Pre pleasure. You might have guessed from 33kg fighting weight that these gods put sweat before pleasure. This not only applies to unpacking and schlep but installation. One of Ferria's great strengths—I'll still get to that—can also turn weakness. I mean the Middle Path of how images which the mixing console placed dead center come to life; or not. As is well known, that's always an important arbiter. It requires very deliberate setup to optimize central focus. During my first attempt with the horns angled relatively direct at my listening seat, the Ferria surprised me with the smug ballad "Make you feel my love" with an incredibly beamed Adele whom I had actually never heard this blatantly focused before. Alas, her image only appeared as a point à la laser pointer. Nobody would expect the lady to beam down at her full height of 1.75m but at least the mouth as the apparent origin of the song should have a significantly larger area than the square millimeter which beamed at me bright as day. And so I had my brother-in-law slowly change orientation of the speakers from sharply toed-in to more and more parallel. Amazing things happened. Image lock retained its credibility with absolute precision but the image itself gradually increased in size from punctilious to realistic to larger than life.
The upshot is that if you want to hear things correctly, make an effort with your setup. It's well worth it. Once I cleared that hurdle, sonic fireworks awaited which had already purified themselves to make it very hard to not to fall into unconditional enthusiasm and overly effusive praise. Because rarely did I host a speaker which would arouse so many emotions in me. Let's start with the phenomenon "urge to move". Honestly, I'm not into dancing. At parties I usually sit as close as possible to where drinks flow freely, surrounded by people who are good conversationists. Most the time I don't really care what happens on the dance floor. It takes at least three G'n'T and pleading looks from my wife before I agree to flop around rhythmically in the strobe lights. Lo and behold, when I played Daft Punk's Random Access Memories and its punchy and fantastically produced dance number "Give Life Back to Music", there was no holding back. After the first few bars, I had a "Go to the dance floor. Go straight there. Don't collect 4'000 Deutschmarks, reserve a five-digit amount in your checking account instead" Klaus Kinski imperiously inside my ear. That bass! Such joy of play! That jaggedness! What I experienced was nothing shy of sensational. Okay, let's try to translate all this into hifi criteria because in my mind's eye I can already see my editorial team's trembling mouse finger over the "comment" button.
So the Horn Acoustic Ferria could do bass. Real bass. Deep bass. Pit-of-stomach stomps. The topic of bass power is usually not too important to me; or at least hasn't been thus far. I've always been completely satisfied with the depth, power and stability my €5'100 ProAc Response D20R floorstanders deliver. Well, puff cake. The stated 35Hz cut-off of Ferria struck me as absolutely factual. Bass drums went straight to the gut. 16-foot church organ stops at full power made the air tremble. No eye stayed dry. I must stress that I'm not exaggerating. There was no upper bass hump, no artificial thickening anywhere, just hammered out nonchalance and speed for sheer fun.
The situation was similar in the high frequencies. Enormous transparency and insight were more present than withheld but not overemphasized. True, the ribbon in my ProAC Response D20R shows a similar amount of information but still sounds milder or silkier where Ferria's compression driver added a teaspoon of brilliance without tipping into the metallic. Qualitatively this reminded me a bit of the treble of the €6'000 B&W 805 D3. Here though it better integrated with the midband and was a little less prominent so very nicely matched. And the midrange itself? Uncolored, clean, clear and resolved, it didn't seem to have been as much focus of the overall tuning as the bass and treble so quite unlike my workhorse Harbeth 30 for example. This Brit builds its sound quite clearly from the midrange on out and is somewhat milder/rounder in both extremes. Overall the Horn Acoustic Feria was much more neutral so a bit cooler in the vocal range and not as warm and euphonic as the Harbeth.