June
2020

Country of Origin

Denmark

A700

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo boost, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz Hifi, Tidal Hifi, Denafrips Terminator, Soundaware D300Ref SD transport & USB bridge; Preamplifier: Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature with WE VT52/300B or Elrog 50/300B; Power amplifiers: LinnenberG Audio Liszt monos; Headphone amp: Kinki Studio; Headphones: Final D8000; Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; Cube Audio Nenuphar; Aurai Audio M1 [on loan]; Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL3000; 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, hence no wall behind the listening chairs
Second system: Source: Soundaware D100Pro SD transport; DAC/pre: COS Engineering D1; Amplifier: Bakoon AMP-13R; Loudspeakers: Acelec Model One w. Franck Tchang magnesium 360° super tweeters, Zu Submission subwoofer, LessLoss Firewall for Loudspeakers; Power delivery: Puritan Audio Lab PSM-156; 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+; Headphone amp: COS Engineering H1; Headphones: Audeze LCD-XC; Powered speakers: Fram Audio Midi 150
Upstairs headfi system: Source: Soundaware A280 SD transport; DAC: Auralic Vega; Integrated amplifier: Schiit Jotunheim R; Headphones: Raal-Requisite SR1a
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: €6'200/pr, add €700 for hub – special pre-order/bundle pricing applies

With his A700, the monitor stable of Mads Buchardt just grew legs all the way down to the floor.

Not only is it a 6-driver sealed 3.5-way floorstander, it's fully active. And with the optional hub, you can bolt on comprehensive features like Kii's controller does for their famous 3 monitor at a much higher price.

For the A700 it means USB, 3 x Toslink, coax + HDMI, 24/96 wireless, Apple Airplay, Chromecast, Bluetooth 5.0 aptX, Spotify Connect, DLA UpNP, Roon ready, Buchardt's own room correction, an advanced lossless equalizer and a remote control. Lots of commas there.

Even hub-less, there's quad-core DSP, twin CS4398 DACing and 600W class D per side. It adds up to 28kg/ea but stands just 1 meter tall. 4 x 6" woofers add up to cone surface of an 11" woofer, albeit one that's powered by four motors not one.

With active drive/filtering, DSP compensation and plenty of power headroom, this long-stroke paper-cone woofer array promises reach to 17Hz at just -1.5dB.

Designer options include walnut, white or black skins. The dishy wave guide around the ¾" soft-dome tweeter good for 40kHz is always black-anodized aluminium.

Danish design, manufacture in the Danish/Chinese-owned Hansong factory in the PRC's Nanjing, then Dansk-direct sales (there's also a US warehouse for stateside buyers) punch up the value by cutting out middlemen and high EU labor fees.

To not make owners of his earlier passive monitors feel left out, Mads already has the €2'500 I150 integrated in the pipeline.

That will come with an RF aluminium remote and 150/250wpc into 8/4Ω Hypex power. It will talk to the same app for access to Buchardt's own room correction and advanced EQ facilities.

On those, "they add to our speakers some fantastic features which bring full dynamics back to the mix whenever you listen at volumes below 70dB. Then it's a game changer by compensating for how the human ear behaves at low SPL. You tell our app which speakers you have paired with the amp so that our DSP applies the correct settings and does this accurately with other improvements to either our S300 and S400 models.

"You can of course disable all this if you use the amp with other speakers."

The amp also includes an ES9028Pro DAC, quad-core DSP processor and 5.0 Bluetooth interface for the app as well as aptX HD playback.

Back to the A700, its filter transitions at 100Hz, 250Hz and 2'800Hz. The 24/96 WISA protocol can handle up to 7.1 scenarios for advanced home theater and the wired input is on analog XLR. There's auto-sensing AC power for 100-240V compatibility. Magnetic grills and decoupling footers for beneath the plinths are included. So are spikes with floor protectors.

It reads like a whole lot of tech gain for very realistic coin pain. That's been the Buchardt motto from day one. It's how the entire infrastructure of the company is organized to leverage expertise and resources from around the globe. Their proprietary wave guide for example is the result of first access to a latest-gen very costly laser modeling tool that took thousands of measurements to linearize the geometry's response and directivity. Buchardt drivers are sourced from SB Acoustics, a Danish venture with very large Malaysian factory. DSP and acoustic consultancy are provided by a cadre of smart coders and Mads' friend Kaspar Raun, an ex Dynaudio engineer. What had started with the S300 rear-ported monitor like a one-trick pony quickly grew into a well-liked concern with plenty of enthusiastic word of mouth going around.