A magnetically attached dress ring surrounds the 7-inch driver and Kharma offer a variety of finishes which allow some form of individualization via a number of mix-and-match options. A magnet system attaches the front cloth grilles. A final word on aesthetics and build quality: the S7 speakers are among the very best examples of design, attention to detail, finish and build excellence I’ve seen. Period. Kharma specify the S7 as having a frequency response from 29Hz to 30kHz (no dB latitudes), an impedance of 8 ohms and an 86dB (2.83V/1m) sensitivity. Power rating is 100 watts RMS with a program rating of 200 watts.


The low down. The Elegance S7 hooked up to my new Parasound Halo JC 1 monoblocks which were fed via the Supratek Reference DHT preamplifier and AMR CD-77.1 player. Cables all around were the rather magnificent ZenSati Seraphim. The more I use these, the more I realize how they are ghostly neutral, therefore a superb reviewing tool.


At the outset, I was somewhat concerned about the S7’s low soundstage in my room. The S7 measures 14 inches wide by approximately 22 inches deep and in terms of the following comments importantly, stands 38 inches tall including the outrigger feet and cones. I was noticing that images were pulling towards the ground and singers seemed only three feet tall. The soundstage ceiling was a mere four feet or so off the ground. A minor tweak in position and angle basically neutered this issue. I simply pulled the speakers a tad more away from the wall behind them whilst, more significantly, canting them by placing 12mm rubber pads beneath the two front cone discs. This effectively angled the front of the speaker back slightly and resulted in a soundstage with the appropriate height information. Presto!


That aside, I got on with the listening sessions. The next thing I noticed was a major positive: the S7 had the biggest bass I’ve ever heard from a small floorstander of this size. This speaker provided a fulsome low end that had extremely satisfying clout especially in the area of the kick drum. Any well-produced rock, well… rocked. Conditions Of My Parole’s title track from Puscifer’s 2011 release was exemplary in terms of dynamic contrast, power and punch. Forget the small floorstander stature; this was visceral enough to shame many a much larger floorstander. This recording has tremendously forceful well-recorded brief drum passages both in the kick and snare drum. The S7 wallowed in this dynamically challenging fare, providing detail, punch and fast musical assaults. What happened there in terms of bass was extraordinary. I’d call out some funky trickery in the crossover perhaps in conjunction with the moderate sensitivity as the bass weight seemed rather disproportionate with speaker size - in a good way.


Van Oosterum didn’t give away too much when I asked about crossover details. "We use a different crossover type at about 2’250Hz. I call it a complementary crossover because the output of the signal to the drivers always adds up as one, hence no energy is ever lost. Theoretically, when drivers are acoustically able to complement each other in the transition area, there is a perfect match. You can think about the theoretical difference between a first-order parallel type and a first-order series crossover. In my view it adds to the musicality of the loudspeaker."