Club Betonite

Knuckleheads; dense enough so nothing penetrates. If true about nothing getting in, nothing should leak out either. Speaker cabinetry enjoys its own variants; boxes so inert that nothing gives. Internal air pressures incite no mechanical response. Welcome to what's thought of as dead boxes. Nothing talks except their drive units. Aluminium as championed by Magico, Stenheim and YG bolts together in flat sheets or can be cast, extruded or machined from solid. Synthetic stone like Krion favored by the likes of Kroma Atelier is chemically welded in flat even bent panels; or carved out from solid like an older Crystal monitor. Finnish Karelian soapstone appeared in speakers machined from solid, present-day Jern boxes exploit high-graphite cast iron. Airplain of CH picked welded stainless steel, Fischer & Fischer ancient slate as their acoustically inert building blocks. Also in Teutonia, at least three makers already have turned their sights to cast beton. That's their word for concrete, the ubiquitous construction material of parking garages everywhere. They're fittingly called Beton Art Audio, Concrete Audio and now Stonespell as the latest entrant into this micro league.

Given involved weight, smaller knuckle cabs are easier on both production and shipping than Easter Island colossi. As I learnt during the below Jern review, mating very compact dead-box speakers to a big cardioid sub is an ace recipe for full-range sound that won't stick to its boxes, scales cleanly and remains unusually crystal, unperturbed and intelligible. It's why Stonespell's €2.25K/pr 6" 2-way could really be all you'd ever want. With a claimed F3 of 48Hz from a sizable rear port, an active 80Hz hi/lo-pass division of labor between sub and satellites becomes ideal to prevent any low bass from showing at the mid/woofer's voice coil at all whilst it simultaneously won't chuck much extension which its maker sweated over and you paid for. With the SX2, one even kisses goodbye the generic box shape for something rather more shapely.

"Yeah but" I hear you mount your doubts. "Can it do the T Rex?"

In the actively crossed-over sub/sat scheme, nothing bigger for the mains is needed.

If you're Sven Boenicke or Martin Gateley, you'll probably think negatory. It's because to them and admirers of their speakers, tone is the big T. To them it mandates drivers which couple to solid wood before they sound properly toneful. Aluminium, mineral-loaded resins or carbon fiber popular with Wilson and Wilson-Benesch just won't do. Neither, I suspect, would concrete suit that design aesthetic. Today we're just not on about real or imaginary de/merits of sundry approaches to loudspeaker boxes. Today we merely tip our hat at another sighting that's virtually cast in stone; one more speaker in beton; one more hard head vying for our attention. Which way does your mind blow about the generally stoned concept? Stonespell give a 30-day home trial should you be curious enough to sample membership in Club Betonite. Go ahead. Celebrate hosting real knuckleheads. You could just be madly smitten. I know I was with these cast-iron Danes…