Some questions about Kharma Exquisite Reference

I'm interested to buy a pair of Exquisite Reference 1E speakers. However,the size of my audio room is just about 7M * 4M * 3.2M or 23'*13'*10'(L/W/H). I wonder whether the space is a serious problem for Exquisite Reference or not?

Can you elaborate some amplifiers which are the right one for Exquisite Reference 1E? What's their sound? Can Tenor 150Hps, LAMM ML2, VIOLA Symphony, PASS XA160 or DarTzeel NHB-108 be good choices?

The differences of performance between Exquisite Reference 1A and 1E are significant? I saw Exquisite Reference 1D-E in the internet, what does 1D-E mean? What's the difference between 1D and 1E?

Any comments are very welcome. I'm eager to know the answers. Thank you for kind help!
1D-e means that it is the "E" version with a diamond tweeter. I had the Exquisite Reference with the dimaond tweeter in a 14' x 18' x 8' room and it was fine since the room was heavily treated. I ran them with Lamm M1.2 Refs. Tenor 300 Hybrids and Tenor OTLs and Pass XA 160s (which I was reviewing)- all of which drove them well. In the end, for ALL that they do well, I felt the Lamm 1.2 was the best match. In MY opinion, and that is all it is, I think the Lamm ML2, while a fabulous amp (one of the best around) in many applications, may not be enough to bring them to life in your room.
i owned the Kharma Exquisite Reference 1D. first i had it in a 12' x 18' x 10.5' room and then later in a 29' x 21' x 11' room. i used the Tenor 75w OTL's, the Tenor 300 mono hybrids and very briefly the darTZeel NHB-108's. over my 4 years of ownership i did try a number of other amps too.

there are a few variants of the Exquisite Reference. there is the 'E' which has the diamond tweeter, and then the 1-A which has the outboard crossover and 'a higher level of internal wiring'. there may be combinations of these 2 or others. i know that Kharma made some running changes in some of their speakers in the last few years and i have not kept up on all the details.

i would recommend contacting GTT to get some clarity on the various models.

i loved my 1D's and might still have them if i would not have built a much larger room. in your room i kinda agree with Fmpnd that the ML2.1's might not be enough considering the Exquisites are only 90db efficient. the darTZeel would be my choice for many reasons; all the stuff i loved about the Tenor OTL's but with more power and a lower noise floor.

in my experience my Exquisites came alive at medium to high volume and were a bit closed in at lower volumes. this characteristic would tend to push one to make sure you have enough grunt to get them moving. i cannot say all the Exquisite Reference iterations were the same but from Fmpnd's comments that is possible.

in any case the Kharma Equisiste Reference is a very special speaker.
I heard these speakers paired with Audio Valve Challenger 160's. They were arrayed against a long wall about 24 feet wide, 18 feet deep with a 14 foot ceiling. Beautiful sound. Very open sound. I was certain that a good deal of the effect was due to the high ceiling. Would they work well with eleven foot ceilings? Most likely, but not eight foot. These speakers need 'room' to perform properly. Don't remember what the cable was.
Thanks for quick responses from all of you.

You mean the space is not a problem if I heavily treated the room? What kinds of treatment have you done?

Honestly, I'm interested in the Kharma Exquisite Reference speaker just because I saw pictures regarding your wonderful system before. Did the smaller space of your previous audio room ever cause any problem? Can you elaborate the reasons of suggesting darTZeel NHB-108? Is one NHB-108 enough to drive Kharma Reference?

Many thanks!
the Kharma Ref 1d is the model i liked most compared to other Kharma models. have had the latest Midi in my room for quite some time and combined with different amps too.
after all Kharma and SonusFaber's i found truly peace of mind with Verity Audio.
if you have the possibility please audition the Sarastro and Lohengrin.
btw i think the DartZeel may be very fine partner with any Kharma speaker.

I ever auditoned the Lohengrin drove by a pair of Viola Bravo several years ago. I was deeply moved then. However, I judge the limited space of my audio room may constrain the performance of this wonderful speaker. What's the superiority of Lohengrin over Kharma Reference? What are the best speakers I can buy fitted for my audio room?
Honestly, I'm interested in the Kharma Exquisite Reference speaker just because I saw pictures regarding your wonderful system before. Did the smaller space of your previous audio room ever cause any problem? Can you elaborate the reasons of suggesting darTZeel NHB-108? Is one NHB-108 enough to drive Kharma Reference?


thanks for the kind words; i'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. the Exquisite Reference is a very elegant speaker to look wife still misses that look. Charles Von Oostrum (Mr. Kharma) is an artist and i've always considered these speakers to be works of art.

there was always something very special about my previous room and they way the Exquisite Reference ID synergized in that room. even with the Tenor 75w OTL's the ID's were able to easily 'hook up' or 'presurize' that room with ease for a wonderful immediacy and intimacy. OTOH a 12' x 18' x 10.5' room has limitations as to what level of SPL's it can support before it falls apart. i used lots of absorbtion in that room next to and behind the speakers. these limitations ultimately were one of the main reasons (also the whole wife sleeping--noise control issues) i moved and built the new room.

