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Showing posts with label test. Show all posts

Backes & Müller BMLine12 Review


Backes & Müller BMLine12 Review

Backes & Müller BMLine12 Review

Introducing the sonic marvels that have redefined audio excellence - the Backes & Müller BMLine12 speakers. In the realm of premium audio, where precision and innovation converge, the BMLine12 stands tall as a testament to Backes & Müller's uncompromising commitment to delivering an unparalleled auditory experience. Boasting a lineage of craftsmanship and technological mastery, these speakers embody the fusion of timeless design with cutting-edge acoustic engineering. In this review, we embark on a journey into the world of sound sculpting, delving into the features, performance, and sonic artistry that make the Backes & Müller BMLine12 an emblem of audio prowess

There are things that you dream about for an eternity and when you get them you might be disappointed. That's what happened to me with the Peugeot 504 Cabriolet. Visually a dream, but unfortunately a bit underpowered in everyday life. Or with the Backes & Müller BM 12 from 1980. The test magazines (especially the Audio) literally fell over themselves because of the extreme midrange precision. And a certain Norbert Schäfer, head of Phonogen, even built a wooden U around the massive floorstanding speaker, in which the BM 12 was suspended on springs - a dream. In the mid-1990s I would have had the opportunity to buy a pair cheaply. But after just a short listen, this heart's desire was shattered: This BM 12 from the 1980s sounded so strict and angry, especially in the mids, that I didn't want to listen to it.

The special features of the Backes & Müller BMLine 12

The 12 continues to give. Differently natural and lovingly matured over all the decades. It is now called BMLine 12 and everything about it is still made by hand in Saarbrücken. This applies to technology, but also to housing production. And especially for the midrange driver of the BMLine 12, which the Saarbrücken company is particularly proud of. So proud that they don't want to release any pictures and only vague information about the good piece - for fear that the competitors would get too deep an insight.

Backes & Müller BMLine12 Review

The characteristic dome midrange driver of the BMLine 12 is much more complex than one might imagine at first glance. It runs in the range between 400 – 1,200 Hertz (Photo: H. Biermann)

Nevertheless, after repeated inquiries, it became clear: This midrange driver is actually a cone driver, but has a dome glued on it - for a wider radiation. And something else could be heard: the good piece only runs at around 400 - 1,200 Hertz, i.e. 1.5 octaves. That's very little. You could almost have made a 2-way construction out of it.

You wouldn't. B&M boss (and chief developer) Johannes Siegler wanted to implement a fairly wide radiation pattern with the BMLine 12. And because the three basses of this size, which sit one above the other, concentrate strongly above 600 Hertz, this special midrange driver comes into play here, which broadens the radiation in the lower midrange.

If you look at all the other Backes models, this is extraordinary. Because with all loudspeakers from order number 15 and upwards, Siegler tries to create a deliberately narrowed cylindrical wave radiation - in order to limit the (often annoying) floor and ceiling reflections and to be able to carry the sound further in larger rooms.

Backes & Müller BMLine12 Review

The tweeter ring radiator does not require a pressure chamber. The spherical wave horn in front increases the efficiency and limits the radiation. The tweeter plays from 1,200 – 24,000 Hz (Photo: H. Biermann)

If I reinterpret that now, then the BMLine 12 should also appeal to those music lovers who definitely want to sit a little closer to their speakers. We're talking about 3 meters or more, maybe just under.

Backes & Müller BMLine12 Review

One of the three basses with a tear-resistant carbon membrane. The cutout gives an idea of ​​the strength of the slightly curved MDF baffle.

Let's briefly look at the things that are mandatory at Backes & Müller. First of all, there is the active control of all five drivers, which is consequently carried out with five power stages. This is all the best transistor AB technology according to the old tradition: 4 x 150 watts for woofers and mid-range drivers and still a whopping 100 watts for the tweeter. All cone drivers of the BMLine 12 are feedback coupled with a dynamic deflection control (DMC™). As soon as the sensor signals that the membranes may be deflecting too far, countermeasures are taken at lightning speed. This ensures high precision in bass impulses.

