Spendor S3/5R2黑檀木特別限量版

要數音響界書架式楊聲器的經典中之經典!英國 LS3/5a 絕對是 當之無愧。這款其貌不揚的小書架揚聲器原本由兩名 BBC 錄音工程師設計而成,他們將錄音室的收音標準到重播時的標準統一並納人到揚聲器設引之內,而其他揚聲器生產商無論以任何物料製作產品都必須要符合 BBC 工程師所制定的標準才算合格,從然得到 BBC 認証生產 LS3/5a。當然,要達至 BBC 的嚴格要求,最簡單的方法就是選擇原始設計時的單元、箱體物料、 阻尼物·接線等等。不過亦正因為原單元供應商 KEF 停產了該單元, 各廠商唯一的出路就是要另實單花來完成製作,各施各法在LS3/5a 的規格上變奏出符合標準而又截然不同的新型書架式揚聲器。

緊貼時代 推陳出新
在眾多 LS3/5a 揚聲器製造商之中。英國 Spendor 可說是其中一所極養活躍的廠家,由早期獲得 BBC 認可直至一九九七年 KEF 停止供應相關單元為止。為了延續 這款經典揚聲器,Spendor 決定自行製作單元部分,並按照 LS3/5a 的同一設計概念,沿用兩路雙單元的小型書架箱體標準,結合 Spendor 單元製作成新代書架式 揚聲器:S3/5。

事實上,新世代音頻標準不段提升,要迎合嶄新的數碼音源重播,揚聲器單元的設計定必需要作出調整,以符合不斷提升的音響重播標準,為 LS3/5a 注入新元素也是情理之內的,而當年的 S3/5 甫推出市場便大受歡迎, 證明 Spendor 的方針完全正確,用戶對這類優質小型書架式揚聲器的需求極度殷切!然後,廠方 不久又再推出 S3/5SE 版本以饗用家;直到 2002 年,Spendor 首次為這款小霄架喇叭加以改良,並按照 BBC 監聽喇叭的命名方法將 S3/5 新版定名為 S3/5a。 而到了S3/5推出十周年即 2007 年,廠方再一次將 S3/5a 改良並將型號定為 S3/5R。到了 2010 年,Spendor 將版本再一次升級,脫變成第四代型號 S3/5R2。

20 年技術完美提煉
2017年,正是 S3/5 面世 20 周年,Spendor 再一次延續傳奇,以 S3/5R2 作為基礎推出 Special Edition 特別版,新版本選用了頂級黑檀木面製作,亦基於罕有,此一版本亦只能以特別限量形式推出;專為 Spendor 的支持者而投產,將產品二十年的完美進化技術獻給鍾情於 S3/5R2 的用戶及收藏家。

Spendor S3/5R2 黑檀木特別版是款兩路兩單元書架式揚聲器,其保持了過往所有S3/5 的一貫音樂味及討好的音色,並且在高,低頻延伸、動態、功率包容性、通透度、音樂連貫性等各方面都有著顯注改良,插放音樂的平衡度上更顯自然流暢。

S3/5R2 黑壇木特別版的箱體沿用最經典的設計,選用最新的 Spendor 15cm 中/低音驅動單元及經典寬邊半球型高音單元,中/低音以鑄造合金支架解決內部散熱問題,配合長沖程單元振膜達至最理想的中低頻表現。電腦設計精良箱體以 Spendor 獨門厚薄不一設計,每個不同厚度都是為了得到最優良的共嗚效應,同時並能杜絕箱 體物料的共振現象,讓聲音更動聽、要逼真,

轉載自 “影音生活” 76 期

將經典進行到底 – 試聽 Spendor S3/5R2 SE 黑檀木特別限量版書架音箱

由香港駿韻音響代理的英國思奔達品牌創建於1960年代,至今已有50多年歷史。品牌的英文名稱 Spendor 源於兩位創始人Spencer Hughes 和 Dorothy Hughes(Spencer的妻子)姓名的組合。Spencer 先生曾擔任英國 BBC 公司的音響工程師,憑借此間經驗,他制作出平生第一款音箱 BC1,這款被譽為 “改變了游戲規則(game-changing)” 的音箱,具有聲音通透、自然中正、音樂性佳的優異性能,旋即被全球各大廣播電台和錄音師選為監聽音箱,由此開創了思奔達品牌的光榮歷史,也奠定了思奔達作為“英國聲”代表的先驅地位。

本文評測的思奔達S3/5R2 SE是該品牌經典傳奇的延續

一、數十載傳承有序

本次試聽的思奔達(Spendor)S3/5R2 SE 黑檀木特別限量版書架音箱,其歷史可謂源遠流長。看到“3/5”這個數字,稍有經驗的朋友都知道它代表的是 BBC 一代監聽名箱 LS3/5A,其中的 “3/5” 表示該類型音箱的箱內容積是 3/5 公升,“A” 表示為改良型號。正是Spencer及其合作伙伴確定了 BBC 監聽音箱的聲音風格,而思奔達順理成章地成為了這一市場先行者,並且直到現在一直是正統 BBC 監聽音箱的守護人。

思奔達 S3/5R2 SE 的老前輩是1997年該品牌發布的S3/5音箱,當時由於 KEF 停止供應 LS 3/5A 音箱的相關喇叭單元,思奔達改用自家研發的的發聲單元,遵循 LS 3/5A 監聽音箱的理念和標准,推出了 S3/5:
●再之后又更新設計,推出了思奔達 S3/5 SE。
●2002年,思奔達再次進行改款,將這一傳奇音箱直接命名為BBC監聽音箱的慣用名稱“S3/5A”。
●2007年,思奔達採用當時最新聲學技術將S3/5A改造升級為S3/5R,其中“R”代表Rivision,意思就是“修訂,修改”。
●2011年,思奔達發布了S3/5R2音箱,“R2”當然表示的就是基於上個版本的第二次升級,從單元到分頻器設計全部採用新設計。
●2017年,迎來這個傳奇揚聲器家族的第20個年頭,思奔達特別推出這款特別限量版S3/5R2 SE音箱。

Spendor 第一代的S3/5音箱
Spendor S3/5R2(它是本次試聽的S3/5R2 SE音箱的上一代)

一款音箱能夠綿延20年經久不衰,而且傳承有序,足見思奔達作為 “BBC 監聽音箱守護人” 的不忘初心。而其背后則是眾多知名錄音室、專業人士和廣大發燒友對這款經典音箱的一路不舍和追捧。

綿延20年的思奔達經典音箱最新款:S3/5R2 SE黑檀木特別限量版

在思奔達50多年的發展中,推出了諸如 BC1、LS 3/5A、SP100 等眾多經典音箱。經過不斷改型和更新換代后,如今思奔達採用三個系列對其產品進行歸納,分別是:A系列(包括A1、A2、A4 三個型號)、D系列(包括D1、D7和D9三個型號)以及Classic(經典)系列。其中當屬Classic(經典)系列最能代表思奔達的品牌基因和聲音個性,而這個系列也是它產品型號最豐富的,一共六個型號。HIFI說此次試聽的S3/5R2 SE音箱是這個系列中個頭最小的一款。如下圖所示:

二、思奔達 S3/5R2 SE音箱新在哪兒?

在中國總代理駿韻音響發布的新廣告上,這款音箱的全稱是“思奔達 S3/5R2 SE 黑檀木特別限量版”,先不說別的,可以看出“黑檀木”是這款音箱的特色和賣點之一,嚴格說來它用到的是具有相當厚度的黑檀木片,而不是常見的木皮或者木紙,觸覺可以感到音箱木質表面的凸凹紋理,質感、檔次和視覺美學遠勝於普通版的同類音箱,給你先聲奪人的第一眼好感。實際上,思奔達在2003年就推出過 S3/5 SE黑檀木特別版,當時一共生產了200對很快售罄,此后不少新舊顧客不斷要求廠方再次推出這類特別型號產品,但基於限量原則以及原材料的短缺一直沒能滿足。相信這次S3/5R2 SE限量版仍然會是緊俏品,出手慢的用戶要等到下次至少還需10年。

相比普通版,這款限量版音箱的外觀顯得更加雅致和貴氣

除了特別選擇的黑檀木片,S3/5R2 SE 的箱體設計和制作依然延續了思奔達的工匠精神,它的箱體經過電腦的精確模擬設計,箱壁並不是完全等厚,而是恰當的厚薄不一,其目的是為了得到更接近真實樂器的共鳴效應。

思奔達 S3/5R2 SE是一款典型思奔達風格的兩分頻兩單元書架箱,與 LS3/5A 一樣是密封式箱體,這種箱體類型無需考慮離牆遠近等擺位顧慮,使得擺放非常靈活和方便,更加適合在臥室、書房、小型客廳等較小空間裡使用。

與前代版本 S3/5R2 音箱相比,這款特別限量版音箱在喇叭單元和分頻器設計上均有變化。中低音單元方面,前代產品 S3/5R2 採用的是直徑140mm 的 EP39,而S3/5R2 SE 採用了思奔達獨有的150mm 的 EP77 長沖程錐盆,口徑更大,配合寬懸邊、錐盆中央的相位錐以及高效率散熱的鑄造合金盆架。

相比前代產品,S3/5R2 SE中低音單元口徑更大性能更優

S3/5R2 SE 的高音單元仍然採用了思奔達經典的液磁冷卻球頂振膜,口徑為 22毫米,寬懸邊設計。根據高音單元和中低音單元理想的工作狀況,思奔達對這款限量版音箱的分頻器進行了重新設計,將分頻點定在4.2kHz(前代產品S3/5R2為5kHz),使得 S3/5R2 SE 效率更高,靈敏度提升到 86dB(前代產品 S3/5R2 為84dB),低頻范圍也由前代產品的 75Hz下潛到了 70Hz。

從上面介紹可以看出,從箱體到喇叭單元和分頻器,思奔達針對S3/5R2 SE都進行了優化設計,可以說是“換湯又換藥”,絕對不是那種打著限量特別版的名義兜售老產品的做法,其背后宗旨依然是遵循聲學科技的進展、以及當代用戶的口味變化,通過精益求精的設計讓經典產品成為新的經典。

三、試聽感受

本次試聽在廣州新地影音進行,店門位於廣州市越秀區大沙頭路海印廣場A035,它除了代理思奔達品牌,還是力仕(Luxman)、寶華韋健(B & W)、加利(Cary Audio)、朗泉(Creek Audio)、君子(REGA)等多個國際知名品牌的正規代理商。

試聽室的面積約有20平方米,搭配的是Creek(朗泉)Evolution 100 CD 播放機和Evolution 100A 合並式功放。對於S3/5R2 SE這樣的小型書架箱,買家多數會用於書房、臥室等小型聆聽空間,這樣的搭配無論是價位還是方便程度還都是相宜而簡潔的。

