Coincident Speaker Technology
|Super Eclipse Loudspeaker|
|14 July 2000|
Frequency Response: 28hz – 35khz
Impedance: 14 ohms (never dropping below 10 )
Sensitivity: 92 dB @ 1m -1 watt
Power Requirements: 7 watts – 300 watts
Dimensions: 42″ H × 8″ W × 16″ D
Weight: 92-lbs. ea.
1 – 1″ Titanium Dome Tweeter (per speaker)
2 – 5″ Polypropylene Midranges (upgradeable to magnesium)
2 – 8″ Paper Treated Woofers
Price: $5,499.00 US/pair
“Add a remarkably fine tonal balance (very possibly) the virtues of its 92dB high sensitivity and 14 Ohm (!) impedance. Single-ended-tube enthusiasts should love the Eclipse!”
Contrary to their name—its no coincidence that Coincident Speaker Technology’s Super Eclipse is a transducer of high order. For their size, appearance, and affordability, they match up quite well against some of the big-ticket items in myever-critical requirements for soundstaging, sense of ease and resolution. More so, I’ve discovered, these sonic benefits don’t always arrive in such a nicely packaged, priced and handsomely crafted loudspeaker as this. Conceived by Israel Blume, chief architect, and president of Coincident Speaker Tech, who, I’m told, has designed other noteworthy models in its line, and, I’m told, has an even larger version of this speaker, the Total Eclipse, is slated for release very soon (which, hopefully, I’ll also be reporting).
At the two previous CES Shows, I always came away from Israel’s room smiling and hoping one day to get my mitts on a review pair of his good work. That day has arrived. Here are some interesting comments on what separates the Coincident line from other loudspeakers (taken from the company’s website):
Enclosure Tuning Technique Instead of using resonant enclosure materials and then attempting to damp out resulting resonances and colorations, Coincident enclosures are constructed of inherently non-resonant materials tuned to a high, sonically benign fundamental resonant frequency.
Computer-aided designed crossover network Only first-order designs constructed of the finest components. All hard-wired parts are matched to within 1%. to ensures the purest sound possible, only two components are in the same signal path.
The finest drivers matched to within .2 dB to ensure that every speaker sounds exactly like the reference.
High sensitivity and smooth impedance modulus results in speakers that can be driven to high spl’s with single-ended triode amplifiers or any low-power amplifier designs with no compromise in impact or dynamics.
What does all this mean to the audiophile looking for great loudspeaker? Plenty!
In other words, dear reader, what we’ve here is a very attractive, full-range floor stander, constructed of One-inch MDF that weighs in at a hefty 92lbs., stands 42″ tall, and 16″ deep with a nicely designed 8″ front baffle. What we cannot see is that each enclosure is subdivided into separately sealed sections for the tweeter, midranges, and woofers. A first-order crossover design divides the frequencies at 95Hz and 3kHz. The tweeter boasts a very wide dispersion characteristic that permits frequency responses at 30 degrees off axis beyond 20kHz.
Absent from the Eclipses are grille covers. Naked are its two 5″ magnesium-cone midrange drivers and mirror imaged dual (side firing) 8″ woofers. A single 1″ titanium domed tweeter is protected by a mesh grill cover (D’appolito array: tweeter between midrange drivers). The absent grille is fine with me. I’ve never done any listening with grilles in place. No serious audiophile does, for goodness sake! Besides, these babies, with their gold bullet midrange voice coils, are strikingly attractive.
I like them in the nude!
Look, fit, and finish belie their rather modest $5500 asking price. My dark cherry review samples are exemplary, even besting in appearance my $12,500 Von Schweikert’s VR6’s. The cabinet possesses a solid feel, sturdy from top to bottom. It passed the knuckle-rap test successfully. The cabinet’s rear reveals a ported design with only one set of speaker connections, disallowing the option of bi wiring. Hey, I can live with that. What I can’t live with it is disappointing performance.
My newly dedicated listening room measures 21′ by 13′ with an 8′ ceiling. I used my reference Von Schweikert VR6’s about 63″ away from the long wall. The Super Eclipses also found this spot to be cordial. A slight toe-in, with just a tad of the inside woofers visible, and spread apart about 90″ did the trick. (I recommend setting up first with the woofers on the inside. As a devoted image lover, I found this wide spread to be ideal.
My reference CD playback is Sony’s DSD player the SCD-1 SACD plugged directly into a Tact 2.2 Room Corrector/preamplifier (yeah I know DSD material is slow but, for anyone interested, this things a damn good 16/44 standard player). Amplifiers: the new Inner Sound 350-watt solid state device and the amazingly musical 120-watt Bel Canto Evo digital amplifier. All wiring is by way of Analysis Plus cables. The power cords are from Audience (of CD cleaner/enhancer fame), excepting the power cords for the SCD-1 and amplifiers; these are the new and costly ($1,500 per) Harmonic Technology Magics. I also used Audio Harmony’s new HRS killer black box throughout this evaluation. Extremely exciting is the all new noise reduction device made by Ortho Spectrum Noise Lab, called the (A)nalogue (R)reconstructor 2000 (review forthcoming so stay tuned!)
“That said, I perceive the Super Eclipses’ sound as something independent of their cabinets. They really give you the feeling they’re not in the room.”
Right out of the box, it was obvious to me that this is a special loudspeaker. Even before the Eclipses were optimized, they showed their unique qualities. Their sound is one of coherence and resolution with a very nice dose of clarity, but never exceedingly so. Exceptional focus and midbass percussiveness immediately apparent. After about 150 hours of burn-in, the Eclipse displayed an admirable amount of detail and bloom around individual instruments. Not an easy feat for any loudspeaker, let alone a $5500 model from a relatively unknown company. Add a remarkably fine tonal balance (very Possibly) the virtues of its 92dB high sensitivity and 14 Ohm (!) impedance. Single-ended-tube enthusiasts should love the Eclipse!
With burn-in time approaching the 500-hour mark, the Eclipses turned the proverbial corner and brought an ever-widening smile to my face. Detail improved, percussive attack in the midband became even more expressive, but now, with an especially wide window, the music achieved a level I didn’t think possible at this price point. To my amazement, they played delicate as a feather on softer and more ambient recordings, such as Reference Recordings Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace from composer John Rutter’s Requiem (RR-57CD) and The Turtle Creek Chorale Postcards disc (RR-61CD). Talk about ambience and fidelity on a wonderful stage!. To break matters down:
Midbass excellence Agile and uncolored. Transparent and resolving as the more-than-twice-the-price VR6’s. The bass seems never to call attention to itself when properly set up with the right amplifier. But you know its all there once all the gears are meshing up stream.
Intimacy An ability to feel as though you’re in the recording venue. This speaker really gets the vocals right.
Transient speed The ability to hear into the music and feel as though its been sped up somehow. In a word, incredible pace.
Detail I’m not referring to the cardboard cutout type either. I’m talking about meat and flesh. Naturalizes the performers, which I attribute to its deep and extended bass.
Soundstage focus Images well beyond the Super Eclipses’ physical boundaries. Images and focuses with the best, along with a very impressive lateral spread offering greater depth of field.
One Small Caveat
Be careful what amplifier you drive the Eclipse with. I had some serious concerns about spectral balance when I used the Eclipses with the powerful Inner Sound amplifier, rated at well over 350 watts per channel. While the overall sound, especially the treble opened up to the skies, the bass was disproportionate whatever the speaker placement. With the Bel Canto in place, rated at 120 watts per, the bass is heavenly. Special caution must be taken with these highly musically sensitive beasts when strapping to monster amplifiers. Be ever so careful.
Interestingly, the Super Eclipses satisfy at every level: it is expressive of the music’s meaning and content. A great example of this is The Alternate Takes (Pablo OJCCD7442) featuring Clark Terry, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, and Oscar Peterson. Ray Brown plays the bass while Ella Fitzgerald’s drummer, Bobby Durham keeps excellent tempo on drums. I don’t have to tell you what a great recording session this is do I. I should, however, mention that it’s a great sounding CD.
That said, I perceive the Super Eclipses’ sound as something independent of their cabinets. They really give you the feeling they’re not in the room. This great recording, in particular, allowed for a great disappearing act. Its very open top end and balanced sound, just the right amount of bass energy produced the sense that my room does pretty well in the way it handles the lower regions.
Unless you’ve been dozing off, you know I’m impressed, more impressed than I’ve been by anything since the purchase of my VR6’s. Unquestionably, this loudspeaker in most ways sounds every bit as good. Exceptions would include dynamic impact, space, and ultimate sense of ease; I’ve not found a speaker that betters the VR6 in these respects. However, based strictly on performance, at only half the VR6’s price (list $12,500) the Super Eclipse is embarrassingly good.
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