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Engstrom Sound from Sweden - the Pinnacle of Scandinavian School



  • Robbie,

    I presume you are Mr Bubble. Your speakers are cool. I always like the big Carmen at AE. Is the purple color Wagner same as Carmen?

    Trinity driving Cessaro is surprisingly so rightly matched as experiences at PT's home demonstrated. A friend of mine has already decided to change from Vivid G2 to Cessaro Wagner after I brought him to visit PT.
  • Yes, bubble is my nickname used in other hifi forum. And the colour of mine is exactly the same as the Carmen at Showroom.
    What areas does your friend think that Wagner surpasses Vivid G2? I think it should be a big difference to let him this move.
  • Backtracking to the first comments by PT in this thread, I echo every single comment that he made. Cessaro is undoubtedly a spectacular horn speaker delivering speed, fast transient and authenticity under the command of Lars combo. I have heard the Air1/2 in Ralph place and the liveliness still reminds me what 'liveliness' means to me when music is reproduced in the virtual space. Over these 2 years, aside from this Lars combo, I have ear witnessed the Zanden suite, Trinity suite and Cessaro suite all pairing with the Cessaro speakers. In this regard, I must admit I am the very fortunate few who could all hear 4 of them though in different venue. Although I have the Takumi K15Ex, I haven't got the K70G2 to appreciate the power of a full suite.

    When Timo was visiting me 2 weeks ago, he also mentioned that there is a big project in the pipeline on their amps putting me in constant struggle on how well they can further push the envelope and when will this endless pursuit comes to an end. Frankly, our desire for all these brilliant designers like Ralph, Yamada San, Dr Lars, Dietmar and last but not the least, Robert Koda to continue with their endeavor has never ever ended!!

    Lars combo in my system receives the best comments ever by PT in several occasions he visited me. I believe it gels perfectly with my room acoustics the best and indeed how many living room setup could rival AE showroom to claim the close-to-perfect acoustics treatment. Lars amp combo possesses the authority and linear extensions that really carries me away from thinking that it is a 300b push pull design. The utter bass attack and deep dive followed by the harmonic decays is a real experience to me! Timo and myself were listening to a soundtrack from a HK film and both of us were stunned by the vividness of the drum allowing us to see the vibration of the drum surface!

    Timo, I know your new project would be coming forth, affordability is one, the sheer size, as I am told, is mega. Look forward to listening to it!!

  • Whilst everyone is counting down for the 4th AE highend show, for those who still remember listening in the Zanden/Cessaro Universe room, there was a Lars Monica quietly holding the fortress of the preamp role in orchestrating each piece of music in a faultless and effortless manner.

    That Monica has actually been upgraded to use silver wired transformer as opposed to the standard copper wired. I listened extensively in the room stealing some of the quiet period before the show and was utterly impressed by the whole integration of the system with Monica obviously taking up a pivotal role siewing up the source and the amplification domain. There was one question left in my mind after the show: Should I also take my Monica for the upgrade?

    Such question has quietly died down until recently Timo of Lars visited my place sharing with me his view on Lars stance in terms of adopting copper wired transformer vs silver wired. Collectively I believe both PT and Timo are saying silver wired produces a different presentation from copper wired and will not necessarily equate to an improvement in all fronts. In Lars belief, the balance has been perfectly achieved using their carefully chosen tubes and transformer intermingling with their circuitry design, there is no real need to replace the tubes and transformer.

    To bring closure to this question which has been in my mind for nearly a year, I asked PT to lend me the same silver wired Monica for a weekend comparison. Both preamps have been turned on for a sufficient while to ensure they are both warmed up. I used a soundtrack, the Three Kingdoms, Diana Krall, Tsai Chin and several other classical music for audition.

    On the silver Monica, the outburst of the leading edge is lightning fast without any sluggishness. Contouring of the lower octave is clear cut bringing a higher level of transparency compared to the copper wired Monica. it is slightly on the bright side in terms of inclination on tonal balance integrating with my room acoustics (mind you that tonal balance is highly impacted by the room acoustics). For listening in my place, copper wired would definitely have an edge.

    Both Monica's are very quiet but not as quiet as the Trinity preamp and K15Ex, perhaps this is an area that Lars may want to further improve. My point here is silver wiring does not give an advantageous position over the copper wired in terms of creating a darker background and 'sharper' landscape.

    (To be cont'd)

  • (cont'd)

    Sorry that I was rushing to do some home repair by a service man...

    Both the silver and copper wired Monica are revealing a well differentiated and delineated soundstage rendering an extremely dynamic and sonically vibrant space enough (actually more than enough) to get one indulge into hours of listening without fatigue. A suite of preamp/power amp combo like Lars and Trinity really heighten the synergistical optimum that one would risk when cross matching brand A with B. This is the constant dilemma an audiophile, myself included, is facing: one suite or get the best of breed and x-match?

    The copper version renders a slight more saturated mid to lower bass which, to my liking, produces a wider soundstage and this is especially apparent when I listened to the soundtrack Three Kingdoms. The deepened and breathtaking rhythmic drums really thrilled me back to the original scene of the film when they were surrounded by enemies in the dark!

