Trenner & Friedl Art Speaker: A Year Later
After a year with a speaker, you get to know what you want – or don’t want - from it. Better midrange? More bass? Find a new speaker altogether? That’s why, in an audiophile’s world, there’s a never-ending quest to find the holy grail.
For me, at least for now, have a zero desire to go through the replace-the-speaker ritual. Instead of cramming to read up on them in magazines and on websites - to find the next one - I’m actually enjoying the Arts.
Heck, I’m enjoying them because they sound better today than they did a year ago!
And that’s a relief, actually, because doing the ‘flavor of the month’ speaker thing is time-consuming and cost-prohibitive when you add up the speakers that you have coming in and going out of the house.
Just how good are the Arts – again? How about their openness and overall tonality? The bass seems fuller - if that’s possible from a mini-monitor! Yes, it is deeper and with real impact in the lower spectrum. Accurate and tuneful – could it get better still? Sometimes there’s a tautness that reminds me of some great floorstanding Thiels from the past. Another area that shines through is in the percussion: better definition with more sizzle and bite from horn and cymbals. The top seems to go on forever.
As an aside but within context, one of the components I’ve changed in my system is replacing the 47 Laboratory Progression DAC with the Progression/Gemini – a dual circuitry design that uses two Dumpty power supply to handle the left and right channel separately. Whether this has influenced the sound or not, it certainly has made the whole presentation amazingly musical. What I have removed is the power conditioner.
And the music hasn’t been more enjoyable!
The Arts are very natural sounding - a great match with my 47 Laboratory gear. The combination lets me into the music in an emotional, involving way. I may have put together a system to die for – albeit in a small, mini-monitor setting.
Whenever I listen to the CD If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears by the Mamas and the Papas (CD, Sundazed SC 6302), I always get elated with the music and the sound from this mono recording – it sounds like stereo! Compared to the mass-marketed MCA stereo CD, this mono CD rules simply because it’s superior in every facet in making this disc. Another well recorded and remastered gem, The Ventures Play Telstar by the Ventures (CD, Sundazed SC 6288), sends you back to the ‘60s to hear how glorious guitars sounded before grunge and rap. It also gives you hope about CDs and how far they have come sonically. Comparing the Ventures CD with the original Dolton LP (LP, Dolton Records BST-8019), where the LP has its merits of borderless space (and demerits of wow and flutter), the CD is preferable because it is better mastered within the confines of a managed soundstage. A flat transfer (I think) which gives a hint of how a master recording sounds like. (You can check with Bob Irwin – he did use the masters in preparing these CDs.)
Suddenly, old stuff becomes new – that’s how I feel about the Arts. Elvis 30 #1 Hits (CD, RCA 7863-68079-2), one of many BMG incarnations from Elvis Presley, is also a great CD that upon listening for the umpteenth time, shows how versatile the Art is in making these old recordings come to life.
Whether it’s vocals, acoustic or jazz – and classical music without the very low organ notes – the Arts reproduce music effortlessly. It’s like hearing all these familiar LPs and CDs for the first time!
Until something truly spectacular comes along, the Art could be your ticket to musical nirvana.
Analog Sources: Garrard 301 turntable; RS Lab RS-A1 tonearm; Miyabi 47 cartridge (one of the last few cartridges Mr. Takeda Haruo made before retiring)
Digital Sources: 47 Laboratory Progression-Gemini D/A Converter (Dumpty power supply 2X); 47 Laboratory Flatfish CD transport (Dumpty power supply)
Preamplification: 47 Laboratory Input Chooser (passive-pre); 47 Laboratory Phonocube phono stage
Power Amplifier: 47 Gaincard on dual mono-mode (Humpty power supply 2X)
Loudspeakers: Trenner & Friedl Art
Cables: 47 Laboratory OTA ICs and custom-made power cords, 4719 speaker cable
Accessories: Solid Steel rack