思奔達 S3/5R2 SE音箱的聲音表現給筆者的第一個印象是良好的通透感。無論是播放人聲、流行歌曲還是小編制樂曲等,音樂透明晴朗,節奏清晰,動態反應敏銳輕靈,彷佛在月明風清的晚上,空氣中毫無雜染。重播 Jerome Harris 爵士樂專輯《Rendezvous》中的 “The Mooche” 一曲時,其中的 solo 樂段精致優雅,音樂氣息纖細微小而不失韻味,樂句尾音的消失也刻畫得柔滑細膩。S3/5R2 SE 的聲底依然是思奔達好聽、耐聽、音樂性極佳的韻味,聲音通透但不蒼白,清朗而富有溫潤,人聲和樂器聲質感真實。不像一些現代派監聽音箱由於過分追求聲音通透而喪失了音樂韻味。

思奔達 S3/5R2 SE音箱給人的第二個感覺是聲音鮮活細致,試聽 Dorian 的專輯《Tribute to Sarasata》可以感到小提琴聲在真實之外更有一份細膩鮮活的特質,音樂線條優美流暢,思奔達改進后的喇叭單元顯得更為靈敏,可以把小提琴擦弦最細微的聲音都表現了出來。拉到小提琴較低把位時琴弦的共鳴更加真實過癮,這得益於 S3/5R2 SE 更大的中低音單元和寬懸邊設計。音樂中鋼琴的琴音相當豐富,規模感宏大,而且三頻的銜接順滑,聲音風格具有高度完美的一致性。當然,對於這樣一對緊湊尺寸的書架箱,你不可能過於苛求它的低頻量感,但是在聆聽人聲、弦樂、小編制樂曲時,你絲毫不會感到低頻的缺失,倒是讓人驚訝於它低頻的優雅質感和鮮活沖擊力,整體音樂的極小極大動態范圍表現得很完整,沒有被壓縮的感覺,這恐怕要歸功於思奔達針對喇叭單元的分頻器重新設計以及厚薄得當的箱體結構。

總體來說,S3/5R2 SE 音箱給人的感覺在保留了監聽名箱 LS3/5A 的靈魂之外,更加完善了針對現代用家的聆聽需求,比如更高的解析力,大動態音樂的適應能力以及更多的高品質低頻量感。可以說,它既具有古典音箱溫潤而甜美的聲音特質,又具有現代音箱的分析力與動態,高音純正甜美,中低音飽滿豐盈,音樂美感十足。此外,它小巧而不佔地方,密封式箱體的箱體類型讓您的較小聆聽空間內的擺位異常靈活。如果您考慮在小面積客廳、書房或者臥室購置一套HiFi系統,S3/5R2 SE音箱稱得上物超所值的理想選擇。別忘了,它可是最經典英國名箱的限量供應,而且正如思奔達的設計追求:我們的音箱是可以讓您用一輩子的!

轉載自:HIFI說 2018年1月肇綱評測

Spendor D9 Loudspeaker – HiFi+

 

Spendor may be one of the oldest (and most respected) names in the UK audio industry, but since its acquisition by Philip Swift (once of Audiolab) its products have been anything but old-fashioned. Admittedly, the Classic Series products look the ‘pipe and slippers’ part -all nostalgic finishes and appearance – but even here, beneath the skin these venerable designs have benefitted from carefully considered upgrades and technological improvements – developments that have filtered down directly from the unmistakably modern A- and D-Line products, whose slim cabinets are themselves anything but The-too’ versions of modern thinking, You don’t have to look too far before you find the evidence that Spender may build on the solid foundations that made speakers like the BC1 world famous, but it is only too ready to invest in modern technology and investigate practical solutions to modern concerns, The A6R, a slim, floorstanding two-way that looks remarkably conventional is anything but, at least in musical terms. Instead it manages to offer all the advantages of two-way operation in a compact enclosure that (in stark contrast to the competition) doesn’t sing along with the music. Then there’s the D1, a compact standmount of such remarkable musical coherence that it’s capable of challenging all those high-end miniatures that cost many, many times its modest price. And that’s the thing: it’s not just what these speakers do (which is impressive enough), but how they do it for the price that is the burning question, The arrival of the D9, a new flagship for the line, neatly encapsulates current thinking at Spendor, offering the opportunity to dig a little deeper into what makes these products not just perform, but exceed expectations.

Outwardly at least, there’s little to separate the D9 from the other tall. slim floorstanders lining the walls of your local dealer’s showroom. Narrow, deep cabinet – check: Plinth base – check: Vertical array of multiple drivers – check. But examine the detail and the differences soon start to emerge. Even a cursory glance suggests that there’s something different about the tweeter, while the plinth base barely extends beyond the cabinet footprint itself. Meanwhile a look round the back shows a complex port arrangement that’s a world away from the simple drainage pipes of yore. Look at the numbers and you’ll see that Spender suggest an in-room bandwidth that goes as low as 27Hz – not in itself unusual, but difficult to do well from a cabinet this size. Most speakers claiming that sort of extension achieve it at the expense of lumpy, uneven, and often one-note bass. Yet listen to the D9 and the first thing that strikes you is its clear and linear bass output. The bottom end of this speaker goes lower than you expect (suggesting that 27Hz figure is a lot less fanciful than some manufacturers’ numbers), but it’s also articulate, tuneful, and agile, with no overhang and no thickness to clutter and smudge the midrange.

To understand why that is, it’s necessary to dig a little deeper and take a look at the D9’s constituent elements – and what’s been done with them. The 180mm Kevlar-coned bass drivers were developed specifically for the 09, their physical and electrical characteristics tuned specifically to match the requirements of the bass enclosure. So what we have here is a bass system, in which the various parts are designed in tandem to create a coherent whole. That’s not unique, but it’s the rest of the box that makes the D9 stand out from the crowd, both in terms of what’s in it and how it sounds. The box itself is constructed from specially selected HDF, and the walls are thinner than those on much of the competition. Instead, resonance in the structure is dealt with by strategically sited low-mass resonators, small, constrained layer slabs placed at vibrational nodes to absorb energy and dissipate it as heat. The result is a cabinet structure that’s both better behaved and stores significantly less energy than conventional constructions. Add to that the lack of internal wadding and the use of Spender’s Linear Flow port technology, and you have an incredibly quiet cabinet that prevents stored energy belatedly finding its way back into the enclosed air-mass to muddy the output and limits spurious output from the port itself polluting the room.

With all that attention paid to low-frequency linearity (and it’s a lot easier to describe than it is to achieve) you might well think that Spender would want to provide the most stable footing possible – and you’d be right. So what’s with the diminutive plinth that barely extends beyond the cabinet edges? Look underneath and you’ll find that each corner of the solid plinth is supported on a substantial steel disc, 45mm in diameter. On the outer edge of each disc is the threaded hole for the M8 spike. It’s an arrangement that combines a narrower plinth with the wider footprint associated with much more obtrusive structures, a happy match of aesthetic, domestic, and mechanical requirements. The discs deliver a strong, stable, precision coupling of spike to cabinet, making for easy attitude adjustment and good energy transfer. Best of all, the mechanical stability allows the use of nice, long spikes, which allow easy adjustment in the crucial vertical dimension. The end result is both more discrete and more effective than many far more obvious (for which read ‘ugly’ or “intrusive’) arrangements.

At the other end of the range, we find Spendor’s innovative LPZ tweeter. This soft dome, coupled-cavity driver is familiar from both the D1 and D7, but it should still be noted just how effective and musically accomplished this apparently simple design really is. The perforated face plate acts to equalize phase and pressure across the face of the driver, producing time- and phase-coherent output, while the equivalent cavities in front of and behind the diaphragm means that the moving parts constitute a linear, balanced-mode generator: simple but effective.

Of course, all that effort expended on the cabinet, bottom end, and high-frequencies is wasted if the midrange isn’t up to it. But then, mid-band has always been a Spender speciality and the 180mm midrange driver with its in-house EP77 polymer cone won’t disappoint. The inherent self-damping and even mechanical behaviour of the driver allows it to be used with shallow crossover slopes that lead in turn to an easy impedance characteristic — meaning that you are going to get the best out of your amp, too. Like everything else, the crossover components are carefully selected, as is the internal wiring and the single-wired terminals. And in many ways, that’s the basis of the Spendor story: there’s a clarity of vision, fastened on the rigid, low-storage cabinet and in-house drivers, but the other side of the coin is the attention to detail that’s been lavished on everything from the port to the spikes, the product’s domestic impact to its packaging. It’s a long and rocky road between an initial design and a viable end product. Look at the D9 – or any other Spendor product – and what becomes obvious is that somewhere in the factory, there’s a large sign that reads “No Short Cuts”. It’s a philosophy that becomes even more apparent once you listen to this speaker.

“The D9’s deep, linear bass is remarkably well behaved a factor that can easily lull you into a false sense of security.”

 

The D9’s deep, linear bass is remarkably well behaved – a factor that can easily lull you into a false sense of security. Put it down almost anywhere and it will sound pretty good – but it won’t sound as good as it can after some time spent on optimising position and attitude. Once you’ve found the right spot, make sure that you level the speaker and then experiment with its height from the floor, using the spikes to lift or lower it. If you start with the spikes set tall and position it with them set that way, lowering the cabinet closer to the floor will bring added weight and dimensionality without any compromise of pace, pitch, or clarity. Once you’ve done that, it’s worth checking rake angle and lateral tilt, as both can have a significant impact on the music’s sense of presence and purpose.

Although their easy load characteristics mean that the D9s don’t demand supremely capable amplification, their performance certainly deserves it. Run with amps as varied as the latest TEAD Linear Bs, the VTL S400-11, or the Levinson 585, the speakers responded with enthusiasm to the character and quality of the signal they received. The astonishing clarity and innate sense of musical organisation that makes the Linear Bs so special was well to the fore, as was the S400’s presence, body, and dynamic authority. But of these options perhaps the 585 is the D9s natural partner, both in terms of cost and capability. In fact, just like the similarly priced Vienna Acoustics Liszt, these are speakers crying out to be hung on the end of today’s super integrated amps, whether that amp is the 585, the Neodio Origine A2, the Gryphon Diablo 120, or even a Lavardin IS Reference. The 09 might not match the sheer scale and bandwidth of the Liszt (even though they are virtually identical on paper) but it is a far more friendly load – which is where the little Lavardin promises to be such an interesting match.