Backes & Müller BMLine12 Review

A look at the BMLine 12 shows a thoroughly clean design and electronics, which take up a large part of the back of the speaker

B&M negative feedback works best in closed enclosures. Ergo, the housing of the BMLine 12 is also closed and particularly stable, because inside a bass housing, in which the woofer is possibly forced to large deflections by regulation, it can become extremely high: nothing can rattle...

Backes & Müller BMLine 12 review

Most speakers with an additional base have a bass reflex output above them. On the BMLine 12 it is just an ornament and makes the box appear a little “lighter”

What Backes is particularly proud of is the tried and tested combination of precise membrane control and processor-controlled phase accuracy. The Saarbrücken-based company calls this form of digital filtering “FIRTEC™ technology”, which aims to linearize the frequency response as well as perfect the time accuracy of the playback. With passive speakers, a delay between low-midrange and high-frequency reproduction can hardly be avoided. The BMline 12, on the other hand, should play absolutely in time over the entire frequency range from 30 hertz to over 20 kilohertz. Such a rare promise naturally makes the hi-fi gourmet's mouth water...

The BMIce 515 preamplifier

As with many active speakers with a built-in processor, all incoming signals are digitized with the BMLine 12 - unless they (ideally) arrive digitally. And this is where the BMIce 515 comes into play. Although it also offers analogue inputs and outputs, from my point of view it is more of a digital preamplifier. All incoming analog signals are also converted digitally. The best way to do this is via an AES/EBU cable to the active back speakers, where the signal is only analogized again directly before the power amplifiers.

Of course, the Backes preamplifier also has an excellent DA converter: The Burr-Brown sigma-delta converter is available here in two versions - one per channel. The BMIce 515 can also output analog signals, so it also works perfectly with classic power amplifiers. I had tested the 500 series preamplifiers several times before and was always amazed at their unusual neutrality - even in the analog signal path.

However, if you are already digital (be it via streaming or CD), the BMIce 515 works like a “neutral wire”. That's pretty close to perfection. And what makes the BMIce 515 even more sexy: you can equalize the frequency response of every input. This becomes particularly interesting in connection with radio and phono. Here is an overview of the relevant framework data from the preliminary stage:

Technical data

Backes & Müller BMIce 515
Concept:DAC preamplifier
Equipment:2 x 24 Bit / 192 KHz Sigma-Delta converter (Burr-Brown), mono mode
Digital inputs:2 x optical, 2 x coax, 1 x AES/EBU, 1 x USB, aptX-HD Bluetooth
Analog inputs1xRCA, 1xXLR
Outputs:Analogue: 1 x RCA, 1 x XLR, digital 2 x XLR-AES3
Dimensions (W x H x D):44.0 x 8.0 x 26.0 cm
8.9 kilograms
All technical data


The issue of equalization/adjustment is of course also an elementary one with the BMLine 12. Nothing can be adjusted on the box itself, for this you need the Backes controller, which is also used in exactly the same way for the models from KSDigital ( such as the KSD C100 ). For anyone who is wondering: The hi-fi veteran Backes & Müller and the studio professional KSDigital sit under the same roof. The HiFi box benefits from insights from the studio sector and vice versa.

Backes & Müller BMLine 12 Review

The BMLine 12 can be sensitively adjusted to the surroundings and listening taste using the Backes controller. Contact with the speakers is via an Ethernet cable 

The controller sits in a pretty artificial stone housing and allows the use of six equalizers: the frequency and quality can be freely selected, amplification or reduction of up to 12 decibels are feasible. Nothing more makes sense.

