July
2020

Country of Origin

Hungary

Syzygy

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo boost, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz Hifi, Tidal Hifi, COS Engineering D1, Denafrips Terminator, Soundaware D300Ref,  AURALiC Vega 
Preamplifier: Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature with WE VT52/300B or Elrog 50/300B, Nagra Classic, Wyred4Sound STP-SE Stage II, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVT module)
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1 monos, SIT3, F5, F6, F7; Goldmund/Job 225; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics NC500 monos; LinnenberG Audio Liszt monos: Bakoon AMP-13R
Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; Cube Audio Nenuphar; Albedo Audio Aptica; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V & VI & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence; Fram Midi 150 & 120; Acelec Model One
Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL3000 and Zu Event; KingRex uArt, Zu & LightHarmonic LightSpeed double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo; Ocellia OCC Silver; LessLoss C-MARC Entropic on two wall-to-conditioner connections
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps/sub
Equipment rack: Artesania 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
Room: 4 x 6m with high gabled beam ceiling opening into 4 x 8m kitchen and 5 x 8m living room, hence no wall behind the listening chairs
Review component retail: €3'990/pr

The unnessecarily long spike bolts in the rear seem visually awkward. Shorter ones with black cap nuts might look better?

Das gibt's doch nicht!
It's German for "that simply doesn't exist". 'twas the family's battle cry whenever Dad would slam down a most bizarre word on the Scrabble board. He'd whip out his trusty Duden dictionary to prove us all wrong. Sometimes he did try to pull a fast one though. Schadenfreude and "das gibt's wirklich nicht" duly followed. It really didn't exist. Done and busted.

With only two 'y' in the whole game, he'd never have attempted syzygy. But that didn't prevent László Raiffai from Hungary's eponymous audio house to name his compact two-way speaker so. In its natty stacked Ply construction with elongated triangular cross section and acrylic end caps, it makes quite the cosmetic statement.

So what, pray tell, is a syzygy if not an impossible Scrabble monster? A lunar/solar conjunction which, in Greek mythology, also meant the eternal unity of the active male and passive female principle. Biology calls it a hermaphrodite. Here it points at wedding an upfiring mid/woofer for omni dispersion to a full-frontal tweeter for monopole directivity. It's what the late Siegfried Linkwitz did with his LXmini pipe speaker, too.

That was a DIY project. László's is turnkey. He developed it in conjunction with HumanAudio whose bamboo-clad bonsai electronics he distributes. "Although you can already find a nice review about it on HiFiKnights, we've since tested our design in many more systems and rooms to fine-tune the crossover further. This made the bass response even less front/sidewall dependent and the midrange even more balanced."

This tells us that go-anywhere flexiblity was a design goal. Plunk 'n' play. "The project started about six years ago. The cabinet's internal structure avoids standing waves so well that no damping materials were needed. Our driver positioning achieves extraordinary phase accuracy* and dynamics from what is a surprisingly simple 2nd-order filter with premium parts at 2kHz." With petite dimensions of 28x21x28cm HxWxD yet claimed bandwidth of 40-40Hz/kHz (-6dB), 85dB sensitivity is the expected consequence. The puny down-firing finger port requires some clearance, hence the long spikes.

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* Given how the mid/woofer output must travel a far longer distance than that of the in-line tweeter, at-the-ear coherence of phase/time between both drivers seems questionable.

Should your cartography be rusty, here's a reminder of what countries surround Hungary. Raffai Audio make the capital of Budapest their home.

They go the distance with a mirror-imaged layout which, 1/ gives two setup choices and 2/ creates asymmetrical baffle diffraction to dilute the effect on the tweeter. With its two transducers clustered as tightly as funk, the term 'point source' would seem apt. It's the higher frequencies which help us localize sounds. Making the tweeter directional not like fully upfiring omnis from Avantage or Duevel should create higher focus to undermine their mildly diffusive imaging.

Front-radiating omnis like mbl's Radialstrahler and German Physic's Ohm/Walsh driver behave more 'normal' in that regard.