In the studio/nearfield profile, the A500 already played better balanced for me and with a better defined midband even prior to room correction. Post calibration, it still sounded more half fat than no fat but now was perfectly acceptable. Particularly fetching in this tuning was the improved grip and pressure of the upper bass and the superior lower mirange definition over the softer voicing of the default profile.

Even without room correction, the 3-way profile was very natural even into the infra bass. Now the A500 played abnormally low and up to medium SPL the cleanest, clearest and most articulate. On bass-heavy fare, the rear woofer simply started to break up at higher volumes. That's back at smaller rooms or listeners who don't throw parties with small speakers. Which gets us at why I left the standard-voice-optimized tuning for last. As its name indicates, it's related to the standard profile hence voluminous in the bass. But since it lightly lifts the midband, the low end has better support and the minor vocal depression is nearly entirely absent. For me that trended in the perfect direction and augmented by room correction, arrived me at my final setting. Now the A500 matched the taut pressurized lower midrange of the €1'998/pr Elac Navis ARB-51 and the physical punch and bass-drum kick of Rage Against The Machines' "Killing in the name". Particularly in the 3-way profile, the lower midrange had felt a bit underrepresented. Now the infra bass didn't reach as low but withstood noticeably higher SPL. In short, its carefully curated profiles make Buchardt's A500 unbelievably flexible and far more universal than most competitors in this class. Now that I had everything locked and loaded, let's talk the full turkey.

Preview. Adjusted to my room and ears and driven wireless, Buchardt's A500 didn't become a lean or ascetic monitor with the attack of a 30cm paper-cone widebander in a back-loaded horn or even a mid-centric BBC box. Regardless of musical diet, the A500's core character remained warmish, elastic nearly velvety, finely resolved and silky. Like a comfy seat cushion, its bass supported big symphonic action like Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet but also RATM's mentioned "Killing in the name" power Rock.  Here many speakers have their bass lag as though big excursions didn't stop on time. Not here. In the time domain, the A500 felt consistently on the money and across the entire bandwidth. Only impulse response textures felt slightly soft. Elac's Navis ARB-51 are no bass ascetics either but produce comparatively tauter bass with marginally edgier attacks, albeit also noticeably less reach and power bravura on the grand organ of Cantate Domino for Chorus & Organ by Oscar's Motettkör. Here it was interesting how via the analog XLR inputs, the entire bass realm tightened up for crisper attacks. Now the Burchardt showed the Elac a clear set of heels also in that discipline.

With cream please! Across the vocal range, I thought the A500 to be admirably non-spectacular so even-handed. My voice-optimized profile ironed out most the default setting's recession to clearly define Motettkör's performers on the stage. In the upper mids many speakers deliver more shimmer and presence but the A500 counter with zero stress and elegance. On presence and transparency, the costlier combo of €4'500 LinnenberG Liszt stereo amp and €3'000/pr passive ATC SCM19 boxes held the edge on the acoustic guitars of "Voice of the soul" from the Sound of Perseverance album. On Dominique Fils-Aimée's "Birds" from the Nameless album meanwhile, the Danes dug deeper into the sonorous timbres of voice and double bass to envelop me in a more benign scenery without sharp edges. Switching over to an analog feed again reaped benefits for crisper string tension, slappier bass pops and tauter conga skins.