After we found a sensible position for the BMLine 12, we started fine-tuning it. In the "factory state" the basses were very strong and the mid-range - the current 12 reminded a bit of the old one from 1980 - comparatively robust and edgy. We also measured them in this state:

We ascertained 99 decibels as the (continuous) maximum level. That's quite a lot. However, as already indicated above, the BMLine 12 had a lot of bass in the basic setting and was also equalized to below 30 Hertz. That didn't have to be the case, even in our 70 square meter listening room. We linearized the bass around 60 Hertz using the controller and let it taper off gently at 6 dB below 40 Hertz. This not only made the bass sound much drier and more precise (just the way I like it), but the maximum level also increased significantly. With this intervention, we spared the three 18-inch basses the sweaty low-frequency work that - with the appropriate setting - is also relentlessly demanded because of the membrane feedback.

Backes & Müller BMLine 12 REVIEW

Setting the filter is simple: the controller is used to determine the frequency, the quality, i.e. how narrow-band or how wide the filter should appear, as well as the strength

But I liked it much better with less bass. We then tamed the mids, which were a bit too robust, with another filter. Not much had to be done: an EQ with a low quality at around 2 KHz, which lowers the level in this range by up to 1.5 dB, made the "angry" BMLine 12 finer overall and much more forgiving. So forgiving that listening to music became a pleasurable experience.

Sound Test

One thing first: We are here at Backes & Müller. The loudspeakers from this house have always played extremely lively and precisely to the point. If you want cuddly boxes for cuddly rock, this isn't the right place for you - even if you could certainly set some kind of sound with the controller. But then you would completely change the character of the speaker - which would be nonsense.

No: This loudspeaker lives from its liveliness, from its high fine and coarse dynamics, from this incredible precision that, with every hit on the snare, makes you wonder when you were last at a live concert - simply because the backes sounds so authentic. This is where phase-linear filter technology certainly comes into its own. With many passive speakers, much of what is clearly drawn with the finest pen and has sharp contours has soft gray areas. But blurring isn't Backes' world.

Backes & Müller BMLine12 Review

The BMLine 12 in the listening room. In terms of installation, it is problem-free because of the extensive adjustment options

MiG-Music recently released a concert recorded by Radio Bremen 40 years ago: As a tribute to Gil Scott-Heron, who died in 2011 , they had a concert from the Bremen Schauburg remastered. And when I got my hands on the review CD, I realized that I was there myself at this concert on April 18, 1983. Life still has surprises in store...

From an audiophile perspective, the recording certainly has weaknesses; For example, a monitor drags for a long time. No problem. This concert is simply magnificent: so lively, so thrilling. And the Backes is the perfect playback instrument for such moments. She placed the singer and his piano on the stage in an absolutely believable, three-dimensional way, the dimensions of which you can quite accurately guess. And Scott-Heron's voice celebrated the Backes as wonderfully strong in character as it was: creaky and still somehow accusatory even when joking.

At some point the horns kick in and you're literally shocked at the pressure and dynamics with which the band (name: Amnesia Express) went about their work. Even with our reference system with Canor electronics and FinkTeam Borg, the recordings didn't have the same drive as with the Backes.

Backes & Müller BMLine12 Review

The concert in the Schauburg is a real treasure. Good that MiG-Music has now rediscovered him (Cover: JPC)

After just a few bars I was interested in the BMLine 12, after an hour of the concert I was captivated by the impulsive precision. But I was really excited when the applause rang out. I hadn't heard anything like that at all. The recording is very direct and involves the audience so strongly that you would almost think there was at least one microphone in the audience. What the BMLine 12 did with it was simply spectacular: it placed me directly in the audience with all the multi-faceted clapping noises around me: lively, absolutely authentic. Goose flesh. Like back then.

Conclusion Backes & Müller BMLine 12

As the B&M catalog says: "The BMLine 12 continues the glorious history of the classic of the eighties and nineties of the last millennium." That's right. Both in character (very straight) and in its design (classic 3-way speaker), this floor-standing speaker is much more reminiscent of the large models of the 1970s and 1980s than its larger model siblings with line emitter characteristics. It is therefore actually something like the last of its kind - but this does not detract from its fascination: such wonderfully precise high-speed dynamic machines are rare.

