Standmount loudspeakers. Many US show exhibitors stay away because experience says attendees don’t take ’em seriously enough. “They walk in, they clock the standmounts and they walk straight out,” said one Californian electronics manufacturer at an RMAF long gone.
If standmount loudspeakers have an image problem, it wasn’t evident at the 2017 Warsaw AV Show. Numerous exhibitors opted for the easier room integration afforded by smaller boxes. Lest we forget: room integration is more critical to sound quality than upstream electronics. Trust not your eye-stomach when it says “bigger = better”. Industry veterans will tell you to buy best loudspeaker for your room and drop the rest of your budget on amplification, D/A conversion and a transport.
Reaching into the Warsaw Sobieski hotel’s hallway, Polish distributor Audio Connect hit me with the one-two of a techy Depeche Mode remix and Aqua’s recently updated Formula DAC (which I hope to see land at the Berlin DARhaus soon).
Once inside the room I would clock the loudspeakers in play: the diminutive Karis MKIII standmounts from Diapason (€2820/pair) – talk about a perfect fit for short-term hotel-based exhibits and longer stays in smaller living spaces.
Audio Connect’s pre-amplification came from Art Audio’s Conductor Simply and loudspeaker drive from a Wells Audio Innamorata. At the top of the chain, Aqua Audio’s La Diva CD transport. Aqua and Diapason both hail from Italy. Interessante!
Company founder and lead designger Alessandro Schiavi, now 25 years in the business, was on hand to talk us through the finer points of the Karis MKIII. We learn that they are not built from the usual MDF + veneer combination but ‘full wood’ and that the diamond face design is intended to reduce edge diffraction and minimise internal standing waves.
Furthermore, Diaspason’s ‘direct drive’ technology means the Karis MKIII feature only the simplest of crossover networks: a high pass filter on the tweeter with the mid/bass driver run ‘full range’. Doppio Interessante!
Schiavi offers more in this short video: