February
2021

Country of Origin

Denmark

Courante 2.0

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 Soundaware D300Ref SD transport/USB reclocker; Preamp: Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature with WE VT52/300B or Elrog 50/300B; Power amps: LinnenberG Liszt monos; Headamps: Questyle CMA-800r monos; 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, 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; 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 D100Pro SD transport; DAC/pre: Denafrips Terminator or COS Engineering D1; Amplifier: Bakoon AMP-13R or Crayon CFA-1.2; Loudspeakers: Acelec Model 1 w. Franck Tchang magnesium super tweeters, Zu Submission subwoofer, LessLoss Firewall for Loudspeakers; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan]; Room: ~4x6m
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win7/64; USB bridge: Audiobyte Hydra X+; Headamp: Kinki Studio Vision THR-1; Phones: Audeze LCD-XC on Forza Audio Lab cable; Powered speakers: Fram Audio Midi 120
Upstairs headfi system: Source: Soundaware A280 SD transport; Integrated amplifiers: Schiit Jotunheim R or Bakoon AMP-13R; Phones: Raal-Requisite SR1a, Audeze LCD-2, Final Sonorous X & D8000, HifiMan HE-1000
2-channel video system: 
Source: Oppo BDP-105; DAC: Kinki Studio; Preamp: Wyred4Sound STP-SE II; Power amp: Pass Labs XA-30.8; Loudspeakers: German Physiks HRS-120; Room: ~6x4m
Review component retail: €55'000/pr

The Eastern Bayz area – far Eastern when Bayz Audio's Zoltán Bay lives in Tiszaalpar/Hungary, when his creations are a joint Hungarian/Danish venture. They're instantly recognizable for their curved carbon tubes which bend gracefully into a capital C. Zoltán's patented 'pulsing rod' tweeter occupies the opening. Two purpose-designed balanced-force mid/woofers from SB Acoustics bracket this upright radiator from above and below. That's for full-bandwidth omni dispersion of a vertical uni-core double coax. For the flagship 2-way Counterpoint, these dynamic drivers are 9½" in diameter loaded into rear ports. For today's smaller Courante 2.0, they're 7½". They cover ~30Hz to 2'000Hz with a compound 10½" driver's surface area before handing over to the radial tweeter good out to 50kHz.

As I paraphrased Zoltán in my May 2019 industry feature, "…compared to other state-of-the-art speakers, mine have faster impulse response, much cleaner decay and very low ringing. My intention was to design a speaker with the lowest distortion signature and idealized pulse with perfect frequency response in all direction." Renowned Danish electroacoustic engineer Frank Nielsen of Danesian Audio ApS was tasked to create custom mid/woofers to match the speed of the radial tweeter. The enclosures sculpted by race aircraft designer András Voloscsuk are entirely of carbon fiber and lined with a proprietary damping compound to eliminate unwanted vibrations.

On February 17th about two years later, "sorry that I'm applying for a review only now when I always planned to send you a speaker for testing and visit with you. Unfortunately the pandemic intervened and we were always focused on something else with much to do. I feel that now is the time to send you one of my speakers as we want to open up the UK markets. I received an invitation from the RR Club in London for their annual event which is expected to be in October. I plan to ship the speakers to London afterwards so we could connect the two things in the fall."

Whilst the long unintended delay could suggest otherwise, Zoltán's design credo does live in the time domain. There impulses must rise steeply, phase rotation across the critical bandwidth be minimal. Though ports do cause phase aberrations, our designer considers their bandwidth less critical and a valid trade-off considering the smaller cubic volume required to breach the bottom octave with solidity. After all, speakers hoping for domestic approval can't be too big.

In the cookbook of loudspeaker engineering, Bayz Audio join brands Avantages, German Physik, Duevel and mbl in promoting the gospel of 360° dispersion just like real instruments radiate into space. Forget beaming tweeters and their uneven in-room power response. In fact, Zoltán's columnar radiator applies far more surface area to the job than our ubiquitous 1" dome tweeter so displaces far more air with far less motion. That promises lower distortion, greater smoothness and higher dynamics. As designers working with ribbon and AMT tweeters know, the challenge always tends to be securing transducers for the remaining bandwidth which can keep up. It's why Courante 2.0 adopts custom dynamic drivers groomed to mirror the omni tweeter's reflexes.