The BMLine 12 builds a bridge to the earlier days, but also incorporates the latest technical B&M achievements. It is currently (and probably will continue to be for a long time) by far the cheapest way to get this form of negative feedback and phase linearity. The fact that Backes is now also offering the convincing BMIce preamplifier in a limited edition at a very fair bundle price is also sexy, at least for those music lovers who do not yet have a preamplifier or who have one when purchasing a high-quality box like the BMLine 12 anyway had thought about a new precursor.

Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power Review

Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power Review

Review. Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power. Reference strength

All of us in one way or another follow the novelties that appear on the market, whether it be cars, fashion, consumer electronics, or gadgets. The audio industry market is no exception, especially the part where new brands and models appear like mushrooms - cable products intended primarily for demanding and advanced users who are no longer enough with standard wires and want to try to improve something in their system. And here is how to understand all this diversity and not run into just a beautiful wrapper, and tests and comparisons, listening and reviews of these products help us figure it out. 

In this review, we will talk about a new product from a Russian manufacturer that has gained fame not only in the vastness of our boundless Motherland but also beyond its borders - about the new brainchild of the well-known company Chernov Audio, the power cable Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power. I will make a reservation right away that this cable is a completely new product and not a redesigned evolution of the old line. 

Previously, I had to deal with the products of this company occasionally only at exhibitions, in salons or with friends. I will not hide the fact that I was somewhat skeptical about the products of this brand in general, because according to the reviews of friends and colleagues who used and continue to use these cables in their systems, there are no unambiguous “wow” reviews or “this is the best in my system” sounded. Therefore, I always somehow passed by and never considered them in my system. But everything flows, everything changes, and the current economic situation is increasingly forcing many to look toward domestic producers. And, of course, I am no exception in this regard.

Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power Review

Another little note. In this review, attention will be paid not so much to the design features of this power cable, although it has enough unique technologies, and they are described in detail on the manufacturer's website, we will focus exclusively on the sound features of this cable with various system components (source/transport, DAC, power amplifier ), about his sound delivery, handwriting, neutrality, universality, in short, about what he brings or, conversely, does not bring into the system itself, how it helps to open up one or another component. Although not, I will still mention one design feature before moving on to describing the sound. It's more of a custom feature. It is related to the ability of the cable to remember the position of the bend of the conductor, which is set by the user. When you pick up this cable, it becomes amazing how such a thick and elastic-looking conductor can be so pliable and obedient, directly nanotechnology and memory form in action. 

A very useful feature for those who have limited switching capabilities. It is also probably worth noting the lightness of the conductor itself, which is lighter than many counterparts similar in cross-section. This allows you not to worry about the fact that under its weight it will forever try to break out of the embrace of the hardware connector. In my practice, there were moments of breakdowns and the subsequent repair of these same connectors in the devices themselves. The general impression is this: a reference level cable, you take it in your hands and understand that this is not some kind of intermediate model in the manufacturer's line, but a really high-class thing that is not inferior to foreign analogs. how such a thick and elastic-looking conductor can be so pliable and obedient, directly nanotechnology and memory form in action. A very useful feature for those who have limited switching capabilities. It is also probably worth noting the lightness of the conductor itself, which is lighter than many counterparts similar in cross-section. This allows you not to worry about the fact that under its weight it will forever try to break out of the embrace of the hardware connector. In my practice, there were moments of breakdowns and the subsequent repair of these same connectors in the devices themselves. 

Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power Review

For a more complete review objectivity, all six cables (three Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power and three of my "reference" cables) were connected into one passive surge protector. In turn, the cables were compared both in the entire path as a whole and when connected to each component separately, so that it would be possible to identify with which of the devices these network cables show the best synergy. I note that the components themselves are quite critical to what network cable they work with. The price range of the "reference" group of cables is much higher than that of Tchernov Cable representatives. But the comparison and test are more interesting, and the result obtained is more valuable.

Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power Review

 Looking ahead, I must make a reservation that for a greater manifestation of the corporate effect (if there is such a place to be), I “tied up” the entire system with conductors of this domestic brand. 

