Undercover with the Blackbird

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As the world's only country with the proper URL extension for our hobby, Finland aka dot.fi is home to Hypostatic and their current Blackbird model. That's a €6.5K/pr hybrid speaker with a curved 2.5-grams planarmagnetic panel bolted to a 30-litre ported 4mm welded and powder-coated steel box for a dynamic 8-inch woofer taking over at 250Hz. A Weipu SA20 plug on the far end of an included 4.4mm banana-terminated 2.5m/pr speaker cable—longer by request—connects to our amplifier.

If we unpack one short paragraph, we arrive at a vintage Martin Logan lookalike which replaces the Americans' curved electrostatic dipole panel with a magnetostat. 40kg reflect solid build, 103cm tall means just belt-line height, a 10-year warranty peace of mind, 87dB/4Ω figures equal standard stuff. Hypostatic are five years old and have two prior models under their belt, the Indigenum and Verus. Their launch fell victim to the subsequent very lengthy Covid shutdown. That gave designer Jari Ollonberg extra time to refine his new currently only model. Already first-born Indigenum set the path which today's Blackbird follows still: a curved diaphragm to overcome a narrow panel's directionality once wavelengths get shorter than the diaphragm's width. The Blackbird however does away with the Indigenum's rear-firing passive radiator in favor of a classic port; rather widens the baffle over the original very narrow stalk; shrinks woofer diameter by three inches; then knocks retail price rather seriously down from the original €27.8K/pr. Compared to Verus, Blackbird loses the monolithic Plywood cab to return to Indigenum's panel+bass-bin aesthetic.

That caught us up with the present of late February, 2023.

For Jari Ollonberg, it means a second chance at making a splash. The fact that he's still here shows tenacity and commitment. The comprehensive rework to net what for his concept is the smallest possible speaker to not conflict with the size and décor of normal living rooms shows more of the same. Likewise for so aggressively chipping away at the asking price.

Though I've not heard the Blackbird—colors other than black by request—all of the above seemed promising and worthy of a small feature to direct eyeballs at Jari's site. The rest is up to the operators of those eyeballs.

Now I feel that on today's score this member of the hifi press has done his job; which is, played traffic cop. I shall only write you a parking ticket if you fail to go and instead just sit there. You know what they say about people who just sit there. Eventually they get run over. We wouldn't want that for you now, would we? Should you require more incentive, remember Gradient from Finland? They too do speakers differently than the same-old norm. Likewise for Genelec. There must be something in them Finnish waters..