Bayz Audio Counterpoint 2.0 speakers and Reference listening room

I've been asked to tell a bit more about remarkable Bayz Audio Counterpoint 2.0 speakers; why there are a part of my reference setup and how they interact within my reference listening room. 

I'll try to make a clear background by starting with the room...


It took me a long time to finish my dream project, a dedicated reference listening room. Investing the time, money and painstaking efforts into the making of a personal ultimate man cave is surely less of blink affair than acquiring something much more eye-catching like a new upmarket car or high-end watch. In the long run at least for yours truly it was a spot-on decision, both personally fulfilling and business-wise. 

One of the Slovenian most recognized master chefs was once asked in the interview, why the competitors are repeatedly coming to taste his preparations. In a half-joking tone, he replied that they do come with their fancy cars, but those machines cannot blend and smooth the tongue delights in the form of his unforgettable and unmistakable sweets and sauces. His investment in upper echelon kitchen accessories was deliberate and something that let him stick out of the crowd. 

I found this analogy most convenient when I'm asked about the need for a dedicated listening space to my colleagues or readers. And the question pop-up more frequent that one would imagine. 

Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect solution. The point is to work with what is essential and realistically possible. This includes the space, time, funds and nonetheless a one's will to enter into the uncharted territories.

My adventure began with the renovation of my grandfather's house. The first plan was to keep the most of the old walls intact and just rebuilt the new house on top of this foundation. 

Well... As many of us learned over the years, the construction work rarely goes as planned...

The nearby road was rebuild at the same time as the initial construction took part and the heavy compressors' tremors have shaken the foundation so much that all the walls crackled. I had to tear everything apart and start from scratch. As it turned out this was a "happy accident", but one that required way more time and funds to complete from what I've planned to. 

Past 25+ years I've traveled intensively and had the luxury to experience music in various listening rooms, venues, professional studios, and interesting sonic chambers. I've been always inspired by the acoustics of small, historic Italian venues, where acoustics provided one of the kind experience. 

I've dug deeper and went through numerous white papers, writings, essays and talked with many acousticians and owners of the studios, state of the art dedicated listening rooms.  When I've finally connected the dots I've distinguish a particularly and common trait. It turned out that it was something that has intrigued and interested me from childhood; the Golden ratio/Fibonacci sequence. 

Most of the acoustic spaces that left a profound and lingering impression on me were considerably or entirely based on this specific math. From that the ground zero all of the measures and applicable room size calculations were based on the Golden ratio. 

According to what I've could work with the room size was finalized with the following measures: 5.4 m (wide) 8.2 m (length) 3.16 m (height).

All the walls are made of brick wall construction with special acoustic plaster overlay. I've almost gone with full concrete walls, but at the final check-up of the project, two or three similar undertakings (one at the audio manufacturer) were designed in this way. The result was (using their words) horrific and one of the clients who committed to such a plan decided to tear down the listening space entirely as with was unbearable to deal with the lower register, mid and upper-bass frequencies booming and wobbliness.  

So I've stopped for a while and prolonged my research. I've also hired professionals from various fields of acoustics and they all proposed the clay red bricks as the final material for the walls. Bricks act as semi absorbers for the lower frequencies and some of the spaces I was most impressed with (what I've discovered almost a bit too late) were entirely made with them. A personal point taken about asking too many questions. I've asked too little...

I wanted the absolute left and right room mirroring with perfectly identical side arrangement. The first idea was the acoustical curtains that were moveable along the complete 8.2 wall length. And for a while, this was a practical and workable solution.

But... As you can read on the things changed with the arrival of the Bayz Audio Counterpoint V2.0 speakers... All the walls in the room are already covered by the special plaster compound that involves lately discovered sound-absorbing paint. This solution doesn't solve all the reflections issues, but it does work to a certain extend. So once I've spent prolonged time with Bayz Audio flagship speakers, I've started to experiment. First by moving the speakers around the room, then by moving and at last removing the acoustical curtains.

The main Kaiser Acoustics Spline diffusors (120 cm x 120 cm) were moved at the middle of the walls and the reflection points where the echo was heard and measured were covered either with two graphics/paintings and with the two pairs (black/white) PYT Audio SMAD Reference panels. 

