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This review first appeared in the August 2012 issue of hi-end hifi magazine of Germany. You can also read this review of the Quadral Aurum Titan VIII in its original German version. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with the publishers. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of fairaudio or Quadral- Ed.

Reviewer: Jörg Dames
Source: Fonel Simplicité, laptop with foobar2000 and J River MC plus Northstar USB dac32
Amplification: Fonel Emotion and Abacus Ampino integrateds, Funk MTX Monitor V3B and Audionet AMP monos pre/power combo
Loudspeakers: Thiel CS 3.7, Sehring S 703SEo Monitor
Cables: Straight Wire Virtuoso, HMS Fortissimo, Reson LSC 350
Power: Quantum Powerchords, Hifi-Tuning Gold with IeGo termination, MF-Electronic power strip
USB: Kimber USB Ag
Rack: Lovan Classic II
Review component retail: €12.000/pr

Heavy weights and heavy hitters? I do find the fat Titan logo at the base of today’s speaker a bit showy like an anchor tattoo on a sailor’s bulging biceps. That said, someone to market for 31 years with presently an eighth generation of products as proudly tracked on their website does have cause to blow their own trumpet a bit. The ‘tattoo’ of the original Titan developed by Helmut Schaper well prior to any URL was even fatter as the old photos prove.

And Quadral’s Titan VIII really wasn’t built to serve as poster child for loudspeaker understatements. Biometric specs of 139 x 31 x 58cm HxWxD and 88kg per side alone make that impossible. The progenitors of the VIII include even beefier specimens. The Titan III for example heaved 140kg atop your scale and topped out at 150cm height. Oy!

I certainly appreciated this downscaled titan not only for A/B comparisons (assistance from a colleague was still mandatory) but as a probably more suitable solution for my 30m² space. But let’s put aside size and check out what else Quadral’s Titan VIII puts on the decision scale. Quite a bit as it turns out. One difference to other current Aurum Series models as well as to the Titan VII precursor requires a close-up glance through the fine tweeter mesh. Here sits not a magnetostat but ribbon. 12cm long, about 20mg heavy and at 15µm thickness ultra efficient—lip blowing through the protective grid or getting anywhere near it with a vacuum cleaner are major taboos—this is a quite costly part to manufacture but developer Sascha Reckert claims "lower distortion and heightened speed and micro resolution" in trade.

The drivers are mounted with wood screws. In this price range one tends to expect T nuts with proper threads and machine screws. Hook-up wire contacts aren't soldered but screwed or fitted with slip contacts.

To better match this ribbon the next driver is a newly developed 16cm midrange which looks just like other Altima units which this makers already employs across various speaker models. Yet this one is still distinguished by a shorter voice coil, stronger motor, copper shorting rings and different glues and spider as explained by Reckert. Readers unfamiliar with prior fairaudio reviews of Quadral speakers will be unfamiliar with the Altima term. It’s a contraction for aluminium, titanium and magnesium. It's a special diaphragm alloy said to improve speed and impulse response whilst undermining undesirable ringing modes. Former designer Berndt Stark introduced this material already in 2000’s Aurum 6 model.

In the basement the Titan VII’s burly 38cm woofer has been replaced with two long-throw 25cm units. In typical fashion for bigger Aurum models, those are set back behind the baffle to create a small pressure chamber. With rising frequencies this increases the counter pressure of the air trapped inside the enclosure to raise the energy transfer. Advantages include higher sensitivity, lowered excursion and greater power handling. This loading is supported with a bass reflex port which fires downward into the floor.