We’ve reached a point in the high-end audio industry where brains and beauty need to be joined together at the same intersection in order to attract more demanding audiophiles and music lovers. The era of half-finished products is fading away and without a proper foundation, any product is subject to fail. 

Many brands—even the old standing ones—have come to realize how riding on old glory is simply not enough to survive in today’s competitive market. Employing or contracting industrial designers, electronic engineers with unique skill sets, etc. is no longer a rare phenomenon. Bigger boys used to laugh at smaller, seemingly esoteric, high-end audio manufacturers. Now, they’re after the same brain power in an effort to infuse different and out-of-the box logic into their own products.

With each passing year, prices go up and the reality is that many audiophiles—those who usually spend 10, 20, 30K or more for a system—simply cannot afford to pursue the same path. Those who can afford to do so expect something much more refined, high-tech, and visually perfected. These are usually products that far surpass those of the past.

Yet, there emerges a new wave of people—those used to luxury and for them, reaching out to the high end is more than just a possibility, its reality.  


It’s hard not to be stricken by the sheer aura of Albedo Audio Aptica speakers. They exude the phrase, “Italians do it better” in every way. In this particular case, Massimo Costa and Albedo team nailed it! Even for a non-high-ender, this is an object of refined industrial art. Unique and unusuallly shaped speakers might not radiate a lot of innards sophistication, however, there truly is much more than meets the eye. On closer inspection, you start noticing the small and unique design cues, that, backed up with the technical white paper, suddenly reveal highly complex loudspeakers packed in a highly stylish enclosure.

“It is natural evolution of classic HL 2.2 speaker. Just like it, Aptica is the result of years of research in the field of transmission line systems, but enriched by some important improvements. With a larger bass driver and the innovative tweeter diffraction trap DSD system, Aptica affirms its elegant and unique design that marks all Albedo products. The design objective is to embody, in a very compact floor standing loudspeaker, the best available technology for hi-fi home entertainment. The external appearance, which is dictated by the basic principles of acoustics and enriched by a precious finishing in the best ‘Made in Italy’ tradition, hides a highly innovative project, capable of making the daily listening experience unique and enjoyable. This is not one of the usual odd shaped speakers that invade the space of your home and are tolerated only because of the function they perform, but rather a contributor to make the home space more warm, cosy and suited to your lifestyle.”


There are three main aspects of the Albedo project:

1) Linear phase system.
2) Acoustically equalized transmission line woofer loading.
3) Ultra stiff mechanical coupling.

From the very beginning. these elements have been considered fundamental to achieve the design specifications. The linear phase response is an absolute requirement for the accurate reproduction of the transients and, as a consequence, for a correct perspective reproduction of the sound sources and the focusing of their physical positioning.

To achieve these objectives, the geometrical position of the transducers must be combined with the topology of the crossover network (an “acoustic” first order) with the objective to exactly compensate for the intrinsic phase shifts of the ways. It is to be noted that, in light of recently discovered psycho-acoustic mechanisms at the base of our perception system, which are just now beginning to be properly understood, the coherence of reproduction in the time domain also plays a major role for tonal balance, a role that is at least as important as the linearity in the frequency response.


To perform their task as a whole system, they must be placed in fixed positions of the space through appropriate mechanical constraints: the panel of a cabinet or, more in general, parts of its structure. The sound emitted from the sources reaches the edges of this structure and, because of the more or less abrupt change of solid angle, is diffracted, that is reradiated with a certain angular distribution and a given change in the phase characteristic. The edges of the cabinet thus become new virtual sources of sound with different phases with respect to the direct main emission.

The distances between the centre of emission and the edges of the panel (of the order of some centimeters) correspond to the frequencies of a few kHz. They have a very important role in the overall emission. Thus reducing the deterioration due to diffraction from the edges can be an important contribution to a correct reconstruction of soundstage and tonal balance.
The idea is to weaken the wave energy in the pathway between the source and the edge of the panel and have a diffraction the most modest possible. To do this we resort to an original and unprecedented application of the absorption power of micro-perforated panels. It is a variant of the classic Helmholtz resonator in which the masses of the various acoustic holes oscillate on a single back volume filled with absorbing material. At the resonance frequency, the system captures the sound wave and disperses it into heat. The technique of perforated panels has long been used in the control of room acoustics of concert halls and cinemas but has never been used for such an application, not only so special but so critical for operation and calibration.
Aptica tweeter mounted on the panel, with and without the DSD system. The main alteration due to diffraction has disappeared with an obvious advantage for the linearity of response of the tweeter and the work of the crossover.
The system is very flexible and efficient: the available parameters (location of the holes and their geometry) allow to critically control the effect in frequency and in level with remarkable precision.

