March
2024

Country of Origin

Germany

Move & Groove

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (i5, 256GB SSD, 40GB RAM, Sonoma 14), 4TB external SSD with Thunderbolt 3, Audirvana Studio, Qobuz Sublime, Singxer SU-6 USB bridge, LHY Audio SW-8 & SW-6 switch, Laiv Audio Harmony and Sonnet Pasithea; Active filter: Lifesaver Audio Gradient Box 2; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 monos & Gold Note monoa on subwoofer; Headamp: Kinki Studio THR-1; Phones: HifiMan Susvara, Meze 109 Pro; Loudspeakers: Qualio IQ [on loan] Cables: Kinki Studio Earth, Furutech; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioners; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc amp stands; Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, LessLoss Firewall for loudspeakers, Furutech NCF Signal Boosters; Room: 6 x 8m with open door behind listening seat
2nd system: Source: FiiO R7 into Soundaware D300Ref SD transport to Cen.Grand DSDAC 1.0 Deluxe; Preamp/filter: Lifesaver Audio Gradient Box 2; Amplifier: Kinki Studio EX-M7; Headamp: Cen.Grand Silver Fox Loudspeakers: MonAcoustic SuperMon Mini + Dynaudio S18 sub; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF, Akiko Audio Corelli; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan]; Sundry accessories: Audioquest Fog Lifters; Furutech NFC Clear Lines; Room: ~3.5 x 8m
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win10/64; USB bridge: Singxer SU-2; DAC: iFi Pro iDSD Signature; Head/speaker amp: Enleum AMP-23R; Speakers: Acelec Model One
Headphones: Final D-8000 & Sonorous X, Audeze LCD-XC, Raal-Requisite SR1a on Schiit Jotunheim R
Upstairs headfi system: FiiO R7; Headphones: Meze 109 Pro, Fiio FT3

2-channel video system: Source: Oppo BDP-105; All-in-One: Gold Note IS-1000 Deluxe; Loudspeakers: Zu Soul VI; Subwoofer: Zu Submission; Power delivery: Furutech eTP-8, Room: ~6x4m

Review component retail: €3'200/pr, add €295/pr for stands, €3'590 for Source II, 

Bavaria's Lindemann Audio are no strangers to speakers. The Audio Beat reviewed their $11K/pr Accuton-fitted BL-10 monitors back in 2012 [lower right]. Ten years prior there was the B-60 [lower left]. But the company goes back even farther when last year marked their 30th Anniversary. At its fall Warsaw show last November, Lindemann premiered their first new speaker since the rise of their compact music:book range of electronics; and the parallel skunkworks Limetree micros. Called the Move and priced at €3.2K/pr, it crisply breaks with prior Lindemann speaker concepts. To appreciate the difference, we segue into the past again if but for a sentence or two. In current times the single-driver genre began its career way off the mainstream in Lowther then Rethm land. Later Voxativ then Cube did probably most the heavy lifting to finally gain it mainstream acceptance including Stereophile rankings. Zu converged on the same level of visibility and subsequent acceptance on a rather different tangent. Regardless, in 2024 the widebander is an acknowledged if still very niche way of executing speaker design.

In the early 2000s, Lindemann shocked the German then global high-end scene with its tank-like €22K SACD player challenging Sony's rule of that sector.

Now Lindemann's Move joins the widebander ranks with a very domesticated take on the art. Rather than pursue a classic whizzer-cone 8"-10" driver in a capacious quarter-wave box, it embraces the far smaller Chinese-made Mark Audio Alpair¹ platform in 5-inch guise. That does away with a conventional spider. It features mechanical decoupling of its central 'plug' with ascending frequencies to act as a virtual coax without any electrical crossover. The Move monitor in its grey HDF cab with thin black aluminium front plate does sport a filter but it's a mere single-cap high pass on the auxiliary AMT 'super' tweeter. It extends the magnesium-alloy driver's ~9kHz response to 36kHz. Down-low reach is a claimed 40Hz at 87dB sensitivity. The low-mass stand is optional and builds in a minor degree of rake. Together with the integrated Combo model from the music:book range in the opening photo, this is Lindemann's proposal for a do-it-all modern hifi system.
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¹ "The Alpair 5 Gen3 is a widebander whose sole suspension is an advanced inverse surround… The engineering team spent several months of research to remove mechanical restriction from the ultra-thin coil body. Traditional drivers use a spider suspension behind the cone. Bonded to the coil, spiders physically restrict the coil's ability to transfer mechanical signals to the cone. Some drivers use damping fluid, springs or other devices, all of which create losses. The Alpair 5 completely removes these restrictions. Its coil locates cleanly between the driver's cone and motor sub-assembly, making it a pure free-to-air mechanical design. The accuracy requirements for component design, engineering and detailed assembly far exceed typical commercial audio-driver manufacturing. The front suspension's operating tolerance measures in milli-newtons. Production Alpair 5 Gen3 drivers are made to within ±2.5Hz @ F-Zero. All production units are then pair matched to with ±1Hz @ F-Zero."

