This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below
Today Onda Ligera’s main concern remains on designing speakers able to play the largest bandwidth from one single point with maximum phase accuracy. Oleg announced an upcoming two-way active speaker equipped with a ported chamber for the mid/bass frequencies. Two other monitors are already available - the Wave 18 and Wave 16. The 18 is a big two-way using technical features trickled down from the 168D flagship. It sports slightly lower sensitivity (89dB) but impressive bandwidth (38Hz–20kHz ±2dB) and high mass (50kg/ea.). The Wave 16 is the entry-level 2-way model with 48Hz–25kHz ±2dB response using the same technical heritage of the flagship and midrange driver whilst the high frequencies are served by an isodynamic compression radiator.
Onda Ligera’s range of products also includes powerful integrated amplifiers (the IPA 003 & IPA 006) outputting 300wpc and 600wpc into 4 ohms respectively. Both use dual mono circuitry, complementary bipolar transistors and accurate thermal stabilization for each stage. Onda Ligera’s amps use deep global feedback for distortion reduction and their huge power supplies are well insulated. Their chassis are made of non-magnetic materials like aluminum and brass and all external polished parts are covered in gold. For today however we'll focus on their big speaker which could be viewed as a kind of second singing revolution in Latvia.
Description. When Martien Klingens arrived with his 200lbs speakers, I was impressed by their flight cases. Even empty they required almost two strong men to move when the castors couldn't be used across stairs. These were the heaviest shipping containers I've ever received. Since the cases arrive packed of course, three buddies with good backs are required to install each Wave 168D on customer's or reviewer's premises. The flight cases use four galvanized detachable hinges on each side and soft foam layers cradle the contents inside. Two recessed flip handles allow easy manipulation. Once the speakers have been installed, you'll require adequate storage to house those empty crates.
Some very big crates. Unfortunately the speakers were too heavy to follow them into my new upstairs room.
The Wave 168 D is a 3-way speaker with two stacked enclosures. The lower one is a bass-reflex box with two 8” hardened paper woofer facing each other inside a split cabinet. This particular acoustic design parallels its opposing in-phase Scan-Speak Revelator units. Those sport a patented low-loss linear suspension and symmetrical drive (SD-1). They are said to offer a smooth frequency and perfect transient response. The backs of the membranes load into shared air space with a single port located at the bottom of the front baffle. The woofer membranes facing each other create their own respective radiation resistance and load. The port of this unusually large array is tuned for a low Q. The semi-open chamber above is said to improve the efficiency of the acoustic coupling and with it increase the linearity of the bass system.
My loaner was completely black and covered in multiple layers of flawlessly applied piano lacquer. Other lacquer colors including the popular white are available as is quality wood veneer detailing. The upper section is significantly shallower and includes an Italian Eighteen Sound midrange driver called a 6ND430 plus a Scanspeak Revelator soft-dome tweeter. The midrange membrane is lightweight strong paper with a tangential suspension and neodymium motor. Expanded pistonic bandwidth, high heat dissipation and air venting are important qualities of this driver as is the special twisted shape of the surround which reduces resonances in the coverage band.
The tweeter is a one-inch driver with typical 6-point mounting scheme and neodymium magnet. Here it takes over at a high 3.7kHz. This sensitive driver was designed for significant reduction of distortion and power compression and sports optimized airflow for its chambers. The speaker's entire structure looks robust and even the grills are serious constructions. In fact the latter seem nearly too substantial to offer complete acoustic transparency. I thus had slightly better results with them off over the two months I spent with these Latvians.