Last but not least. Before I fire up today's contenders, a few final notes. By design, setup is optimized to fire the woofers inward, thus at each other. The master speaker handles the left channel. I aimed the speakers nearly on axis so just about straight at my ears. With two DSP blocks on board, 'standby' to 'operational' took a bit more than 50 seconds so don't immediately crank up the volume if you don't hear anything right away.
What will expectations be for a tall 350-watt active speaker with big sidefiring woofers? Certainly very extended and powerful whilst also controlled bass; and just as predictably soundstaging that's not entirely convincing. Let's start with that whilst remembering that these woofers cross in low and that the mids operate across quite expanded bandwidth to support coherence. Those design decisions will be likely cause why Quadral's Aurum Gamma drew or threw one of the most correct virtual acoustics which money and high expectations can buy. Does my choice of the word 'correct' suggest something just a bit boring?
Vocals localized in high definition and perfectly centered when I sat in the sweat spot. Tom and snare trills flashing through the stereo panorama tracked crisply and even subtle leading edges focused very clean. The virtual stage projected brilliantly forward without crowding the listening seat. Image sizing and overall scale changed with each production so any questions of boredom or excitement were due entirely to recorded quality and music. By definition, that was high fidelity in action. Powered by my Bryston 7B³, the €23'000/pr AudioSolutions Virtuoso M and Sehring's latest 903 apply just a tad more image grip and focus, my slightly more diffuse €9'000 Spendor D9 with its bloomier imaging a bit more come-hither. It's simply imperative to state that the neutrality and accuracy whereby Gamma crafted its 3D space illusions will serve the highest standards if those don't lean in any one particular direction.
Higher fidelity. I'd already met Quadral's proprietary ribbon tweeter in their models Aurum Rodan 9 and Aurum Orkan 9. To nip disappointment in the bud—whilst this ribbon can be tuned differently to be fresher in the Orkan than Rodan—it generally doesn't conform to that extra freshness, fieriness or spectacular shimmer which certain other ribbons espouse. That tracks Reckert's earlier aims and, to my ears at least, also long-term comfort and realism. Be it resolving finely recorded airy cymbal stick work; presenting garish hi-hats as harmonic garnish for e-guitars in deep overdrive; neither brushing over nor unduly exposing poorly recorded sibilants; not glossing up chimes with ethereal/angelic sheen… Quadral's Aurum Gamma does it all without limitations or emphasis. Even relative to its elevated price class, Gamma's treble was a thing of beauty and pride if one considers its support of the music rather than special effects. Check out Øystein Sevåg's "Hanging Gardens" from his Bridge album, "So did we" from the Isis album Panopticon, Alarma Man's "Cabin in the Wood" from the Love Forever album and Celebration's "Evergreen" from the album Modern Tribe.