If a speaker's crossover is its traffic cop, then the drive units are what actually translates electrical impulses into air motion which we perceive as sound. They're the energy transformers. They work at the junction where the carefully mollycoddled and gain/current-enhanced signal escapes the predictable confines of 'two-dimensional' circuitry and is finally set loose on the unpredictable three-dimensional space of our acoustics instead. Like tyres on asphalt, drive units are where the rubber meets the road. On the subject of high-quality transducers, Denmark has always been a hot spot, be it Dynaudio, ScanSpeak, Viva or Peerless. When Chinese consortium Tymphany bought out the latter three, senior ScanSpeak engineers involved in the Revelator and Illuminator lines started SB Acoustics. Another team under Per Skaaning—founder of Dynaudio and ScanSpeak—had already branched off as Audio Technology much earlier. Where SB Acoustics diverge is that they combine Danish design with Indonesian labour and very large-scale production (SB is short for Sinar Baja Electric who today maintain engineering facilities in Indonesia; and, as Danesian Audio ApS, in Denmark). The genetic connection to ScanSpeak is visually evident in the Satori ring-radiator tweeter with its inverted nipple aka dimple. The Peerless connection is very clear in the Satori mid/woofer.


Yet these aren't Chinese Rolex knockoffs. They are later-gen iterations of original designs by old foxes of this industry, albeit with a cost advantage akin to those fake Swiss watches. A further pointer is the Satori designator. It's Buddhist for a profound inner awakening or enlightenment to parallel the earlier Illuminator name. With Satori, SB Acoustics present their very best efforts as a type of premium ScanSpeak; just for less. That's the Sigma 2. With it, a customer doesn't get an as yet recognizable brand name with built-in resell value, bragging rights or outrageous industrial design. What we do get are top-drawer drive units, all for a final sticker that elsewhere would have you drive lesser tyres - er, transducers. Crystal Cable's far smaller Arabesque Minissimo for example combines ScanSpeak's Beryllium tweeter with a single Audio Technology mid/woofer but sells at twice the coin if admittedly housed in a very fancy synthetic stone chassis with automotive lacquers. Yet Sounddeco remain in the running even on that last count. If one were just talking driver array, consider what preceded them in my speaker review calendar: Apertura Audio's €16'000/pr Adamante with dual 6.5" mid/woofers bracketing a tall ribbon in a Chinese-sourced enclosure.

Word on this company is clearly spreading. In the insert, we see yours truly having the finer points of these new designs explained by the company's key architects.

If this suggests a company poised for great things should timing smile and the right infrastructure of global business partners develop, I'd heartily concur. Sounddeco have the engineering and in-house manufacturing licked. Marketing and breaking into the overcrowded retail scene outside Poland are the two unpredictable factors. We can mention them but otherwise would just speculate to better leave that to the proper industry oracles. It's here where any reviewer/publisher's own sense of worthwhile discoveries makes preemptive decisions to, perhaps and over the longer run, act as one of many enablers to help something along which seems especially deserving. That in fact was exactly my rationale for pursuing this assignment.


When Marcin Kropaczewski emailed the tracking page of their chosen freight forwarder, I took note of the number of packages (1) and weight (200.00kg). That was bad-ass for a compact two-way speaker. It caused me to check back on each speaker's actual weight. Listed as 70kg between cab and metal plinth, a full 60kg seemed to go just toward the shipping materials. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from that. With our car condemned to outdoor parking, the garage is where far too many hifi boxes live. It's where the Polish pallet would end up as well. An already palletized and wrapped Reimyo KAP-777 in front of it awaited pickup that same day for the usual reviewer game of endless easy come and—often not so easy—go. I was curious what colour sounddeco had opted to dispatch. But first Schenker had to show to pick up that Reimyo box and clear space to crack into Kuehne+Nagel's delivery. Then the 35°C sun should have mellowed out before I began the manual labour part of this review assignment but because my patience isn't too virtuous, I got plenty sweaty.