After listening for some time with the “reference” set of conductors familiar to me (including interconnects and acoustics), I first changed all the “weak power” to Tchernov Cable products, while not affecting the network cables so far ... and was pleasantly surprised. The first thing I heard was that a certain density appeared in the middle register, as a result of which there was a feeling that all the performers somehow began to stand out from the general pitch in a different way, however, a certain overtone of sharpness appeared at the upper end of the HF range, but with all this the sound became softer and more soulful, pleasant to the touch, not just sugary, but somewhat melodious.

 Having gotten used for some time to such a presentation of a sound, I began to replace the network cables. And then another pleasant surprise awaited me, which I had not noticed before with such tests. The replacement of all three power cables led to a significant change in the stage, its construction and the arrangement of the performers. I observed such a pronounced effect for the first time when changing only one power wire. Here you have high technologies and a complex construct of the cable itself, where everything affects and manifests itself. Usually, when you change only the power cable, there will be fewer noticeable changes in the sound. A little air is added, resolution, energy, the foundation of the lower register, bass in the end ... but what would it be all together, and even with such a clearly audible effect when changing power cables alone, this happened for the first time in my practice.

, This alone is enough to include these cables in the list of contenders for a significant upgrade of your system. Of any significant disadvantages for yourself and in your system, I would note that the “reference” set of network wires was a little more transparent, with a slightly better resolution, but the price of the issue is somewhat different. However, if I were given to choose one of these two sets, then I would have thought many times about what to choose. The sound of the set from Tchernov Audio is so balanced in terms of overall presentation, scene, and picture. In addition, taking into account the price/quality indicators doubts completely disappear. My skepticism about domestic technologies, and in particular Tchernov Cable cable products, has completely evaporated! At least with regard to power cables, absolutely certain,. 

I boldly recommend it to medium and high-level systems, as for the most qualitative increase in relation to the funds spent. They definitely won’t hit the face in the dirt in front of more publicized foreign counterparts. Yes, and in front of your audiophile friends, you definitely won’t be ashamed when they ask what cable products you have in your system. On the contrary, it will be possible to watch their reaction when they hear these cables in action. I remember my surprise when I heard about the implementation of the system from the flagship speakers Focal Grand Utopia in full piping with Tchernov Audio cable products. It was the best presentation of not at all simple acoustic systems for all the time of my acquaintance with them.

Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power Review

Now a few words about how versatile these power cables are in relation to the components with which they are used.

I changed the power cables for each component, in turn, to see where the influence was the most. From my practice and from reviews of past years, I know firsthand how different power cables are synergistically suited to one or another component and how much the opposite effect can be with another class of devices. There are cables that are more or less universal, good with power amplifiers, and behave neutrally with digital sources, but when connected to a pre-amplifier, they immediately want to be replaced. And, on the contrary, there is a lot of air and resolution when connected to a source and a complete absence of bass, “foundation”, slow down, and porridge when connected to a power amplifier! Some American firms directly indicate in their lineup which power cable is intended for which device. Returning to our test samples, I can confidently say that Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power conductors are universal, and I can safely recommend them both for a group of sources (DAC, transport, preamplifier) ​​and for power amplifiers. No significant artifacts were found, as well as distortions during serial disconnection and replacement with a “reference”, much more expensive cable, which I have been using in my system for a long time.

Author: Andrey Molochnik

Type of:

symmetrical power cable for AC circuits 100-240 V, 50/60 Hz


stranded BRC conductors in DSC technology: 3 x 1.50 mm² (28 x 0.26 mm) + 3 x 1.50 mm² (28 x 0.26 mm) + 1 x 1.50 mm² (28 x 0.26 mm) )

Conductor insulation:


Belt insulation:





TPU Elastollan®

Conductor Damping:

Cable-Core with FTDA® Technology

External diameter:

16 mm


IEC60320 (C13) / CEE 7/7 Classic power connectors

On sale:

terminated kits in standard lengths

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test
The No.7 from Spatial Europe takes the 2-way dipole principle to the extreme. A special super speaker for 12,000 euros


Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test

narrow radiation, intensive musical experience

The unusual dipole sound converter with a double bass configuration made a lot of things different and yet really right. In any case, in terms of sound, this speaker opened a door to a special kind of listening for us. But the Spatial Europe No.7 presented here is technically/acoustically almost even more unusual; For that reason alone it would be worth writing about them. But there's also the fact that it just sounds amazing.

