Here and there comes an interesting package, that both intrigues and impress for what it represent and in this case how it performs.
Usually we don’t talk about so called entry level much around the pages of Mono & Stereo, but leaving this mighty little-big combo out of scipe and focus would be non a miss on many fronts.
With Mr. Reck we set for the RECKHORN DSP-6 Pre Amplifier + Digital Crossover + Amplifier combination with a digital sound processor, S-30 Spherical Speaker, Reckhorn H-100 Cornerhorn and A-500 subwoofer amp complete package. Looking more into details around each product revealed very elaborated technical approach and well thought out concept. Its was quickly clear how these products came from somebody who’s being around for many year in the industry and both love as well respect the music.
Mr. Klaus Reck has been working for over 40 years with speakers and their design. In addition to his basic knowledge in the audio field are decades of practical experience with speaker components and the recognition for the need of low cost production of very good but entry level products that offers far more then the price might dictate. Such knowledge and mileage has produced many patents and products such as subwoofer amplifiers, electronic crossovers, corner-horn subwoofers, body shakers and car speakers. These have been sold world wide in tens of thousands.
Klaus Reck took an interesting route, almost altruistic in his pursue of brining the great sound to more people by creating really affordable products. One can only respect such decision in a world where everybody wants to cash in on a every bit.
MEETING THE FAMILY
A-500 subwoofer mono amplifier
A-500 subwoofer mono amplifier is the latest product from Rechorn and builds up on the heritage of well received A-408 subwoofer amplifier. Mr. Reck increased the capacity with the new TOSHIBA power transistors and added more powerful transformer. A-500 is designed to match the input loading of variable sources. A-500 is designed to match both BS-200 Body Shaker, H-100 and AV components that already offer dedicated SUB output. Combining it with DSP-6 digital crossover this can become quite a potent package in delivering a full scale operation. Dedicated HIGH CUT switch leaves only low frequencies being operational and can instantly operate.
A-500 spots a fan in the the bottom of the chassis, which automatically turns on only at high continuous power and switches off with the lower load of the output transistors.
In making inputs easier to connect Reckhorn A-500 comes with the Y-RCA adapter that helps converting the mono SUB OUT of AV gear to the “stereo” RCA input at the back of the A-500.
A-500 was tested as a part of complete system and with few other passive subwoofers on hand. It was interesting to compare them.
A lot of similar amplifiers sports much lower power output as Reckhorn big toroidal transformer and six capacitors 60000 µF give most of higher priced amps and even active subwoofers the run for the money. It reveals the clever approach and A-500 showed its real propensities as sub woofer amplifier.
H-100 corner horn subwoofer
“Many consumers are not aware of the fact that the complete, musically important octave, from low C to high C, fits into the 20 Hz difference from 20-40 Hz as well as between 10.000 to 20.000 Hz. This lack of understanding results in an overvaluation of the high frequencies and undervaluation of the low frequencies. No music enthusiast or audiophile would purchase a speaker with a frequency limit of 10.000 Hz. Many expensive speakers, however, produce little sound below 40 Hz; few will go somewhat lower, but sound pressure levels will be weak.”
This paragraph sums perfectly what I’m trying to say for a long time and over the years. The absence of musical energy below 40Hz in the high-end audio systems is a crucial mistake that most audiophiles and music lovers are making. Without this the real foundation of full scale musical reproduction its simply not possible. Its not only about the the reproduction of lower tones, but also about the creation of palpable and realistic embodiment of the real instruments and human vocals.
Interestingly it doesn’t even stops here. Pysho-acoustic is very complex audio field. The way we respond to the sound and perceiving the lower frequencies is far beyond of what most people really understand or think they do. When lacking the real foundation of the spectrum below 40Hz something interesting happens. The higher spectrum became imploded and loose the needed airiness. Our aural receipting system act very intriguingly and when there is solid low level spectrum foundation we experience the playback at the full scale. This quickly shows with the definition and feather like nature of some instruments correlating in higher spectrum. I’ve demonstrated and elaborated this on many occasions. When people hear this practically they are often in awe. Interestingly in Asia for years, most demanding audiophiles are already using for years the sub woofers. For them there is no real drama and believable soundscape without sub woofer presence.
For those knowing the past and rich history of speaker making and design 40’s, 50’s and 60’s set the grounds that are followed still. Similar to the basic tube circuit design. In the grand historical timeline of speakers manufacturing there were a wast amount of time and efforts being spend for the creation of the believable bass reproduction. Mr. Reck interestingly elaborate further on his site:
“Strictly according to the formulas a horn with great bass for 20 Hz have a length of about 8 meters and a mouth opening of over 20 square meters. Even folded this monster is too big for the living spaces. Already in the 40's ingenious inventors built corner horns, which include the walls as horn extension.”
