For audiophiles and music lovers who love to read...
Our main listening area repurposes what the UK builder/landlord's 6-head family used as dining room with a massive table in the middle and an armoire between the two right windows. This space juts out from the main two-story structure. Its single floor is covered by a vaulted ceiling since flat-roof bungalows don't belong in rainy climates like ours. Here 200-watt LinnenberG Liszt monos sit behind the wheel. Now they played to the truism that big amps make little speakers sound bigger. Spinning up high-class chamber music—the Sabine Meyer ensemble with Schubert's Octet, soloists of the Prague Philharmonic celebrating Dvorák's bucolic Serenade for winds in D minor, Martin Fröst's Vivaldi of modern clarinet concertos imagined in the vein of the famous Venetian Baroque composer replete with Cologne's period ensemble—everything was very right with their aural worlds.
This is what classical music actually sounds like in proper acoustics – redolent, elastic, all carefully arranged instrumental timbres blended for shifting compound hues. As expected, the higher ceiling with its asymmetrical shape and beams lengthened Szyzgy's reverb mix. Image separation softened more than it had upstairs but nowhere near as much as in the faux credenza experiment.
Of course perspicaciously percussive material whose poly-rhythmic beats were mixed to appear in specific locations as sharply assigned as hail on a tin roof were treated with the same roundness and charcoal lines. On the subject of low and powerful beats, Syzygy indeed surprised with its ability to do justice to Mercan Dede's DJ trickery and do so at the same SPL which far bigger speakers entertain us with in this open-backed 4x6m space.
In the theoretical world of uncivilized mayhem, Syzygy would compress then struggle and distort far sooner than those. But in our world of sane levels, this Hungarian compact still suited the room well. Starting to attenuate at ~55Hz, it retained sufficient 40Hz output to feel complete. 400/4Ω watts exercised requisite control over ambient exercises in low-bass excursion. In keeping with the general profile, that bandwidth even fronted by many wily watts of low output impedance of course didn't crack like our Model One monitors which are deliberately groomed for speed and power. Syzygy is a more mellow fellow.
The tally. With dedicated stands in the wings, my cosmetic criticism on generic stands will soon have nowhere to roost. That just leaves the high terminals which use up more cable length than necessary. With those ticked off, László Raiffai's first speaker thinks about the box a bit different than most. It creates a distinctive alternative in this busiest of all speaker sectors. It's not about shiny lacquers, walnut/leather wraps or proprietary drivers. It's about a different experience. It should be appreciated most by those who until recently still attended live concerts in the farther rows.
Have you a €4'000/pr speaker budget to fill a medium-size room with 'classical' sound without taking up much floor space? Now Raffai Audio's Syzygy makes for an interesting proposition. At 85dB to get decent bass from a small cab, you'll probably want a 100-watt amp to cover all bases. Our Crayon CFA-1.2 felt quite tailor-made so could be used to model other prospects. Given the speaker's mellower soft-focus profile, you should prefer quick wide-bandwidth amps unless you meant to further emphasize that profile. To be different just because does create a niche but not necessarily one broad enough for many visitors. Syzygy is different for very sound reasons and its low-mass but quiet cabinet is effective. You simply have to agree with the reasons and its resultant aural flavor. Hopefully now the small print is clear for you know whether to investigate this striped Hungarian more closely and book a personal audition. Given my auditions with standard, plus and double-plus ceiling heights, my impression is that this speaker was designed with the first in mind where it indeed performs best.
Smoked paprika isn't exclusive to Hungarian goulash. In fact the Spanish call the same spice pimenton and use it in their famous chorizo sausages. In similar fashion, Syzygy reiterates that in today's global village, interesting hifi comes from just about anywhere. Anyone well informed already knew that. Today might have added Raffai Audio to the list. If so, you're now one option richer.
Syzygy? Das gibt's doch. That does exist. You can even use it in Scrabble; if you also wait for one of the blanks. What a game that would make. Plenty of opportunities to rustle up short words ending in 'y' like foxy, sexy and saucy.
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