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REVIEW: Sonist Audio Concerto 4 Speakers

Model: Concerto 4
Category: Speakers
Suggested Retail Price: $5895
Description: Floorstanding high-efficiency
Manufacturer URL: Not Available

Review by genungo on July 08, 2014 at 12:34:28
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for the Concerto 4

During my recent road trip in western Idaho, I discovered Sonist Audio in the tiny, remote town of Riggins. Sonist's new owner (Jonny Wilson of Snake River Audio) was gracious enough to provide me with an extended demo of the Concerto 4 loudspeakers. Here are some listening impressions:

Powered by DeHavilland tube monoblocks, these large floorstanders provided extended frequency response in both directions, but most importantly, they sounded realistic without ever sounded fatiguing or boring. This pleasing balance of realism and listenablity kept me focused on the music to an almost unprecedented degree, and prevented the outstanding soundstaging/imaging from becoming a distraction in itself - more on that below...

Instruments had truth of timbre, but also *body and guts*. Strings and vocals seemed especially realistic.

I have long been a fan of ribbons and the Concerto 4 reinforced that enthusiasm, once again. The ribbon tweeters on the Concerto 4's are nestled in waveguides that work to enable a very wide, deep, well-proportioned soundscape. Vertical dispersion is limited, however. But, to say that these speakers are champs in the soundstaging/imaging deptartment is something of an understatement - I don't think I have ever experienced such wonderful 3-D layering in a front-firing loudspeaker.

I would say that most hybrid ribbon speakers require a good sized room in order to perform their best, and luckily, the showroom at Snake River Audio was of ample size. Several feet behind, beside, and above the speakers are a requirement. These are not the type of speakers that one would want to hear while shoved into corners or up against walls.

Build quality was robust, to say the least. 1-3/4" thick faceplates are needed to contain the deep waveguides, resulting in very sturdy cabinets. The Concerto 4's look very good too. I might have preferred the option of removable grills (the Concerto 4's are grill-less), however.

I came away from this demo wishing that I had both more room, and more money. If providence chooses to bestow on me a little bit more of each, I might quickly become the proud owner of a pair of Conerto 4's. As a bonus, I might feel proud that such things are still being made in the USA.

Product Weakness: No sonic flaws that I could detect. I might prefer having removeable grills, but this is a minor quibble indeed.
Product Strengths: Wonderful tonal balance, superb soundstaging/imaging, great bass and lifelike sparkle.

Associated Equipment for this Review:

Amplifier: DeHavilland tube monoblocks
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Unknown
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Unknown
Speakers: Concerto 4
Cables/Interconnects: Snake River Audio
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Various
Room Size (LxWxH): 20 x 18 x 24
Room Comments/Treatments: Minimal
Time Period/Length of Audition: 30 minutes
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): Unkown
Type of Audition/Review: Dealer Demo
Your System (if other than home audition): N/A

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Topic - REVIEW: Sonist Audio Concerto 4 Speakers - genungo 12:34:28 07/8/14 (15)


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