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Reviewer:
Srajan Ebaen
Financial Interests: click here
Source: 2TB iMac 27" quad-core with 16GB of RAM (AIFF) running OSX 10.8.2 and PureMusic 1.94g in hybrid memory play with pre-allocated RAM, Audirvana 1.5.10 in direct/integer mode 1, Metrum Hex, SOtM dX-USB HD with Super-clock upgrade & mBPS-d2s, AURALiC Vega, Apple iPod Classic 160 AIFF-loaded, Cambridge Audio iD100, Pure i20, RWA-modifed Astell&Kern AK100
Preamplifier: Nagra Jazz, Bent, Audio Tap-X, Esoteric C-03
Power/integrated amplifier: FirstWatt S1 monos, Crayon Audio CFA-1.2, Bakoon AMP-12R, Gato Audio DIA-250, Goldmund/Job 225, Clones Audio AP1/55pm [on loan], AURALiC Merak [on loan]
Loudspeakers: soundkaos Wave 40, Boenicke Audio W5, German Physiks HRS-120, AudioSolutions Rhapsody 200, Zu Audio Submission
Cables: Complete Zu Event loom, KingRex uArt and Light Harmonic Lightspeed split USB cables, Tombo Trøn S/PDIF, Van den Hul AES/EBU, AudioQuest Diamond glass-fiber Toslink
Powerline conditioning: GigaWatt PF-2 + Vibex Two 1R on amps, Vibex Three 11R on front-end components
Equipment rack:
Artesania Exoteryc double-wide three tier with optional glass shelf, Rajasthani hardwood rack for amps
Sundry accessories: Extensive use of Acoustic System Resonators, noise filters and phase inverters
Desktop system: iPod/AK100 digital transport, Aura Vita integrated, Gallo Strada II + TR-3D, beyerdynamic T5p
Room size:
Irregularly shaped 9.5 x 9.5m open floor plan combines the living/listening room, kitchen and office. Added to this space the speakers see the air volume of the entry hall and a long corridor plus the 2nd-storey 6 x 9.5m loft. Wood-panel ceiling slopes up to the loft. Parquet flooring. Lots of non-parallel surfaces ('vertical gable' windows, twin-angle ceiling, spiral staircase enclosure, fireplace enclosure).
Review component retail in the EU: €6'800/pr

Prototype showing at the Norddeutsche Hifi Tage in Hamburg, 2014.

The emailer was Joachim Gerhard. Being fluent reading German whilst speaking it has gotten rusty, I had zero trouble with his message which I've translated here:


"As you will know I founded Audio Physic in 1985 where I was sole owner and CEO until late 2004. After parting I founded Sonics which I left a few years later. Under the Canalis brand my Sonics designs continue to be built—with some improvements like bamboo housings—by Allen Perkins in Berkeley, California. Today I work under the Suesskind name but continue to do design work for others like for example Fast Audio, Kiso, Lyra, Canalis, SB Acoustics, Mundorf, L`Art du Son, Mace, Bauer Audio and many more. It's well possible that you've already reviewed a speaker which benefited from my know-how.


"With Suesskind I now offer my own products and I wonder whether you might like to hear one of my speakers. You might be aware that I was involved from the very beginning with the development of the Enviee widebander. Armin Galm performed the actual R&D but I assisted with measurement and listening comments. Armin now has produced for me my very own version which over the standard Enviee includes certain improvements so I can wholly do without a tweeter.
From Stereo's 08/13 issue in their series "secrets of the designers"

"In my opinion it sounds much better as a pure widebander. The highs are so extended and substantial, they leave nothing to be desired. And the speaker is phase linear which isn't possible with an added tweeter. I can easily show that with measurements. This speaker goes by the name of Puls. My website has a PDF with all the information about it. I hope to see you at the HighEnd Munich show next month. The Puls will be at the BFly Audio booth. After the show I'd love to make a pair available if you're interested."


If you hadn't yet figured it out, Suesskind is the internationalized spelling of Süßkind. That's German for sweet child or perhaps sweet thing if we play it casual. And the original Enviee driver with Raal ribbon and hi/lo-pass filter is what's in my soundkaos Wave 40 speakers. Those I affectionally call my Swiss eggs on sticks due to their ovoid tone wood body rising atop a skinny solid-wood stand with aluminium plinth. Martin Gateley's sophisticated two-way was the first production loudspeaker to use Armin Galm's driver. Galm is a well-known German driver designer who does a lot of contract work for Backes & Müller. But he designed the Enviee as a labour of love over many years on the side. This wasn't a narrowly spec'd contract project at all. Now the Suesskind Puls was the second production speaker which, were it a PC, would flaunt an Enviee inside sticker.

For more synchronicity, Sven Boenicke whose Swiss speakers I've reviewed, owned and very much admire had spent time with Joachim whom he considers a kind of mentor or role model. Sven way back when had told me about Gerhard's work with the Enviee to consider using it himself. Martin too had talked, about Joachim's work on a ported Enviee without tweeter whose prototype he'd heard in an informal session. I thus was all primed and ready when Joachim's email arrived. But there was more. Many or most widebander designers are assumed to rely mostly if not exclusively on subjective listening, not measurements.


Not only are single-driver speakers known to measure quite poorly, they tend to use no corrective filters at all. On raw textbook design credibility, the 'single driver in a box' simplicity surrounds the breed with a certain DIY spirit. That might be paraphrased as perhaps fun but not properly serious.


Which most assuredly couldn't be said about Joachim Gerhard. He in fact is one of the most serious—and most seriously recognized and accoladed—speaker designers who relies very strongly on measurements and listening. If widebander speakers needed a credibility injection, here was the right man for the job. If Gerhard did away with a crossover and tweeter, it wouldn't be for not knowing how to design a really brilliant filter; or for playing it fast and loose on proper bandwidth. But then, ha! - the Puls isn't without a filter.