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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; Room treatment: 2 x PSI Audio AVAA C214 active bass traps
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, €6'500/pr Groove, €3'590 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. 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 Move and priced at €3.2K/pr, it crisply breaks with prior Lindemann concepts. To appreciate the difference, we segue into the past again but just briefly. In more current times the single-driver genre began its career way off the mainstream with Lowther and AER then Rethm. Later Voxativ then Cube did probably most the heavy lifting to finally gain it mainstream acceptance. 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 join 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, Move embraces the far smaller Chinese-made Mark Audio Alpair¹ platform in 5" 7.2Ω 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 electrical filter. Move in its grey 12mm low-mass Czech-made CDF cab with 3mm black aluminium front plate does sport a filter but it's a mere single-cap Jantzen high pass on the auxiliary AMT. It extends the magnesium-alloy driver's response to 26kHz. Meanwhile the widebander is deliberately damped via add-on cork pad to roll off mechanically at 10kHz/6dB/oct. LF reach is a claimed 40Hz at 87dB sensitivity. The low-mass stand is optional and builds in minor rake. Together with the integrated Combo model from the music:book range, this is Lindemann's proposal for a complete modern hifi system.

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 have already shown that a small widebander in a compact ported box really can deliver complete real-world bandwidth. Their Binom-1 simply lives on a far taller money mountain than Lindemann's €3'200. That, compact dims and no-frills styling all had me think that this could just be the strongest fully domesticated relatively affordable entry into the genre? With the Groove companion sub, even those needing 30Hz get their calories. As a full convert to stereo 2.1—both my music systems configure with actively hi/lo-passed speakers and subs—and a fancier of small widebanders, you'll appreciate why Move had my notice.

My upstairs rig runs SuperMon Mini from MonAcoustic. That combines back-to-back isobaric Mark Audio 4" Alpair drivers augmented by a small AMT super tweeter in a rear-ported aluminium cab. So I'm 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 comes in a grey/silver or copper/gold-anodized skin. Move got the louder finish. Obvious too is the AMT's oval waveguide for broader horizontal dispersion. It all fits into 35 x 18.6 x 30.5cm HxWxD to weigh a low-mass 6.5kg with internal foam liners and sheep's wood fill. With the AMT only covering 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-absorbing phase-shifting filter parts; clean impulse response; and point-source radiation. We expect to score high on time fidelity aka jump factor aka PRaT; microdynamic differentiation; very depth-specific layering; and less so on textbook linearity. That often relies on electronic compensation of shelving, baffle-step and notch filters.

Enter lifestyle. Eating healthy is a lifestyle. So is exercise, meditation and a curated décor. Likewise for playback. In the high-end ghetto however, the term implies sonic concessions to convenience, cosmetics and coin. Lindemann started off in the upscale high-end sector but in 2013 shifted focus on and now make nothing but life-styled components. How silly this term is when the implied opposite is a death fixation. Even Charles Bronson's Deathwish VI never got made because it grew stupid.

The brand's 2024 portfolio is about compact relatively affordable kit with mod cons including app control. Move remains on trend then avoids the classic tweeter/mid-woofer 2-way concept as well as its dual-concentric relative. Instead it ushers in the return of the small widebander. Perhaps call it a ½-way. Who woulda thunk it from accredited engineer Norbert Lindemann? His initial contact with hifi was his uncle's complete Braun chain. 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, Move represents his latest thinking on what a modern speaker should be² to remain within the grasp of average music listeners. The hardcore brigade already has far too many unreasonable options. Get a move on? In triplicate: "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 make a complete system?"

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, Move virtually replicates my resident desktop monitor, Acelec's 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.