Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: 2TB iMac 27" quad-core w. 16GB RAM running OSX 10.8.2, 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]
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, Exotery 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: $179

Louis Motek
of LessLoss: "Very happy to see that your Chiara review came to fruition. Quite frankly, knowing how you don't like expensive stuff in general, I was a little surprised. But with its size-to-performance proposition, I was sure you'd ultimately like it. Kaiser's speakers are killer and undervalued. Their whole operation is even more idealistic and passion-driven than your article suggests though you did go to good effort to make that point. They've been told by many industry insiders that their retail prices should be about twice what they currently ask. Yet they won't budge. Raw Panzerholz is 20 times the price of MDF. What I liked about Kaiser from the start—and why I convinced them and 'dragged them' into their first audio show at Denver where I footed the entire bill—was the small footprint and the excellent vibration control of the Panzerholz. Up until then I was deeply involved in full-range electrostatic territory, the kind where you build false walls around the speakers to get into that infinite baffle territory. The Raal tweeter/dense Panzerholz concept along with the passive rear radiator finally offered something in a domestically acceptable footprint which I thought joined those electrostatic merits with real rooms, real people and real opportunities.

"Of course the ludicrous aspect was and remains the fact that you need to find a completely sane rich customer who, as you correctly wrote, must 'get it'. The luxury market does not work that way. If you make a great perfume, you aren't allowed to save on the packaging. Even if you don't save on the packaging, you aren't allowed to save on marketing and sex appeal. The rich will buy it because of the sex appeal. If it smells good, that's nice but not why they bought it. Small speakers for big money are a crazy concept. Kaiser know it. I thought the world had a lot more intelligent people but it turns out that tons of education is in order. For two years I tried my best in San Francisco but speakers are admittedly not an online endeavor. We did three trade shows, two of them in NYC. We spent a bunch of money, none of which came back. One of my final and most brutal stomach punches was in the form of a potential customer coming over to audition and bringing MP3 files to listen to. He didn't understand that his ripping software messed up the files. He didn't understand that great speakers must show all the shit in your file format, how that's actually desirable. He went away saying that his current speakers were much better. 

"I just couldn't do that any longer. After having vacationed a lot in California, I came back to Lithuania to work. We took the Kaiser speakers I sold in California off the LessLoss website (we remain great friends!) and continue to sell only our LessLoss items. Also, we took our expensive stuff off. My $5'000 power conditioner is replaced by a $179 Firewall module. I want you to review it. It's the best I've ever made. It contains everything I know today. Remember the Blackbodies, those crazy 'reflectors at a distance'? Those are out of production, too. They were a grand each. I believe that with sufficient numbers of the $179 Firewall modules, no more high-end cables are even justified. That's an admittedly bold claim. I make expensive cables myself after all. Enough said on my part then."

Not quite. That's because I asked more about these new fiery modules. I was curious to try 'em but not keen to modify my own equipment nor willing to monkey with our main junction box since we rent not own. "Completely understood. We could send you something easy and safe (see attached picture) which cost a local audiophile exactly €11.07 to make plus $179 for the FW module. Those numbers are just for perspective. We would send you that plus a set of brand-new super cheap power cords (why becomes clear later.) The basic idea behind it is that the mature world of mass production does exactly and very well what no audiophile or audiophile company can ever hope to do well. Meanwhile audiophile designers such as myself are able to do what nobody in the mass production world would ever even dream of doing. So we get—well, that'll be your call to make—the magical mating of the best of these two worlds. 

"Yes, I'm trying to get you on the hifi $ misery.  Later I'll try and get you on pieces of the wacky discovery process which leads to stuff nobody on this planet has contemplated seriously since probably Newton because there's no reliable way to measure it. Believe me, we have tried a lot and with very serious people and equipment, too. It just doesn't show."