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This review first appeared in the September 2011 issue of hi-end hifi magazine of Germany. You can also read this review of the Phonar Credo Primus in its original German version. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with the publishers. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of fairaudio or Phonar - Ed.

: Jörg Dames
Sources: Fonel Simplicité, laptop with foobar2000/J River, Northstar USB dac32 or Benchmark DAC1 USB
Preamplifier: Funk MTX Monitor V3b
Integrated amp: Fonel Emotion
Power amp: Abacus Ampino, Belles 21A, Audionet AMP monos
Loudspeakers: Thiel CS3.7, Sehring S703 SE, Quadral Rondo
Cables: Straight Wire Virtuoso, Vovox, HMS Fortissimo, Reson LSC 350
Power delivery: Quantum Powerchords, Hifi Tuning Powercord Gold, MF-Electronic power strip
Rack: Lovan Classic II
Review component retail: €4.000/pr

Reading educates
. Writing does too. I occasionally grab a dictionary just because. Had you asked me for the plural of Primus, until recently I’d not figured that the cute primi actually is legit. Which isn’t to say that Phonar’s Credo Primus from the Schleswig-Holsteinian town of Tarp ranks amongst cute compact speakers. Dimensions of 400 x 240 x 341mm HxWxD plus 12kg of fighting weight suggest rather more seriousness. Though exceeding this report’s focus, things get even more serious when the Primi perch atop the optional Optimus bass bins (how does one pluralize those?). This adds 38kg, tops out at 110cm and lightens the wallet to the tune of €5.000.

Further escalation is possible by ‘activating’ the Optimus units with their own amplifier and DSP modules which allows for precise room adaptation, the latter serviced by the dealer or maker. That adds another €2.000 per pair. But reaching that high—or better, low—won’t be necessary with many standard-dimensioned listening room. We thus opted to look at Phonar’s top-of-the range passive compact monitor without options.

A first glance at them should have you respond with ‘nothing special’ given the basic form factor but ‘expert build and finish’ on the execution - plus a highly appreciative nod at the quality veneers. Panel thickness of the MDF beneath is 22mm, the faceted fascia gets an opulent 38mm which are angled back. This physical tweeter offset “creates mechanical time alignment which was factored into the design of our electrical filter”.