The virus goes live

"My professional involvement with audio began only about three years ago when 47Labs lunged into my head. I honestly had never dreamt of getting professionally involved. But I was so fascinated with their gear that I felt an incredible urge to become part of it. Remaining an abstract consumer just wouldn't have satisfied what at the time was a completely unexplainable and rather unreasonable desire.

And you're right about the HighEnd in Bosnia. It's practically non-existent. Mind you, people are heavily and deeply involved with audio. My own car set me back about 30% of my cartridge. But that's not snobbery or showing off. It's simply dedication.

For many years I remained unconscious of it, but now I recognize that audio is my Zen. I'm also not the only one who has prioritized like this. Others are perhaps involved to a lesser extent, but the common thread remains - in this country, HighEnd is an absolute a luxury, and surprisingly, one that's hardly exercised by the rich as elsewhere in other countries."

The stone in the shoe

"Sead, when you designed your loudspeaker, you must have held an aural blueprint of sonic qualities in your head that you were trying to preserve and/or enhance."
"First off, I wouldn't dare calling myself a loudspeaker designer. There are too many of those around. I wish the positive results in the loudspeaker industry would accurately reflect the real number of true 'loudspeaker designers'. Audio design in general today is either focused on profits or reverse engineering.

My personal fortune is having real geniuses like Junji Kimura and Ted Jordan as friends. It becomes a matter of channelling their powerful personalities into my goals. These are the kinds of people that can make your entire day just by listening to them over the phone for a few brief moments.

I could tell you that I created the Konus Essence to make a statement. But that wouldn't be true. The Essence saw the light of day simply for selfish and humorous reasons. I was making it just to please myself. I felt that all of my existing speakers (though I really loved some of them) were haunted by limiting factors in either my setup or some elements of impracticality. I was left with no option but to work on something that would please my wife and I and work within our lifestyle."

"And the humorous aspect?"
"My development work on the Essence coincided with our first exhibit at the 2001 Frankfurt High End Show. I arrived from Bosnia to premiere the 47Labs gear for all of Europe. The whole concept reeked of unorthodox strangeness. I asked myself why we should settle on some recognizable loudspeakers that people would immediately use to explain away our sonic performance. Thus my Konus Essence was really intended to shake up the establishment. Originally, it was never meant to go to market.

Conceptual ambience

If the word musicality weren't so badly abused and profaned, it would best describe my audio priorities. (The word essence is similarly devalued but I simply could not escape it. This loudspeaker really does embody the true essence of my audio beliefs).

Unfortunately, the press tends to describe things as musical that to me smell of a dead horse. This term has been worn to shreds and become utterly useless. In our private conversations, Koji Teramura and I refer to the real quality as 'danceable'. In general, we use terms that most other people would call completely insane.

Many factors determine our aural perception. I don't care for most of the audiophile artefacts by which today's gear is qualified. Don't get me wrong - I wasn't born a cynic. There were times when a huge soundstage was of paramount importance. I can remember listening to some orchestral pieces just for the sake of a bigger-than-life soundstage. How ridiculous and immature this seems in hindsight!

Frankly, that had nothing to do with listening to music. It was more a concern over equipment. Most audiophiles are like that - trapped listening to components instead of music. Some even refer to this quite accurately as listening to sounds. Women are much more sincere. They perceive music in its totality. Men seem focused on the gear. Now I find this rather silly.

For me music is about emotions. Emotions can't be cut into slices. They should be captured in a recording and reproduced as faithfully as possible. This is a difficult task. Most of today's HighEnd gear is simply too ponderous. It's bereft of the necessary speed that retains the emotional nuances of virtuoso performances. We need gear that can clearly resolve the different personalities and styles of the musicians.

When I listen to music, I want to get drawn into the performance. I want to experience the adrenaline rush I get in concerts. I don't understand why so many people just want to relax and fall asleep. Do they snore through a concert? I listen to music to recharge my batteries. I want to be drowned.

Hence, the Konus Essence design is completely focussed on the aspects of speed and tonal accuracy. If it doesn't lose sight of coherence, only speed can reproduce the correct balance of timbre and transients. In most loudspeaker designs, you will spot outlandish lunacies of driver mismatches. They lack natural balance. They do have transients per se, bass per se, midrange per. But now music's left the building. You're back listening to gear and attributes."

By now I recognized Sead as a kindred spirit. I could turn my attention on certain technical parameters that would interest our readers.