Country of Origin



Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (i5, 256GB SSD, 40GB RAM, Sonoma 14), 4TB external SSD with Thunderbolt 3, Audirvana Studio, Qobuz Sublime, Singxer SU-6 USB bridge, LHY Audio SW-8 & SW-6 switch, Laiv Audio Harmony; Active filter: Lifesaver Audio Gradient Box 2; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 monos & Gold Note monos on subwoofer; Headamp: Enleum AMP-23R; Phones: Raal 1995 Immanis; Loudspeakers: Qualio IQ [on loan] Cables: Kinki Studio Earth, Furutech; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioners; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc amp stands; Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, LessLoss Firewall for loudspeakers, Furutech NCF Signal Boosters; Room: 6 x 8m with open door behind listening seat; Room treatment: 2 x PSI Audio AVAA C214 active bass traps
2nd system: Source: FiiO R7 into Soundaware D300Ref SD transport to COS Engineering D1; Preamp/filter: Lifesaver Audio Gradient Box 2; Amplifier: Kinki Studio EX-M7; Loudspeakers: MonAcoustic SuperMon Mini + Dynaudio S18 sub; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF, Akiko Audio Corelli; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan]; Sundry accessories: Audioquest Fog Lifters; Furutech NFC Clear Lines; Room: ~3.5 x 8m
2nd headfi system: DAC: Cen.Grand DSDAC 1.0 Deluxe; Headamp: Cen.Grand Silver Fox; Headphones: Raal 1995 Magna, HifiMan Susvara
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win10/64; USB bridge: Singxer SU-2; DAC: Sonnet Audio Pasithea; Head amp: Kinki Studio THR-1; Speaker amp: Crayon CFA-1.2; Speakers: Acelec Model One
Headphones: Final D-8000
Upstairs headfi system: FiiO R7; Headphones: Meze 109 Pro, Fiio FT3

2-channel video system: Source: Oppo BDP-105; All-in-One: Gold Note IS-1000 Deluxe; Loudspeakers: Zu Soul VI; Subwoofer: Zu Submission; Power delivery: Furutech eTP-8, Room: ~6x4m

Review component retail: CHF12'800/pr

Basel Acoustics are a new project by ex Boenicke collaborator Piotr Misiewicz with design input from Sven Boenicke of the eponymous speaker house. The first model is the Concept V01 shown above at Munich HighEnd 2024 in front of Boenicke Audio's W22 flagship.

Unlike the W22's broad carved-from-solid wood chassis, the V01 is a narrower if inspired-by build. The classic Sven Boenicke recipe for this very modernist 8" 2-way manifests as solid-wood construction; a rear-firing ambient dome tweeter and ~27Hz slot port; minimum-phase 1st-order filter at 1.5kHz; a floating driver-to-box suspension for its custom cellulose mid/woofer and bullet-on-a-stalk 2-inch metal-cone widebander¹; internal electro-mechanical parallel resonators; silk-wrapped Litz wiring; WBT NextGen terminals.

The Basel Acoustics website already teases a tab for electronics & cables plus an announcement for an upcoming Reference 01 speaker also designed by Sven. So it appears that here we'll eventually be able to assemble complete systems. "This new project will ultimately contain a fully comprehensive offer with unique values and features to astound our future customers and deliver products made with passion and dedication."

Perusing sundry Munich show coverage from afar, this sighting struck me as one of the most exciting amongst the glut of Oligarch Fi across the MOC's upper floors.

That was the industry feature I wrote after the show closed its door.

A week later Sven asked whether Piotr had reached out yet. He hadn't. Even if they don't live in Alaska, post-show communications tend to snow most people under. "I'll get him in the loop" was Sven's quick reply. If I could still read the tea leaves correctly, a review was indeed brewing. This seemed contingent only on how orders had depleted first production. Apparently 12 pairs sold at the show alone. Scheduling details. They make patience the best recourse when paying customers must always come first.

¹ Should the widebander moniker seem ill fitting, the 1.5kHz filter hinge and shallow 6dB/octave slope have this driver active a lot lower than a tweeter high-passed at a steep 4th-order 3kHz.

"Piotr’s holy grail has always been to be part of the high-end world. Since we separated a few years ago, he decided to launch his own brand. To my surprise he called it Basel Acoustics and I happened to become the one designing his product. It wasn't my idea at all and actually has nothing to do with Boenicke Audio except that there's obviously a lot of my brain in these products. As you already identified correctly, the V01 is actually a much simplified version of my W22 but still has both its main drivers suspended mechanically."

Piotr & Sven. Here they double as perfect size comparators for the speaker which ends below the belt line of each.

Going one's separate creative and business ways to then regroup forces shows mutual respect. Working as independent contract engineer not burdened by subsequent manufacture, sales and marketing is an opportunity for Sven to flex his brain without concern for potential overlap with or undue divergence from his established catalogue. Having recently learnt of a seriously acrimonious hifi split which went to court to involve dissolution of shares and restructuring, today's amicable form of seeking independence warmed my heart. Having only learnt of the V01 because it showed in Sven's exhibit in the first place echoed this. To maintain proper decorum, we'll now tip our hat at Sven Boenicke and focus our attention on Piotr Misiewicz. After all, Basel Acoustics is his company and the V01 embodies the industrial design of his new team. Wanting to become a player in the high-end sector will now put his managerial and promotional skills to the test. Having Sven as his speaker designer has that part of the equation in excellent nick out of the gate. For the rest of it, only time will tell. On matters of timing relative to global events and their fallout, no man has control. But with the visibility of a review, at least I can do my part to make a bit of noise about the brand. Then it'll be up to all paying customers—end users and dealers alike!—how things continue.

Photo credit: Dawid Grzyb of W22 widebander's suspension example on the floor upper and lower left. SwingBase suspended rack detail upper right.

Not having attended Munich 2024, I had no first-hand impressions, just photos and the Boenicke connection. That was enough catnip to ask for the job. Design DNA can carry real weight. It all depends on the roots. Here it doesn't start Basel Acoustics at zero as it most certainly would with an unknown designer. "Thank you very much for the excellent brand announcement and very kind and catchy comments. Munich High End was indeed a challenging but also marvellous experience. So yes, it happened. I started this new project with an independent entity but having Sven as speaker designer is a great thing. As you already pointed out, my 'sub brand' allows the implementation of a different design approach but also reaches new markets and caters to different tastes and expectations. And yes, I'd be more than happy to have you review our V01 speakers." With finish options in ash, oak, cherry or American walnut, I asked Piotr for the blond finish of the show pair. That would photograph most attractively in our décor. If initial orders had him already cleaned out on ash, it obviously didn't matter. But asking never hurts. Speakers in particular are Tonmöbel so sound furniture. It has most shoppers play favourites against their domestic style to be precisely why some companies embrace the trouble of multiple finishes. Ask and ye shall receive?