Country of Origin
Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: late 2020 Retina 5K 27" iMac with 40GB RAM and Ventura 13.3, 4TB external SSD, Audirvana Origin, Qobuz Sublime, Singxer SU-6 USB bridge, LHY Audio SW-8 network switch with SOtM iSO-CAT7 isolator, Sonnet Pasithea DAC; Active filter: icOn Gradient Box 2; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 monos, Goldmund/Job 225; Headamp: Cen.Grand Silver Fox; Phones: HifiMan Susvara; Loudspeakers: Qualio Auido IQ + sound|kaos DSUB 15 on Carbide Audio footers, Audio Physic Codex; Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Furutech RTP-6 on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioner; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass 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: Shanling M3 Ultra, Soundaware D300Ref SD transport, Cen.Grand DSDAC 1.0 Deluxe; Preamp/filter: icOn 4Pro + 80Hz active filter, Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature w. ER50; Amp: Enleum AMP-23R; Loudspeakers: MonAcoustics 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; Headamp/DAC: iFi iDSD Pro Signature; Headphones: Final D-8000; Active speakers: DMAX SC5
Upstairs headfi/speaker system: Source: smsl Dp5 transport; DAC: Auralic Vega; Integrated amplifier: Schiit Jotunheim R; Phones: Raal-Requisite SR1a; Active DSP speakers: Fram Midi 120
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: $6.5K/pr incl. stands
Platypus platitudes in plated platinum? Down Under's egg-laying semi-aquatic mammal with the duck bill combines bits from various species. South Korea's latest MonAcoustic speaker once again relies on aircraft-grade 606 aluminium for its black or silver enclosure. Then it foregoes its precursors' isobaric bass loading. Instead it centers its US-made AMT tweeter with a 3.1kHz filter between two 5" German mid/woofers. Designer Jun-hyeok Seo refers to that as a virtual coax so quasi Fyne, KEF or Tannoy, just without their outer driver playing jittery waveguide for the inner one. Not that his preferred pleated tweeter would lend itself to such loading.
Why PlatiMon the name is more mysterious. Hence my silly tongue twister opener. Whilst unapparent to the eye to which they seem identical, these speakers are paired. As indicated on the back, one is left, one right. For best results they are not freely interchangeable. Can crossovers perhaps shape asymmetrical dispersion to make it wider on that side of a speaker which faces out not in? Conspiracy theories are fun. At 15kg/ea and sold with matching stands whose top plates conceal decoupling ball bearings, a $6.5K sticker parks PlatiMon between $2.5K SuperMon Mini and $25K SuperMon. I was originally slated to review the big boy below. Its colossal weight and associated ship fees simply proved prohibitive.
Instead I reviewed then awarded the 4" 2-way mini and bought it for my upstairs rig augmented by my resident Dynaudio S18 sub. Already back then I knew something bigger though still very much manageable to be in the wings. That out of them would emerge PlatiMon with its deeply scalloped fascia for an even more deeply inset tweeter I obviously didn't. At the Florida Expo, Mr. Seo's US distributor Young Byun introduced audiences to the full MonAcoustic portfolio. His system made for an ideal size comparison just looking at it. The hookup wiring for PlatiMon is Sanctus also from South Korea. Being a speciality firm embedded in a much larger enterprise with existing wire manufacturing, Sanctus are unusual in the hifi space for making their own conductors. MonAcoustic's website now represents the brand and retails their terminated cables.
Photo credit: PartTimeAudiophile.
The current expansion strategy of MonAcoustic focuses on the US over Europe. It even predicts eventual manufacture of certain models in the colonies. We'll expect first PlatiMon reviews to emerge from there. Once it's the EU's turn, I'll happily host a pair of Irish PlatiMon travellers in my two review systems. In short, the aluminator brigade of Magico, Piega, Stenheim and YG has new competition from the land of Kia/Hyundai and Samsung.
If you've never seen how an air-motion transformer based on the expired patent of Dr. Heil is made, this brief video from Berlin shows you.
It drives home how large such a tweeter's surface is before the many folds narrow it considerably. The resultant air-squeezing action is said to give such designs a 4:1 even 5:1 velocity advantage over standard air-pushing dome tweeters. The video also shows how like for planarmagnetic membranes, voice-coil traces affix to the entire diaphragm which is often Kapton. That differs from true ribbons whose entire metallic diaphragm is conductive to require no printed traces. Calling an AMT a folded ribbon thus is a misnomer. Makers of AMT include Dayton, Elac, Gladen, GoldenEar, HEDD, Mark & Daniel, MartinLogan, Monacor, Mundorf, Precide and SB Acoustics. In my domestic speaker arsenal the Acelec Model One, MonAcoustic SuperMon Mini and Qualio IQ all use such tweeters, the latter even in dipole mode. To my knowledge only M+D make larger AMT which can cross over as low as 600Hz. Outright AMT woofers don't seem to exist at all so we're nearly exclusively seeing this type driver as a tweeter.