Saturday, May 30, 2015
Tiny Speakers, Great Sound from Trenner & Friedl
It's sort of a cliche in high-end audio to talk about small speakers that sound much bigger than you expect--if you can't say that about your own speakers, you probably shouldn't bring them to market. But the new Sun speakers from Trenner & Friedl take this type of thinking to a whole new level. The Suns are so tiny that you can pick them up easily with one hand. Yet when you listen to them, you'll shake your head in disbelief. Mated with a fantastic new Elixir integrated amp from Heed Audio, which will retail for just around $1200 (including a fabulous-sounding headphone amp), the Suns created a large, convincing soundstage with unbelievably impressive bass response.
The Suns are not going to be as inexpensive as the Elixir, but you have to know a little bit about Trenner & Friedl designs before you can comment on the perceived value of such an amazing little product. The cabinet work is truly astounding, as are the drivers and the innards. No corners have been cut--the precision and sheer audacity of the four dinky ports on the rear of the speaker, for example, hints at the extraordinarily high level of engineering and craftsmanship.
The Suns are ideal for small rooms (my Trenner & Friedl Arts are perhaps the best speakers I've ever used in such an application), or for people who want great sound in their apartments or their offices. (Warning: they can go loud with relative ease!) These might just be the ultimate speakers for a desktop computer system. Here at the Newport Show, attendee after attendee couldn't believe the breathtaking sound coming from the diminutive coaxial drivers.
Don't judge these speakers until you've heard what they can do. I don't want anyone telling me about the laws of physics when it comes to a transducer of this size--these sound full and musical and utterly impressive. Or, as Harry Pearson used to say, "If you haven't heard it, you don't have an opinion." I want to give Andreas Friedl and Peter Trenner a huge hug for accomplishing this feat. Please visit Bob Clarke of Profundo and Dan Muzquiz of Blackbird Audio on the third floor and hear for yourself.