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But in Mr. Serblin’s new speakers the upper midrange and treble play an important role so it is here where the sonic character is largely centered. That characteristic is very very very clean and smooth. This could be heard even next to the Guarneris and Electas. It is a kind of sound that's not about more details or aspects per but about a more believable rendering of the musical instrument. Its body was not fully saturated or enhanced and these speakers did not draw back the scenery very far in the depth domain. Yet there was great texture and clarity and fantastically developed microdynamics. Along with great clarity and textures I perceived a kind of smooth silk before me onto which were drawn the instruments and vocals. It was a kind of  tour de force where one perceived these details after the fact, separating them from the music after the listening experience.

On to vocals since light bass with relatively early roll-off very quickly imposes the type of music one can comfortably and with pleasure enjoy over these speakers. The approach in which audio equipment, most often the speakers, are chosen for a particular type of music should generally be regarded as erroneous. Yet we cannot dispose of this concept entirely. As Srajan Ebaen said when he visited me—and it is hard to disagree—we tend to set up our audio systems so they best reproduce the music we like the most. They are thus a direct reflection of their owners’ musical preferences even if we prefer to claim our systems are ‘universal’.

Matching the Accordos to our own expectations is especially important. I think them best suited for guitar—acoustic or classical—vocals and small ensembles. Double bass was usually shown well on older recordings where the recording equipment limited extension such as on the 1955 album Chet Baker Sings and Plays or Joe Pass’s For Django from 1964. Moving to Paul McCartney’s latest Kisses On The Bottom it became obvious how the upright had a very close microphone on it to be mixed in beefed up which here was thinner than it ought to have been. Again, one will ideally select musical material that’s not very profound in the bass. The Beatles’ Revolver sounded great with a beautifully arranged stage, great dynamics especially in the micro domain and very consistent sound. The bass that was reproduced was incredibly fast, smooth and ‘free’ where I could perceive the actual instrument rather than just hear lower frequencies.

What was additionally very important were soundstaging and spatial reproduction within that soundstage. This is Mr. Serblin’s pride and special focus. The manual puts a lot of emphasis on it by stating that  "…precise but over-refined reproduction of music—if not combined with a  three-dimensional articulate spacious lively soundstage—damps listener enthusiasm." Clearly the size and shape of the Accordos imply what they are about. I can confirm that in addition to fast impulse response it is about the soundstage where these speakers vanish right in front of our noses. They do it visually with their unusual shape that subtracts their cheeks and sonically because they reproduce sound in such unlikely places that their disappearance act is the least of their merits. In a reasonably well set-up room all good speakers disappear. One of the first reactions I get from guests hearing my Harbeths with their chunky proportions is amazement over the fact that they cannot hear them; that the speakers disappear completely. For me that’s expected and normal. But in my home I don’t think I have ever heard anything like what the Accordos could do with showing a continuous soundstage and holographic imagery not just inside the window between the speakers but also far to either side. Although I knew how particular recordings were mixed with counter-phase tricks, the general soundstage was always wider than indicated by the speaker placement. Stage depth was pretty good but no better than what I have with my Harbeths. The Italian speakers more precisely differentiated in the lateral dimensions however and better tracked even minute shifts to the left or right.

Conclusion. Looking at the new speakers from Franco Serblin won’t have anyone indifferent. The participants in our failed KSS meeting who had an opportunity to see them were divided. Some mentioned something about Korean designers, others fully appreciated the speakers’ slender lines, delicate curves, leather- clad baffle and such. Likewise the sound. To properly evaluate and adapt the Accordo to personal needs one first needs to clearly state what they are not. They are not a successor to the Guarneri Homage or even Electa Amator. In my opinion those older Serblin speakers were superior in various regards but also better in general. His new speakers are not designed for large rooms or less powerful amplifiers. If you must pair them with a tube amp, it should be something like the ARC Reference 150 or 210. Yet they will perform better with a powerful solid-state amplifier, preferably something slightly warm like an ASR Emitter II or Burmester 082. The speakers will not handle a more powerful symphony or even large choir. They are too small, lack low bass and do not cast large virtual images. They make up for it with a very clean and consistent sound of well above average dimensions of the soundstage. In small spaces with the right amplifier they can create emotionally touching spectacles. Although this was not my kind of speaker, I did appreciate what Mr. Serblin was able to achieve with them.