Paintings serve as an absorber with the special acoustic compound behind the graphics. The second echo points, closer to the back wall are occupied by four PYT Audio SMAD Reference panels. As stated above, the main side walls energy congestion and partially room modes are handled by a pair of Kaiser Acoustics Spline diffusors. 

The main, back wall is covered with a large RD Acoustics Hybrid circle pattern absorption Acoustic Diffuser (3 x 2 m). Below the Hybrid diffuser (foam/wood) there are twelve PYT Audio SMAD Reference panels. The left and right critical corners are damped with ten large highly concentrated acoustic foam bass traps, where the front side is covered partially with the wooden inlays. 

Over a few occasions with Dr. Roland Gauder from Gauder Akustik, in our talks, he was very evocative about the ceiling and the floor utterly importance, how these two are far too often overlooked, and how priorities are given to everything else.

So again, I did my homework, talked with professionals and we did the calculations and researched the proper materials.  

I've ended up with a perforated ceiling that acts as a broadband absorber/diffuser with multiple zone sandwich construction. The sandwich consists of different layers of special, lately introduced acoustical foam, air compartments, wood and a triangle-shaped attic space filled with 45cm of fiberglass insulation. 

The floor is a bit different affair. Here the theories and practical implementations clash. At least what I've learned and what it was strongly advised from multiple sources was the absence of soft materials and floating grounds. 

For my room I've chosen the 30 cm solid concrete floor with dedicated 15 cm subfloor acoustic plaster (mixed with concrete) overlay, that is covered with one piece acoustical carpet. 

What is perhaps unusual about the floor is a hidden star-shaped copper wire grounding scheme. This is quite large and based on the mix of esoteric and actual science. Additionally, I've also installed a massive copper rod outside of the house. It is buried in the earth as advised by professionals. I'm still exploring the potential of both and this is reserved for the future. Presently I'm using Nordost QKore 6 grounding unit connected to various Nordost full grounding cables loom. Four Entreq Olympus ground boxes along with single Entreq Olympus Ten ground box and cable Entreq full ground cable loom are also in place.

Technically inclined would want to know at least the basic acoustic measurements and facts. The reference room has 0.47s average RT60 time and the room noise floor is around 27dB. Yes, 27dB! You can literally hear your thoughts as my wife loves to put it :). This allows me to truly hear and discern all of the subtle details that are crucial at the evaluations. Of course, the quietness is important with testing any kind of product, but it's really an asset with the examination of the upper echelon products, where the differences can sometimes be very subtle. 

To achieve this sound sealing I've only used two special sound glass (soundproof) seven-layer windows (RI - RW = 35 dB) that are both placed at the golden ratio calculated position. In front of them, there is a single SMT Wing transparent diffusor that adds to the taming of unwanted reflections and energy bursting.

The rest of the room I wanted to keep windowless to avoid the problems associated with the glass reflections but wanted as much as possible daylight in the room. Luckily the positioning allows the sun to show appear in the morning at the left side and show up in the evening on the right side. This ensures an enormous light source and I don't have to use any artificial lighting until its dark. For my kind of work that blends listening, photographing and writing it's essential and inspiring. 

The back wall host the massive custom soundproof/sound trap door (RI - RW = 45 dB) that partially act as a bass absorber. Sort of a quasi bass black hole. On top of the door, there are three PYT Audio SMAD Reference panels at the reflection point. 

According to the room size and the speed of the sound, the room modes are mostly congested at 31.76 Hz - B0, 66.44 Hz - C2, 126.06 Hz - B2. These are dealt with proportionally.

You can check the complete reference listening system at the end of the article. 


The further focus of the article is about the magnificent BAYZ Audio Counterpoint 2.0 speakers again based on a large interest from the readers. For the in-depth info and technical insights, you can take a look at the review here

Here I'll focus on what makes them so special, what I cherish about them and why they are a part of my reference setup. 

Before some product moves into the reference setup, the first and foremost question is: "Can I live with this product on daily basis and does it provide the needed sound quality and sonic performance to last in time?"