The special thing about Spatial Europe No.7…

... can be seen in part at first glance. Like all spatial transducers, it only consists of a very solid baffle. It is the antidote to the classic box design, where the cabinet prevents the forward and backward-radiated sound energy from canceling each other out. However, this phenomenon is only really relevant in the bass, because here the wavelengths are of sufficient size to bend around the baffle. The formula for this is: speed of sound in air (344 m/s) : frequency = wavelength. A frequency of 20 Hertz, for example, has a wavelength of about 17 meters, the well-known concert pitch A (440 Hertz) has a wavelength of 78 centimeters.

And now the question arises: How does Spatial Europe mastermind Robert Andorf prevent this physical peculiarity? Answer: not at all. But of course he takes this factor into account. In principle, dipole speakers produce less bass than classic loudspeakers, which - because the housing avoids an acoustic short circuit - can produce amazingly deep bass even with a small volume. But housings have relevant disadvantages: they rattle, they vibrate, they resonate, they boom and thus give the low tone a color that doesn't belong there. Even the best cases à la Magico, Wilson, Gauder or Stenheim are not completely immune to this.

Basically, the motto is: The best case is no case. Now one could also assume that such a baffle is susceptible to resonance. But not with the No.7: The slightly sloping panel is composed of two MDF layers, each 38 mm thick, additionally reinforced and dampened. The lush live weight of the N0.7 (44.0 kilos) is by no means just due to the bass.

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test
image credit: Spatial Europe
The processing of the idiosyncratic clay furniture is flawless, the surfaces are attractive: The Spatial Europe No.7 is offered in five veneers as well as black and white as standard

However, the concept of the dipole radiator brings with it another special feature: while classic "boxes" have an almost spherical radiation in the bass, that of a dipole resembles the shape of a figure eight when viewed from above, the waist of which is the loudspeaker itself. These constructions have a club-shaped sound direction even in the bass.

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test
image credit: Spatial Europe
Of course, the Spatial Europe No.7 is a sight to behold, especially from the side: the baffle thickness is 7.6 cm. 
Otherwise, only the powerful woofer basket, part of the AMT tweeter, and the discreet base plate with the crossover stick out

In the bass range, Robert Andorf uses a 38-centimeter woofer from the US specialist Acoustic Elegance. The parameters of this bass are designed for outdoor installation and, in a dipole construction, it generates a lot more low bass than classic hi-fi woofers could. Anyone who can admire the 38er up close will feel that a lot of knowledge and quality has been built into it. This driver is so good and low-resonance that it runs up to 2,000 Hertz despite its size. So it's no wonder that this gem is quite expensive to buy. If Andorf were to apply the classic hi-fi margins here, the No.7 would probably be a lot more expensive.

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test
The woofer's protruding phase plug is used to cool the voice coil. The multi-folded bead is common in the professional sector and ensures even resistance even with larger lifting movements

The woofer is representative of a remarkable criterion from Spatial Europe: All models are inexpensive in their own way. The quality of the components, which Andorf uses out of inner conviction, would never be waved through by the controller of a large company. But Spatial Europe, with its loving hand-made production at Kreuzstraße 22a in Ingolstadt, can and wants to afford to act differently in this regard.

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test
image credit: Spatial Europe
Many ingredients such as the baffles come from the immediate vicinity and are put together by a small team in Ingolstadt (right next to the Mach One store) 

This not only includes the corresponding component quality, but also a deep concept of sustainability: At Spatial Europe, little is thrown away and there is a lot of recycled material, especially in the packaging area. I was there for a day last year and found Andorf's concept absolutely convincing.

