Making the universal 'up yours' more useful than rude, here we see how the Kalya's downfire port mandates this stand. What other top plate would sport the correct Ø hole in exactly the right spot? Contemplating the stand's considerable 20kg mass leads to speculation. Won't its inevitable earthing of physical resonances be superior to what even the stablemate floorstanders can muster whose wood-based cabinets replace the monitors' heavy metal sections? True, the 8" two-way Edena tower brings more cubic inches aka air volume to bear on back loading the same driver. Yet the Kalya with stand matches its 35Hz reach. Then it out-muscles the Edena's 33kg by a solid 7kg. That's nearly 20% more weight. Included in this surprising math are smaller cabinet panels. Those suffer less flex potential to begin with. Could all of this, er... stand on its pointy head the usual wisdom that floorstanders with the same drivers are innately superior to their smaller monitor brethren?

Three long bolts secure the speaker to its stand so that even a drive-by shooting aka inadvertent bumping won't topple it.


Lower internal volumes also create more air pressurization inside the cabinet for higher resistance to driver in-strokes. This makes for more challenging amplifier drive but could also mean the snappier more damped mechanical behaviour. In short, there are a few things to perhaps ruminate over on a rainy day as one allocates speaker funds to a future purchase to weigh the pros and cons of smaller versus bigger speakers when the same drivers are on the menu. On matters of box talk and having a cabinet become a physical object that occupies parts of the soundstage and acts as a source of reflections, smaller could be better.


To kick off, Gryphon's mighty Diablo 300 in on assignment with its stablemate Pantheon floorstanders fronted the French monitors. Now the Kalya exhibited such righteous bass and did so with even fewer room mode excitations than the rear-ported Danish towers or our usual EnigmAcoustics Mythology M1 monitors that in our large 90m² space, I categorically had no use for the Zu Submission subwoofer. With obviously less cone surface for the bass than the Pantheon, the presentation wasn't as massive on LF displacement but on extension, left very little to the imagination. Right after crossing the bass bridge came admiration for the richly developed glowing nearly glossy tone. Instead of metallic overtones which some have come to expect from ribbons, the Kalya was slightly sweet instead. Massed violins on Claude Chalhoub's neo-classical albums were splendidly free of scratchy stridency to sing not saw even in angled spiccato mode. Baroque music including period ensembles were equally served without unduly playing up the brighter or more nasal timbres and metronomic gestalt which in the hands of lesser transducers can get trying. The color richness of an 8-inch midrange coupled to a masterfully implemented ribbon tweeter struck a truly gorgeous balance with only a pair of small-signal valves in sight.


With ancillaries tuned for as vibrant and intense as the Fore Audio DAISy1 DAC and Diablo 300 integrated, this became the sound of sun-ripened tone fruit. Had I secretly worried that the Danish muscle amp with its low output impedance might overdamp and dry out gestalt, I did so without due cause. The presentation was buoyant and elastic, not sewing-machine mechanical and uptight. Classical listeners with regular concert experience would find the Kalya a very informed tour guide indeed. Its bandwidth proved fully equal to power piano salvos from Hiromi, Michel Camilo, Dorantes or Chano Domínguez. Whilst infrasonic ambient chicanery goes occasionally even lower, I felt far from shortchanged with Cheb i Sabbah, Mercan Dede, Bob Holroyd and assorted other ambient wizards. Sneaking the Zu sub in at 30Hz proved impossible without too much overlap above despite a 10Hz 4th-order low-pass. For success I would have needed a DSP-programmable interface to select a steeper filter slope. Again, for all reasonable purposes and the vast majority of material, I had no urge to bother pursuing that route.


The intended takeaway from these first impressions should really be the Kalya's generous tonal qualities. Whilst there are other aspects worthy of discussion to give us an additional page, in my book they all slot in below. The headline act is radiant rich tone bursting with juice. Risking a sexist remark, I'd call it a decidedly feminine slightly voluptuous sound. In more proper terms again, some speakers build their presentation from the bottom up. Others do it from the top down. With the Kalya, it's clearly a presentation that starts in the middle and works its way outward from there.