Ciamara Elegance Series 1 (ES1) 2-Way Loudspeaker

November 22, 2010

has posted a review of the somewhat obscure Ciamara Elegance Series 1 (ES1) 2-way loudspeakers ($7990/pair) at Positive Feedback Online. His conclusions:

With these generally warm jazz LPs a bit of the light and bright impression of the ES-1s resurfaced for me. The ES-1's seemed a cooler and less relaxed presentation than my reference. Both the much less expensive ATC SCM7s and SCM20-2A speakers seemed to do warm and relaxed a bit better than the ES-1s. With the Ciamaras, Sinatra's voice had a bit of impatience to it, there seemed to be a bit more urgency to both of Ellington's pairings than I recalled. My wife the la la listener, on the other hand, preferred the ES-1s on these LPs. Go figure.

So, for this listener, I found the Ciamara ES-1s a bit more insistent than I wanted or thought was 100% natural on these three recordings. Whether or not my reference system is balanced on the edge of analytical, it certainly does not hew to romantic; but in this case it was more relaxed sounding than the ES-1s. How do I explain this? Perhaps this is how not enough power from the Dayens Ecstasy manifested with the Ciamara ES-1s. Had I played the Dayens louder, maybe it's power shortage would have been hidden, but that would have made the playback level "inappropriate" to the kind of music being played. Please keep in mind, it would be an exaggeration to say that the ES-1s didn't play this music well, I'm merely making a comparison of two similarly priced speakers and found a preference.

Ciamara is a new company to me. Their ES-1 suggests that Ciamara's principals know what they're doing. Their smallest speaker credibly reproduces large scale classical music very well. In my system, they seemed to favor, big dynamic, "fast" sounding tracks, and certainly the Reference Recordings' Sampler was exactly what the doctor ordered. The ES-1's timbre initially seemed a bit light in weight, but over the long haul, I found it a very attractive performer. I withdraw my initial impression and say I like them quite a bit. Sonically, in my system with perhaps insufficient power the ES-1s didn't play quieter as well as they played music with a dynamic swing played back at high levels. This probably points to insufficient power, though I cannot guarantee it. In my admittedly "wrong system" the ES-1s drove more like a dragster than providing the luxury ride of a Bentley. Still, the ES-1 is a strong performer. Some might balk at the high price for a small speaker, but the Ciamara ES-1s seem to be priced in the ball park for their performance.

You can read the full review here.