June
2019

Country of Origin

Italy

Ludos

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
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, COS Engineering D1, Denafrips Terminator, Soundaware D300Ref as USB bridge/SD transport, Jay's Audio CDT2 MkII & DAC2-SE
Preamplifier: Nagra Classic, Wyred4Sound STP-SE Stage II, COS Engineering D1, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVT module)
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1 monos, SIT3. F5, F6, F7; Goldmund/Job 225; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics NC500 monos; LinnenberG Audio Liszt monos, Bakoon AMP-13R
Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; Cube Audio Nenuphar [on loan]; Albedo Audio Aptica; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V, VI & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence
Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL 3000; Zu Event; KingRex uArt double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo; Ocellia OCC Silver
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps/sub
Equipment rack: Artesania 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
Review component retail: €16'900/pr

My favourite demo at 2019's alternate Munich show called HifiDeluxe took place in the Diesis Audio room. I thus made sure to imbibe, repeatedly.

What were the attractions? Let' see. 98.5dB sensitivity. Compression drivers. Tractrix horns. Two 15-inch dipole woofers for each Roma Triode speaker. The lot driven off a legendary Kondo Ongaku or Diesis' own Corian-clad Evento 20-11 hybrid integrated. Reel-to-reel Emiolia Records master tapes. It all made for spectacularly big air motion and chunky tonefulness. The Hiberian Parma ham and wine on dégustation didn't hurt either. With the speakers being far too big for our far more modest digs, I simply was way out of luck replicating that heady experience at home. Them be the trade show Blues.

But… hello Ludos, ma chère petite amie. There on a side wall stood a pair of dual 10" open bafflers with small spherical horns on which I could lean my weary crossed arms. Whilst most classily finished in ivory tones and loaded with quality parts, they looked positively dainty compared to the big boys facing the audience with undeniable majesty.

Thankfully company founder Giuseppe Gabbarini proved amenable to my plight—instantaneous lust coupled to sorry inability which then spied a far more realistic solution—and a hand shake sealed the deal. A pair of 2-way Ludos (Ludii?) would soon be airborne to Eire.

Actually, it's a 2½-way because the paper-cone woofers with pleated surrounds don't operate across the same bandwidth. Only the upper one meets the 45mm horn-loaded compression driver at 2'200Hz. The lower one sneaks in at 180Hz to assist just below the upper bass. The baffle itself is a molded slab of Clad 58 described as a composite of powdered minerals, cement and resin. The 1" thick lacquered horn with 1" throat is machined from a solid block of engineered plastic called Arnite®. The crossover is hardwired "to military standards" and the baffle trim and horn are hot-swappable to accommodate changed cosmetics with different finishes. Performance specs are 37Hz-26'000Hz bandwidth ±8dB, 93dB sensitivity and a nominal 6Ω impedance. Min/max recommended power is 10/130 watts. Each speaker weighs a healthy 40kg and measures just 4cm taller than 1m with a foot print of 32.8cm wide by 28.9cm deep.