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 12.2), PureMusic 2.04, Qobuz Hifi, Tidal Hifi, COS Engineering D1, Metrum Hex, AURALiC Vega, Aqua Hifi La Scala MkII, SOtM dX-USB HD w. super-clock upgrade & mBPS-d2s, Apple iPod Classic 160GB (AIFF), Astell& Kern AK100 modified by Red Wine Audio, Cambridge Audio iD100, Pro-Ject Dock Box S Digital, Pure i20, Fore Audio DAISy 1 [on review], S.A. Lab Lilt [on review], Metrum Acoustics Pavane [on review], Lindemann Audio music:book 15 [on review]
Preamplifier: Nagra Jazz, Esoteric C-03, Bent Audio Tap-X, COS Engineering D1
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1, F6; Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; Goldmund Job 225; Gato Audio DIA-250; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; AURALiC Merak [on loan]; Lindemann Audio music:book 55 x 2 [on review], Goldmund Telos 360 [on review]
Loudspeakers: Albedo Audio Aptica; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; soundkaos Wave 40; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Submission; German Physiks HRS-120, Gallo Strada II w. TR-3D subwoofer; Crystal Cable Minissimo [on review]; soundkaos SK16 [on review]
Cables: Complete loom of 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; Arkana Research XLR/RCA and speaker cables [on loan]; Sablon Audio Petit Corona power cords [on loan]
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all components, 5m cords to amp/s + sub]
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands [on loan]
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators
Room: Irregularly shaped 9.5 x 10m open floor plan with additional 2nd-floor loft; wood-paneled sloping ceiling; parquet flooring; lots of non-parallel surfaces (pictorial tour here)
Review component retail in Europe: €54'208/pr in standard trim; fancy veneers add €2'016, a Carbon-fibre baffle another €2'016, piano lacquer €10'528, internal Fono Acustica wiring €7'840

My prior review
of Kaiser's 'entry-level' Chiara went to great lengths to showcase company and design philosophy. Practicing the lazy man's way to enlightenment or at least a good rest, I direct you at that article's intro pages. They'll get you up to full speed. For the heart of that lengthy matter, I'll merely reiterate basics. Panzerholz aka tankwood is 20 times costlier than the ubiquitous MDF. It's brutal on router blades, hence shunned by the vast majority. It's a composite which under intense pressure compacts Birch Ply to 60% of its original thickness whilst injecting it with a resin polymer to seal all of its molecular pores. Enter a manufactured material that's bullet-proof and tough enough to hold tightly machined threads without stripping. That's the stuff Kaiser build their speakers from. Theirs is a 3rd-generation family fully equipped woodworking operation in Germany. They specialize in large monolithic furniture for board rooms and hotel lobbies as well as VIP booths for car shows in Frankfurt, Geneva and Paris. Embedded in that industrial operation and essentially subsidized by it is a small acoustic division. It's here where they design/manufacture loudspeakers, acoustic treatments and extravagantly styled solid-wood listening rooms. The Kawero! Classic is their current 3-way flagship tower. Something far bigger is on the drawing board as requested by Asian distributors. Those industrious chaps wear the mantra of 'bigger and a lot more expensive is better' as bold body ink. Meanwhile their conservative European counterparts admit to living in regularly sized homes; or compact but luxurious inner-city flats. Those rational folks find complete non-subwoofer'd satisfaction in the unconventional passive radiator-equipped Chiara already. If they just must have something solid to the floor and mean to squeeze an extra 10 cycles from the stand-mounted Chiara's potent bass recipe... then those folks can pursue the heavier rather costlier Classic. Beyond that, they'd want palatial digs for justification. If then.

If the previous paragraph reeked of snarkiness, quite so. The aroma of fresh cow manure in the morning! Particularly the high-end speaker sector suffers from a huge disconnect between what actually does the job; and what people believe is necessary or even desirable. Speaker greed is probably the single most pervasive and most cruelly counterproductive hifi sin. Buy more than your room supports and you create disease. Buying more SPL potential than you'll ever tap is wasteful too; just like maintaining that spare guest room which nobody ever uses because your local B&B is more convenient. Showgoers are well familiar with it. Keen on showing off their latest & greatest, speaker makers cram behemoths into small hotel rooms. Invariably their sound suffers. These folks really ought to know better. And bad results don't just do them a disservice but also the industry at large. It sends quite the wrong message. That punters don't know better is forgivable. They aren't the experts. That certain dealers don't refuse ill-matched sales just to make the bigger profit is bad form again. All this stresses something basic. For 90% of users, Kaiser's Chiara is all the speaker they should have. It played our >100m² space to perfection. Having had designer Rainer Weber and company owner Hans-Jürgen Kaiser over, I knew that our space was suitable also for the Classic. Of course the smart money would know that its extra bass reach over the Chiara could be readily exceeded (and for far less money) with our Zu Submission sub; and then be adjustable, not fixed. But today isn't about the Chiara. For Kaiser's own purposes, their entry model is arguably too good already. It encroaches some on the Classic's appeal for any but really sizeable spaces - if calmer heads rather than greed prevailed.

That fine print kept it real so we won't upsell non-necessities. Now we're free to inspect the subject of today's affections: a 10" three-way with Carbon/paper rear-firing woofer and floor-facing port. The frontal drivers are a 7" Audio Technology midrange; and a custom 2.5" Raal ribbon with silver/gold/Palladium-wired transformer in a head module that's user-adjustable for front/aft time alignment and for toe-in as entirely separate from the main enclosure. The upper rear driver is an 8" auxiliary bass radiator. It loads the midrange in lieu of a port or sealed alignment. Now reference the opening photos. You'll appreciate how the main enclosure is wider in the back than front; narrower on top than bottom. The only parallel panels are the top and bottom. Add that geometry to the ultra-hard tankwood. You're looking at a speaker which not many could build (or would want to given its exorbitant manufacturing cost over MDF). Steep production expense continues with the top drivers and Mundorf/Duelund crossover parts. The next photo speaks to that.