Colibri labs Electrum speakers review


Its always one of a kind experience to meet Siniša Kraljić from Colibri Labs. He’s enthusiasm for audio, music and high-end audio gear burst around like electric rays of Tesla Coil and for some the faraday suit may be needed while staying close to him for a long time :).

I’m always inspired by the genuine creational force, that pushes Siniša in his pursuit for the ultimate. This goes way back to 1997 when he first started to experiment and work with both cables and speakers. 

Over the years enormous time and efforts went into exploring the ideas and materials, that would make a constitutional part of whats established today.

THE MAN THE SPEAKERS


I’ve already reviewed two of the Colibri Labs speakers and they’ve proven to be anything above expectated. With so many speakers on the market and vast array of speaker designers, its not a typical affair to come across something, special and different in the best sense of the word. 

Siniša works as therapist as well as main constructor/designer of the Colibri labs.

One really need to spend some time with Siniša Kraljić to fully understand his modus operandi and why Colibri Labs speakers are so different. 
  
He’s is one of the kind person. A Shiatsu Master with such impressive client track record, that pushes him right on top of the upper echelon, world league, with years of experiences, client base of almost twenty thousand and understanding of deep, sacred laws of energy. All that allowed him to transfer his given talent and knowledge into other side of energy transformation- audio! 

World of high-end audio and audio manufacturing in general is still full of mysteries when it came down to the ultimate and purist sound reproduction. We’ve learned much over almost century long digging deeper into the core. Still, I do believe how 21st century is finally kicking in pushes forward much needed steps to come closer to the reproduction of real music. 


Back to our energy master and artisan. For those with a bit of esoteric knowledge, that is actually backed with factual scan, if more of people would scan his aura, Siniša would be better off one of the Croatian remote islands :). 

Sum of everything allowed him to approach of whats usually very technical endeavor with way different views and set of skills.

But. Before anything else Siniša an earthling, great, good person with a pure hearth.

MEET THE ELECTRUM


To understand better the impact of the Colibri Labs new Electrum  speakers let me prolong the intriguing side of the man of different powers. 

For proper execution and performing of Shiatsu one must embrace many techniques in order to practice it profoundly. One of the grand must’s is a strength, that comes from lifelong practice. Among other things Siniša is a practicer of many easter martial arts pointing towards China. I’ve literally witness him in training and turning into a marble like statue where you can imagine futuristic, Terminator liquefied statue rather than a human being :). 

When focused and in of state of zen equilibrium, the culmination of concentration and thunder like magnitude of different movements culminates into the “hara”. Such state can evoke amazing rigidness where every muscle is used to either storage or accumulate power. One literary ground himself at the floor. 

Why more elaborated exploring of this phenomena? One can experience similar phenomena (once knowing the Siniša background) with his speakers. Feeling goes, how they’re cemented to the floor and every construction muscle handles the enormous power handling. 

What might casually looks like a normal wood enclosure, hides much more. After years of experimenting with different wood materials, their density and handling of energy, Colibri Labs Electrum in its final form comes with unique interior, that points towards some of the exotic absorber panels, rather then typical speakers innards. Intriguingly, their is no damping material inside. This could instantly open up the discussion of proper speakers vibration and resonance handling. Yet… Once the music starts playing, there is not much more to comment. Sonic outcome speaks for itself. Not once in my test I’ve encounter the enclosure own sonic signature forte. Even when it was expected to start responding to the hefty music material nothing happened. Electrum worked along the music. This translate to the different density of the wood structure being able to convey the audio energy balance properly across the complete frequency spectrum. For those in doubt, its backed down with the hand on measuring.


Summing it up. All the power and focus is transferred into the speaker and cable design that makes Electrum what is. Non forged design, but unique and uncompromising culmination of years work.

DESIGN


Siniša Kraljič wanted to design very minimalistic looking loudspeakers. You can call it an English school of design that resemble with straight looks and shape. Upon closer inspection Electrum reveals a lot more that is hidden from the eyes. The understated design is itself a work of art where every material was carefully and painstakingly researched before being implemented. In order to avoid all the unwanted vibrations, rigid chassis was planned from the ground up from the MDF and birch plywood of different layers and different thicknesses.

Internal speakers’s structure is specifically cut out with CNC in the zones, that are of importance and particularly critical for the proper sound balance. As all this was taken to the utmost level, surprisingly there is no additional internal damping materials being used. 


But it doesn’t stop tere. Crossover (12db/octave) is a combination of Duelund capacitors/resistors with one only one Jupiter capacitor implementation. There’s no doubts, you really know where the money goes, but also what you can expect sound wise. I’m still exploring the virtual idea of what would happened with performance if some of the top players would incorporate Duelunds with their pricey loudspeaker offerings. Its been discussed before and let me refresh the subject. Duelund capacitors bring something that other seems to fail when implemented in right way. At least so far, there is nothing remotely close to how they can temper the sound when needed. No difference with Electrums. Airiness and spot on timbre comes from that Danish place. No doubts! 

What Siniša managed to squeeze out of the Scanspeak 8545 and 9500 (tweeter) drivers is not only unseen, but infectiously inspiring. I do love to listen to music very loud, but Siniša pushes the limits up to the maximum by a notch more. With normal 8545 and 9500 implementation, such impact would literally kill the drivers, yet two (plus) dozen of defunct speaker drives later Siniša found the way that prevents destroying them. It can be expected, that music flow would be absent at such impact. Heck no, there is vivid absence of distortion. 

