April
2021

Country of Origin

Poland

Attyla SE

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz, Tidal, Denafrips Terminator+ clock-synced to Gaia; Avatar CDP; Soundaware D100Pro SD transport; Preamp: Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature; Power amps: Kinki Studio EX-B7 monos; Headamp: Kinki Studio; Phones: HifiMan Susvara; Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; Cube Audio Nenuphar; Aurai Audio M1 [on loan]; Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands; Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, LessLoss Firewall for loudspeakers, Furutech NCF Signal Boosters; Room: 4 x 6m with high gabled beam ceiling opening into 4 x 8m kitchen and 5 x 8m living room so no wall behind the listening chairs
2nd system: Source: Soundaware D300Ref SD transport; DAC/pre: Denafrips Terminator; Preamplifier: icOn 4Pro Model 3 SE;
Amplifier: Crayon CFA-1.2; Loudspeakers: sound|kaos Vox 3awf, Zu Submission subwoofer; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan];  Sundry accessories: Audioquest Fog Lifters; Furutech NFC Clear Lines; Room: ~4x6m
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win7/64; USB bridge: Audiobyte Hydra X+; Headamp: COS Engineering H1; Phones: Final D8000; Powered speakers: Fram Audio Midi 150
Upstairs headfi system: Source: Soundaware A280 SD transport; Integrated amplifiers: Schiit Jotunheim R or Bakoon AMP-13R; Phones: Raal-Requisite SR1a; Loudspeakers: Acelec Model One
2-channel video system: 
Source: Oppo BDP-105; DAC: Kinki Studio; Preamp: Wyred4Sound STP-SE II; Power amp: LinnenberG Liszt; Loudspeakers: German Physiks HRS-120; Room: ~6x4m
Review component retail: TBA

Who ya gonna call? For goat's butter, you'll want St. Helen's Farm. But for speakers in solid wood and leather? The deeply ingrained reflex would call on Sonus faber. Whilst other have followed, Franco Serblin's creations were first to explore that particular path in a lasting way. Now looking east, well east of Italy, we find one Polish company dedicated entirely to such aesthetics. Hello Aida Acoustics.

As a 9-year sprout playing the clarinet, I was part of a youth band. We held weekend concerts in Schleswig-Holstein's lake resorts. One evergreen crowd pleaser was Verdi's "Grand March" from Aida. That's because for the theme starting at 2'00", the conductor's 19-year old very curvy daughter and her boyfriend fronted our charges. With straight bugles raised high, they blasted away the fanfare like two Roman legionnaires in Asterix and Obelix. This invariably elicited applause well before their number was up. Since then, in my mind Aida has been synonymous with this fanfare and valve-less trumpets. As just one cursory glance at the Polish portfolio confirms, curves do factor once again. After wood and leather, they become the third cosmetic leitmotif throughout the range.

For Aida's offspring Attyla—not the ransacking Hun but hammy monitor—this includes gold-traced decorative outlines and faceted cheeks. More echoes of contemporary Sonus faber, even Kaiser. Whilst beauty is in the beholder's eye, I believe that few wouldn't find Attyla most becoming. Unlike perhaps some of the same portfolio's bigger egg-shaped floorstanders, the industrial design of this monitor with integral stands hits rather timeless notes. Would the same prove true for musical notes? To find out, I contacted the company's Katarzyna 'Kate' Hilczer.