Which brings us to the unique and clever cylinder enclosure of H-100 corner horn subwoofer:
“A high sound pressure will generate high pressure on the housing walls. Containers for extreme pressure are therefore of spherical or cylindrical design. They provide more and better stability than containers with straight walls even if heavily braced. A loudspeaker enclosure must withstand changing pressure at different frequencies. Each housing wall reduces the quality and the sound pressure. Additional parallel internal walls produce unwanted standing waves. The Reckhorn cylinder housing design avoids these problems. By utilising the room walls and floor, plus the internally constructed down firing pressure chamber, an exponential horn system is created.”
I really love when things are done in the well versed and researched way. As with setting up the turntables, creating high performance preamplifiers etc. Its about the logic and science. So how these all translate to the H-100 corner horn subwoofer actual performance?
H-100 corner horn subwoofer added exactly what I’ve described above. Without being present in the system sound was projecting merely a monitor like reproduction, that introduced some level of replay, but without the real foundation and depth that real musical reproduction supposed to be based on. When things are designed properly in audio they will offer enough power and reserve to match the need of projection of the viable illusions. I would never talk about too much bass power or head over peaks. With addition of sub woofer when things set right everything joins seamlesly. It might be that people or even reviewers are not accustom to such performance and there rather sit in the dark quiet place. This still amazes me and put into the strange contemplation about the real standards of high-end audio in general. There are many big words being put on the paper. Yet, too often when you see the actual setup one can find the lacking of all these primary must haves.
In such way the sub woofer and proper reproduction of the lower frequencies (especially below 40Hz) is a basic foundation of any system that its wants to carry on the label of full scale high-end audio.
H-100 corner horn subwoofer firmly helped in music augmentation with the cunning performance envisioning the needed and helped in creating a firmly sound reproduction.
S-30 Active Satellite Speaker
S-30 Active Satellite Speaker are a stand-mounted design. Reckhorn design plan with S-30 was to bring the coherent and effective synergy in similar way that pro-audio active speakers do. In this way the sounds disappear much easier and create the vivid atmosphere.
“Active coaxial speakers with digital DSP crossover networks produce a free air-point source signal.”
Under the guided and well resorted rules such combination can really be a true winner. S-30 feature spherical enclosure with the 30 cm front diameter from cast aluminum and ABS backside. Both s pheres comes with the matching steel legs.
The dome tweeter cone and voice coil are one-piece design. This according to designer allows unrestricted signal transmission and provides excellent cooling. As S-30 sphere speakers are in absence of crossover DSP-6 Digital Crossover seems like a logical must. This was all planned as a matching system and I’ve considered S-30 during the review in this regard.
DSP-6 DIGITAL CROSSOVER NETWORK
DSP-6 comes as a mighty package: Pre Amplifier + Digital Crossover + Amplifier combination with a digital sound processor.
Let us look at the highlights:
“No separate Pre and Power Amplifier required; connects to any standard Amplifier via CD, AUX or Preamplifier input. The digital 3 way stereo crossover (6 identical channels) can be selectively programmed with a laptop PC. A 3 meter cable is included.
The accuracy of the controls easily surpasses those of any analog cross-over. Each channel offers:
- 5 equalizers at any particular frequency and band width.
- High and Lowpass to a maximum 36 db slope.
- time delay compensation 1 mm - 10 meters.
- The mode selections can be saved (stored) permitting pre-programing of different
speakers in various rooms Routing is via a Cirrus Logic sound processor.
SOFT AND HARD WARE
Reckhorn brings another interesting feature that is tweaker’s delight. DSP software let you fine-tune both the S-30 and H-100 sound wise. Reckhorn DSP-6 is not just for company own speakers. It offers a fine-tune for practically any speaker. Here is the link for the curios minded:
Reckhorn already prepared S-30 + H-100 setting ready to download: https://www.reckhorn.net/pages/speakers/s-30-satellite-hifi-boxes.php (blue links below).
Software offers nice overall control of both S-30 and H-100 and came open up the tweeter as wall control the H-100 to matched the dedicated room needs and desired bass “peaks”.
I’m sure this will interest a lot of those who wants to refine and fine tune the setup to the given conditions. This implementation works even more seamless then some DSP based room correction sole programs and can help with more balanced and seamless integration of both speakers.