Our choice of loading the woofer through the transmission line is driven by our firm belief that this guarantees the best quantitative increment in the bass response without compromising quality in tonal balance and response to transients. On the other hand, in order to reach this desired performance we developed a very innovative system which represents a major step forward in the technology of transmission lines. To achieve a sensitivity aligned with the rest of the bandwidth, we chose an “empty” line only stuffed on its walls, in which the control of resonances is performed by a properly tuned resonator. At the same time, the decreasing conic section allows us to tune the system to a frequency that is lower than would be possible with a constant section line of the same length, therefore allowing an extension of low frequencies which is frankly unimaginable for a speaker of such small dimensions.


Accuton transducers are built with ceramic ultra stiff, low mass diaphragms which provide excellent transient response and very low distortion. They are made available in matched pairs to guarantee the lowest deviation from the specifications, therefore contributing to a firm, reliable soundstage. The woofer shows a very good linearity and extension in the mid/high band, allowing us to choose a crossover frequency high enough so that it does not disturb the frequency range of the maximum psycho-acoustic relevance. In the crossover network, we used only air core coils and poly capacitors mounted on a double layer, high thickness copper board.

Albedo worked on two fronts at the same time: first, physically aligning the acoustic centers of the speakers, and second, equipping them with a filtering network to achieve such time coherence. 


The drivers of a loudspeaker systems should work in such a way to convert into sound energy all the electrical energy supplied by the amplifier. In fact, it must be strictly forbidden that other parts of the system catch and store part of this energy, giving up it after a while to the environment or back to the drivers themselves. Both these effects are highly harmful:

The energy wasted in vibration of the structure and of the prop/stand and in parasitic sound emission are simply noise added to the unperturbed emission; The incoherent back transfer of energy to the drivers disturbs their correct working, further increasing noise and distortion. The necessary condition to warrant the absence of those deleterious phenomena is that of 5minimizing perturbation effects. This objective is reached through a perfect coupling of the drivers to the cabinet and an ideal matching of the cabinet-support-environment chain, suppressing the effects due to the resonant modes of the mechanical system.

In the new Albedo loudspeakers, this is achieved by an ultra-stiff mechanical coupling of the cabinet to the support and then to “Earth” by means of:

• A damped steel binding bar.
• A massive basement with adjustable ultra-rigid spikes.
• A loaded sandwich tapered cabinet.
• Ceramic low-moving-mass drivers with ultra-stiff basket.

The idea is to remove the unwanted frequency bands from the line response by means of a selective acoustic filtering provided by Helmholtz resonators tuned to the necessary frequencies and quality factor. 
Blue curve: the line response. Red curve: the same line equalized with an Helmholtz resonator.

In order to further clarify the concept, it may be useful to refer to the electrical equivalent: the resonator plays the same role of compensation of the acoustic impedance as the one made by an RCL circuit to compensate the electrical impedance of a driver connected to a filtering network. This balancing of the load has the main effect of facilitating the working of the woofer; in particular, the diaphragm excursion in the areas of higher solicitations turns out to be quite reduced if compared, for example, with a bass-reflex of analogous characteristics.


Pat Metheny Group - Blue Asphalt 

I'm not even sure, this album is officially acknowledged by Pat Metheny. Nevertheless its something special, that is inspiring for all the Pat's fans. San Lorenzo is among my all time PMG favourite tracks and this particular version on the Blue Asphalt is far out good. The odd tuning on the 12 string guitar accompanied by the Lyle Mays piano mastery really come alive as the mighty due give they're hearts out.

The other odd thing is the transfer to digital. Its actually transferred from the vinyl record and you can hear the pops and crackles during the playing. Still, the sound is much more open and direct, then on some of the renowned studio albums with the guitar sounding way more real and "in the air".

