Other opinions. For his Munich HighEnd 2018 show report, Christiaan Punter of hifi-advice.com ended with his five favourite rooms of Wilson/Nagra, Wilson Benesch/Ypsilon, Stenheim/CH Precision, Grand Prix Audio/Apertura – and Kroma. Here's what he wrote on that: "Kroma Audio is a new speaker brand that I first encountered in Bilbao/Spain on my visit to the Enosound show 2018. As I noted, there were some room modes in that particular room of the Hotel Convent San Roque but this room in the Marriott Hotel had no issues whatsoever. The sound with the big Elektra was glorious, full, rich, smooth yet tonally highly accurate and incredibly dynamic, with bass to die for. No matter how loud they played though, the midrange and treble never became aggressive. The tweeters are quite special. They do not sound like ribbons but they also do not sound like typical dynamic tweeters. The combined performance of these speakers was quite simply utterly life-like. At their cost one would expect them to be but I've heard several other speakers in this price range at this show that did not stir me at all, meaning that cost alone is not much of an indicator.
Mimí and Elektra in all black with Goldmund.
"The big surprise came in small packages: these new Mimí stand-mount speakers produced a sound that truly belied their proportions. Cut from the same cloth as the larger models tonally, they succeeded in providing an immersive delivery with unbelievably solid and powerful bass given their cabinet size. The speakers as well as the stands and racks are made from a combination of Panzerholz and Krion. Needless to say, this system scored very highly in my top 5 best-sounding systems at the show, regardless whether the large Elektra were playing or the new small stand-mounts."
At a Spanish show with Kuzma turntable and Octave tube electronics.
For his best-of Kroma listing, "The VAC preamp and Analog Domain P-75 power amp in this system matched incredibly well with both Kroma speakers. There are some Wilson traits in the Kroma sound which is probably partially why I like them. It's the sense of solidity and the feeling of listening to a live performance that is very convincing. The new Mimí stand-mount speakers produced a sound that truly belied their proportions. The large €100K Elektra naturally provided a deeper-reaching and more sonorous bass and mostly retained the upsides of the small stand mounts. The small Mimí costing a 'mere' €7'000 however, as far as I am concerned, take the prize." My thinking precisely in the wake of Barcelona's Enosound event.
From the Audiophile review December 2018 in Hong Kong: "Designed and manufactured in Spain, Kroma's Mimí is the most emotional-sounding loudspeaker with the most ambitious soundstage and most powerful low-frequency energy of all the many compact loudspeakers I've heard since I began my career as an audio critic. Its superior sound surpasses the physical limitations of its size. When I thought that I'd already listened to all the best compact speakers in the world, the superb sound qualiies of Kroma's Mimí still brought me unlimited surprises. The manufacturer utilizes the best materials and pays attention to every single detail to create the most memorable small loudspeaker in history. Such an achievement is worthy of me writing about in my magazine."
In my own career as audio critic, the most memorable small speakers I could recall 20 years later were Gryphon's Mojo 2, Crystal Cable's Minissimo, Mark & Daniel's Maximus II, Kaiser Acoustics' Chiara and EnigmAcoustic's M1 with Sopranino super tweeter. Of those, the latter became our in-house favourites and representative of the super monitor breed. As such they'd be the resident benchmark to take Mimí's pulse whilst establishing in the same breath that the Chinese/Californian collaboration with stand sold for twice what today's firm from Andalusia ask. Not a fair comparison but still useful to describe by contrast. Another residential mini was my wife's Boenicke's W5, book-ending Mimí on price from the other side. That would triangulate further to generate useful markers. If Martin Gateley's new soundkaos Vox 3 arrived in time, I'd quadriculate.
Delivery from Spain was in two stacked wooden crates strapped to a single pallet. With the Irish white van's lack of a lift gate, I simply cut the straps and carried each crate separately into the house. Talk about bullet-proof shipment. Kroma were clearly prepared to brave the vagaries of global transportation on the nose.
The smaller box contained the speakers suspended in very thick foam ends, contact patches protected by soft cloth. The stands floated in similar hard-foam spacers and a small cardboard box housed the six wooden footer cones which simply sit in small recesses machined into the Krion base. Like the speakers, each stand's front sports a gilded flush 'K' logo for most understated branding. If you had the good taste to acquire these, you'll know that 'K' stands for Kroma without a tacky badge.
For my last two pages already, the photos did all that talking. Still it bears mention that in the cool sleek composite flesh with Carbon-texture inlays, appearance and tactile feedback were most luxurious and elegant. Likewise for the engraved model and company names on the rear panel with its two very stout terminals. Miguel Castro's industrial design talents were in excellent nick.
So your eyes and hands shall tell you that Mimí was built without compromise. The mundane notion of 'grill' and such satorial splendor don't coexist in the same universe. And thankfully Miguel and Javier didn't bother cobbling one together to kowtow to the mundane. Mimí's only minor concession is absence of any leveling provision. Should the three blunt-nosed wood cones create a tower-of-Pisa effect because your floor is inebriated, you'll need to use a coin or similar spacer to compensate.
Set up in lieu of our usual Albedo Audio Aptica floorstanders in an upstairs room for a first get-to-know session, Mimí quickly indicated similar extension by breaching the 40Hz threshold.
In a room this size, reduced signs of life in the upper first octave removed any question that for all of my intents and purposes, this compact was a full-range speaker. Anything more would overload this space.
How Mimí would fare in our far longer downstairs room which opens into an adjoining kitchen and living room I would learn soon enough. I had a tall Zu Submission subwoofer in standby just in case a bit of assist below 40-50Hz was desirable there.
Asking Javier about whatever further design details they were willing to share, he submitted this photo of an anechoic chamber in Granada which Kroma rely on during R&D of all of their speakers..
"We used the absolute minimum distance between our mid/woofer and tweeter to cluster them tightly for best driver integration. This gives us a quasi point-source dispersion for a two-way. The crossover filter network is isolated inside its own wooden box. That box is additionally potted in resin to eliminate any exposure of our quality crossover components to internal air turbulence.
"The bass reflex port is turned from solid Cedar by a local luthier. Its length and diameter tune it to 40Hz. It is active to about 250Hz to act like a virtual third driver. It increases bass performance with a natural rich tone. We also use advanced damping materials of varying thickness inside the chemically welded Krion enclosure. That minimizes remaining box resonances which are created by pure geometry."