Downstairs. To deliberately play to not against the voicing I'd heard upstairs, I heaved our Pass Labs XA-30.8 class A heavyweight onto the hot rack since the hot seat was already taken. That amp choice would build up the sound from the bottom to maximally incarnate the innate heft of that big 9" AudioTechnology mid/woofer for this longer room with double-high ceiling and practically no rear wall.
At right you see the supplied brass footers. Those go between stand and speaker. The solid double-disc part sits on the bottom, the single disk seats its pointy thorn in the center depression of the base. This automatically creates a small swivel/tilt footer. By providing a trio not quartet, no leveling adjustments are necessary. Should the stands need leveling due to uneven floors, you'll have to come up with your own solution since they they lack any such provisions.
Spinning up the pastoral Dokunmak with my favourite "Elif'e Ninni" track and legendary Erkan Ogur on fretless guitar, it came as no surprise that this amp/speaker match would render Derya Türkan's spiked fiddle rather less airy and wispy than normal. This Iranian instrument is very rich in overtones particularly when played dirty to invoke partial flageolet. Its haunting timbre reminds me a bit of the Chinese erhu. Called kemanche in various spellings, Derya also plays it on Renaud Garcia-Fons' Silk Moon. Cafer Nazlibas dedicated his entire Feryad-i Kemane album to this instrument. If you enjoy its sound, this sets you up with some options for your music library. To see the kemanche perform next to its far bigger cello cousin, watch this instrumental of "Tükenecegiz" with the Rubato quartet. As performed by Cafer on a traditional meandering solo meditation above standing drone on his own album, there's a lot of white-noise type content flickering about the strings as he scales ever higher to let them scintillate between fundamental and lower overtones with varying string pressure. Even with our 200-watt 1MHz LinnenberG monos, those tripping-the-lights-fantastic exploits had rather less developed upper harmonic spray and temporary halo action than the bigger Wavecor cone tweeters of our Audio Physic Codex reveal. Maximal air and top-down illumination weren't what Spoey230 specialized in. Its special expertise was a richly developed midband which required no tube injections to come off meaty and heavy.
About 3 metres from the front wall, toed in directly at my ears.
Cueing up Jamshied Sharifi's One with "Di'vaneh" moved the musical action from simple to more complex with a quasi soundtrack of Gladiator-esque Africa pulsing with nicely tuned synth keyboards, tribal vocals, talking drums and wailing sax then ebullient clarinet. Needless to say, Spoey230 as goosed by the XA-30.8 as controlled by the matching Pass Labs XP-12 preamp really leaned into this evocative cinematic fare with capacious staging, jet-black earthiness and plenty of percussive rumble and thunder which properly scaled and layered. If you enjoy this sweeping music, be sure to also listen to A Prayer for the Soul of Layla. Both albums are winners front to back without a single filler track.
Looking back at Spoey230 staring single-mindedly at me as the out-sized monitors they were, I quietly wondered. What might happen were their internal air volume, as is, captured instead by a shorter shallower tower? It'd do away with those massive stands. As Rox had confirmed, now that sonics were locked in, it was time to revisit cosmetics. I couldn't help but think that the time for mega stand mounts had passed us by in the late 20th century; that contemporary audiences will much prefer the looks of a shorter floorstander. Of course a Harbeth 40.2 or Wharfedale Linton continues to be popular so an audience for this type cosmetic definitely remains. Returning us to the speaker's special sonic attraction and Dokunmak's geographic locale would be Rubato's new album Üç and Sezen Aksu's famous "El Gibi" song opened by Fatma Turgut's breathy slightly cracked vocals before the refrain introduces her male counterpart then finishes off in typical octave-doubled fashion.
The 2 x Pass + Lu Kang equation centred the tonal balance firmly on the cello and male voice. Even Göksun Çavdar's B-flat clarinet with the crystal mouth piece so atypical for this genre where the longer darker G version rules gained a very attractive downward weighting. This bestowed on its blend with the cello a lovely tint akin to the famous Brahms Clarinet Quintet. It's how Rubato in general sneak into Turkish Pop classicist chamber music timbres as counterpoint to typical e-guitar distortion. The takeaway from the headlined music samples should be that the familiar two-way recipe of Spoey230 executed with top-shelf modern drive units and a minimalist 1st-order filter combines two qualities which aren't so typical for the monitor class: amber tone and resourceful dynamic scaling.
With grilles installed.
For all their Houdinis of grand soundstaging and overall fleetness of foot, monitors often lack the tonal and dynamic gravitas to remain completely convincing when things get loud and massive; and in general, when referenced against bigger multi-ways which bring dedicated woofers to the party. The usual solution is to tag along a subwoofer where perfect integration can be tricky. Brought in at 40-50Hz as modern ported monitors justify, it still won't flesh out a 5¼" or 6½" mid/woofer's upper bands. Here Spoey230 becomes a kind of bridge between a ubiquitous stand mount and a good 8"/10" three-way, just without the latter's classic high-pass on the midband. And that makes it a right choice for listeners who prioritize a weightier tonality without vacuum tube assist; and who enjoy stepping on the gas with complex fare where it becomes important not to hit any stops or suffer premature compression. As such, Lu Kang Audio are absolutely correct in their assessment that Spoey230's sonics tweaked over two long decades mostly within the confines of Taiwan are now ready to meet the world at large. It's time for a global debut and Munich High End 2019 will make it so with an active system of COS Engineering's new D3 and Musical Fidelity amplification.
Would you like to download the current image?
Would you like to download the current image?