Waves's of emotions
Yesterday I had a pleasure of visiting Miro Krajnc and finally hearing his SoulSonic speakers. They are a smaller version of the bigger brother Impulse, that caused quite a stir at THE SHOW and CES and set fire to the Slovenian audio scene and forums.
My last visit to Miro was about ten years back. He was, and still is, a well known speaker enthusiast within the local scene and known among friends in the audio industry and society all over the world. I can honestly say that he transcends any geek or enthusiastic label and transforms it into a real audio artisan.
This is a man with passion, knowledge, an open-hearted nature and a person who could actually realise his dream. It's a finished product that sets the designer above the daydreams of audio forums and DIY-er's. Nothing against them, but often we were showered with the strongest remarks by them.
Adapt or prolong in the stillness of time?
Over the years I learned and formed my own intuition about people from audio society, regardless of whether they were manufacturers, audiophiles or distributors. There are true artisans who know their art by heart and put all their life's energy into their passion, and a few lucky ones with the blessings, support and backing of their families.
It's often a thing of an envy (especially locally) and over self absorbing from people, that covers the eyes of so called audiophiles or high-end-er's. There is no way to measure or pin point certain things in high-end audio regardless of one's mileage or so called knowledge. Self proclaimed "elders" just throw their cynical opinions before the public as if this is some kind of high-end law book. Thank God that those are just opinions and worth nothing more. We cannot avoid so-called music lovers and elite concert goers in any society around the globe. It's an unavoidable thing and a matter of both tolerance and ignorance. They have their own space in our audio universe with their analytical, leit motive and cold and narrow views, but I just don't want to be in the that galaxy at the same time :).
How can true music lover not be sad seeing the traces and influences from this school of thought being carried to the younger generation? It almost feels like a crime. Anyhow we're living in a global new world and people are free to follow any given path in their high-end audio quest. I just wish there would be more emotional potent music lovers and less information egocentric individuals among us. One can hope, right :)?
Back to the subject. Why all the elaboration? I won't claim myself as anything close to audio guru. Guru status should be left for the spiritual sphere. Emotions, life-like music reproduction, motion of sound and ,especially, natural lightness of music, is what always captivate me instantly with any outstanding audio component. It's also a matter of personal growth to accept new and if better things. Getting older makes adapting harder. High fidelity is where true emotions,passion for music and audio come together. To expand, ultra high-end audio is not just a matter of money, but a culmination of emotions and high fidelity reproduction.
The SoulSonic Wave is very unique loudspeaker. I really didn't know what to expect, so I turned any precognitions off as far as I could before entering the room. Even the first few notes of music, that were played quietly as background music caught my attention. The lightness and almost caressing nature of the music energy simply floated through the room with such a distinct pace, that it was not possible to ignore the delicacy even with such a low gain.
Before we started listening, we discussed many topics related to music, ultra high-end audio, common audio views and the universal language of music.
Room's 4 US
Although there was no exotic audio gear driving the Waves, my first impression was more than just memorable. Spinning my mind within past impressions, I was hard pressed to recall a speaker that reproduced orchestration in such a way, and especially in a room with difficult proportions, with it's 3,5 x 7 meters. As my intuition suggested, one has to leave some of the traditional audiophiles` rules before entering a listening session with SoulSonic speakers. The famous triangle position gave a bare 30 percent of what the Waves could really give. Strangely enough, I had to agree with Miro's listening place behind the speakers. Quite a wicked, sweet spot. Miro positioned the speakers in what is called a Hong-Kong set-up, that was invented by Ivan Li - Limage. This is some 30-40 percent (length) away from the back walls.
Miro played song after song patiently and my senses were getting more and more close to their peaks. On two occasions I said to myself quietly: "Darn, this is good and way above expectations". The first song that shook me was a classical recording (The Minnesota Orchestra/Eiji Oue - Baba Yaga). I'm not sure what exactly some of the audiophiles heard (it bewilders me), but the scale, energy of motion, the feeling and sense of event was there in a grand way. True, there were nuances waiting to get even better with better amplification and source, but at the next mind stop everything went even further into pleasant surprise.
An accapela of the Beatles's Yesterday froze the time for a brief moment. I asked Miro to turn up the volume a bit. Now this is what I call the true spirit of ultra high-end. I started singing along matching the loudness of the recording with my voice and comparing my syllables with those of the performers. Hands down these reminded me of the best renderings of live vocal recording and, which is even more important, of the event itself, although being a virtual experience (before you crucify me). I had my time with open baffles (Bastanis etc.) and a quick venture of horns, with many visits and listenings to horn based systems. They have their charms, but for example even Avantgarde Trio's is not the ultimate purity in itself. Close, but not close enough. I've yet to hear the Soulsonic Impulse, but so far even the Wave seems to manage to avoid small, but still evident colourations of the above-mentioned Trio's.
