhere! Our customer required the Bi-Wire option on these also, standard connection would be shotgun but Acapella will make them Bi-Wire if you ask. Another great feature is the ability to tailor the driver output via patch cables – these means the speakers can be adjusting to work perfectly in any given room.
Here is me (sorry a little blurry) completing the set-up, slightly startled and deep in thought!
Horn mounted – looking formidable
Once the horns are in place the real set-up can begin – the speakers need levelling via the feet on the base. Ensuring your speakers are level is very important any movement will negatively affect sound. Also ensuring that the speakers are firing the correct way is vital for stereo imaging. Although we set the speaker up, it is important for the customer to adjust them in accordance with their own ears. I know our customer was looking forward to doing so!
One key benefit of Acapella Violon is the plasma tweeter – these glow when running and vary air pressure (i.e create audible changes in air pressure) by using plasma instead of a traditional diaphragm!
With setup now complete we could fire up the Nagras with their chunky 845 valves glowing away and enjoy a listen! All speakers need time to run in; being a mechanical product movement is key to getting the drivers run in. Don’t run them too hard to begin with – gently does it!
The complete setup!
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, how any audiophile could not see the beauty in these is beyond me – they are a statement, a no-compromise expression of what is possible if an engineer with a passion for sound is allowed to design what they want to, we only got a half an hour listen but wow! They sing, the midrange is sweet, uncoloured and tight – bottom end has the highest definition I have maybe ever heard! Yes they needed running in but this was a great start, I am not in any doubt that our customer will enjoy them for many years to come!
As always, happy listening and if you are interested in what Acapella can offer give me a call. Please read more about this model here and the full Acapella range here which is of course available on 0% finance.