With so many stellar new entries in the 210K speaker stakes, the 09 is going to have to carve its own niche. It does so by doing what Spendors do. Play something quick and clean, like Eleanor McEvoy’s Yoke [Moscodisc], with its crisp dynamics and surprisingly deep bass and the D9s don’t disappoint. The bottom end is deft and sure-footed, with plenty of instrumental character, rhythm, and definition, pushing things along at just the rignt pace; tight enough to be interesting without sounding hectoring or driven. Melodies and phrasing are articulate and the vocals – oh, the vocals: intimate. affecting, direct, and communicative, those vocals make this a captivating and addictive listen, one of those speakers where you set out to play a track and end up playing the whole side. Work up to larger scale works and the 09 might lack the expansive palpable acoustic space thrown by the Liszt or Wilson Sabrina, as well as the unburstably enthusiastic dynamics of the Sopra 2, but it more than makes up for those deficiencies through its sense of integration and musical integrity. Everything just slots in around that natural, expressive mid-band, underpinning voices and solo instruments with an unforced sense of musical shape and context. Did I mention the tweeter? No – that’s because you just don’t notice it, at least not as a separate entity. It’s simply a beautifully integrated extension of that open and intimate midrange. From this it might be easy to assume that the 09 is a beautifully balanced but fatally polite offering: nothing could be further from the truth. You want rude the D9 can be positively bawdy when required. It just doesn’t make an unwelcome habit of it.

Put those attributes together and what you have on the one hand is a classic British speaker, pace, rhythm, and timing all present and correct. On the other – you have a classic British speaker, tonally neutral, linear, and musically coherent. In a very real sense the 09 combines the two great traditions of UK speaker design, without diminishing either. It delivers the superbly open and communicative mid-band of a model like the D1, but succeeds in grafting on a bottom end that is as impressive as it is effective. Does that mean you can have your cake and eat it? Yes it does – and you can enjoy it with a surprisingly wide range of partnering amps too. In fact, the D9 is so system and room friendly that in many cases it might well be the best speaker you’ve ever heard, especially at the price – simply because it works more readily than the competition, With elegant lines to match its thoughtful engineering, and a range of attractive finishes, both modern and traditional, to match its room friendly bass voicing, the D9 really hits the sweet spot of attainable price, achievable performance, and acceptable domestic impact. Indeed, it’s so unmistakably English and so precisely suited to the English market that it probably needs a passport to travel. But when it arrives, I suspect it’s going to shake up more than a few of the locals. Tall, slim, and innately understated, this English gentleman might not shout, but the message is still delivered with purpose, clarity and where necessary, definite intent, A superbly balanced and beautifully judged design, this is the best Spendor yet – and that’s no mean feat.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Three-way rear-reflex loaded loudspeaker
Driver Complement: 2x 180mm Kevlar coned LF, 1x 180mm EP77 polymer MF, 1x 22mm Spendor LPZ HF
Bandwidth: 27Hz-25kHz ±3dB in-room
Sensitivity: 90dB
Load: 8 Ohms
Weight: 35kg ea.
Dimensions (WxHxD): 222 x 1125 x 409mm
Finishes: Natural wood veneers, satin white, Spendor dark high gloss or slate grey high gloss
Price: £8.500 per pair
Manufacturer: Spendor Audio Systems Ltd.

From HiFi+ Issue 151 Sep 2017 by Roy Gregory

Luxman L-509X

 

The style may be ‘retro’, but this powerful integrated amp from a Far East legend is no exercise in nostalgia: it lacks fashionable digital inputs, but has serious sonic appeal Review: Andrew Everard Lab: Paul Miller

OK, so it may help explain the whole ‘vinyl revival’ thing, from portable record players with greater tracking weight than a Caterpillar bulldozer to supermarket own-brand LPs, but looking to the past will only get you so far.  Forget all that longer summers, colder winters and ‘jumpers for goalposts’ stuff: even nostalgia’s not what it used to be. Products must stand on their own merits in today’s competitive market.

RESOLUTELY ANALOGUE
You see, there’s not exactly a shortage of big-money integrated amplifiers out there, and launching the £8500 L-509X into that arena sees Luxman facing rivalry not only from other manufacturers, but also from within. After all, the company has a handful of integrateds on its books, all of which look somewhat similar at first glance, distinguished only by the colour of their meter illumination and price. The designation echoes the original L-509fSE, which first saw the light of day back in 2002 as an attempt to combine the virtues of preamp and power amps in a single chassis, while slightly confusingly there’s already the similarly-numbered L-590AXII [HFN Apr ’16].

Now we have the L-509X, and while the basis is the same, this is a somewhat different animal, with a claimed output of 120W/8ohm, rising to 240W/4ohm – not that the L-590AXII proved exactly starved of power when PM lab-tested that one, delivering 95W/8ohm and 165W/4ohm. I have to confess to being something of an adherent to the maxim that a bit of extra grunt never goes amiss when it comes to the ease with which music is delivered, and so it proves with this new Luxman.

A bit of extra grunt may also be what you emit when called upon to unbox and set up the L-509X for it weighs a not insubstantial 29.3kg. At least the effort gives you a reassuring sense of where all your money’s gone, an impression that’s reinforced when you have the amplifier in place, connected up and switched on.

The star turn, as on all current Luxman amps, is the presence of the two illuminated meters, placed exactly front and centre, but the symmetrical layout of the substantial fascia is also highly pleasing, as is the attention clearly paid to the feel and weighting of the controls. There may not be the knowingly retro flip-switches of the wood-sleeved ‘Classic Series’ Luxman products, but even before you start using it in anger the L-509X has a sense of substance and total quality – luxe indeed. The design here is very much classic‘ preamp and power amps in one box’, with the two sections able to be split if required. And at heart this is a very simple amplifier, with none of that built-in DAC nonsense, let alone a sniff of a Wi-Fi antenna or Ethernet port – it’s resolutely analogue, with no more than four line-ins on RCA sockets plus two sets of balanced inputs, plus a switchable MM/MC phono stage.

‘The Mael brothers’ sound is an exercise in studied chaos’

HARD AS BRASS
Record out and monitor sockets are provided, along with pre-out/power amp in – you could use the last of these to integrate the L-509X with an AV receiver or processor – and there are two sets of switched speaker outputs and a fascia headphone socket. The controls, though there seem to be a lot of them on the front panel (somewhat at odds with the ‘input selector, volume control and that’s it’ trend), are similarly simple. The input selector is one of the two beautifully precise knobs either side of those meters, while the identical-sized adjustments arranged below allow MM/MC cartridge selection, record out, speaker switching and tone/balance controls, bypassable using the ‘Line Straight’ button. Oh, and there’s a remote handset provided [see p39], also able to ‘drive’ a Luxman disc player – and turn off the L-509X’s meter illumination too.

The volume control bears the legend ‘LECUA’, which looks like one of those meaningless Japanese terms, right up there with Acura, Regia and Canter (the last of these an unfathomable designation for a range of trucks). In fact, LECUA is the Luxman Electric Controlled Ultimate Attenuator, here in its latest LECUA 1000 version, which controls both volume and balance with a system directly connecting the substrate of the attenuator and amp circuits to reduce noise, and offering 88 steps of volume adjustment. Other claims for this design include greater resistance to the effects of vibration, enhanced accuracy across the volume range, and long-term durability.

This system is inherited from the company’s C-900u flagship preamp [HFN Sep ’15], as is the buffering circuit in the preamp section, designed for optimal drive of the power amp stages. The output stage itself uses a push-pull configuration equivalent to that in the company’s M-700u power amp, and outputs through copper alloy terminals said to have the conductivity of copper plus the hardness of brass. The switched connection to the output stages is via high capacity/low resistance parallel relays and thick copper wiring to maintain the claimed high damping factor. The whole plot is sustained via no fewer than six independently rectified/regulated PSUs fed from separate transformer windings – even the protection circuitry has its own supply. The substantial 600VA transformer, Luxman says, is a ‘high inertia’ design ‘that does not shake even under load fluctuations’. Well, that’s all good, then. The vibration-resistance goes beyond that hefty, thick panel work in evidence in the ventilation grilles in the top panel, for rather than use fancy damping feet in exotic materials, the L-509X simply sits on massive cast-iron supports. Sometimes a little brute force is the best way!

No digital or network connections here: just MM/MC phono, four line-ins on RCAs and two sets of XLRs, plus a good old-fashioned tape loop and pre-out/power amp inputs, with internal connection broken by front-panel ‘separate’ button

SWEET AND EASY
Not that there’s anything brutal about the way this amplifier plays music. Give it a while to settle down from cold – as PM noted during his lab testing [p39], when set to play at a given output level the meters kick up a bit after a while of running, at which point the L-509X can be assumed to be cooking pretty well, and good to go. And the immediate impression is that, while there’s no mistaking this for an amplifier with anything less than ‘more than sufficient’ power under the hood, it sounds sweet, refined and entirely at ease, whatever the music you choose to play through it, and whichever source component you opt to use.

It’s not quite a ‘take no prisoners’ ultra-revealing amp of the brash and bright school, though the amount of information it delivers is frequently breathtaking, and it never leaves the listener with the sense that something’s missing. So however big and rich the bass may be it’s also entirely controlled, tight and rhythmic as well as having wonderful character. From the growl of orchestral double-basses in a spot of Wagner from the excellent overview of the composer’s work by Iván Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra [Channel Classics CCS SA 32713; DSD64], all the way through to the snap and punch of Kyle Eastwood’s instruments on his recent In Transit set [Jazz Village JV570146; 44.1kHz/24-bit download], this is an amplifier fully able to convey instrumental textures and techniques.

What’s more, while the brass duo leading several of the Eastwood tracks can sound overly aggressive via some amps, the L-509X conveys them in fluid, attractive fashion without blunting either their breathiness or the metallic edge to the sound. In other words, it does excitement to spellbinding effect – just without the irritation. Even with a really dense mix, such as some of those on Squeeze’s The Knowledge [Love Records LVRCD004], this amplifier manages the impressive task of delivering the big, majestic wash of sound while still allowing the usual masterful lyrics and the individual instruments due clarity.

NO EXCUSES NEEDED
The L-509X rewards both ‘lean back’ and ‘lean forward’ listening, not least because it always seems entirely in control of the speakers, with no sense of speed-impeding smear or overhang. Notes start sharply and decay realistically, giving a sound that’s both immediate and delivered with real presence. It’s a sound that even the wilful mayhem of the latest Sparks set, Hippopotamus [BMG 538279612], can’t catch out. Yes, the sound the Mael brothers deliver is an exercise in studied chaos, but even those falsetto’ish vocals are clearly audible in a track like ‘So Tell Me Mrs Lincoln Aside From That How Was The Play?’, which is every bit as bonkers as the title suggests. It may not be quite what the Luxman engineers had in mind when they designed the L-509X but the fact it works so well shows that their amplifier has wide-ranging capabilities beyond the breathy jazz of so many hi-fi demonstrations.

That said, when you do treat it to a demonstration-quality recording, such as Classical Opera’s lovely set of Mozart’s Il Sogno diScipione [Signum Classics SIGCD499, 96kHz/24-bit], the LX-509X’s warmth and vitality come together to create a truly exciting presentation, the soundstage broad, deep and detailed, the presence and ambience almost uncanny, and the dynamics so wide open that one could easily forget all the machinery involved between performance and the listening experience. This amplifier is no mere exercise in rose-tinted nostalgia, and needs none of those ‘ah, but in those days…’ excuses to be made. It’s simply special.

