Equally impressive was the beryllium driver. This implementation of this tweeter showcased one smooth, refined and filigreed unit. And its noise floor was dramatically low, with remarkable inter-note silence. That much misunderstood ‘black background’ term applied. Other than to say that notes were clearly individualized from both each other and the recording’s ambience inscription, this has to be heard to be properly understood. In the case of the S7 this blackground was of complete, profound darkness. This was expressly demonstrated whilst listening to FourPlay’s The Joy of FourPlay – the Australian string quartet, not the American Jazz group. The ensemble’s dual violas, violin and cello were superbly separated. But just as impressive was the weight behind these instruments. A solid bass foundation provided an extraordinary sense of instrumental body. And when all the strings were playing in manic unison, the S7 separated and resolved the amalgamation with utter precision.

Tied to this was superb tonal accuracy. The textures and harmonic colours of various instruments, piano in particular, were quite extraordinary. The instrument was always rendered with authentic scale whilst being extended, smooth and realistic. A salient example was "La Porte" from the Neil Crowley Trio’s The Face Of Mount Molehill. This is a very well-produced album. The S7’s tonal and dynamic veracity in that track’s piano and powerful drumming passages proved that a skillfully designed small floorstander can indeed surpass your average larger one and even challenge the more serious ones. Of particular merit was the way the piano’s higher overtones decayed in a very natural way and with superb reverberation content.

Once corrected for stage height and committed into their final position, the S7 provided a very large soundstage in all dimensions. Images were tightly locked into focus whilst the speakers performed the ol’ disappearing act in a most convincing fashion. Of course the narrowing baffle and Kharma’s crossover trickery (the company are famed for their care in design there) played important roles. Particularly attractive was the way the S7 placed vocalists in a central position and as independent depictions in relief from the instrumental content. Vocal tone was quite exceptional too, with male vocals having a tad of added weight and a very subtle thickness made up by the mid-to-upper-bass proficiency of the speakers. Female vocals were extraordinarily present, delicate and detailed and in line with the best speakers I’ve had in the room. This last was no doubt in part due to what are seemingly zero box colourations. In that sense the speaker exhibited a midrange that was just about as free of enclosure resonances as any monster cabinet construct.

Conclusion. Given the price of the Kharma Elegance S7 and competition at that level, an astute buyer would conscientiously examine the various elements on offer. Disc or files in hand, she would audition the speaker to ascertain its performance capabilities in relation to the listening environment whilst taking an interest in the inherent engineering and technologies. Then, he would examine the build quality and, provided the aesthetics were pleasing (I could not imagine it any other way), go on to enquire as to what further elements the design may offer such as colour options, individualization etc.

In the case of the S7, all these criteria are manifested to an extended level of distinction, from the excellent performance in all the important audio aspects via advanced drivers and meticulous crossover and enclosure design, to the extraordinary industry-leading fit and finish standards and on to the outstandingly attractive appearance further enhanced by a wide variety of optional and personizable elements. In conjunction, all of these principles make up a convincing foundation for one judgment: that indeed, the S7 represents a true and extremely desirable high-end speaker system.

Quality of packing: Well protected in foam inside wooden crates.
Reusability of packing: Long-term.
Ease of unpacking/repacking: Easy task.
Condition of component received: Perfect.
Completeness of delivery: All provided.
Quality of owner's manual: Good quality and well written manual.
Ease of assembly: SDSS stand is simply bolted to the enclosure.
Website comments: Well-designed and comprehensive website.
Warranty: 5 years.                                   
Human or web interactions: Reasonably prompt.
Final comments & suggestions: None at this stage.

Kharma website