As I wrote in my review on Heco's 11-inch 2-way Direkt, "there's something about tone, pressure and density which 3-inch mids simply won't do, no matter the most hi-tech of diaphragm materials like graphene, diamond or coated ceramics. Only big paper has that number." Using an 8-inch mid/woofer to 2.8kHz and beyond since no analog filter acts as a brickwall, the Kalya should pursue more tone density and meatiness in the vocal range than the half-sized or smaller dedicated units popular with more complex multi-ways. Simultaneously its natural bass reach is lower than smaller mid/woofers which, whilst they can be forced to go low, will lose efficiency and/or mandate a bigger enclosure. When used in large rooms or for truly bass-heavy fare, the Kalya's F3 of 35Hz makes it an ideal candidate for subwoofer assist. Unlike the THX 80Hz handover frequency which can be problematic for critical music listeners, here a 40Hz or lower pass to a true infrasonic sub makes it non-directional and has the main speakers support vital bass cues in stereo, not mono. Such a music not movie threesome provides the lowest bass with its own dedicated plate amp, adjustable filter and volume control.

The range topper Enigma makes just 5 more cycles to 30Hz. It does however double ribbon/cone surface and drives up efficiency to 94dB.

Munich Highend 2013 showing with Kalya which then still used a different mid/woofer and more basic stand.

Nearly invariably such a setup does lower better integrated LF than a passive stereo speaker that's priced like a 3-piece monitor/sub alternative. For example, the combination of €9'900 Kalya and $5'000 Zu Submission would still come in below Apertura's flagship Enigma but deliver a true 20Hz flat. Whilst true that continuing a stand-mounted speaker to the floor with a tower model of identical footprint takes up the same real estate, many consider the cosmetic impact of a monitor less objectionable. What's mostly beyond debate? Eliminating first-octave coverage from a passive speaker removes its most expensive and resonance-contributing parts. Then it gives the monitor more setup freedom. It doesn't have to go in just the one spot where its bass interferes least with the room. If needed, the lowest bass may be handled separately. All this by way of explaining why I fancy über monitors of the calibre of a Kaiser Acoustics Chiara. Having been very impressed by two prior Apertura floorstanders [1 & 2], I was curious whether in their Kalya our French team had another one of those ultra standmounts which I'd consider more than enough for 95% of all well-to-do listeners.

Here we see the Kalya not in the Santos but more traditional Rosewood finish for a redder less honey-coloured tint as the second stock colour.