HI-FI NEWS VERTICT
Big, rich, sweet and totally controlled: sounds like something of a soft listen, doesn’t it? Yet the truth is that the L-509X is all of the above in a good way, and none of those in a bad: it simply conveys the music in a manner that always seems exactly as it should. Don’t look at the styling and expect all those clichés of amplifiers of yore – this is a bang up to date design, in both engineering and sound.

LAB REPORT

Dynamic power output versus distortion into 8ohm (black trace), 4ohm (red), 2ohm (blue) and 1ohm (green) speaker loads. Max. current is 16.7A

Power meters are always fun to watch and, here, are ‘calibrated’ in dB relative to full output. In practice the red ‘0dB’ point is pretty close to Luxman’s rated 120W/8ohm but, perhaps more importantly, a 10W/8ohm output is indicated at –15dB when the amplifier is cold and –10dB when it is warm… So treat the meters as decoration rather than a precise measure of level! Precision is the watchword in our lab reports, of course, and here it was soon clear that while the L-509X might look almost identical to the L-590AXII [HFN Apr ’16] its technical performance suggests a merger of the brand’s C-700u/M-700u pre/power [HFN Sep ’15]. Indeed, where the former racked-up a full 2x145W and 2x250W into 8/4ohm, increasing to 165W, 315W and 551W into 8, 4 and 2ohm loads under dynamic conditions, the new L-509X delivers a very similar 2x155W/8ohm and 2x255W/4ohm with a dynamic 183W, 342W and 507W into 8, 4 and 2ohm. With both the M-700u and L-509X, protection limits output to ~300W/1ohm or 16.7A [see Graph 1, below].

Distortion versus extended frequency at 10W/8ohm, 5Hz-40kHz (left, black; right, red)

In similar fashion, the integrated L-509X has –1dB response limits of 3Hz-42kHz (–4.6dB/100kHz) while its 0.02ohm output impedance, rising to 0.05ohm/20kHz and 0.43ohm/100kHz still encourages a slightly earlier roll-off into tougher loads. Distortion is also very low at <0.002% from 20Hz-1kHz before rising gently to 0.03%/20kHz (all at 10W/8ohm). Where the L-509X scores, however, is in maintaining this distortion trend with increasing output, so THD is 0.0025% at 1kHz/1W, 0.0026% at 100W and 0.0034% at the rated 120W. Meanwhile, bearing in mind its high +43.4dB overall gain (balanced input), the A-wtd S/N ratio is a solid 86dB (re. 0dBW) while separation is >80dB midband. PM

 

From HiFi News

Luxman C-900u/M-900u

 

 

Luxman’s C-900u preamp and M-900u power amp (£9995 each) are part of the wave of retro-flavoured hardware that has captivated the big Japanese houses, many of whose ‘period-look’ units eschew digitalia.

“The weight, the power, the flow, all conspired to make our feet tap”

 

As Luxman offers separate DACs and phono stages, they’re not fitted here, eg, the C-900u offers only line inputs and full-function remote control, with tone and balance controls set via large rotaries, but it has no tape monitor facility.  The supplied remote allows zooming of the informative fascia display.  At the rear of the preamp can be found a choice of balanced or single-ended inputs and outputs, earthing posts should you wish to add an external phono stage for a vinyl source, and a couple of Ethernet remote comms ports.

With its resolutely analogue fascia meters, the matching M-900u power amplifier offers both single-ended and balanced (XLR) inputs, remote power on/off, massive multi-way binding posts – some of the best we’ve seen – and switching for mono bridging and polarity inversion.

INSTANT SWEETNESS
Our first encounter was with ‘Rock The Boat’ by The Hues Corporation [Camden (CD)], with the amps hooked up to Wilson Alexias. While the track isn’t overripe down below, it is a dance track with a cool, loping bass, gorgeous harmonies, whucka-whucka guitar, and punchy brass and strings soaring above it all. The Luxman package sounded almost as tube-y as the company’s MQ-300 stereo amp [HFN Nov ’15], but with 25 times the wattage and a far more clearly delineated bass.

Detroit Emeralds’ ‘Feel The Need’ [Atlantic] is more of the same, but with richer, more Motown-y vocals and stronger drum activity. Moving to vinyl, the strings grew even sweeter, but saccharine never intruded because the ’900s possess such balance, with true equanimity from top to bottom.

After a double-dose of disco, we were drawn to mixed percussion, and Santana’s ‘Oye Como Va’ from Abraxas [Mobile Fidelity] did the trick, with the track’s congas, woodblocks, guiro scraper and other paraphernalia. Here the weight, the power, the flow, all conspired to make our feet tap – critical listening be damned! And that’s pretty much as high a compliment as one can pay.

Then in place of the Wilson Alexia speakers we hooked up Spendor LS3/5As, and loaded up ‘Rock The Boat’ once more. The little gems ‘disappeared’ and we were reminded of why we’d worshipped them for so long… the soundstage bordered on the epic.

What clinched it for us, though, was neither the punch nor the percussive majesty of the above tracks, but the subtlety of At Last from Lou Rawls in tandem with Dianne Reeves [Blue Note].

VERDICT
These units worked faultlessly, the remote was a joy to handle, the sound blissfully natural, while the units are made with the sort of finish that’s as cool as Swiss air.

 

From HiFi News

理論與實踐的完美結合 – Critical Mass Systems Olympus – V12 承架 + 層板

玩Hi-Fi玩得時間愈久,發覺自己對各種音響輔件可以提升整套音響系統音效的能力愈難理解,因為這些輔件在使用上與器材裡負責傳輸音頻訊號的電氣通道扯不上任何關係,換句話說用與不用理應同音響器材的發聲效能無關,但實際上耳聽為憑的親身體驗卻又並非如此,有一些輔件的效用顏為出色,而且經過不斷改良和提升效能之後,在一套音響組合裡所起的作用更加明顯,就算是身經百戰的我,聽到這些音效上的改進也會感到有點莫名其妙,甚至是匪夷所思!

問題是這些輔件的身價隨著音響效能的不斷改進而水漲船高,有個別產品的售價更是貼近甚至超越中高級別的音響器材,但它們在整套音響組合裡所扮演的角色卻又同樣是舉足輕重,實在令發燒友又愛又恨……這一類型的輔件首推近年在香港音響圈熱爆的地盒(說句題外話,是否全球我不敢說,但我肯定「音響技術」是全亞洲第一家實試地盒,並且認同具有真正效用而向讀者全力推薦的音響雜誌),其次便是承載音響器材的音響承架。

嘆為聽止
我在本刊2013年5月號的[草言草語]專欄裡報導過,我做了一個從未做過的決定—在沒有作任何試聽的情況下,訂購了兩塊給我的 Audio Note Gaku-On 後級使用的 CMS (Critical Mass Systems)頂級 MAXXUM 承板,要知道這款承板當日的定價高達6萬港元一塊,單從牌面來看這個決定當然是充滿冒險成份;但實際上我內心卻是胸有成竹!我如此充滿信心有兩大原因:其一是同文Lee388 兄在實試過 CMS 的 Black Sapphire 與 Black Platinum 兩款中級層板之後向我大力推介,他這個人玩音響的認知與熱誠是我信服的其中一位高手,既然CMS的中級產品已經有如此能耐,頂級的 MAXXUM 自然是毋庸置疑了。另一個原因是 CMS 的老闆兼設計師Joseph Lavrencik, 曾經向我詳盡解釋 CMS 的設計理論,物理定律的應用和產品的設計詳情,經過深入了解之後,對於Joseph的消震理論我完全受落“事實上當我把後級承上 MAXXUM之後,重播音效的大幅提升簡直令我和幾位寫手兄弟們嘆為聽止,亦顯示我作出了一個大膽而明智的決定。

熱力學第一及第二定律
Joseph 設計 CMS 產品的概念,是基於熱力學 (Thermodynamics)第一和第二定律的物理現象而研發出來。第一定律是能量守恆;能量既不能憑空產生,也不會無緣無故地消失,只能從一種型式轉化成另一種型式,而能量的總和是保持不變。第二定聖能量傾向於從集中的狀況散發至逐漸消散犬況,而且不可逆轉。Joseph 認為在一個聽室開動一套音響組合,從揚聲器發出來的聲 ·能量除了會傳到我們的耳朵之外,聽音室勻的其他位置包括牆壁、天花、地板、傢具甚至音響架上的器材,都會無可避免地受到聲音能量的影響從而引起震動,這些震動不但會影響對諧振非常抗拒的黑膠唱盤、唱臂和唱頭組合,也會波及對震動極之敏感,位處器材機箱內的各種電子零件和元件例如電阻器、電容器、電感器、變壓器、晶體管和真空管等,因而影響重播音樂訊號的質素,更甚的是,上述的各種電子零件和元件在通電工作的時候,自身也會產生輕微的機械性能量(震動),在雙重震動夾擊之下,器材的重播音效當然會大打折扣!

專利設計
既然明白到音響架上的器材,是無法避 免從喇叭傳來的聲音能量轉化而成的震
動,Joseph 便深入研究如何透過音響架 承板來轉化這些能量,以減少對器材的負面影響,結果 CMS 研製出已經成功取得專利註冊,廠方稱為 Filter System 的層板把外來的震動能量轉化為熱能消散。這些 Filter System 由上下兩層阻尼結構夾著一層厚身的特製彈性體緩衝物料(Elastomeric buffer) 組合而成,由於上層與下層需要應付的能量轉移有所不同,所以兩者的阻尼結構亦不盡相同,上層是要把所有承載的器材因為受到聲波能量影響而產生的震動,經過機腳迅速通過阻尼結構而下傳至彈性體層轉化成熱能消散,而下層則是要把從地板和音響承架接收到的震動,同樣通過阻尼結構而上傳至彈性體層轉化成熱能消散,這樣便能夠令層板上的器材因為大幅減少受到震動的影響而發揮出自身應有的重播質素。當然了,CMS這些層板會因應不同的等級而有不同的構造和效能,就以我買下來的 MAXXUM 層板為例,它的承受重量為110公斤,層板厚3吋,彈性體夾層厚 2.5 吋,外框用鋁合金製造,上層的構造是由 20 層三文治結構並以 6 種不同阻尼物料製造的阻尼層組成,頂板用三種不同物料製造以增加承載器材的能力。下層的構造則是由12層三文治結構並以5種不同阻尼物料製造的阻尼層組成,底板用特殊物料製造以增加耦合音響承架的能力。