Inside the strapped and wrapped delivery sat two upright custom boxes built up from MDF and particle board, with additional aluminium rails on most edges. Removing the top rails, then the bolts underneath took off the top and freed the inset back panel with external handle. That now slipped out easy as pie. The insides were reinforced with plenty of hard foam ribs, the speaker itself sleeved in a thick cloth shroud. As it turned out, the solid-steel plinth contributed about half the speaker's weight. I opted to unbolt it.


Walking it up our external stairs, I had hands-on appreciation for its mass. It definitely gives the final assembly a very low center of gravity. Opting against installing spikes—attempting to float this affair on floor protectors without pointy mishaps just begged for trouble—I doubled up on some Ikea furniture glides instead. As you see in the next photo, the plinth cover is very cleanly tig-welded to a massive bottom frame. It's not every speaker maker who must rely on a professional welding shop to complete their wares.


Once you check out the interlocking steel elements which convey upon this base a semi-floating aspect for the speaker, then factor in the flawlessly applied Sepang Brown BMW lacquer, it all spells out how sounddeco do not spend your money lightly. "This is some seriously rockin' shit, Sherlock!" is how a homie might put it. "Definitely most copasetic" is the penthouse slicker. Either way, it's a rock-solid physical presentation. This continues around back with a full spec listing (in proper German no less!) on the oversized terminal plate, two pairs of top-line WBT connectors which sport an unusual clamp collar for bananas; and which arrive with a substantial jumper insert. That I duly removed to instead biwire with two identical lengths of Zu Event.

Giving the gloss lacquer and steel base a quick Windex treatment to wipe off finger prints and dust once the Sigma 2 were in their intended place toed it at the centre seat, I was ready for my very first sampling. The female ears in our digs spontaneously agreed. Cold out of their boxes—well, 28°C at 18:00 hours wasn't exactly frosting it when I hit 'play'—these Poles did far more projection across space than most others do after being fully conditioned. If they continued at that clip, they'd be a major discovery. Time to close the book for a bit and let time do its ripening work. Since projection power was likely to factor big in the listening impressions, a few words now on what that is.


It's the difference between whether sound just sits over yonder listlessly—with 'yonder' usually well behind the speakers, possibly seeming on the other side of the front wall—or simultaneously floods the entire room with tangible presence. The former is distant. It triggers an observer perspective. The latter is immersive and communicative. It triggers participation and feeling touched. I'm at a complete loss to correlate the appearance of this quality with specific technical parameters that would predict it. I mostly find it strengthened or weakened by speaker choice not so much gear though just once I heard it massively improved by a full loom of cables (solid-core nude silver conductors embedded in two grades of crushed crystal sleeved inside kautschuk as Samuel Furon's newest Ocellia wires). A very easy tell for this quality's power is to walk away from the system, perhaps into another room or hallway.


If the music and not just sound follow you rather than demand that your attention travel back to their source, projection power is in place. Another way of phrasing it is to talk of encoded energy—the emotional content of music which otherwise is just pretty (or not so pretty) noise—and how well a speaker system taps, releases and focuses it. As such, it has nothing to do with forwardness. The virtual scenery isn't pushed at the listening seat like a lap dancer leaving her pole. It remains behind the speakers. Projection occurs from there like a charismatic orator or preacher reach their audience in the far rows without having to leave the pulpit. In some ways, this energetic projection is the most important quality a hifi must possess. Without it, playback remains boring, uninvolving and separate. Obviously basic qualities like absence of boomy bass, shrill highs and disturbing nonlinearities must be in place first since no amount of projection will temper our sonic displeasure with such distractions. Yet once those basics are handled—and they needn't be perfect, just good enough to not distract—projection power enters as a vital requirement. Without it, imaging finesse, expansive dynamics, truth of timbre and all the rest of it matter little to naught if they happen too far away and don't engage. A dead giveaway for insufficient projection is the need to play loud. SPL become a booby prize and fake stand-in. Play loud enough and eventually our nervous system can't help but feel overrun and drowned. Unless very short-term, that's fatiguing. It's a cheap trick that wears us down. The better a system projects, the less SPL are needed to communicate the desired musical charge. That doesn't mean you couldn't or wouldn't play such a system loud at times. You simply needn't to get full satisfaction.