I like and love the immediacy of the Blue Asphalt. Pat's guitar cuts through the "mix" and the overlaying notes forms a lucid structure with THE gestalt. There are certain attributes that are of constitutional importance when it comes to the re-materialisation of the timbre and the Pat's guitar on the Blue Asphalt was captured in a way, that allows more believable illusion of both time and space.

Perhaps the little secret is bounded to the needle drop. Anyhow... The Aptica's managed to render textured and palpable presentation without holding back on the articulation, where speed plays utmost important role. There is something about the Aptica's "time domain" that makes them so very different.

Izthak Perlman - Paganini: 24 Caprices For Solo Violin 

There's nothing ordinary about this album, composition and performer. Among "purists" there will always be a hot blooded discussion who's the better or best conveyer of the true Paganini spirit. Its hard to argue as no critic have had the chance to hear the master himself, but there are few objectives, that can be taken into the consideration when it comes to the "proper" Paganini "replay". But let me keep the official voicing to the "experts".

Izthak Perlman rendition of 24 Caprices For Solo Violin is more then just sublime. Both performance and the sound of the recording is of the very different plane, where artistry commix with the auditory sensation.

In order for this record to really shine, speakers needs to render sheer sense of speed enriched by the finer delicacy of the sudden changes from saltato to downword staccato with feather like aeriform. Especially Paganini's first caprice will unmask any speaker pretending to be the utterly resultative performer.

Albed Aptica speakers encapsulated ebullient foliage of Perlman's violin playing with surprising clarity and crispness. This was even more evident with Frank P. Zimmermann performance of the same Caprices, where his pizzicatos and arpeggios are even more complex material to render right.


Aptica comes with the precision of the lab instrument enriched by the pure Italian soul. In the era where profound technical elaborated approach is mandatory, the infusion of pure breed Italian DNA morphs Aptica in a beautiful object of sonic, sculptural and technical artistry.

Despite its given size Aptica purr with much more momentum than one might assume from the causal visual grasp. Aptica’s ability to render music fully, even at low level listening makes them interesting for many contemporary audiophiles, that are seeking higher resolution at lower volume levels.

The hidden technical complexity brings great disappearing act and expanded soundstage, where relief layering is of its own kind. There are many great attributes of Aptica including focused pin-point localisation, non brittle transparency and refreshingly spot on accuracy, that puts them on a higher audio plane.

Aptica not only act as audio microscope lenses, but greatly distribute density, following more then just believable timbre. That is quite a leapfrog for a ceramic based speaker.

These interesting speakers with both highly engaging aural and aesthetic impact are no a slip of a lad, but a mature product. These 21st century high end audio speakers embodies audiophile purview with the attributes like transparency, cleanliness, airiness and clarity that unitingly evoke sense of complexness without the need of wildly turning the knob on the preamplifier.

Aptica represents a new breed of speakers, that bring immersive spatial presentation and more believable aural illusion without allaying the tumult of the musical energy core.

The sheer speed of ceramic drivers allows better timing and  consequently institute denser acoustical anchor points, that can materialise oblique modes of the spatial presentation with much higher resolution.

With the notes having more space between them and more profound acoustical delicacy, Aptica musical portrays were delivered with bigger portion of drama and more believable contours of the melody.

Albedo Audio Aptica speakers are no piffle approach to the high-end audio sonic recreation. They can deliver the high end audio reproduction that operates on a higher note and in absence of typical high-end hubristic frills.

Matej Isak


Black Oak: 9.660 EUR
Makassar Ebony: 9.660 EUR
Glossy Graphite Ebony: 11.950 EUR
Glossy black lacquered: 12.790 EUR


System: floor standing two way, linear phase
Loading: transmission line filtered by resonators (Helmholine System)
Drivers: 6‘’ ceramic mid-woofer, 1‘’ ceramic tweeter with DSD system
Crossover: acoustic first order, linear phase
Nominal impedance: 8 ohm
Sensitivity: 85 dB SPL (2.83V/1m)
Frequency response: 45 - 20.000 Hz
Dimensions: 26 x 19 x 101 cm
Weight: 19 kg net each
Finish: makassar ebony, glossy graphite ebony, black lacquer


Albedo Audio
Via Pantanelli, 119
61025 Montelabbate (PU) -

Tel/Fax +39.0721.472.899