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