Reviewer: Glen Wagenknecht
Financial interests: click here
Sources: Audio Space CDP 8A CD Player, Wyred4Sound Music Server, Wyred4Sound DAC-2, Grant Fidelity Tube DAC 11
Preamplifier: Audio Space Reference 2S, Tortuga Audio LDR6 Passive
Amplifier: Bel Canto 200.4 Tapping TP22
AV Receiver: Pioneer Elite SC-25
Main speakers: Apogee Duetta Signature, Paradigm Servo 15 subwoofer, Audio Space AS-3/5A
Rack: Codia Acoustic Design Stage 3000 BAB
Stands: Charisma Audio Function, Target
AV speakers: JohnBlue M3s
AV subwoofer: Paradigm PW-2200
Desktop speakers: Swans M200 MkIII
Desktop DAC/Pre headphone amp: DA&T U-2
Cables: Arkana Physical Research Loom, Audio Art SE and Classic cable looms, JPS Labs Ultraconductor 2 speaker cables, Madison Audio Lab E3 Extreme 1 Interconnects/Extreme 2 speaker cables, Signal Cable Silver Reference interconnects and speaker cables, digital optical and coax cable, Audio Sensibility Impact SE balanced interconnects and USB digital cables, DH Lab Power Plus AC cable.
Resonance control: KAT Audio Terminator 1 Feet, Solid Tech Feet, EquaRack Footers, Weizhi Precision Gold Glory footers, Boston Audio TuneBlock2 footers, Audio Exklusiv Silent Plugs, Audio Exklusiv d.C.d. Base and d.C.d. Footers, Superspikes, CA Electronics Standard Cones, Feet, Cable Clamps, Isoacoustics L8R130, Aperta and L8R200 SUB speaker stands
Powerline conditioning: Exact Power EP15A, Noise Destroyer power filtration
Accessories: TrueHarmonix Black Magic CD Mat Herbie’s Super Black Hole CD Mat
Main room size: 12' x 17'
Home theatre: 10.5’ x 16.5’
Review component retail/pr: $3’699 walnut, $3’799 rosewood

In 2012 I had the pleasure of reviewing the Symphonia 72R, Clearwave Loudspeaker Design’s then top floorstander. The Symphonia was an ambitious 2.5-way with two 2 Accuton drivers to cover the lower range topped by a precision Raal ribbon tweeter. The speaker demonstrated remarkable resolving power and rivaled speakers much further up the ladder. It also earmarked the skill of designer Jed Kunz in matching the character of his driver choices to sing with a single voice. Was the success of the Symphonia a singular event or a shape of things to come? The ensuing four years have been kind to Mr. Kunz. Clearwave Loudspeaker Design still operate largely on the Internet direct model but have begun to cultivate some dealership availability. Mr. Kunz’s creative efforts have been consistently rewarded with recognition and multiple awards. Those four years have also wrought changes in the lineup. The Symphonia series along with the Raal has been retired. The current crop boasts two floorstanders in the Accuton-based Duet 7 and the ScanSpeak-based Definition BE, as well as 3 monitors, the Accuton Duet 2-way or LCR version and the ScanSpeak series with the Resolution S and the top monitor under review, the Resolution BE with ScanSpeak’s best Beryllium tweeter. I took this opportunity to dialog with the designer about these changes.

Q: The Symphonia was a remarkably successful series for you. What happened to it?
A: I have the Duet 6 and Duet Reference as replacements for the Symphonia 7R monitor and 72R tower which you reviewed. On these models I went with a ceramic dome instead of a ribbon to improve coherence. One item you noted in your review of the Symphonia 72R was a slight discontinuity between the fast Raal tweeter and the larger ceramic mid/woofer. I feel I have now eliminated it by closely matching pistonic behaviour using the same driver materials whilst improving phase coherence.

Q: The Definition and Resolution series mark a departure for you in driver complement. What was the appeal of the ScanSpeak drivers in the new series over your staple Accuton? Better out-of-the-box performance? Easier break-in? Different sonic signature? 
A: I think you may have answered your own questions already. As you know, the Accuton woofers in the Symphonia 72R needed a very long time to sound their best. After that 200hr+ break-in, one really did get rewarded. This is why I continue to use them in the Duet line and for future developments. They are very detailed with great see-through transparency. That said, the ScanSpeak Illuminator woofers I now use in the Resolution and Definition speakers really bring a lot of positives to the table. First of all, they use a fantastic motor with a whopping 9mm Xmax. That's nearly twice that of the Accuton C173-6-191e driver range. So you get a lot of power handling and they move quite a bit of air relative to size. Also, the new ScanSpeak Illuminator paper cones do not flex and are very stiff in contrast to past paper drivers. Therefore they do not suffer as much as they go up to 1kHz where cone edge resonance can be a major issue with softer floppier paper cones. In the end you get a satisfying amount of detail through the upper midrange and beyond. Around 2kHz their wonderful Beryllium driver takes over and adds the perfect amount of detail to deliver an accurate yet non-fatiguing presentation. I'm really pleased how these drivers blend and I can't "hear" the crossover region. I spent a lot of time making sure the phase alignment results in excellent tracking for several octaves around the crossover cutoff frequency.

Q: The excursion specs on the ScanSpeak woofer are quite impressive. How does that translate into a real-world spec on max SPL?
A: The travel of the woofer will allow it to go to about 105+dB@1m for peaks if the music isn't really bass heavy. They do rock and roll but are not intended to be PA speakers. Eventually if played that loudly for too long, the voice coils will give out before running out of excursion of the tremendously capable woofer. 

Let’s depart from driver hardware and talk about cabinet construction and aesthetics. The cabinet design for the new BE looks beautiful and feels quite solid. How is it built?
A: The cabinets are made out of 1" Ranger Board MDF. This is more expensive and of higher density than the MDF the consumer will generally be familiar with. The baffle is 2" thick and carefully CNC sculpted behind the woofer to allow airflow around the motor, and there is a vertical shelf brace to minimize cabinet flex. The cabinet is hand veneered using a vacuum bag. It's a time-consuming process because each panel has to be done at a time to wrap the veneer around the curves. Each edge of veneer is cut 1/16" oversized and then hand-sanded down flush to the edge so the veneer looks like a solid block with no visible seams. The craftsmanship, look and feel of the hand-veneered cabinets you have with the Resolution Be is very high end. No paper-backed or mitre-folded cabinet can match the look and feel of something done by master craftsmen like we do with the Resolution BE. Also, doing a mitre fold with veneer applied beforehand would be cheaper but not allow us to use our custom 1.25" deep curved chamfer that really helps eliminate diffraction. It may truly be the best of both worlds since it employs a chamfered angle and round-over for the best possible profile.