I’ll reveal more about this in upcoming Colibri Labs cable loom review in future. As a hint. Cables implement similar logic as speaker construction that is closely related to the transfer of the energy. In analogy, this mirrors the gearbox transfer of the energy, where energy is distributed and transferred in such way, that it won’t loose the potency. And, a special combination of  silver/gound and unique geometry adds its ultimate flavor to the “secret” recipe. 

THE MUSIC


The ultimate challenge for any speaker under the stress is always acoustic music. There are many genres, can reveal the inner workings of a speaker design, yet live, un-amplified music represent the cherry of the top of an audiophile, gourman cake. 

We can always explore the subjective world of studio made albums, yet live, acoustic music will ad hoc reveal exact objective insights of the reality. 


Siniša is among few who’s taking things above expected and recheck constantly the side by side comparing of the real instruments hands on. For him, this is a constant practice. He befriended quite few renowned musicians over the years and they’re constantly invited them into his home and listening room to for a reality check. Among other stand out attributes, this shows in the spot on holly trinity of tone, timbre and color as well within the universe of the constant dynamic shifts. 

Especially with orchestral music, where sudden, instant changes from pianissimo to forte fortissimo demands a crazy dynamic loads and lighting fast attacks, there is no place for half way or mediocracy. 

Electrum’s pickhammered, pin point precision can convey both micro and macro fundamental where it can act as lab instrument, being able to show cherry picking the differences from one recording to another. 

We’re witnessing the trend of fake open nature, that has more to do with the studio like over equalizing rather then natural and transparent attributes of real music. With Electrum is all about balance.

Electrum sways with the power of the music like its a minor thing to worry about. It handles the music with a strong forward recognition bringing the importance of musical narrative rather then directive, clinical transcription.  

The profound rendition of monophony, polyphony, homophony, heterophony and musical texture combined is never an easy task. Such is also the functional tonality and ability to recall spot on timbre, tone and color and this where Electrums go beyond expected, being hard to fathom the actual musical experience. Even more importantly, grasping out the informations from the music comes as Electrum’s path of truism rather then blend, emotionally empty rendering of the sounds. 

Putting the tone on the utmost throne is not always the one and only goal of speaker designer, yet Electrum pursue takes it as a sacred path. 

The absence of quick, and easy solutions results results as opposite forte and it shows with every note under the play.  

CONCLUSION 


Colibri Labs Electrum speakers are Siniša Kraljić’s attack on the state of the art loudspeakers. They’re perfectly reflecting Siniša’s character. They can act soft as lotus flower and instantly morph into the fiercest mean machine that takes no prisoners. 

Rarely, one stumble upon speakers, that can in such small shape handle the power and energy at such mighty levels. Electrums are acting more as a grander, three way speakers rather than what they are - two way design. They simply shouldn’t sound the way they do. 

Without proper bass foundation, there will be always lacking of flow in bottom registers as well as in the upper mid, where the weight gives mandatory definition to the instruments. Electrum hold the “submarine” like depths across classical, blues and jazz music. You can say, without a sweat and without room engagement. 


Along the impressive bass impact the relief horizontal layering expanded beyond speakers. Electrum’s portrayed the instruments with vivid, immersive three dimensionality, and needed air surrounding that is crucial in creating the believable, being there momentum.

The same goes fore the soundstage, that can easily be under sang within audiophile norms, yet Audio Colibri Electrum’s managed to expand way beyond speakers without typical frequency bumps, often associated with the non “tuned” enclosure design. This is where the well resolved enclosure design excelled. At any point there were no chassis engagement, that clearly induce widespread and deep soundstage.  

There is no doubt. This is Siniša’s Kraljić’s crown jewel and most accomplished product up to date. I’ve, among many other people could witness the progression of his effortless work. This man can literally spent 17 hours in one interval only with one part of internal cable design. What to speak about everything else. Its no accident or a chance.

It took Siniša one year alone to refine, fine tune and to find the proper synergy between built in parts, materials, cross-over and right inner speaker volume. And it shows on each musical turn. 

For a person, that seeks out two way speaker, working in real world condition, passing the better half approvement factor. Colibri Labs Electrum non self forcing design represent the pinnacle of exploring of so called typical, two way stand mount, monitor speakers. 

Electrum’s are not designed by anyone for anyone. They are rare cameos that are able to carry salient informations of the original musical transcript without adding any imposing imprints. 

In the world of “not again” and already seen, Electrum speakers not only come as something very differnt, but rather then as a descendent of mysterious realms with definite gobsmacking Thor like in your face dynamic demigod slap combined with the Mousai lyric alike ability.
High-end audio already moved into the market where many connoisseurs and aficionados demands more for their money. Being unique pays little bills. Being bold and of substance do. 

Electrum’s are the prime example of what a person’s un-bottled enthusiasm and strive for perfection can materializee thought the small, boutique and artisan manufacturing.  

Electrums comes as final product. The manual, shipping crates, documentation, measurements etc. Everything is ready to serve some of the hard demanding audiophiles and music lovers out there. I’m more then sure they’ll find few happy comes and stay there for good. 

Colibri Audio Electrum loudspeakers deserved both The Upper Echelon Class and Highly-Recommended award in one go. I would not being shy of taking these speakers as my reference two way monitors at any time. Yes, they are that good. 

The review sample was finished in Macassar ebony veneer, but any other finish is available upon request. 

Matej Isak

PRICE


Upon request…

TECHNICAL 


TYPE: 2 way - bass reflex
SENSITIVITY: 87 db
IMPEDANCE: 8 ohm, minimum - 6,8 ohm
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 28 hz - 22.000 khz,
WEIGHT: 50kg/per speaker
CROSSOVER: Jupiter/Duelund capacitors
FINISH CHOICES: upon request

CONTACT


Colibri Labs
Rubeši 137
Kastav
Croatia