I’m more then sure, that most of you out there went through the similar path and at least more then once in your audiophile “career” spent some time, or either owned full range speakers.
There are many varieties and principles, but all of them strive for the same goal - brining the live music experience closer to the reality without introducing the complexity of the crossover and multiple driver design.
There is no doubt. Full range speakers can convey the music in very unique way, that can be special when the complete system is set properly. Still, it takes more then just well tuned system and proper room to really shine at their best.
Over the decades many speaker manufacturer and DIY’s tried to capture the magic of “full banders”. In some circles they’re still considered as a sacred craft that can enliven the musical reproduction with the “magic” potion.
Dafraud, is the company behind the Bernola loudspeakers established by Daniel Frauchiger about six years ago. Mr. Frauchiger has been involved with discovering the secrets of natural musical playback for many years. In 2013 he founded Dafraud, Switzerland, to implement his ideas and concepts, and to bring the results to the music enthusiast worldwide.
The Bernola L17 speakers were designed to bring a powerful, dynamic impact, hosted in elegant exterior. Mr. Frauchiger wanted to create a speaker, that would cast a lasting spell on the listener with the clear, liberated, intricate and mighty sound, wide soundstage and captivating tones.
Bernola implements handmade full range driver from France combined with carefully crafted enclosure made in Switzerland.
In the eyes of Daniel Frauchiger, lack of any crossover network lets the music untouched as whole audible spectrum is handled by just one driver. He feels, that there is no need of any approach in order to overcome the problem of putting combining bass, mid and tweeter with correct time alignment.
The firm birch multiplex casing, filled with fine Swiss sheep's wool brings the balanced with the full-range driver, hand-crafted by renowned Supravox, France.
The casing is vented by a short, but big opening to prevent any air noise. All the internal wiring is silver-wired.
The speaker stands on three 1/2 inch steel balls, but there are also three M6 screw sockets if a customer want to adopt optional spikes.
Bernola L17 speakers were design to bring comfortable playing in mid-sized rooms as well as in rooms up to 60 square meters and more. Daniel Frauchiger recommends that a distance to the back wall is at least 1 meter.
Bernola L17 captivates the minimalistic approach, that reflect the Swiss effectiveness. The review pair came in an elegant white color with matching, protecting grill, that fixates itself on the front baffle via built in magnets. This principle is adopted by many manufacturers in past decade and it offers trouble free and easy mounting of grill.
In a sum, L17 avoids anything that is not substantial for putting the sound on the pedestal and radiate with simplicity in mind.
As written at the beginning of the review, I’ve stumbled, own and even made quite few full range speakers over the years. Their intrinsic nature of delivering the sound call for somehow different sonic orientation, that strives for fuller, more harmonic presentation of the music.
Due to the nature of the single, full range driver L17 are not a burden to drive and can achieve the involving sound even with lower powered amplifiers.
As a concept, L17 can quickly become an easy, system solution these days with a capable integrated amplifier, that host a DAC or serve as the end of the chain of components based high-end audio rig.
Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, Paco De Lucia - Mediterranean Sundance / Rio Ancho
Whenever the need of tone, timber, color and interlocking dynamic shift test is needed, this fantastic, timeless track (and album) comes as the reviewers and music lover’s best friend. Not only technically profound, Mediterranean Sundance is packed with the emotional and energy bursts that calls for authority.
Bernola L17 locked firmly to the Al Di Meola and Paco De Lucia interplay without going into the over concentration of the sound. The complexity needs to be render with sheer simplicity. As confusing this might sounds the relation between perplexing notes overlay must translate into the tactile and tuneful reproduction where harmonic structure is at forte rather then push forward details.
L17 speakers managed to portray note layering, that could entry into the musical scope as well as present the harmonic fusion of individual notes rather then ordnance like behavior. Balance and natural fortitude was more then once, highlighted in my listening notes.
Stefanovski/Tadic Treta Majka
This album is well recognized among some audiophiles across the globe. Tuneful, mastery guitar interplay of two balkanian roots based guitarist offers an amazing music experience. Joined with Theodosii Spasov Bulgarian Kaval (Flute] player classical Macedonian folk songs transfer one into the unique world of music embraced with archaic note and emotionally enchanted lyric like no other.
This album is a remarkable representation of musicianship, but also great as a testing, reference music. Both classical guitars are separated on the left and right side with Kaval joining in in the center. Songs projects great soundstage and offers great sense of spatiality, that can be objectively measured. Treta Majka offered great merits of Bernola L17, where depth, soundstage and tone were not only at believable level, but surcharged with the refreshing emotional impact.
Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man needs no introduction. Its well versed material widely used by many high-end audio manufacturers at the show presentations. Sense of the scale is easily challenged on any system as well as speaker disappearing act. While one still need a grand speaker system to fully comprehend the sound of orchestra, Bernola got all the primary foundations right. These day, not everyone can enjoy a big speaker system as they demand a larger, dedicated space that are tuned with more sophisticated room acoustical treatments. Most of the audiophiles and music lovers are using common, domestic environments to enjoy their music repertoire and there are different rules at play. I’ve seen to many living/listening rooms filled with speakers, that demands at least two, three times the space. Even the best electronics and high-end audio paraphernalia cannot remedy the constraints of a smaller space. The result? An endless Sisyphus quest, changing of components and the absence so satisfying and engaging high performance, high-quality listening.
Bernloa L17 speakers encapsulated the sound, that easily suits usual listening conditions and as such offers a believable scale and dynamic impact. Decoding of the music with non properly sized speakers impose an impossible situation, that introduces all sorts of unwanted problems associated with room acoustics. Daniel Frauchiger took another route by designing the speakers that can actually work within normal space and play tuneful with sensible room acoustic treatment.
High quality orchestral work audio reproduction calls for many of hard coded rules in order to recreate the genuinity of live music density and atmospheric blueprint.
One of the things that is really hard to convey via high-end audio system/speakers is The Motion of the sound. Creating a properly mass structured sound that can carry the impact of the live event is complex and perplexing task. Often misguided even by the senior, experienced listeners, sound of orchestra always travels in a kind of bubble like, cloud state. This is something that many of multiple way dynamic speakers struggle with especially with classical music. Bernola advantages really came forward at this exact phenomena. Its true, that sole instruments have their designated place in the sum of the sound, cloud orchestra structure. Yet, they are part of the harmonic wholeness, but they never act as solitude standings.
Bernola L17 speakers portrayed the orchestra with insightful and focused nature, where non forceful and natural atmospheric details were joined by actual emotions in play. For along the tone, timbre and color the engaging factor is of similar importance. Especially with orchestral, classical music where one needs to be touched via musical mass and this is exactly what L17 were able to do. The raw, live nature of orchestra was transferred with the engaging factor and emotional signature, that induce the prolonged listening. That should come as quite a compliment…
To get the into fullest scope of proper coherence, any loudspeaker needs to be be tuned with proper balance. Compared to multiple driver based speakers, one driver full range designs can bring much less stress and avoid sonic de-parceling across the frequency band. Two, three, four (or more) way speaker’s designs can quickly sound disoriented with specific frequency band ducking effect over at the crossover points. Although we’re in the 21st century, many of the multi way speakers still lack the proper balancing act, sadly also in the upper echelon league.
Full rangers can avoid such hubris and this is exactly where Bernola L17 advantages stood out. Tunefully oriented sound offered tactile experience, that repeatedly pointed towards the music in absence of too often introduced canopy effect.
Audiophiles and music lover do cherish full range designs for many obvious reasons and L17’s evidently strive for that perfect equilibrium sonic presentation, that points towards the real world attributes of the real world experience.
L17’s managed to expand the soundstage dimensioning with believability, that could easily engage the prolonged listening engagements.
In these day and age we’re in no abundance of loudspeaker offerings from all over the world. Each and every manufacturer is trying to bring something unique, captivating and of impact, that will captivate audiophile and music lovers attention.
Daniel Frauchiger passion for music reproduction brought him to the creation of his beloved Bernola L17 speakers, that encapsulates years of his researches into the core principles of audio reproduction. Bernola L17 speakers can elevate sound on the plane where transparency, sound stage and disappearing act goes hand in hand.
Bernola L17 speakers comes at CHF 7.111 CHF. Pricing follows the Made In Swiss logic and cost along with Daniel Frauchiger’s time and efforts.
L17’s will come of interest to the music lovers who are after intimate transcription of the music, immediacy and open transparent sound in absence of crossover, that can too quickly ads its own signature, to often carrying the sound away from the music core.
7.111 CHF for the pair
- Impedance 4 Ohm
- Sensitivity about 95 db --> works perfectly with a SE 300B tube amp as an example
- Load max. 30 W RMS
- Driver Supravox
- Dimensions (w/h/d) 267/960/370 mm3
- Weight 24 kg
- Warranty 5 years
- Terminal 4 mm banana jack
CH-3076 Bangerten bei Worb
Tel: +41 33 243 28 16