對症下藥
CMS 為了承托 Filter System 層板而設計的音響承架當然也不會掉以輕心,相反,這些承架的設計與選用的物料是經過精密計算,並且參考彈性模量(Elastic Modulus) 和幼棒音速 (Thin Rod Speed of Sound 聲音能量在幼金屬棒內的傳遞速度)的數據才拍板決定。CMS 承架的水平支撐與多層承架的支柱,都是採用純度高達 96% 至 99% 的鋁合金製造,EM 為 64GPa,傳遞速度約為 5014m/s。釘腳、釘墊、放於器材機腳底部的墊片與鎢珠承帽是用純度高達 99%的鈇合金製造,EM 為105GPa,傳遞速度約為 5090 m/s。作為耦合承架與層板的圓珠用碳化鎢合金製造,EM 為 550GPa,傳遞速度約為 6220m/s。承架的內部也採用一種較軟的金屬作為阻尼物料,它的 EM 為 117GPa,傳遞速度約為 3810m/s。我訂購的單層 MAXXUM 層板採用大型的鋁合金x承架,配上4隻大型重量級釘腳腳座,放上我的Gaku-On單聲道後級之後,不但在外觀上帶來穩如泰山的感覺,實際聆聽音效更令一眾寫手兄弟和我驚訝得目瞪口呆,因為使用前後的分別之大完全超出我們的想像(我原來是使用特別訂製的2吋厚實心黑檀木板配不誘鋼釘錐!音樂的訊息聽得更多細節,能量感大幅增強,音場的結像紋風不動,人聲和樂器的線條更加立體鮮明“耳聽為憑,Joseph 和 CMS 開發團隊的設計理論與產品的效能完全能夠對症下藥。最令我感到驚喜的是;雖然我們都知道膽機對於諧振非常敏感,但今次只是單單換上這兩塊承放 Gaku-On 後級的承架和 Filter System 層板,便已經可以明顯提升草廬整套組合的音效和層次,實在是超出我的期望。經過幾年光景, MAXXUM 承架在草廬的地位仍然穩如泰山,直至今年 (2017) 年中……

更上一層樓
經過累積長達17年設計層板和承架的深厚經驗,Joseph 決定不惜工本開發一個效果完美,比 MAXXUM 更高階的新旗艦系列Olympus一V12,並且在今年的慕尼黑音響展作全球性首展。外觀上,Olympus一V12 音響架的支柱,x形水平承架與及釘腳腳座比起 MAXXUM 更大更粗壯,而層板的厚度卻是相同的3吋,外表也看不出有什麼明顯的分別,不過製作工藝的精緻度和打磨的滑溜光亮度明顯更勝一籌。Joseph 以充滿自信的姿態向我推介 CMS 的新旗艦,他表示 Olympus一V12 的 X 承架,多層承架的支柱,鎢珠,墊帽,墊片和釘腳腳座採用的金屬材料和它們的物理特性,是與 MAXXUM 完全相同,只是承架的x橫袒更潤更厚,支柱和腳座的直徑也由3吋增大至4 吋,換句話說承架有更重質量便會更加扎實和更穩固,好處顯而易見,但另一方面傳導能量的幅度則會更大,所以層板的設計要有更強的消震效能和更有效率才可達致預期的全面性效果。Olympus一V12 層板的外觀雖然看似和MAXXUM 相若,但其實內裡設計已是大幅補強—承重量仍為110公斤,特製彈性體夾層同樣厚2.5吋,但上層阻尼層的三文治結構增加至 27層,下層阻尼層的三文治結構則增加至18層!頂板和底板的結構則沒有改變。Joseph 聲稱 Olympus一V12 層板的阻尼能力是 MAXXUM 的兩倍,而且沒有任何負面影響!

 

押下重注
既然有 Joseph 的拍心口音效保證,我亦毫不猶豫度身訂造了兩套特別尺寸的Olympus一V12 承架和層板來代替草廬的 MAXXUM。到了十月中旬,兩套全新的Olympus承板便正式進駐草廬,當我們把兩者的組件作新舊交替之際,它們的分別便非常明顯,兩部 Gaku-On 後級坐鎮於 Olympus一V12 承板之上更顯得台型十足,貴氣盡露,不過始終是珠玉在前,MAXXUM當日在草廬開聲帶來的震撼仍是歷歷在目,雖然是押下重注,不過始終都只是把後級承板換高一級,音效還可以再有多大進展?內心難免會有點志怎……當一切準備妥當,按下CD機的Play鍵之後,熟悉的張學友一曲〈怎麼捨得你〉從 Tidal Contriva G2 播出,我頓時放下心頭大石,心底裡不禁要對 Joseph 喊一聲大大的 “Bravo”! 因為我清楚聽見小飛俠彈奏的鋼絃結他,不論是勾、是彈、是掃,演奏的力度,按絃手指的跳動!絃線的發音與顫動的餘韻,琴箱的共嗚與豐滿的泛音,學友演唱的咬字吐音,喉底的顫音,運氣的呼吸吐納,掌握歌曲的抑揚頓挫與及唱功的發揮,真的再多很多極細微,以前若隱若現的細節,動態對比更明顯,微動態更清晰,是這首歌曲在草廬的一次最佳演繹!播 Anne- Sophie Mutter 的嶄新錄音 [鰾魚五重奏」,哇!鋼琴、小提琴、中提琴、大提琴和低音提琴五件樂器在流暢地對答,在互動,樂器的音色條理分明,線條清晰,而且在音場內分佈的位置有條不紊,清清楚楚,就像在我眼前演奏一樣,聲音的像真度是前所未有!重播 RR 大植英次的「圖畫展覽展會」,樂團的能量感更盛,氣勢更加澎湃,但樂器的音色卻更加細緻,線條更清晰。

總結
要知道,原本當我轉用 MAXXUM 承板的時候,已經對於它們提升整套系統音效的能力拍爛手掌,憑心而論以聲論價我認為絕對是物有所值,直至執筆這一刻我仍然堅定地向有要求的發燒友推薦(已經改良至 MAXXUM MK3)。不過本著沒有最好,只有更好的發燒精神, Olympus一V12 能夠在MAXXUM 之上再有明顯的進步當然是難能可貴,只是高昂的售價或許會成為銷售的瓶頸了。由於我證實CMS產品的設計理論正確,而同文 Lee388 兄也經過實試有效, CMS 的 PXK 和 QXK 承架,與及採用和 MAXXUM 相同設計理論的專利 Dual Zone Damping System Filter 之 Black Diamond MK3,Black Platinum MK3 和Black Sapphire MK3 層板同樣值得大家考慮。

轉載自 “音響技術” No 436 Jan 2018

構建音樂穩固根基 – 英國 REL T5i 超低音開箱報告

自從購入KEF LS50 追夢 BBC LS3/5a 后,我發覺這款由 “LS3/5a之父” 以現代技術概念打造的“替代品”,竟然有著青出於藍而勝於藍的“升華”表現。隻是大概一個星期的“文火慢煲”, LS50 的聲音就較全新的時候有脫胎換骨的發揮,尤其是頻寬延伸的順暢性、中音的通透感和音場的開揚感等方面都有突破性的改善。而到了兩周的時候,這對依然散發著濃郁新箱味道的 LS50 的低頻能量感漸漸釋放出來了,而同時 UniQ 中高頻的細節和堂音也更幼細更豐富,聽感上仿佛音箱比全新時長大了一點。

由於同軸共點單元的中頻音質綿密又富有水分,點音源的結像力又非常精准,因此LS50 重播的人聲和弦樂很“毒”,那種飽滿爽朗的中頻似乎有種天生的魔力,吸引著人進入到字字句句的意境中。聽 LS50 的演繹和以前玩過的兩款復刻 LS3/5a 很不一樣,以往總是在暗中比較復刻版的聲音究竟有多少BBC的味道,低頻和動態強化后聲音夠不夠自然等等,很少有能帶領著人融入音樂的輕鬆感。而進入狀態后的LS50 就不一樣了,她能夠令我忘記 BBC LS3/5a 那“神”一樣的存在,而能輕鬆享受音樂的圓融和感性。

但是,我想發燒友總是無法滿足於某種狀態的,尤其是我很喜歡聽鋼琴和交響樂,而 LS50 那 5 吋的中低音喇叭雖然有漂亮的中頻,卻依然受物理天限,低頻的能量和超低頻下潛能力依然無法滿足20平方環境的完整高密度音質重現,其實我知道這不怪LS50,我聽過很多比它貴幾倍的落地箱,雖然低頻不俗,但中音的魅力根本無法和LS50相提並論。突然想起之前在一些音響雜志上看過書架箱加超低音的2.1和2.2的玩法,利用超低音彌補書架箱的超低頻延伸也是幾位音響大咖一致推崇的解決方案。比如《音響論壇》的劉漢盛、《新音響》的賴英智、提出“降龍十八掌”擺位理論的台灣蔡克信醫師等等,都非常推崇這種玩法。這兩年一些媒體上也介紹過專注超低音音箱的英國REL,也是不遺余力推廣Hi-Fi組合玩超低音,於是對這個牌子產生了濃厚興趣。

在代理商的官網上,查到 REL 幾乎全系列的超低音音箱都提供了多種連接方式,除了常規的低電平LEF輸入之外,還有可以連接功放喇叭輸出的高電平輸入,這視乎正中我下懷,因為我用的麗磁 211 合並膽機和藝術家作品一號合並機都沒有前級和超低音輸出,如果隻有低電平輸入的超低音,可真的沒有辦法接入到組合裡,有了高電平輸入可就不一樣了。在深入查詢,發現 REL 還一種宣傳無線傳輸的概念,這是怎麼回事呢?原來是 REL 提供選配的無線傳輸組件,發射器連接到信號端,接收器安裝在超低音音箱上,從而擺脫了線材連接帶來的擺位限制。也就是說,無論將超低音音箱擺在哪個位置,都無需顧慮走線的問題。這個功能太吸引人了,要知道,在家中找合適的地方安置超低音本來就不是容易的事情,假如接線還得有礙觀瞻那太座是完全無法接受的。

於是,一不做二不休,在向經銷商咨詢后,訂購了 REL T5i 超低音音箱和一套ARROW 無線連接器。為什麼選T5i呢?主要還是考慮體積不能太大,而且同樣採用金屬振膜喇叭單元能夠和 LS50 銜接得好,畢竟我的環境也隻有 20 平方,這個型號使用8吋喇叭,經銷商表示 T5i 已經可以輕鬆滿足我的要求了。而且,選擇小尺寸超低音還有一個好處,現在玩 2.1 其實是一個感受全頻重播魅力的開始,那就是以后要求更高的話,可以多買一隻組成 2.2 系統。我想這種循序漸進的玩法一來自己調校起來比較好掌握,二來太座不會一下子見到新添的兩個超低音而皺眉頭(發燒友的不容易,你懂的)。

用上 T5i 后,當然是經過大概三天的煲練后再作細致的分頻點銜接和音量的調整,此刻超低頻的補足令音樂重播改善是立竿見影的,LS50 仿佛一下子從小個子長大成壯健的成年人,面前的“小盆景”立即變身大森林,聲音密度感變得更飽滿厚實,人聲和樂器的結像形態都更扎實健康,原本有些聲像僅是針點式的形態,一下子就塑造得更具立體感和真實感。我喜歡聽的鋼琴,那低音區厚重的能量終於能夠完整重現了,演奏級三角鋼琴的線條結像來得相當立體又從容。而重播交響樂呢?用與不用T5i的變化是不可逆的,音場規模感更龐大的同時,音場內的密度是大幅提升的,因此弦樂聲部的規模和層次感都能完整呈現了,大提琴和倍大提琴聲部的改善尤為明顯,用上T5i的寬厚從容,令音樂重現得穩健而完整,哪怕是大動態的強奏都有穩若泰山、巍然挺拔的氣勢。在T5i的協力下,LS50的表現更如魚得水,融合了傳統英國BBC式的柔美飽滿中頻和寬厚從容的超低頻后,從此就可以安心發燒了。

用配套的這跟線就可連接功放喇叭輸出座和超低音。
近距離看看超低音喇叭,印著REL字樣,金屬盤,橡膠懸邊很粗壯,動態表現值得期待。
先看看打著REL字樣的四隻腳,全金屬做的,底部貼著防滑墊,很穩固很精致

 

插頭插座是有定位的,插進去后順時針轉動會自動鎖緊,很保險。
這是無線發射器和電源,採用5V供電,不知道換成更發燒的線性電源會不會獲得更好的音質呢?暫時我先不研究這個了,玩一段時間再說吧。
發射器同樣是組合式安裝,上面的兩個開關分別負責開關和配對,在首次使用時,同時撥動配對鍵很容易就完成了。

 

 

 

 

Wharfedale Diamond A1

130mm mid-bass driver, 25mm fabric dome tweeter 1x coaxial digital, 1x optical, 1x RCA stereo phono inputs Bluetooth aptX 2x 50W amplification Remote control

What is the Wharfedale Diamond A1?