With BAYZ Audio Counterpoint V2.0 speakers the answer was as clear and imminent as the crystal, highlands water spring. Yes!

Counterpoint V2.0 morphs what is an utterly hard task; the seamless projection of bass, mid and high frequencies without a dynamic collapse and frequency bumps.

Counterpoint V2.0 delivers submarine bass depths, that are closer to the real world momentum and it recalls my impressions of how the live music is performed in concert halls, small venues, churches, clubs and nonetheless recording studios. 

I'm rarely experiencing the gut feeling bass, but the Courante V2.0 has its ways with delivering the believable and satisfying bass performance in absence of mechanic traits that are too often introduced by the speaker's enclosure. The unique shape works differently to the usual norms by cancelation. The woofers, that face each other work similar to how some subwoofers operate. The simultaneous movement cancels the energy force, but the sonic pressure raises by almost a factor of two. The two backfiring bass reflex ports further assist to the unaltered bass energy distribution that is free of unwanted resonances that are usually associated with the chassis. 

With any type of usual sealed, transmission line, ported, etc. types of dealign with bass there is a highly probable and predictable thumb feeling, where the leading edges of the transients feel trapped within the enclosure, thus forming a wobbly and pumping bass. Counterpoints are free of this pressure entrapment and this is their enormous advantage. 

Rather than painting a virtual sonic vortex and hyper-surface of cubical cells, that is too often a leitmotif of with the usual dynamic speakers, the Counterpoint V2.0 delivers a refreshingly high believability factor and realistic three dimensional portraying. 

This is certainly connected with all the design consideration and without the doubt due to the Bayz Audio BRS (Bay Radial Speaker) 360 degree radiating tweeter driver.
The patented Bayz Radial Speaker (BRS) tweeter is operating, unlike any other concepts. It is very different from the ribbons, dome tweeters, etc. It's hard to think the same after experiencing the BRS's feather-like holographic nature and its dynamic freedom... 

The complete surface area of this unique membrane is 30-50 times larger than the one being usually associated with the dome tweeters and sonic energy expansion into the room is far less congested in the singular direction. The sound is more ear-friendly and far more acceptable by our listening mechanism. 

BRS was designed from the ground up to follow the phase correct idea where the pulse projection has lowest possible distortions. The proprietary ultra-light membrane material allows one of kind dissipation of the sound into space where the sonic sweep never enters the brittle or unpleasant threshold. Even when played insanely loud! And yours truly can push the volume when needed up to the max!

Natural transients and dynamic freedom are not only connected with BRS but are also effectively linked with the custom made SB Acoustics Satori-like woofer drivers, that are optimized for the lighting speed of the BRS tweeter. These drivers were designed by Denesian Audio Engine Team led by Frank Nielsen. 

Simple, but not simpler! Counterpoint V2.0 uses 1st order crossover at 2k. I have soft spot for the 1st order based speakers, but it's not exactly easy to achieve the proper implementation in practice. This is why there are not so many of 1st order speakers on the market. 

Not to forget; Counterpoints have a flat phase up from the crossover point (200Hz - 50 kHz). This should be self-explanatory...


The luxuries of aesthetics!? Well, it's not and it shouldn't be forbidden that high-end audio speaker's sports luxurious looks! At the price tags, we're operating these days the impeccable fit and finish should be mandatory. Sadly the reality is quite different. Here is where the Bayz speakers again stand out of the crown. 

I simply like and love the Counterpoint V2.0 aesthetics. As written in my review, with their artful, timeless and iconic looks, they could easily found their space in the MOMA for their seamless blending of contemporary and classical design. Perhaps they will in the future. 

Their C shape is not only of great assistance for bass extension. It gives them a distinctive, instantly recognizable look. There is no way that Bayz Audio speakers can be mistaken for any other pair of loudspeakers. They're so distinguishably, yet alluringly different.

Ultra sports cars aficionados will certainly appreciate the impeccably handmade carbon fiber enclosures. The curves and joints are made to the perfections. I can easily spot the anomalies in the wave patterns on the carbon fiber cloth beneath the glossy surface on the car and motor-related products. Bayz Audio enclosures are free of such anomalies!