i think the size of your room is more ideal for the Exquisite Reference than either of my rooms. but it will take time to work things thru. it had taken 7 or 8 years to get the small room to really work (in my early learning stages as an audiophile).....and it has taken 3 or 4 years to get the larger room to work.

yes; a single NHB-108 would be enough for the Exquisite Reference in your room. this is somewhat based on the type of speaker that the Kharma is. it is not a speaker which has unlimited SPL will not knock the house down with bass matter what amp you use. it is very micro-dynamic and full of texture and nuance. which is why i went away from it in my new, very well damped, large room. it simply did not move enough air to energize the room to my satisfaction. when i switched to the VR9's i got all the energy i wanted; but it took me a couple more years and a switch to the Evolution Acoustics MM3 before i was able to get back that intimacy i had lost when i left my small room.

the darTZeel NHB-108 is a very lively amplifier; in the right way. it can operate near it's limits and still sound musical. the Kharma is very demanding of naturalness in an amplifier and so the choices of enough power, naturalness and clarity are limited.

you can always add a second NHB-108 if you feel you need more power.

my second choice for the Exquisite Reference would be the Tenor Hybrid 150's or maybe even the new darTZeel integrated.

i hope this helps.
"it is not a speaker which has unlimited SPL will not knock the house down with bass matter what amp you use."

"the Kharma is very demanding of naturalness in an amplifier and so the choices of enough power, naturalness and clarity are limited."

Great posting, great reply from Mike with which i can FULLY agree in my experiences.
if i would pick out any Kharma if money was no object i would buy the Ref 1D.
I have listened to the 1D in a smallish room and on more then one occasion and enjoyed it very much besides that the room had limited acoustics and this particular 1D was like new.
the Midi also did not pressurise my room -which is very big- and needed big amps to do *some* bass and scale.
with the Lohengrin things are not just a bit better, a bit more of this or that.. they put a smile on my face every time. if i would summon up everything one word comes to mind for me: endless.
the Lohengrin and Ref 1D are in the same price category however.
at the moment i pair the Lohengrin with MP150 Kharma class D amps. a David and Goliath situation :-) but it is just scary what these little bricks do and they give great synergy too.

to adress the 'superiority' of Lohengrin over the Ref 1D?
my choice of Lohengrin over Ref1D is an easy choice living with Lohengrin for longer time.
-disclaimer- i did not have the 1D in house.
both need extremely good matching with amps to really shine. it is an easy thought that the Lohengrin could do well with any tube amp if you look at the 95dB and nominal 8 ohm.. after many amps i can heartedly say: wrong thinking.
very likely that accounts for Ref1D too. i partnered the Midi to best results with CAT JL3 which i had at that time.
any Kharma will do superb with CAT amp. for reasons i will not enter the CAT camp anytime again.

i find the best advice in your quest hard to give.
it is not only about 'superiority' of the one opposed to the other. we never listen to speakers, we listen to complete gear. once again i feel not embaressed to report that even with Lohengrin some very good amps only gave meager results besides costing a great amount of money.

So i can only agree with Mike 100% as to the Ref1D for now.
it will likely work very well in smaller rooms, that is not the difficulty, but any room will only be as good as it's acoustics.
i have a very large room, in which the Midi did a reasonable job as for impact bass slam etc. and only reasonable at that time.
the Lohengrin otoh rides in like a caterpillar and my ears are the only limit as for SPL's. besides the impact and full scale they are soo delicate and have a very natural and homogenic almost holistic approach to music. and can turn on a dime to offer you full orchestral scale if amps allow..
well nuff said, i hope our experiences give you more insight and will result in a good choice.
maybe the best advice given you smaller room could be: don't rule out the Exquisite Midi and the Sarastro.

My listening room has about the same size as yours (the ceiling is even lower).
I'm using a pair of Kharma Exquisite Mini's with the Kharma MP350 monoblocks. Great combination to my ears.
Wow!...thanks for all the warm feedbacks!

A persuasive argument! You suggested Tenor hybrid 150 instead of 300 monoblocks. Is Tenor hybrid 150 more suitable for my audio room?

Tuboo & Peteb,
You remind me the presence of Kharma MP-150 & MP-350 monoblocks. How about using them to drive Kharma Ref? Actually, I don't like the appearance of Midi very much. Moreover, the price range of both Kharma is not that big. If I heavily treated the room, can I get better sound than the Midi? Or the Midi is the optimal solution to fit my room?

Is there existed any principle to choose digital sources and Preamps for Kharma Ref? Emm Labs combo or dCS stacks + FM Acousics 255 or Cello Encore Pre, any comments?

Kharma is using the MP-350 monoblocks with their flagship Exquisite Grands. Driving the Ref's will be no problem at all.
I'm using the old dCS stack (4pcs) with all Siltech Reference G6 cabling (4 power cords, 3 aesbu, 2 fw) connected to an FMA268 pre using FM's PIT balanced ic all plugged into a PS Audio PP1200 with excellent result. You should give the dCS-FMA combo a listen.