The Diamond A1 is a relatively high-end pair of Bluetooth speakers, and the active, more attractive version of the Wharfedale Diamond 220.

If you’re after something more room-filling and high-fidelity than the army of one-box wireless speakers out there, these are a truly impressive option.

Wharfedale Diamond A1 – Design and features

Unlike the majority of Bluetooth speaker systems around, you don’t get one box, or even two boxes; three separate boxes for the Diamond A1. That’s because, in addition to the pair of stereo speakers, there’s a wireless control box that handles all the pairing and physical inputs.

But let’s start with the speakers, which are really rather classy. They might be based on the Diamond 220, but aesthetically they have far more going on, with radius corners and a choice of either gloss white or black for the front baffle. The real touch of panache, however, comes from black leatherette wrapped around the edges of the cabinet.

Mounted into the baffle of each is a 130mm mid-bass driver and a 25mm fabric dome tweeter, driven by 50W of internal amplification. There’s no slave and master here, with both speakers having their own power – they’re identical, and each has a switch to designate whether it’s the left or right channel.

Of course, this means that the speakers don’t need to be tied together by any kind of cable. The downside is that each requires its own power input, and Wharfedale has chosen to use external power supplies rather than integrating PSUs inside the speakers.

The choice to have a separate control hub adds yet another mains adapter and plug socket into the equation, so the wireless dream could turn into a nightmare if you can’t easily hide all those wires, transformers and plugs somewhere.

The Wharfedale H1 hub looks a little like a router. On the front is an IR receiver for the supplied remote control, while on the top is a small display and touch controls for power, volume up and down, and source selection. Around the back are coaxial and optical inputs for digital sources, and an RCA stereo phono line input. There’s also a micro-USB socket for firmware updates.

The remote control is light and plasticky, but looks far nicer than many of the cheap units usually supplied with Bluetooth speakers – when they have a remote at all.

Wharfedale Diamond A1 – Sound quality

Setting up the Diamond A1 is a bit of a faff, mainly a result of that separate control hub. There’s a series of button presses required, as well as ensuring one of the speakers is set as the left channel and the other as the right.

With that done, and a Bluetooth device paired, it’s all ready to go. And it impresses immediately.

Starting with something expansive – The National’s ‘The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness’ – the Diamond A1 rose to the challenge, forming a wide soundstage and reproducing the guitar particularly well.

A run through Massive Attack’s iconic ‘Blue Lines’ album proved the Diamond A1 have a tightly controlled bass – although since their bass ports are on the back, this will be affected by how much space you give them to breathe. At the very least, I’d leave a gap of three inches behind to avoid booming and a disconnect with the mid-range.

There’s a handy trim control on the rear of each speaker, though, with the ability to boost or reduce the bottom end. I found it worked well to increase the bass when using the A1 in a larger room.

Something a little subtler, such as Iron & Wine’s ‘Beast Epic’ album, exposes the Diamond A1’s limitations. Vocals don’t quite have the realism, and the mid-range doesn’t have the separation that can be achieved by spending a little more on a dedicated hi-fi system. For the money, though, this still offers impressive performance.

Should I buy the Wharfedale Diamond A1?

The Diamond A1 are super-impressive for the money. They offer excellent scale and power, as well as revealing a decent level of detail. For truly room-filling hi-fi sound, there’s very little that can touch them at this price. And they look far more expensive than they are.

The lack of aptX HD support – so no wireless Hi-Res Audio streaming – might concern, but the Diamond A1 don’t quite have the finesse to resolve that extra detail. Really, you’ll need to spend quite a lot more to get to that level.

Verdict

Excellent-sounding Bluetooth speakers with a ton of sonic scale for the money.

Score

   From “Trusted Reviews”

為你亮起小黃燈 LUXMAN D-380CD 播放機 LX-380 合並膽機 SPENDOR 3/5R2 SE 書架箱組合

曾幾何時,為心儀之異性留燈的節目紅遍大江南北,但細心的觀眾或許會發現,電視節目無疑是吸引眼球提高收視率,最終目的依然是獲取贊助商巨額贊助的商業套路,究竟節目內容牽拉的紅線有多少真與假,倒難以考証了。這不重要,為你留燈的一幕依然令無數觀眾期待,這類節目創造的效果已經達到目的。

帥哥美女相互吸引的條件無非始於顏值,那才華呢?那是終一生才能細細品嘗的。其實我們選購 Hi-Fi 器材又何嘗不是如此呢?很多器材讓人一見傾心,未聞聲已經印象分滿滿了。就如這次試聽的這套 D-380 CD 機與 LX-380 合並膽機組合,是日本 LUXMAN 力仕為紀念建廠90周年(1925-2015) 推出的 Classic 經典系列的新產品。其復古、典雅的原木外殼機箱,光造型就已經迷倒一眾音響迷。不知道大家是否有同感,其實懷舊是一種情懷,很多稍有點資歷的音響迷的審美觀都傾向於復古、傳統一類,尤其對於經典的造型更是情有獨鐘,至少我就是如此,看見橫平豎直的線條,醇厚的木質感色彩就會由衷產生好感。在音響領域耕耘 90 余載的LUXMAN 當然知曉這個元素,他們發展的黃金時期是上世紀 60-80 年代,D-380 與 LX-380 就是源於那個時期的經典造型。而同為經典系列中,還有採用 300B 的MQ-300 后級、採用 KT88 推挽設計的 MQ-88u 后級、旗艦級的 CL-38u 膽前級、晶體管合並功放 L-305 和 D-30u CD 機。

傳統與現代
然而內涵呢?外觀雖然復古,但生於現代的 D-380 與 LX-380 自然無法完全復刻以往的產品,比如 CD 是近代數碼音源的產物,而升頻技術更是數字音頻發展的趨勢,除此之外,D-380 卻提供了晶體管和電子管輸出選擇,盡最大的可能融合現代與傳統的精粹。在今年(2017)年中的香港音響展上,總裁社長 Teruyoshi Kawakami 川上晃義先生更是在展會現場發布會上隆重推薦了 LUXMAN 近期眾多新產品,其中就包括了 LX-380 合並功放。

和 D-380 相似,LX-380 的設計理念也遵循復古與現代的結合,其每聲道採用兩隻6L6GC 輸出20W,在總體架構上就是傳統的電子管功放。但卻是首次在膽機中採用源於 L-590AX 的 LECUA 電子音量控制線路,避免傳統電位器的損耗和一致性問題。從這一點,就可見 LUXMAN 是用盡一切廠方先進技術,希望為傳統膽機融入更多新理念,發揮出更佳音質。同時,LX-380 具備前后級輸出/入端子,可方便組件周邊器材提升搭配適應性。並具有耳機輸出口,方便耳機玩家的需求。另外還具有 MM/MC 對應的唱頭放大線路,黑膠玩家可直接搭配唱盤使用,比如 LUXMAN自家的 PD-171A。曾採訪過 LUXMAN 現任副社長末吉達哉先生,他表示 LUXMAN 今年穩健發展,所有 Hi-Fi 產品嚴選高音質元件,整機提供三年原廠保養(電子管一年),並且,LUXMAN 積極在創新領域發展,比如近年積極開拓 DAC和耳放市場,以滿足更多年輕音響迷的需求,現在,LUXMAN 已經是日本國內高級音響品牌最暢銷三甲之列。

D-380 ●使用電子管:ECC82 ●模擬輸出端子:RCA×1 ●數字輸出端子:光纖、同軸各一 ●輸出阻抗:300Ω ●信噪比:115dB ●體積(WHD):440×167×286mm ●重量:10.8kg

專注於CD 播放
D-380採用木制外殼配上鋁制面板,充滿古典與雅致的風格,面板上部有一道橫向貫穿的凹槽,在其上除了左側的電源開關,還有靠右側的兩個小孔,一個是電子管輸出指示燈,點亮時一圈橙色燈光顯得柔和精致,而右側的則是遙控接收窗。D-380 面板上另外兩處亮睛點,一是在於碟倉和右側的顯示屏之間,可見橫臥著一支電子管,這種設計在 80-90 年代 LUXMAN 的產品上都可覓得蹤跡。這枚斯洛伐克 JJ Electronic 生產的型號為 ECC82(12AU7) 的雙三極電子管,採用陰極輸出線路,為D-380提供更具韻味的模擬音樂信號;二是這枚電子管的下方有一個小小的切換開關,用以選擇晶體管輸出或者電子管輸出。
而D-380 其實是一款純粹的 CD 播放器,隻設一組 RCA 立體聲模擬輸出,以及兩組數碼輸出(同軸、光纖,可手動關閉),沒有配備時下流行的 USB、串流等功能,加上可以放大字體的點陣式顯示器,即使距離較遠都可清楚看見播放信息。廠方資料顯示,D-380 的轉盤安裝在底板8mm厚的鋁板上,以降低重心及增加結構強度,避免諧振對拾訊的影響。D/A 解碼芯片採用一片TI 德州儀器 PCM5102A, 具有 32Bit/384kHz 的高精度處理能力,並設有兩組數碼濾波供玩家選擇。而機內的訊號路徑接線為 OFC 無氧銅導體,PCB線路板線路彎位採用圓弧形,如此細致周詳的設計,完全在於 LUXMAN 對任何可能改善音質的因素都費心考証的結果。