Jokingly I concluded that this might prove the hundred years old audiophile saying, how speakers are the most important part of the high-end audio chain. It's hard to argue with everything I experienced.
A lot of in's
There are things to be refined with SoulSonic Wave's speakers, but what this design is promising jumps way ahead of almost anything heard in my past twentysomething years of audio. Magico, YG Acoustics's and a few of the contemporary companies never truly impressed me. Appearance, technology, state-of-the-art; everything checked! Musicality? Sorry.
You know my writings and Mono & Stereo attitude so far. Simply refusing to write about something I'm not drawn into and avoiding falling into the global "everything is fine" praise camp, I'm not highly paid or being served in the most luxury way as some are. By refusing to write about components that I'm not interested in or that are failing at reproducing the music at least on the basic level of emotions regardless of price, doesn't give me the budget of some of the so-called high-end mediators. It's O.K! I'm happy at the end of day and still love what I do. Funny, there are still too many quality products out there, that I have to struggle hard in finding time to listen to and write about. The Universe works within fair rules.
Miro Krajnc is a true artisan and, without a second thought, among the few people I respect highly; Robert Koda, Peter Brem, Tom Evans, Mr. Miyajima, Mr. Matusmoto, Kondo San etc. It's rare to see one's life long brainchild transforming into existence, but it's so much more joyful when this occurs. Shape and form might bend, but usually the wholeness of the idea stays intact. The rightness cannot be changed.
It takes years and endless hours of passion to get there. Like the famous quote about Michaelangelo`s work process: "How do you create such a wonderful statue?". Michaelangelo answered: "By simply removing the unwanted!". It is the same with the history of any ultra high-end audio designer taking a carving. Tons of defunct, media-core, dead -end products, vast funds, sleepless hours and the fight for existence while striving and believing in to one's idea and, consequently, a final product.
For those whom music and audio paths are enriched with the lucky recognition of true musical emotions in the absence of clinical (and cynical) emptiness, Miro Krajnc's SoulSpeaker Company is a stand out venture and a highly refined ultra high-end craftsmanship workshop, that few of the Slovenian audiophiles and CES visitors managed to recognise as a remarkable achievement. Miro knows music by heart! Period!
This was the best 20 km drive I took in a long time.Yes, Miro is that close to my place. Stay tuned for the full review and interview in due course.
Wave is one of those products that simply urge you to play mind tricks about imaging the best silver, gold, platinum or whatever compound that tickles your ultra high-end satisfaction. This is not an art statement (but it could stand alone on this ground also), but a remarkable audio sculpture, that captures instantly the attention of anyone sharing at least a few traces of... not snobbism, but cultural DNA.
I love products being carved, refined, observed, fine tuned etc. An endless perpetuum mobile of love affairs for perfection. This is the pump that drives the heart of any true creator of fine craftsmanship. Those fine objects almost breath life, with constant energy flow that surrounds their aura and the energy field of their creator.
With certain products you get connected, with some never. Is this a sublime love for all things beautiful? While beauty might be in the eye of beholder, my sense of aesthetics haven't failed me so far. It either moves my inner energy or does not.
SoulSonic Wave is not only an objet d'art, but music non stop. In the absence of a distortion field that keeps us away from enjoying the music and eyesight as well, Wave goes beyond the ordinary and excels deeply in both, the audible and visual way.
Elaborating on my previous visit, Miro expanded the depth of the Wave. Little things, moving, shifting and pushing towards the path of excellence. It's hard to be still with everything happening so fast in this time of fast forwarding. Expectations change, so do materials, our knowledge and wishes. As high-end messengers and sentinels we're not demanding constant change just for the sake of change, but refined improvement according to current improvements in state of the art. It's not about the money and prestige only, but evolution that actually can be proven and used in regard to sound, and especially music reproduction.
Miro's restless spirit is never at ease with the certainties of the past. I do love and admire his unwillingness to rest on anything.
So, each new trip to SoulSonic Headquarters is a sublime evolution in sound. It seems that revelations have already happened for Miro. Now, in Michelangelo`s way, he's ready to take the unnecessary details away to prevent distraction.
What more can one hanker for.
- A two way dipole loudspeaker
- Mid high unit: 25mm wide, 145cm tall ribbon
Low diffraction design
- Low frequency units: four 10"
underhung voice coil woofers
- XO frequency: 500 Hz
Frequency response: 33-25.000 Hz
Features biamping speaker terminal
Base and spine are made from multiply wood (40 and 60mm thick)
The trapezoidal glass panel (6 mm thick)
prevents too early dipole cancellation and is visually completely transparent
HxWxD = 166 x 800 x 550mm
Recommended amplifier power:
50W per channel or more
Recommended amplifier power:
50W per channel or more