Because the visitor quickly realizes that nothing is built here by accident. All electrical components, basses, tweeters, but also capacitors, coils and even the resistors are selected in long listening sessions. In the case of the Spatial Europe No.7, there was not only this powerful professional bass, but also an efficient Air Motion Transformer (AMT) tweeter (also from the US American professional range), which with a characteristic sound pressure of 102 decibels (1 watt / 1 meter) has sufficient reserves for EVERY level orgy. And a crossover was created that makes the connoisseur's mouth water.

The - of course - hand-wired 2-way filter is in the base of the dipole speaker and is not only exceptional because of the quality of the components; In this respect, Andorf usually always reaches for the top of the shelf. Andorf has developed one of the rare "serial" crossovers (by far the most loudspeakers in the world work with parallel crossovers). There is little basic theory about serial switches, but Andorf has a proven specialist at hand.

With the serial crossover, the woofers and tweeters are actually connected in series, the relevant filter components mainly work in parallel. The tweeter of the No.7, for example, is tuned to its operating range from 2,000 Hertz via a notch filter connected in parallel.

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test
Only the finest: Jantzen copper foil wax coils, Jupiter Beewax copper foil capacitors, Mundorf Supreme resistors, Oyaide phosphor bronze spade connectors. Spatial Europe maker Andorf is so proud of the crossover that he puts it under glass


But what is this excursion into rather strange theoretical realms for? Andorf expects the series filter to produce a harmonic impedance and phase curve in the circuit. And he's right: Our measurements confirm his approach 100%.

Rarely have we had such a frugal loudspeaker in the measurement laboratory. And also a value that should make owners of small but fine amplifiers sit up and take notice: With 90.5 decibels (1 watt / 1 meter), the No.7 also has a pleasingly high degree of efficiency: The No.7 comes with not even 10 watts i.e. over 100 dB.

Only real killer levels were not possible. With a power amp like an SPL s1200, on the other hand, the No.7 caused a level storm in the listening room, which harshly relegated our maximum level measurements of 97 dB to the realm of over-caution: The flat dipole speaker can play very loud without causing any distortion would have been audible. In this respect, it is also worth considering this speaker: If I want to hear nice and fine, an amplifier like a 300B tube is of course enough. But if I want to let it rip, that's also possible. But then it should be 200 watts per channel.

Lineup: Sound bundling as a concept

The Spatial Europe No.7 is a dipole, which in principle emits the bass in a comparatively directed manner. We also have a huge mid-bass driver in the baffle, which, based on its dimensions alone, starts focusing the sound from around 350 Hertz and runs up to 2,000 Hertz. And we have a tweeter, which also bundles quite strongly because of the horn in front of it.

What are we to make of this? Just one thing: Here is the sound bundling concept. The Spatial Europe No.7 illuminates the room like a tall flashlight with several LEDs on top of each other: the cone is bright but narrowly focused. For most developers, a homogeneous, broad radiation is the measure of all tonal things. The No.7 also radiates quite homogeneously over the angles - just quite narrow. This must be taken into account when setting up.

After finding the optimal position, we quickly came to the conclusion that you can hear almost every degree with this speaker. We approached it in many steps, but in the end the exact alignment to the listening position in our listening room was just the right thing. Only then could the transparency be heard that one would expect from such a top speaker.

A second point: As a dipole radiator, the No.7 is a so-called "fast converter". Unlike classic "boxes" that produce the most bass in the corner of the room (where the sound waves have their highest sound pressure), a speed converter produces the best bass in the center of the room, where the wave has its highest sound velocity. So if you are surprised that a dipole like the No.7 on the wall produces atypically little bass, you should pull it further and further into the room to then determine that the bass is better, fuller and "more correct".

the distance between the front edge of the loudspeaker and the rear wall behind it is at least 65 cm, listening distance from 2.5 meters, listening room from 15 square meters. We tried the listening and minimum distance and yes: it works. But there is also a better way. In the end we definitely had 1.5 meters to the rear wall and a listening distance of more than 3 meters. With a distance of 3 - 3.5 meters, the sound of the No.7 becomes even more homogeneous. If you now add up the meter data, you suspect that this may not be possible in a 15 square meter room...

hearing test

Like the larger No.5 (in terms of the baffle), the No.7 also has a spectacular appearance because it is so springy. This is of course due to this slag-free bass, which is not restricted, amplified or tonally changed by any housing. It's pure punch. Listening to a live drum solo through this speaker is pure pleasure. Some hi-fi friends will complain that there is somehow a lack of bass. No: Reality does not know bloated bass.