LX-380 ●輸出功率:18W×2(8Ω)、20W×2(6Ω) ● 輸入靈敏度/ 阻抗:380μV/100Ω(phono MC)、3mV/47kΩ(phono MM)、180mV/47kΩ (非平衡) ●使用電子管:ECC82×3、6L6GC×4 ●體積(WHD):440×197×403mm ●重量:17.6kg ●接線端子:唱頭輸入1 路(MM/MC 可切換)、 RCA 高電平線路輸入共4 組、磁帶輸入/ 輸出1 組、 Pre out/main in 端子1 組

骨子裡依然是傳統膽機
初次見到 LX-380 時, 其與 D-380 幾乎無異的原木制機箱設計,若不是頂板后半截留出了散熱孔,很難想象它是一款膽機。相比較 D-380,LX-380 的面板設計復古氣息更為濃烈,在功能上 LX-380 維持了日系功放真正的合並機豐富的功能,比如面板左側的4個旋鈕音調控制,可選擇 150/300/600 中低頻,及 1.5k/3k/6k 等頻率控制高、低頻的增益與衰減;比如面板中間的 5 個大型撥杆開關可切換直接輸出、等響度開關、超低頻濾波開關、單聲道/ 立體聲輸出、唱頭 MM/MC 切換等等;同時,面板中間還具有 6.3mm 耳機輸出插孔,提供高素質的耳放輸出。面板的右側,則提供訊源輸入切換、喇叭輸出組切換、監聽模式、左右平衡和音量控制等功能。LX-380 的豐富功能相對於現代追求簡約設計的理念可謂背道而馳,但無可否認這確實日系產品的傳統。其實豐富的功能也並非雞肋,有助用家根據自己的空間環境和搭配調整出最佳的效果,而且日系產品的可靠性還是值得信賴的。轉到背板上,可見 LX-380 同樣採用傳統的設計,僅具有模擬接口,而沒有配備時下流行的數字接口。比如 Phono 唱頭放大輸入一組,通過面板切換 MM/MC;高電平RCA 輸入 4 組;錄音輸入和監聽輸出各一組;前級輸出和后級輸入各一組,完全能滿足音響迷對與合並功放的各種應用。而喇叭線輸出則提供了 A/B 兩組,通過面板的切換旋鈕可選擇任一組輸出或者兩組一起輸出。對了,很多膽機都提供不同阻抗匹配的輸出,而 LUXMAN 在採用全耦合式輸出變壓器,因此能自動適應 4-16Ω  的音箱阻抗,使用上更顯方便。

內部結構上,LX-380 為前后級純電子管信號放大設計,前級及驅動級採用三支ECC82小管,輸出級採用四支 6L6GC,每聲道兩支推挽輸出 18W(8Ω)、20W(6Ω) 功率。膽機一直是 LUXMAN 的專長,尤其是輸出牛,早在五十年代,他們就曾經推出名為OY-15的輸出變壓器,並取得理想的銷售數字。及后更注冊了一些真空管線路的專利技術,例如無負回輸線路等等。在音量控制方面,LX-380 不計成本地採用了廠方專利的 LECUA(Luxman Electric Controled Ultimate Attenuator) 電子電位器音量控制技術,採用模擬的方式88級控制,信號僅經過單一隻電阻分流,借著啟動FET開關而非接觸模式,並且應用高性能光速斷流器得到杰出的無噪音轉換,從而避免傳統電位器產生的耐用性、誤差和噪音等問題。這項技術的優點:1、出色的信噪比;2、極低的失真;3、對頻響無任何影響,對音質無任何影響;4、左右聲道的差異最小化;5、左右聲道的串擾極低。

音樂感染力超凡的好搭檔
經驗告訴我們,LUXMAN 器材的聲音風格並非單純日系風的高分析力、快速瞬態響應,在此基礎上更融入了美式風格的厚暖從容感,其實這些聲音元素並不矛盾的,至少在 LUXMAN 身上,我們覺得是魚與熊掌而兼得的。尤其是當 LUXMAN 搭配來自英國著名音箱老品牌SPENDOR思奔達的時候,那厚潤的音色加上並不慢的速度和不俗的分析力,甚至讓人覺得不敢相信面前的音箱是英國的傳統老牌。比如我曾在音響展上聽過代理商用 LUXMAN 的純 A 類合並機 L-590AX Ⅱ 驅動SPENDOR 的 SP100R2 書架箱,既然可在近百平方的開放空間中播放敲擊樂,那動態、能量和密度都令人驚訝。或許現代的SPENDOR聲音風格也與時俱進了,比如面前搭配 D-380/LX-380 的這款 Classic R2 完美經典系列的 3/5R2SE(Special Edition)小書架箱也與LUXMAN碰撞出精彩的火花。

其實以身價論門當戶對,D-380 與 LX-380 組合更適合和大一號甚至兩號的音箱搭配的,比如 SP3/1R2SE 或者 SP2/3R2,那樣子滿足 30 平方左右的聆聽面積需求也毫無壓力。追本溯源,其實3/5R2 SE的前身是從 1997 年 KEF 停產 LS3/5a 相關喇叭單元時,SPENDOR推出的替代型號 S3/5。在多年多次的進化中,誕生過S3/5a、S3/5R、S3/5R2 等型號, 而 3/5R2 SE 是 S3/5R2 的進化版,除了箱體大小一致之外,其實改進是天翻地覆的,比如中低音單元就從 140mm EP39 改換為全新研發的 150mm EP77, 採用 Polymer 聚合物振膜,令低頻延伸從 75Hz 提升到70Hz(±3dB)。分頻點從 5kHz 下降到 4.1kHz,從而減輕了高音單元的負擔。振膜中央的防塵罩也改為“子彈頭”式相位錐,目的是改善中頻的擴散性,令音箱的指向性更寬闊,改善“皇帝位”的甜點范圍。搭配 22mm 寬環邊軟球頂振膜高音單元,也帶來更好的高頻細節和泛音表現。靈敏度也從 84dB 提升到 86dB,因此對功放的要求也更寬鬆一些。這一系列的性能改進,令3/5R2 SE 的聲音表現更全面,動態更大,密度更好,也更易驅動。另一方面,3/5R2 SE 採用黑檀木外飾皮,無論觀感上的高貴氣質,已經和 LUXMAN 組合木制機箱的搭配,都更和諧協調。3/5R2 SE 的另一個設計特點在於延續了 LS3/5a 的傳統,箱體採用密閉式設計,因此相比倒相設計的音箱,低音的延伸稍有不如卻換來更快的響應速度。而靈敏度也稍低卻有更好的聲音連貫性。另一方面,3/5R2 SE 並沒有採用雙線分音輸入方式,可見廠方對自家分頻器設計充滿自信。

意想不到的聲音密度感
多次聆聽過 LUXMAN 和 SPENDOR 的組合, 都能感覺到這兩個品牌的聲音風格是相融的,LUXMAN 的厚和潤的音色,更在這套電子管組合 D-380、LX-380 中呈現得淋漓盡致。在試聽期間,我多次切換對比 D-380 的晶體管及電子管輸出,發現電子管輸出的寧靜度與分析力相比晶體管輸出幾乎沒有區別,而音色更柔美甜潤,重播人聲的情感更細膩、重播弦樂的質感更纏綿,泛音也更悠長,暖暖的調子令音樂更動聽。顯然,LUXMAN 和 SPENDOR 的搭配不是中性的監聽風格,而是融入了更多人文色彩和兩個品牌對聲音美學追求的染色,因此總能呈現出一種獨特的音色誘惑力,這是一種令人意想不到的聲音密度感,讓人無法相信功放的輸出功率僅有18W(8Ω),而音箱的低音僅有5.5吋。
當然了,我們要很清楚認識到 LX-380 和 3/5R2 SE 還是會受物理限制局限,不可能重播出洶涌澎湃的超低頻,但對於絕大部分音樂而言,尤其是超低音成分本來就不多的古典音樂,3/5R2 SE 的低頻延伸和中低頻的能量感已經足夠應付苛刻的要求了。即使是試聽時播放一些類型的敲擊樂,也不會顯得捉襟見肘,比如選擇《非洲之聲》的《Swing Rhythm搖擺節奏》,LUXMAN 與 SPENDOR 組合能把這段有著濃烈的非洲打擊樂風情的原始音樂,顯現出非洲音樂強調清晰明快的節奏特質,抑揚頓挫的動態起伏響應和敲擊力度,音場中交織出萬花筒般的效果。但在重播《鼓動紅塵》的“牛斗虎”中,面對兩面大鼓的對奏,小系統超低頻的缺點就暴露出來了。但即使如此,我們也僅是無法感受大鼓的真實規模形態而已,在可重播的頻響范圍內,鼓聲敲擊的扎實感和形體感、音場中雜聲等細節依然是歷歷在目,毫不含糊的。而且,3/5R2 SE 音箱的 5.5 吋中低音單元承受能力確實不俗,即使一再把LX-380 的音量加大,在二十平方的環境中,鼓聲也是扎實有力的,絲毫不會像很多小系統那樣鬆散發虛,從而能証明 LUXMAN 膽機有著不俗的驅動力。

換上 Jheena Lodwick 珍娜演唱的《You Raise Me Up 你鼓舞了我》,試試這套膽機驅動小書架箱組合重播人聲的效果。理論上這套組合重播的人聲可有極高水准,事實上也是如此,我曾採訪過某著名音箱設計師,他說要重播好人聲,就該選擇人頭大小的音箱,3/5R2 SE恰恰就是極具代表性的作品,而LX-380所用的6L6 電子管也同樣以超卓的中頻韻味著稱於世。預設,這套組合重播的人聲溫潤感情豐富,音質細膩飽滿,用網絡潮語說就是:“毒”,令人全身酥軟,無法抵御的“毒”。
重播人聲如此美妙的 LUXMAN 和 SPENDOR 組合,重播弦樂又如何呢? 放上一張《Return To Live Concert Hall》中的門德爾鬆 D 大調大提琴奏鳴曲,作品2號,俗語說中頻好的系統聽什麼都不會差,這話果然沒錯,雖然 LX-380 僅有 18W 輸出,3/5R2 SE 音箱也僅如鞋盒版大小,但所重播的大提琴卻有恰當的音質厚度感,樂器結像豐滿不瘦削,琴腔的木頭質感共鳴十分迷人。濃稠的擦弦質感聽來非常有味,伴奏的鋼琴同樣是圓潤飽滿又顆粒分明,分量和比例都拿捏得很到位。
而換上另一種樂器,用薩克斯演奏的《土耳其進行曲》又如何呢?莫扎特的這首作品通常是用鋼琴獨奏的方式演奏的。LUXMAN 和 SPENDOR 組合略為昏黃的暖調音色和飽滿質感,氣息的流動如在面前歷歷在目,樂器的金屬質感飽滿而不冷硬,重播金屬管樂器是那麼的動聽。另外,我發現LUXMAN和SPENDOR這套組合重播吉他也是非常到位的,吉他的頻響不算很寬,但通常掄指飛舞的演奏是極為考驗重播器材的響應速度和分析力的。比如試聽的這張《Hit Lobo》,暖調音色的組合依然能重播出晶瑩通透的吉他樂器質感,演奏雖然沒有令人眼花繚亂的炫技,但吉他的質感、演奏時的細節,以及結像形態等元素都很到位,加上這張唱片中人聲演唱的細膩情感,整體聽感暖融融的,音樂情感尤為動人。

