Melania Trump isn’t the only Slovenian export drawing attention this year. It turns out the country also is home to a high-end firm that makes speakers so beautiful they could share the runway with real estate mogul/politician Donald Trump’s ex-model wife.
Meeting a heavily-accented rep from the business, called Natural Sound Europe, in Newport was one of my pleasant surprises of T.H.E. Show. Natural Sound was fresh off well-reviewed appearances at events in Munich and Warsaw, and continued to turn heads and grab ears on these shores.
The company was highlighting its Natural Sound 1 speakers ($45,000 a pair), a hefty floorstander. (Just looking at them made me want to say “strong … like bull” in my best Slovenian growl.)
Interestingly, these transducers use field-coil technology. For the uninitiated, field-coil drivers rely on a plugged-in power supply to create a steady magnetic field for the voice coil to operate in. It’s an older technology (most modern speakers use unpowered permanent magnets), but one that still has some proponents, such as Shindo, Line Magnetic and Classic Audio Loudspeakers.
The Natural Sound 1 also features a 15-inch woofer and a compression tweeter. Sensitivity is 97 decibels and the frequency range is 30-25,000 Hz. On top of all that, the cabinets sported some of the most spectacular woodwork I’ve ever seen in any loudspeaker.
“They’re hand-made in Slovenia,” the rep told me. “We use all local wood. They are finished with 30 coats of lacquer.”
I tried a few test tracks and was absolutely knocked out by the sound. Bass was deep and taut, dynamic range seemed extremely wide and highs were detailed while remaining smooth. The midrange was a bit recessed, which gave the speakers a slightly dark quality, but that only worked to draw you into the music and added to their sense of ease. For fans of vintage Altec Valencias, especially, the Natural Sound 1 could be a dream come true.
Natural Sound was driving the speakers with electronics from Audio Tekne, including the TM 9801 stereo amplifier ($50,000), TFA-9501 preamp ($50,000) and TEA-2000 phono stage ($20,000). Also in the system was a Vertere Acoustics turntable and an MSB Technology universal player.
I’m not going to get into the discussion about Melania Trump and her husband as potential occupiers of the White House. (This isn’t Part-Time Politics, after all). But if you are interested in boosting Slovenian imports at your house, you might want to join Natural Sound’s grassroots campaign.