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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: Nagra Classic, Wyred4Sound STP-SE Stage II, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVT module)
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1 monos, F5, F6, F7; Goldmund/Job 225; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics NC500 monos; LinnenberG Audio Liszt monos
Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; Cube Audio Nenuphar; Kroma Audio Mimí; Albedo Audio Aptica; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V & VI & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence
Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL 3000/5000 and Zu Event; KingRex uArt, Zu and 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
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
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: €1'500/set
soundgil at HighEnd Munich 2018.
Seconds. Coming back for more. It's the classic Oliver's twist. Jean-Marc of our French syndication partners Audiophile Magazine had just introduced soundgil's active very compact Cube system to our readers. It's from Taiwan's OEM experts at Technics Electronic Co. Ltd in Kaohsiung City. Their new brand's maiden product had even captured a French award. But the company's Anchi Chang was still curious. Would I throw myself behind JM's award? I explained that in absentia, I couldn't possibly. Unlike publications where a shared office enables a group of writers to listen together, our web-based global contributors are lone wolves and, hello Marja, wolverines. What one heard nobody else did except for our Dutch husband & wife team. So I'd have to get cubed myself. But there was no guarantee that I'd share Jean-Marc's enthusiasm. In which case, my second review might just tarnish his.
Of course the opposite was possible, too. Now two standing ovations would be louder than one.
In any event, soundgil proved undeterred by either the extra expense of having to temporarily import then export a second system into/from the EU; or the risk of divergent opinions.
Such self-assured confidence certainly was darn impressive. I was in. But would I be over the moons?
Their not-so-basic concept combines four 3" widebanders across four identical sealed 11.6cm² full metal aluminium cubes. The twinned module with Texas Instruments TPA3116D2 class D power and ST Microelectrornics multi-channel ST309A DSP board is fed by external SMPS.
This is the point.one bass module of a standard 2.1 layout, not virtual centre channel synthesized from your standard 2-channel music stream as Jean-Marc's review suspected. Just disconnect the satellites to hear that. Custom DSP performs data steering, phase/time alignment and bass augmentation.
To feed signal into this bonsai ecosystem, there's 4.2 Bluetooth AptX, a 3-in-1 coax + Toslink + mini analog 3.5mm jack and one USB type A plug for thumb drives up to 64MB. There's no USB type B input for standard PC audio.
Two cables with proprietary plugs connect the satellites either cheek to cheek with the mid section (short cable) or maximally 90cm apart for a wider soundstage (long cable). An infrared remote controls volume and basic navigation of USB media. The soundgil iOS and Android app loops in your smartphone or tablet controller.
The current input and volume setting is confirmed with the back-lit color-coded logo. Cylindrical footers to decouple the cubes from their support surface are surcharge options.
For the whole hog, read JM's review so we don't doppel moppel as the Germans say. My 2nd opinion piece means to throw in an app we didn't yet cover in our first review: desk topping. Having recently downscaled to a smaller writing desk, I asked Anchi for two 65cm cables to park the satellites on either end of its monitor shelf. Like hifi hit men, here they'd bump off my usual Eversound Essence dual-concentric active speakers on wooden riser boxes. The center cubes would go underneath my 34-inch HP monitor with 96cm wing span.
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