MUSICAL AND SOUND IMPACT
I’ve reach for my safe arsenal of music and started to listen to Reckhorn system at once. As this is complete system test it felt needed to go through the complete repertoire of genres in giving the objective conclusions and a fair report.
From the beginning it appeared how inherited potency of the system was a disappearing act. With cleverly placed H-100 Cornerhorn in the Reckhorn system revealed tight and controlled lower spectre. Interestingly it was not too boomy or loud. I’ve tried it in two different settings and in both smaller and larger rooms the performance produced similar conclusions and listening remarks.
Muddy Watters Folk Singer is not only a great recording, but also a superb recording to test any system. Muddy roaring voice produce a whooping massive energy transfer and you can instantly hear if a system is capable of reconstructing the 2m mass of this legendary delta blues artist. Reckhorn package holds the best enough of the needed attributes and delivered believable story to be unfold. When playing back the music its always about the timbre, tone and colour being first for me. Folk Singer is a live recording in the largee acoustical space and one surely know how certain instruments and especially vocals should sound in such surroundings. In the pursue of recomposing the legendary event Reckhorn did involve my point of interest as listener instantly and the emotional exchange was set firmly. As they say, drama did happen at once.
It safe to say that similar performance was grip tight across all the genres. Even with classical recordings like Toscanini late 50’s repertoire the mass of of orchestra “bubble” was created in a quite a grand scheme, traveling like a giant leap of musical energy.
I cannot talk about the grand scale bigger and more costlier system performance and comparing them the full. Yet honestly the diverse nature of Reckhorn system still managed to involve me continuously and vividly with my beloved music. Indigo Girls Nomad Saints Welcome Me song traveled the miles to the Southern mood and hardship of constantly performing duo. If a system is capable of establishing the close encounter of interaction between performer and listener while as well recreating and envisioning the palpable projection of the artists story, then clearly the goal is reached. The cup is fulfilled!
Reckhorn system is capable of brining enough anchor points that can engage one closer to the time and space of the music being reproduced. And that in my book of norms is quite an achievement for the system of such pricing. Reck horn holds its own mojo proudly and ardently.
As this was a complete and to say complex set we agreed for a system approach review. There was enough covered already, that one can distinguish the unique qualities of each separate component. It is clear that this Reckhorn components works seamlessly together and represent not only great value but more importantly closed, effective and musically embodied system.
For sure one cannot expect the performance of large and heavy systems, but Reckhorn jointed package embodied the best attributes of the music in a very competent way. It ignites just the right attributes, that can involve one into the music listening enjoyment and give a good portion of speed, stability and emotional revive. I dare to say, that this is potent system backed up by Mr. Reck longstanding experience with electronics and speakers. Even on the entry level musical systems one can make so much mistakes and go wrongs. Luckily and expertly this is not the case with Reckhorn. When set properly it can present a balanced reproduction of music with an open hand invitation for enjoyment of musical events. Years back one would need to reach out much deeper in the pocket in achieving such perfomance. Then again, one need to dig deep in the pocket in present to get on the level of sound quality being “squeezed” out of Mr. Reck creations.
I really didn’t know what exactly to expect with the incoming Reckhorn products and to my joy I was positively surprised. This system and components own its own vibrancy, that correlate closely with the music as it is. It can point clearly towards the musical reproduction potency and engage one into the hours of listening.
We might be affected by the crazy priced gear we’re daily and weekly dealing with, but its great to be reminded how musical enjoyment and reproduction its not only the matter of pricing, but mostly about clever engineering backed up by right set of ears and audio design know hows.
RECKHORN DSP-6, S-30 Spherical Speakers, Reckhorn H-100 Cornerhorn and A-500 subwoofer amp represents a nice, balanced system that carry enough energetic impact for day to day, night to night listening of the music.
The amount of anchor points might now be on the level of upper echelon gear and that was ever the case or goal here. Mr. Reck clearly wanted to produce something of harmonically enriched performance and powerful musically empowered act.
We’re too often forgetting about the importance of system synergy. With this test undergoing I was daily reminded about the most important message. Balanced act of true involvement and synergistic propensities. Reckhorn system succeeded in brining the message out loud!
DSP-6 DIGITAL CROSSOVER NETWORK (Pre Amplifier + Digital Crossover + Amplifier combination with a digital sound processor) € 349.-
H-100 corner horn subwoofer € 199.-
A-500 subwoofer mono amplifier € 249.-
S-30 Active Satellite Speaker € 398.- / pair for B-quality = slightly visible glue around the joint of front aluminium with back side ABS.
vertreten durch den Geschäftsführer Klaus Reck