    Back to what Timo and PT said, the presentation of the copper and silver wired Monica is just in a different package delivered to suit the individual preference. I am grateful that PT has offered such an opportunity for me to listen to the silver Monica and it may not unwise for me to remain status quo on the copper wired Monica in order to compliment on the acoustics imperfection of my listening area.

  • I choose “Cantate Domino by Oscar’s Motet Choir”, 24bit/96khz, hi-rez music file to illustrate the performance of my system with Trinity combo to drive 2-month-old Cessaro Wagner speakers. All of you know that this recording is endorsed by many experts, therefore I use this to review the horn speakers system if there is any breakthrough.

    The “O Holy Night” is initiated by the pipe organ at the beginning producing rhythms for the female singer. Even the pipe organ and the soprano are positioned apart, they are indeed communicating and to harmony with each other flawlessly. Each pitch from the pipe organ is though driven by pressuring the air into the pipe, the outcome is gentle with slight basses. The bass is stable, unswerving and calm, and the image is deep. Such bass from the pipe is generated exactly to the right degree to serve as a foil to soprano throughout the song. Comes to the session of group of baritone and mezzo soprano to sing in chorus, the bass is still beautiful and unswerving.

    The “Silent Night” brings me to a fairy tale every time like experiencing a Christmas Eve. When the mezzo soprano sings to harmony with each other, it likes showing a twin of butterflies flying up and down in between flowers. The scene is so peaceful. The harmony is to achieve the same melody, same coherence perfectly even they consist of different acoustic frequencies. Their voices are gentle and lovely. This time I can’t simply use “vivid” to describe the outcome. I cannot stop myself to share with you that I am really inspired by the song. After listening to “Silent Night”, I RECOGNIZED the singers’PERSONLITY. The song is sung by a group of kind-hearted, amiable people.
  • Robbie,

    The Cessaro Wagner is damn good! I have a pair in my study room driven by Zanden 300b mono blocks. The sound is so lively engaging. Speed is fast, phew! And the damn bass is so fxxxing good! It plays much louder than the physical size of it suggested. But you got to get the speakers lean against the back wall as close as possible to squeeze the last juice out!

  • VoyR,

    Recently many has said that when using Cessaro speakers the image of an object will become larger than the actual size. Regarding this point I have tried many recordings. The outcome is that for all CD ripped 16bit/44.1khz files the images have been enlarged. But for some 24bit/192khz or 24bit/96khz files no such impact occurs. The above Cantate Domino 24bit/96khz file is one good example. In other words, this symptom is only happened for those bad recordings, particularly in high efficient cessaro speakers which always reflect the bad and the good from the source at the same time. For those good recordings hi-rez files the images are stable, actual-sized, even increase the volume. I think the truth about this matter has come to light. If you have any experience about that, please also share with us.
  • Robbie

    Had you asked PT about it?

    The issue is not really about low res or high res. It is more about how the recording was done: near microphone, or farfield etc. I was confused many years ago about this issue as well. For example, Mercury Recording - Cello by Starker play Bach was recorded very closely to the microphone. The cello size sounds larger than many other cello recordings. In many of the violin concerto recordings, because the sound energy of violin, if not recorded closely to microphone, might not have energy in relation to the orchestra behind it. As a result, it is meant to be recorded closely to micro so that we can hear the details of it. Would people complaint about the size of orchestra is not proportional to the violin?

    Image size is also a function of distance between speaker and listening position. For horn speaker, because of her huge projection power, one can sit as far as 4 meter away. If you sit very close to the speaker, yes I agree one may have a feeling of larger image. That is due to overwhelming amount of energy in strong directivity to your ears within a short distance.

    Over-generalising image size due to difference between horn speaker and conventional speaker is a reflection of preference and inadequacy of understanding about aforementioned issues. I am using Tidal Sunray for many years. I like Cessaro horn speakers much more than Tidal Sunray for a variety of reasons, perhaps due to age too. But I did not change due to space limitation.

    Real music has the speed and energy that I found cessaro horn offers me a fairly close experience to live music. Conventional speaker is like watching HDTV far away from me, it lacks speed and energy.

    By the way, the trinity system under PT is the best system I have ever experienced in my whole life. That is my true benchmark. And no one would ever ask about image size again after auditioning that system. Phenomenal work reflecting his obsession behind. Trinity is the tool but his passion and madness behind are the real driving force.
  • I have already disclosed all the super gears to be unveiled next week except the Super Amplifier - Eric by Engström. It will land HK tomorrow. Timo Engström and Lars Engström will arrive HK on Tuesday to do some final adjustments. We don't want to post any photos until the Glass outfit is attached to the amplifier. The emperor feet by Subbase are already attached underneath. I sincerely hope I can listen to them at AE for a short while before packing them for the show. Stay tuned.
  • This is my most anticipated excitement of the show and I can't really wait....
  • LARS Engstrom and Timo Engstrom awaiting the delivery of super amplifier at AE. They arrived a bit sooner than the statement amp - Eric. 

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