June
2021

Country of Origin

France

Lieutenant

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, Soundaware D100Pro SD transport; Preamp: Passive Preamplifier icOn 4Pro SE; Power amps: Kinki Studio EX-B7; Headamp: Kinki Studio THR-1; Phones: HifiMan Susvara; Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; Cube Audio Nenuphar; Aurai Audio M1 [on loan]; Zu Submission; Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps, LessLoss C-MARC Entropic cords between wall and conditioners; 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: Denafrips Terminator; Preamplifier: Vinnie Rossi L2 + LP/HP filter box from Pál Nagy; Amplifiers: Job 225; Crayon CFA-1.2; Loudspeakers: sound|kaos Vox 3awf, Dynaudio 18S sub; 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 2nd system: Source: Soundaware A280 SD transport; Integrated amplifiers: Schiit Jotunheim R &Bakoon AMP-13R; Phones: Raal-Requisite SR1a; Loudspeakers: Acelec Model One on  Ardán Audio desktop stands
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 ex VAT: €9'000/pr satin cherry, €9'500/pr high-gloss rosewood

Alain Pratali's Aurai Audio Lieutenant unspooled quite the tape across the year that we communicated ahead of this formal review. That extensive tale formatted into its own origin story. Today's pages now can be about just the final speaker's performance. All tech specs, design details and philosophy are covered already.

Owners of subwoofers have this knee-capped version. It does away with Lieutenant's invisible 4th-order bandpass woofer to be replaced by an external bass box or two. But the monitor does retain the horizontal TQWT or tapered quarter-wave tube behind the custom dipole 9" Vega membrane with Nomex surround. That loading demands an unusually deep cabinet. Retained too is the choice of single horn-loaded tweeter shown; or Lieutenant's back-to-back bipole pod above. The tweeter's offset behind the baffle locks in physical time alignment with the midrange.

The loaner towers shipped out from France the week of June 14th so this review…

…shall conclude shortly…