The flow of the energy inside of the C-shaped tube is following aerodynamical laws. The renowned András Voloscsuk and his Composite Project Engineering Team are responsible for the making of Bayz Audio enclosures fabricate F1 monocoques, race planes for Red Bull Air Race World Championships, and even carbon fiber pianos. For the Counterpoint V2.0, they've created the all-new propriety ultra-light 30kg chassis (with a heavy league 70+kg granite slate base) that is lined with a proprietary dampening compound.

Compared to the other cabinets principles and materials, carbon fiber lightweight chassis do not store energy, but dispatches it far easier and far quicker. 

Counterpoint V2.0 is not strictly bound to the exact speaker positioning. This makes them far more home-friendly. They allow the space around them to work in their benefit. Sound easily expands into the environment and the speakers doesn't rely on the typical or specific close wall positioning. This  feature and advantage has already opened the doors to a far wider public, then the usual. 

Based on the Bayz Audio Counterpoint V2.0 less room demanding placement, I've could remove all of my sidewall acoustical curtains without affecting the sonic performance! 

Bays Counterpoints have also pushed me to explore all of the positioning cues in the room, which consequently led me to discover a few more optimal placements that work well also with the normal dynamic speakers that are coming in for reviews. It took many sleepless nights to end this trial and error quest, but it was more than worth it to complete it. 

I always liked and preferred speakers to be at forte. Sort of (non-perfect) golden triangle that in some ways mimics the experience of electrostatic headphone icons AKG K-1000 or Stax headphones. This is not the Counterpoint V2o mandatory position, but in my scenario, it allows sound to expands farther into the listening environment and create more life-like experience as it can generate a far more believable illusion of the real event.

Counterpoint V2.0 permits an impressive amount of acoustical cues. Similar to photography, these cues are the default anchor points that are pivotal in rendering far denser and realistic portraits.

This is why Bayz's flagships are reproducing live music extremely well and as there is no contrasting effect between the direction of sonic momentum and sonic dispersion. BRS grants the Bayz Audio Counterpoint V2.0 speakers' one of a kind via Medium presence. 

There is something essentially right about the Counterpoint's rendition of the immortal "Waldstein". There is only one interpretation that clings with my inner timing. Every other than Claudio Arrau interoperation is just too fast for me. Arrau's playing emits contrast where every note feels like it's own entity and Counterpoints can follow this remarkably well.

I've commented about the particular excellence to Bay. He remarked how he didn't do anything special with Counterpoints' regarding the piano voicing...

Master chefs and top tier wine producers are also reserved when it comes to commenting on their beloved fruits of passion. Yet this food and wine taste so exquisite and so right. It's all about the clear direction, pin-pointed goal and the know that let one reach the destination. This can take a lifetime to achieve and in the mass of tumult vessels Counterpoint V2.0 speakers dare to stick out of the crowd. Bayz Audio speakers are not the modern interpretation of ornate sonic tessellation that's seems to be so popular these days. Counterpoint V2.0 speakers were designed to convey true impressions and seeming realities of the music. 

Counterpoints belong to a rare breed that allows involuntary bypass of sensual guards. The sonic hit is imminent and unavoidable. Aural contrast, not easily processed at first, even shocking, becomes a clarifying force. No redundancy, just the demanding essence is exposed.

In the end, it's all about the sound and sound quality that matters. With Counterpoint V2.0's resolution one would easily expect the sonic reproducing to be lurid. On the contrary, Bayz Audio flagships produce one of the best-unaltered and properly balanced music impacts.

Rarely we're talking about breakthroughs in the speaker design. Yet, my encounter with Bayz Audio led me to re-think many firm beliefs. and Bayz Audio Counterpoint V2.0 speakers are more revolutionary than evolutionary. Period! 

In the ultimate sense, high-end audio is (and it should be) all about enjoying the music for what it is and Bayz Audio Counterpoint V2.0 speakers can deliver an unsurpassed music experience where music's complex fragmentary is presented unpolished and with one of the best believability factors I've encountered in my career.⧉

Matej Isak

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