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RMAF 2015: KR Audio and Brodmann, sonic brush strokes writ lush

KR-Brodmann-1

Brodmann Acoustics Vienna Classic VC7 and Festival Series FS loudspeaker ($3,900 USD).

Sometimes a pairing will surprise you. For example, when I passed the Brodmann Acoustics room that was prominently displaying the massive T1610 output-tube equipped KR Audio Kronzilla SX 50-watt stereo amplifier, the last speaker I expected it to be paired with was one with a four-Ohm load, never mind the Vienna Classic Series VC7 loudspeaker ($18,000 – $20,000 USD depending on finish). I’d read an interesting, and in-depth review/history of these speakers and their designer a while back here, and been intrigued(?) by the VC7 and it’s stablemates as I’m a fan of working with resonance in speaker design, not eliminating it. But what Brodmann speaker designer Hans Deutsch is doing is something different altogether. He’s adding resonance. More on that later.

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Listening to the VC7 being fed FLAC files off a laptop through what I beleive was the TotalDAC d1 dual DAC, (approx. $12,000 USD) then through the KR Audio P-130 hybrid preamplifier with MC phono stage ($6,400 USD) and out through the Release the Beast-sized† Kronzilla SX ($23,000 USD) was a strange experience because these speakers don’t sound exactly right, with stereo imaging oddly off, (as Paul Messenger wrote in his review), and a tonal richness that was very, very sweet and rich. But don’t get me wrong, they don’t sound exactly wrong either, they’re somewhere in a zone that you really have to hear for yourself to understand. I feel like these could be the type of loudspeaker that could cause conflicting reactions from listeners, especially audiophile listeners used to a certain tonality.

Release the Beast was a cassette recording my uncle Ross’ band put out when I was a kid. It featured a lipsticked Michael Landon from Little House on the Prairie as cover art. It was crazy surf-punk music and for some reason the Kronzilla amp reminds me of that distant memory. I’m weird, I make no apologies.

Big tubes and strange resonances afoot at the Circle-KR

Big tubes and strange resonances afoot at the Circle-KR

TotalDAC is something that Michael Lavorgnia likey.

This TotalDAC is something that Michael Lavorgna really liked. I’d agree.

Tubed hybrid preamp

Tubed hybrid preamp

Release the Beast, as my uncle's group The Cartrocks sang...

Release the Beast, as my uncle’s group The Cartrocks sang…

The Brodmann actually have six drivers too, with the tweeters being the only two visible. Four small 3.75″ midrange/woofer paper drivers are positioned on the sides of the speakers and excite the large, veneered panel covering them, thus introducing further resonance to the sound, which seems to exaggerate the color, and tonal richness I described earlier. The fit and finish of the speakers is outstanding.

Excitable side panels on the VC7

Excitable veneered side panels on the VC7

A shared design heritage

A shared design heritage

While the music being made in the room was unexpected, as was the pairing of the amp and speakers (despite the Kronzilla’s bottom-end grunt, 4 Ohms is difficult to drive), it was fun and lively and most of all interesting and unique. Not something we really get enough in life IMO, and despite feeling a bit reserved in my enthusiasm for the Brodmann speakers, they did deliver strings, and piano in beautiful, lush sonic brush strokes. Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, but they just might be yours. Definitely worth a listen.

–Rafe Arnott

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About Rafe Arnott (306 Articles)
Editor and Creative Director for Part-Time Audiophile & The Occasional Magazine.

2 Comments on RMAF 2015: KR Audio and Brodmann, sonic brush strokes writ lush

  1. Norman Williams // November 19, 2015 at 10:33 AM //

    The Brodmann speakers are geared to Classical music, essentially. maybe some Jazz, but they definitely are NOT general purpose speakers.

  2. Yeah, the Kron hasnt found it’s speakers match yet. They may keep searching …

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