High End 2016: Cessaro Horns with TW-Acustic


Horn manufacturer Cessaro brought the four-way Gamma 2 speaker system with an added horn loaded active sub-woofer, good for 300.000 euros. Driving force behind the speakers was a pair of parallel single end mono amplifiers named Air Two and capable of 50Watts, which Cessaro developed in association with Ypsilon Electronics, paired with matching Air One pre amplifier. These designs clearly exhibit Ypsilon DNA with typical elements such as pure silver wound, amorphous core transformers, ultra-wide bandwidth, carefully selected NOS tubes and gorgeous finish. The price unfortunately is even steeper than the already expensive Ypsilon models; the pre-amp would set you back 50.000 or so, while for a pair of power amps, the MSRP is close to 250.000 whatevers (currency makes no difference here, if you care if this is in euros or dollars … then you probably cannot afford it).

Acting as front end there was a beautiful TW Acoustic Raven Black Night turntable finished in black and copper that aesthetically matched the Cessaro electronics for one of the best looking rooms on this year’s show. Cartridge was the Transfiguration Proteus, rack came from Finite Elemente.

The only setup issue was a rather striking one, the sub-bass horns were out of phase, clearly detached from the rest of the spectrum. On a second trip, a couple of days later, the sub was not playing — without it, the sound was a bit lean and pushing the spectral balance towards an accentuation of the upper octaves. That aside, the German horns still managed to give their best performance in recent memory while playing the Malia & Boris Blank track “Raising Venus”

High-End coverage brought to you by Underwood HiFi, Exogal and Emerald Physics

About Panagiotis Karavitis 212 Articles
Doctor and Editor @ Part-Time Audiophile Publisher @ Audiohub.gr


  1. 4-valve heads, super- and turbo-charging, power abs disc brakes, and so on where once outlandishly priced things for the wealthy. Now we have a $40k tesla. Regardless of its cost, it may also be seen in the light of what is possible.

    • What is possible is one thing, what ultra high end has become is another.. A 650.000+ whatevers room is almost common in recent Munich shows. Tube amps can be bought for peanuts but the industry seems not to care than much, apparently many designers will focus only on top buyers.

  2. I thought the other speakers mentioned from Newport were expensive, but these take it to a whole other level of crazy.

    • Oh well, Munich’s high end show has “silly expensive” written all over it. Few rooms cost less than 200.k “whatevers”, many go north of half a mil.. I will be writing a few words about this phenomenon in my wrap up

  3. Those big horns have a cf of approx 110hz. Even with reactance annuling, the best they can work without much compromise is down to its cf limit (110hz). So those so called active sub woofers work up to at least 100hz, probably higher. There are fundamental tones of instruments over 80hz which can be easily heard. So, If that so called sub horn sounds detached or out of phase it will have an adverse effect on overall representation. They also have longer path from drivers to their mouth than those big midbass horns which means they have to be positioned closer to the listener but they are even further away. So there will be time and phase alignment issues unless the rest of the system is delayed digitally. If they were operating below 60-80hz it still could have worked with little compromise, but then there should have been another solution from 60hz until big midbass takes over. The system looks good, but if one spends this much money, one should ask for much more!

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