RMAF 2013: Sadurni Acoustics


Big! Red! Horns!

Readers of my show reports know that I love horns. I love weird-ass speakers in general. It just does my heart good to walk into a room and see something that’s not rectangular and black.

These speakers from Sadurni Acoustics consist of a big 36″ lower midrange horn, a 2″ compression driver, and a tweeter. The horns are made from layered MDF, and in this case were painted a deep and shiny red, although I’m assuming that other colors are available. Also in use was the labyrinth-loaded Added Back Wave bass module with a total of four bass modules, one on each side (additional modules can be added depending on the size of the room and the needs of the system). The speakers sell for around $30,000, with an additional charge for the bass array.

I don’t have a detailed list of what else was in use in the room, but judging by the photos, a Mytek DAC and Oppo Blu-Ray player provided the source. Some amplification was an Audiolab 8000P, and a PS Audio Power Plant Premier AC regenerator was also in use. Cables were by Kubala-Sosna.

The result was a lot of fun, but how should I put this? If there’s a weakness you associate with horns, these probably have it. Our first test track was “Oh Lady Be Good,” the first track of Count Basie’s Count Basie and the Kansas City 7. The integration struck me as quite good in the sweet spot, and there was great texture from the brass. The tone on the piano was good, but quite recessed, as though it were emerging from a tunnel. There’s a lot of coloration from the horns on these things. A track from Dizzy Gillespie’s Live at Newport demonstrated similar weaknesses, with the addition of what seemed like some odd phase shifts. It’s kind of a bummer, because I really love what horns can do, but overall this was not a winner for me. I hope to revisit Sadurni in the future, however, because I’m certain at least some of the issues were due to show conditions.