Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo boost, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 12.2), PureMusic 3.02, Qobuz Hifi, Tidal Hifi, Fore Audio DAISY1, COS Engineering D1, Aqua Hifi La Scala MkII, AURALiC Vega,
Preamplifier: Nagra Jazz, Esoteric C-03, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVC module)
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1, F5, F6; Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; Goldmund Job 225; Gato Audio DIA-250; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; AURALiC Merak [on loan], S.A.Lab White Knight [on review]
Loudspeakers: Albedo Audio Aptica; Sounddeco Sigma 2; EnigmAcoustics Mythology M1; soundkaos Wave 40; Boenicke Audio W5; Zu Audio Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Event; KingRex uArt, Zu and LightHarmonic LightSpeed double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo; Arkana Research XLR/RCA and speaker cables [on loan]
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all components
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Rajasthani hardwood rack for amps
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, Verictum Silver X block on preamp and amplifier
Room: Rectangular 5.5 x 15m open floor plan with two-storey gabled ceiling, wood-sleeved steel trusses and stone-over-concrete flooring
Review component retail: €30'000/pr

Kroma Audio are Spain's newest boutique hifi maker.
This adds them to a short list of Artesania Audio, Vibex and Wadax. Based out of Granada, in the high desert of Andalucía at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, they operate within a foot walk of where Flamenco cantaor Enrique Morente had his house. That also places them in the shadows of the Alhambra castle complex perched famously above the town. Situated deep within the Flamenco tradition, their speakers have a far closer connection with the luthier's art than is apparent to the eye.

What the eye does see is a white synthetic stone sculpture—other colours by request—atop an airily curved integral stand. The Julieta model and Kroma Audio company names are deeply engraved. Krion slabs from Spain's Porcelanosa company have been chemically bonded with the same hi-tech resin which already binds together the aluminium particles suspended in this Corian-type material. Walking around the speaker spots inset veneer trim on the cheeks and the sealed crossover chamber at the base. On demand, those accents can be Krion instead. In the back, there's a single pair of Mundorf terminals on the bottom, two stacked ports of dissimilar woods on top.

Granada as seen from a restaurant's veranda at the foot of the Alhambra.

Turned by a master guitar maker in Granada from Canadian tonewoods of pine and cedar, with one tube's walls 10mm thick, the other 40mm, one port length tuned to 42Hz, the other to 37Hz, these virtual F holes serve as a first visual connection to Flamenco. Inside the outer dead box whose walls are lined in viscoelastic, tuned tonewood reflectors add musical instrument qualities which an equivalent box bolted together of raw aluminium slabs wouldn't exhibit. In fact, there are no bolts for the cabinet, stand or organically potted crossover. The only bolts are on the drivers. Those aren't metallic but Reny thermoplastic (glassfibre-reinforced polyamide MXD6). Non-magnetic and very light, they thread directly into the Krion compound.

Minimizing conventional metal parts with their vibrational pathways and eddy-current interference plays a big part in Kroma Audio's efforts at a silent enclosure. But again, there's more than meets the eye. A silent enclosure is just the stage upon which Julieta dances her soléa.