In Berlin, Camerton's Oleh Lizohub has already proven that a small widebander in a compact box really can deliver complete real-world bandwidth. His simply lives on a far taller money mountain than Lindemann's €3'200 ask. That sum, compact dims and no-frills minimalist styling all had me think that this could just be the strongest fully domesticated entry into the genre yet? With the forthcoming Groove companion sub, even those feasting on 30Hz will get their calories. As a full convert of the obscure Stereo 2.1 church—both my music systems configure with actively hi/lo-passed speakers and subs—and a fancier of small widebanders, you'll appreciate why the Move prospect had my salacious attention.

My upstairs rig already enjoys the Korean SuperMon Mini monitors from MonAcoustic. Those combine back-to-back so isobaric Mark Audio 4-inch Alpair drivers augmented by an AMT super tweeter in a rear-ported aluminium cab. I already am a fan/owner of Mark Fenlon's small widebanders whose DNA stretches back to Ted Jordan if you want to do some Google recon.

Lindemann's driver of choice to which they affix a small felt damper comes in a grey-aluminium or copper/gold-anodized skin. They clearly opted for the louder finish. Also obvious is the AMT's oval waveguide which ought to broaden horizontal dispersion. It all fits into 35×18.6×30.5cm HxWxD to weigh a low-mass 6.5kg. This includes internal foam liners and sheep's wood fill. With the AMT only covering the zone of brilliance so high harmonics, the copper-tone main handles all instrumental and vocal fundamentals shy of the rare bottom octave. Its voice coil couples direct to our amp through a few meters of speaker cable.

The usual benefits are superior drive from absence of energy-absorptive phase-shifty filter parts; a clean impulse response; and point-source dispersion. We expect to score high on time fidelity aka jump factor aka PRaT and microdynamic differentiation; high on very depth-specific layering; and less so on textbook linearity. That often relies on electronic compensation of shelving, baffle-step and notch filters.

Into this picture intrudes the lifestyle whopper. Eating healthy is a lifestyle. So is regular physical exercise, meditation and a curated décor. Likewise for music playback. In the crusty high-end ghetto meanwhile, the term implies sonic concessions to convenience, cosmetics and coin. Lindemann started off in the costly high-end sector but in 2013 shifted focus on and now make nothing but life-styled components. How silly this term becomes when the implied opposite is a death fixation. Even Charles Bronson's Deathwish VI never got made.

Just so the brand's 2024 portfolio is about compact relatively affordable kit with expected mod cons including app control. The Move remains on trend then goes counter culture by avoiding the classic tweeter/mid-woofer 2-way concept as well as its close relative, the KEF-style dual concentric. Instead it ushers in the return of the small widebander. Perhaps call it a 0.5-way to appease the technocrats. Who woulda thunk it from accredited engineer Norbert Lindemann? His first contact with hifi was the complete Braun chain of his uncle. His first commercial product under his own name was the Amp 1.0 integrated soon followed by the Box 1.0 loudspeaker during the early 1990s. Complete systems have been in his blood since the brand's birth. 30-odd years later, the Move represents his latest thinking on what a modern speaker should be² to remain within the grasp/desire zone of average music listeners. The hardcore brigade already has far too many unreasonable options. So get a move on? In triplicate as it turned out: "Would you like to do this in conjunction with the Groove which will be available in about two weeks? And possibly a music:book Source II which would then make a complete system?" Fishing in my mental cellar for the appropriate German words, jawohl bitte schön, machen Sie das mal was the only if rusty answer.
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² Zu's DWX follows the same 0.5-way concept but executes it with a 10.3" driver which thus leads to a far more sizeable cabinet more aptly called a maxi monitor. On size, the Move virtually replicates my resident desktop monitor, the Acelec Model One, a classic 2-way with 5" ScanSpeak mid/woofer and Mundorf AMT on cascaded 1st-order filters in a rear-ported aluminium enclosure.