Acapella High Violoncello II Loudspeaker

September 28, 2010

John Atkinson has posted his controversial review and test measurements of the Acapella High Violoncello II loudspeakers ($80,000) at Stereophile. His conclusions:

The Acapella High Violoncello II is the most expensive loudspeaker I have had the pleasure of using in my listening room. With its ionic tweeter and the use of horn loading for its upper-frequency drivers, it is also the most unusual. But it is superbly engineered and massively well constructed, and offers equally superb sound quality, with well-controlled lows, a natural-sounding midrange, well-defined and stable stereo imaging, and dynamics to die for.

That ionic tweeter offers a high-frequency clarity that is rarely equaled by conventional drive-units, but even at the factory setting, its sensitivity is a little too high for a completely neutral on-axis response. This will not be an issue in a large, well-damped room, but results in too much energy in the top two octaves in smaller, more lively rooms such as my own, particularly when driven by a typical solid-state amplifier, where the low frequencies will sound slightly lean. Driven by a tube amplifier with its typically higher source impedance, the High Violoncello II's low frequencies warm up and are in better balance with the speaker's high frequencies.

A few days after I write these words, the Acapella speakers return to the distributor. I shall miss them. Highly recommended for those with deep pockets and large rooms.

You can read the full review here.