Even the No.5 captivated us with its liveliness and precision. But unlike the slightly larger No.5, which is a real hit in terms of maximum volume and bass area, the No.7, which is equipped with the much more noble drivers, plays the finer, cultivated part. Both are fun, but the No.7 can In terms of audio quality (resolution, timing, precision) almost everything is better. The basses are even more powerful, a bit deeper and more believable. At the same time, the No.7 sounds more effortless, open and fine.

I remember hearing about the No.5 "The Rose" by the King Singers. Almost everything was right: the naturalness of the voices, the fine dynamics, but above all the great reproduction, which sounded very plastic thanks to the optimal positioning and the energy radiated to the rear.

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test
Such a fragile voice, such sensitive songs. And then, RUMMS, that piano lid being forcefully slammed shut on “Akne Vulgaris”. Super test for speaker dynamics and power handling (Cover: Amazon)

t's these small intervening noises, such as clearing your throat or a rustling sound, that bring recordings to life. The art of the No.7 is to draw even more of this finest information from this recording than the No.5 and therefore to sound even more authentic and light-footed. If you listen to piano music played dynamically with the No.7, you can only be amazed – it can sound so brutally impulsive. Still pretty much at the beginning of Tim Fischer's "Akne Vulgaris" (Album: Chansons Live/Lieder eines Armen Mädchens) pianist Friedrich Hollaender slams the lid of the piano shut. That's when the bass kicks in. We sat in the listening room and involuntarily recoiled – it sounded so real with this dipole. This is not only due to the qualities of the very finely playing AMT tweeter, but also to the fact that the No.7 offers a lot of energy and information in the middle.

Of course, there are those speakers that high-end circles like to refer to as "high-resolution", such as a large Wilson, the Grimm LS 1 be or the Audiaz Cadenza. The No.7 can't keep up with them, it can't offer that much transparency. Still, for me it's a small miracle. If you look at how much engineering skill other loudspeaker suppliers use to develop mid-range speakers that are as light as possible, then the sound quality that Robert Andorf conjures up from the comparatively heavy membrane of the 38 centimeter bass is more than astonishing.

A comparison with conventional loudspeakers is difficult because the installation locations are so different. It makes sense to compare the Spatial Europe No.7 with the dipole models from Magnepan or the full-range electrostatics from Quad. However, one can confidently assume that the Spatial Europe sounds a lot more dynamic and level stable. Compared to the slightly larger No.5, the No.7 does not reach the same level, but it plays a lot finer and more precisely.

The No.7 makes it possible to hear wonderfully loud. But in the end, that might not be her true destiny. After completing the listening tests, I reconnected the Luxman L550 AX Mk-II and just listened to music. The No.7 offers an incredibly authentic performance, especially with amps with such strong timbres, which makes a big band sound like a live big band even at medium or low levels. Very few speakers can do that.

Conclusion Spatial Europe No.7

If you had designed a loudspeaker from the point of view of an amplifier, something like the No.7 would probably have come out. We have seldom come across such an electrically good-natured sound converter. This 2-way dipole harmonizes well with every good amplifier - regardless of its power level. It's a superb addition to all the tube and class A amps that have gotten us so excited over the last few months and for which it's so hard to find the right speaker:

So: You need some space and a fine amplifier. If both are given, you can listen to music with the extraordinary Spatial Europe No.7 in an extraordinarily eventful way. An exceptional speaker as it stands in the book.

Pros And Cons


Impulsive, authentic, spatial sound with a wonderfully tight bass

 Great workmanship, many surfaces, ingenious optics

High efficiency, amplifier-friendly, fully suitable for tubes

Needs more space than classic hi-fi boxes, strong bundling