David and Goliath

This story is as ancient¹ as it is deeply engrained in our collective psyche. It's one I've repeatedly pondered since acquiring the sound|kaos DSUB 15. Its footprint of a truncated oval with vertical side walls would fit inside a ~20x20x20" cube. It houses two premium AudioTechnology 15-inch woofers closely face to face. Their cardioid dispersion pattern called Ripol is so effective at avoiding common room issues that I run it and all associated speakers through an active analog hi/lo-pass filter. Set to 80Hz on a 4th-order Linkwitz-Riley slope, it spreads free room-treatment luv across a good two octaves when the sub is already up 6dB and the speaker down 6dB at said frequency. This effectively knee-caps bigger boxes. My question has been, just how small of a mains speaker might do this job now?

¹ The popular version of it is according to 1 Samuel chapter 17. In 2 Samuel 21:19 meanwhile, Elhahan son of Jaareoregim slew Goliath. Scholars believe that the Biblical authors altered the original text to credit the victory to David and associate him as one of the Old Testament's most famous personages with the heroic deed. Misattribution? It's not just a hifi curse then.

Why pay for and look at a floorstander good to 30Hz when I effectively bypass its woofer and the majority cubic volume loading it? With my upstairs sound|kaos Vox3a, I already play maximum shrink heads with a 4-driver 3-way monitor sized like a narrow shoebox. Not yet so downstairs. A few weeks ago I hosted these €5K/pr Jern 15H 5¼" 2-way dolls cast in grey iron. The combo with sub had been mind-blowingly good, the cosmetic disconnect between speakers and ill-fitting stands the only black mark.

What if monitors here would shrink to just 4.7×8.2×6.7"? With claimed bandwidth of 65Hz-25kHz by running a Mark Audio 4" widebander back-loaded by another 4" driver in a ported 2.5-way isobaric array with small ATM above 6kHz, MonAcoustic's new SuperMon Mini looked to answer my 'what if' with vigor and rigor. Its aluminium chassis promised a rerun of Jern's motto that the best speaker cab is a perfectly dead cab. €2K/pr Seoul-direct pricing would undercut the Danes by more than half. Might this be the perfect David to my Goliath? Having just signed up for a review, I should find out soon enough.

And yes, if you favor the tone density and dynamic shove of a 10" driver working up to 10kHz like a Zu, moving to a far smaller driver might not be your cuppa. If meanwhile you favor more resolution and lucidity in the presence region, a smaller driver could have your vote. Choices. It's not just about total bandwidth. It's also about moving mass, cone surface and a diaphragm's material composition which inform the presentation. These aspects should always be considered as we pursue our ideal speaker. What does it use for the all-important midrange?