Many people declare me insane when they see my two Stage Accompany (SA) Blue Box enclosures standing in my living room. They always ask me how my wife feels about these “monsters” taken so much place of our living room.
I know that the WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) of the SA Blue Box is rather low so many women will prohibit their husbands to place such “monsters” in the living room. Fortunately my wife doesn’t care about the size of the enclosures as long as I’m happy she’s happy.
Why I don’t have a small set of HiFi or High-End in my living room?
Short answer; I don’t like the sound they produce, I find such enclosures play like sissies 🙂 .
Long answer; I’ve always liked big enclosures about their impressive looks and SPL. In my humble opinion a set of HiFi or High-End loudspeakers can not reproduce the real live feeling of a live concert. Unfortunately most Pro Audio (PA) enclosures are build for maximum SPL at the cost of the (high) fidelity of the original signal. In all these years I’ve found only one brand that fitted my taste, combining (enough) SPL with a very high sound quality, that is: Stage Accompany from the Netherlands . And I’m not the only one, more and more down-to-earth High-End enthusiasts searching for the Holy Grail have found it in the SA Master Series.
Two of my favorite Stage Accompany enclosures are the M57 and his big brother the M59. Both models are equipped with the famous SA8535 Ribbon Compact Driver. The sound of the M57 and M59 is really addicting, but can be also very frustrating.
Songs that you loved before to hear through your home HiFi loudspeaker system (because you liked the whole package; the sound, song and lyrics) can be very disappointed hearing them through a set of M57 or M59 (taking the joy away because your favorite songs sounding like crap (reason: simply because they’re badly recorded/mastered 😉 ).
At this level of monitoring bad recordings (and/or heavily compressed) sound really really bad, and perfect recordings (with dynamics) sound really awesome and breathtaking.
Through the use of mobile devices and the continuing loudness war, many, most young, people have no idea how good recorded/mastered music can actually sound. It’s a pity a lot of youngsters like the sound of a heavily compressed song which leaves no room for dynamics. The only thing they care about is how hard the song will blast out of their mobile devices! I’m pretty sure when these youngsters hear a Ribbon Compact Driver loaded SA M59 Master Series set (fed by three SA HE50 amps totaling 15.000 Watt) they’re blown away about the detailed, overwhelming and controlled sound.
Not everyone like the sound of a ribbon driven enclosure, some people dislike a ribbon driver because they think there’s something missing in the sound the ribbon produces.
And that’s correct, they’re missing the harshness and distortion of the compression driver 😉 .
The other reason why people don’t like the ribbon sound is that they’re thinking the output of the ribbon driver is far less then that of a compression driver.
A system with lots of distortion in the mid and high frequencies gives you the idea that that system is producing far more dB’s (and in that believe sounding better)!
A ribbon equipped system stays free of distortion even at very loud levels and gives the listener the idea that the set isn’t playing loud (until he grabs his SPL-meter and start measuring).
That’s why you can listening for hours and hours to a SA ribbon loaded cabinet (without the distortion) without going to feel tired after awhile (what is the main reason of my ribbon-addiction).
Because of the above mentioned reasons a SA ribbon loaded cabinet sounds “how music should sound”, without distortion and with dynamics.
Feel free to leave a comment.