3/5R2 SE ●喇叭單元:15cm with EP77 polymer cone 中 低音單元;22mm wide-surround 高音單元 ●承載功率:100W ●靈敏度:86dB ●分頻點:4.1kHz ●阻抗:8Ω ●頻率響應:70Hz-20kHz(±3dB) ●體積(WHD):165×305×190mm ●重量:4.8kg/ 每隻 ●顏色:黑檀木

總結
LUXMAN 的聲音風格真的不像是日系風格,其厚、暖的音色加上不俗的速度感和分析力非常討好人耳。這種風格其實和現代流行的高清晰度、高透明度、高分析力也有不同,這套組合的線條感沒那麼銳利卻也不含糊,速度不算快但也不拖沓,透明度不算最高的行列但也不是霧蒙蒙的感覺。呈現的音樂穩定、內斂、耐聽,音樂感染力之強更是很多現代系統所不能比擬的。真的佩服日本人的音響設計,無論是細致的字體、還是大小適中的金屬按鈕,一切都是來的得宜。細看 D-380 和 LX-380 的金屬前面板,還特地保留了空間展示電子管燈絲幽幽光芒,在夜晚將燈光調暗,看著電子管迷人的光暈,已經上方橙色的指示燈,聽著舒服有感染的音樂,那享受絕非冷冰冰的現代器材可以相提並論。如果你正希望在書房或者起居室中添置一套外觀極具品味,音質耐聽有感染力的音響系統,這套日本 LUXMAN 和英國 SPENDOR 的組合就是最佳的選擇。

轉載自 2017-12-27 新音响

當 SPENDOR S3/5R2 SE 遇上膽機

你的理想生活是什麼?對於這個問題,每個人的答案都不盡相同,但目標基本一致——追求一種舒適的生活!除非你想追求刺激。而筆者的要求很簡單:喝著茶聽著音樂,悠閑地過著日子,自己及身邊的人身體無大礙即可。“這是大多數人想追求的生活啊!這樣的要求很高啊。”當我說出我的理想生活時,某位朋友是這麼回應的。想想也是,你有閑心有心情才有可能喝著茶聽著音樂,在快節奏的社會追求悠閑也是比較奢侈的,面對各種紛紛擾擾你悠閑得起嗎?而健康更是無價寶……
如何實現這個目標呢?當然要從最容易實現的基本目標做起,比如聽聽音樂,聽音樂可有可無?並不是,美妙的音樂使人愉悅,從而投入其中而忘記了世間的紛紛擾擾,自然會給身體健康加多一分。
聽音樂的方式很多,有時一個音質過得去的小藍牙音箱即可,但我覺得聽音樂要有點要求,不能是太差的音響設備,否則無法享受到音樂之美,同時聽的過程是自由自在的,耳朵不受束縛,行動不受束縛,不需要正正經經地坐著聽音樂,這是一種自然的狀態。
我夢想著擁有一套韻味十足的音響,它不需要很全面,甚至不太完美,但需要把音樂演繹好,當然它不會是天價,這樣才承受得起。它最好是一對書架箱加上一台膽機,一種溫馨的感覺,拿它來放些輕鬆的音樂、放些感人至深的歌曲,時不時陶醉一下自己、感動一下家人。當我看到、聽到 SPENDOR S3/5R2 SE 書架箱加力仕LX-380 功放加力仕 D-380 CD 機這個組合的時候,我覺得應該就是它了。

SPENDOR S3/5R2 SE 書架箱
第二次看到 S3/5R2 SE,我已經不再探討它了,包括它的設計、用的喇叭,還有背后的故事(想了解 S3/5R2 SE 的朋友可以翻閱今年本刊8月刊的測評文章),這次我隻想做個忠實的聽者,而它就是演奏家或者是歌唱家。第一次它並不是眼前的搭配,而是機身纖薄的朗泉 EVOLUTION 100CD 播放機和 EVOLUTION 100A 合並功放,這一套顯得很清秀,如果放小居室再放置些CD專輯裝飾一下可以增添不少音樂元素,能看也能聽。S3/5R2 SE 和朗泉的組合其實絕對滿足筆者的要求,但是聽了 S3/5R2 SE 和力仕 LX-380 膽功放的搭配之后,筆者有了移情別戀的可能,到底怎麼回事容后再敘吧。
S3/5R2 SE 是思奔達經典書架箱S3/5的第五代產品——黑檀木特別限量版,源自於大家熟知的經典 LS3/5a,有的朋友會問思奔達為什麼不生產 LS3/5a?,筆者認為有這對超脫前作的 S3/5,還需要 LS3/5a 嗎?如果廠家同時也推出 LS3/5a,那麼就產生既生亮何生瑜的問題,這就尷尬了。
筆者喜歡 S3/5R2 SE 的原因很簡單,5英寸的喇叭也足夠用來回放飽滿的中低音,對於小箱子來說中低音爆滿一些會更好;它小巧而不佔地方,加上精細的工藝顯得可愛;具有古典音箱溫潤而甜美的聲音特質,又有一些現代音箱的分析力與動態,聽起來不乏音樂美感。據商家透露的消息,首批 100 對 S3/5R2 SE 在短時間內被搶購一空,可見其魅力。

力仕 LX-380 合並功放和 D-380 CD 機
筆者第一次看到這套機器時感到既陌生又熟悉。陌生的是它們都是新品,我對它們一無所知,熟悉的是它們的外觀,經典的力仕風格,滿是復古情調:力仕慣用的原木機殼搭配金屬面板,仿佛回到上世紀 60 年代。在復古即潮流的今天,這樣的外觀肯定會加分的,還未開聲就讓人想擁有的沖動。
LX-380 面板分布著各種旋鈕和開關,表明它有許多功能。粗略看一下有音調控制、唱頭放大、耳機輸出等等,並且與時俱進地加入了遙控功能。LX-380 的功率多大?不大不小 20W(6Ω),在膽機中這樣的輸出功率不算小了,驅動SPENDOR S3/5R2 SE 不會有問題。
LX-380 是在上世紀60年代發布的名機 SQ-38 的基礎上設計制造的,依然延續了SQ-38 的外觀設計,採用了 LECUA 音量調控電路,實現高精度的音量調節。輸出管是日本制造的 6L6GC,而這隻管做推挽輸出時最大功率可達 50W 以上,不過力仕並不追求大的輸出,而是講究聲音的韻味和工作的穩定性。
而D-380 隻是一台單純 CD 機,沒有集合現實流行的解碼功能,除了簡單的模擬輸出和數字輸出之外,沒有任何多余的接口,不過 D-380 是擁有膽輸出的 CD 機。LX-380 合並功放和 D-380 CD 機都屬於力仕的古典系列(CLASSIC SERIES),主打復古情調的Hi-End產品。

 

器材的配合程度
對於經典的 LS3/5a,音響界中有一說法,那就是無膽不歡,但實際上也是有選擇的。你拿一台大功率的膽機去推,雖然動態好了,音場也撐得開,但未必有好的韻味,同時它也無法發出強力的低頻,這不是它的強項。而大功率膽機要做到細膩與韻味並不容易,往往能做到細膩與韻味的大功率膽機其售價都很可觀,對於一對售價不及2萬元的書架箱來說,這樣的投資是不合理的。
之前筆者就認為,與 SPENDOR S3/5R2 SE 搭配的放大器,可以是陰柔,也可以是細膩型的,中頻可以選用不太亮的機種,這樣可以獲得平衡而有韻味的聲音。而力仕 LX-380 合並功放的聲音柔和細膩,很符合這種要求。如果搭配諸如 KT80、KT120 這樣的推挽機,中頻會顯得過於飽滿,顆粒感加強,這樣容易失去應有的味道。
力仕 LX-380 與 SPENDOR S3/5R2 SE 搭配,讓 SPENDOR S3/5R2 SE 的特點得到充分的發揮,而力仕 LX-380 的潛力其實不止於此,它還可以搭配更高端的音箱,其實力仕 LX-380 的售價是 SPENDOR S3/5R2 SE 的兩倍以上,不計較價格落差的話這是個不錯的搭配,同時在日后也有升級空間,充分發揮力仕 LX-380 可以同時接駁兩對音箱的功能(可以切換選擇聽哪一對)。

聲音表現
高參與譚小棠演繹的“貝多芬F大調第五小提琴與鋼琴奏鳴曲”:小提琴的聲音圓滑自然,鋼琴聲晶瑩剔透,一應一答,撩動著人的思緒,聽起來非常有愉悅之感。可以感受到這套組合的聲音細膩柔和,顆粒感很少,高頻也不會刺耳,韻味十足,聽上去非常舒適。另外它的空間定位也比較明確,可以聽出小提琴與鋼琴的大致位置,坐在皇帝位上仿佛置身於小型的演奏室。
廣東音樂大合奏“旱天雷”:笛子、二胡的聲音圓滑細致,揚琴通透輕盈,低中音飽滿而富有彈性,整首樂曲聽起來很熱烈,給人帶來一種喜悅之感。這套組合依然展現細致圓潤的聲音,這類廣東音樂中高頻樂器偏多,系統表現不堪的話會出現毛刺感,但這套組合呈現的是柔和不刺耳的聲音,另外在現場 20 平方左右的空間之下,依然有良好的空間營造能力,低中頻也顯得飽滿有厚度。
張學友“怎麼舍得你”:這套組合的中頻確實美,讓張學友的嗓音美極了,信息量非常豐富,飽滿的低中頻讓聲音既銳利又有厚度,穿透力還顯得十足,完全表現一種舍不得而又很無奈的情感。這套組合仍然展現出柔滑舒適的聲音,和明確的聲音定位,人聲的口型也不會顯得大。
匈牙利舞曲第一 G 好小調:大提琴的聲音飽滿暗啞,泛音充足,小提琴婉轉動聽,無論緩慢或者是急促斗表現得淋漓盡致。表現弦樂仍然是這套組合的拿手好戲,呈現一種濃濃的香味,另外位置感也歷歷在目,小提琴的定位、樂手拉弦時的晃動都能感覺到,相當精彩。

這套組合的聲音風格
聲音飽滿,具有韻味又不失細膩的組合就是它了。無論是弦樂、人聲、還是小品,它都能給你滿滿的音樂美感,在播放大場面的交響樂時,即使受小書架箱的低頻下限所限,也能感受到這種美感,猶如斷臂的維納斯,一樣是美的。

一言蔽之
在悠閑的時候,聽著音樂喝著茶,有這樣一套夢寐以求(滿是音樂味)的組合就夠了!

轉載自 2017-12-16 尧辰 视听前线音响短评

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial