Raven Audio: Electronics, Loudspeakers & Cables | Lone Star Audio Fest 2019

Raven Audio is on a roll this year with their new loudspeakers and electronics. Even though this Lone Star Audio Fest is the “biggest little audio show in Texas”, Raven Audio brought out the big guns with a three room display. One room showing their Corvus Tower System (with powered bass modules), another being a budget system comprising of their CeLest’ Tower speakers, and the last room showing a Raven Prototype Integrated (of yore) and a pair of Tekton Design loudspeaker. (Read more about the Tektons HERE)

The Story

This year is half way through and Raven Audio has already had a bigger and better year for new products than most small hi-fi companies have within a five year span. Firstly, Raven Audio has been known for many years now as one of the premier tube electronics builders in the USA. Secondly, they’ve expanded their production to now include an in-house designed loudspeaker line, and third they’ve also disrupted the market with the addition of their Soniquil Cables.

The first time I heard the Corvus Tower System, it was not in it’s “tower system” form — it was just a pair of Corvus Reference Monitors (MTM) on solid stands, with the bass support coming from of a pair subwoofers positioned at the flanks. It wasn’t till recently at this year’s Axpona that I had the chance to see them in full glory with their newly included Corvus Bass Modules, which work to isolate the upper frequency cabinet from the bass tasking sub-cabinet, minimizing unwanted resonance interference between the two and allowing each section to perform at its ideal peak. The Corvus Reference Monitor (MTM upper cabinet) is a completely passive design that will work with any amplifier of your choosing, though I would imagine a Raven Audio amplifier might work best (hint hint, wink wink). The Corvus Bass Module (lower cabinet) acts at the perfect base (or bass partner) for the Corvus Reference Monitor to integrate with. This bass module is fully-active (powered) with 750-watts of DSP controlled power. You can’t walk away from it, these two were made for each other. It is available in Piano Gloss Black and custom colors (which I can’t wait to see). Specs for the Corvus Reference System the sealed upper cabinet starts with the 1-inch ring radiator tweeter and proprietary waveguide, along with two 7-inch poly cone woofers in MTM configuration. Impedance is 4-Ohms, sensitivity is 91dB, range from 40Hz – 20 kHz ±1 dB kHz (32Hz – 28 kHz ±3 dB KHz), and power handling from 20-watts to 100-watts (500-watts max). The Bass Module is also sealed and starts with a single 12-inch subwoofer that handles frequencies from 20Hz to 80Hz, and includes the 750-watt DSP controlled amplifier (also made by Raven). The Bass Module is beastly and weighs in at almost 50 lbs, putting the total package weight at nearly 100 lbs per side. Build-time is six-to-eight weeks, and sold with a 45-day risk-free in-home trial. Regular Price is $14,995 pr USD (direct) but currently at the introductory price is set at $12,995 pr USD — so act now.

In the second room, I was greeted again by the CeLest’ Towers which I first heard during their initial debut at the Florida Audio Expo in Tampa. The second CeLest’ bassed system was specifically built around the idea of value as it only cost $6,995 USD in total. The CeLest’ loudspeaker is sold with the words “audiophile and FUN” used in the language, which to a point I can’t disagree with. The CeLest’ is a very coherently designed loudspeaker, with excellent imaging, and tuned to be lively and accurate. If that sounds like FUN to you, then surely it is. What’s also fun? The price of the pair at $4,995 pr USD (currently at intro price of $3,995 pr USD), built to order in six-to-eight weeks. Sharing some technologies with the Corvus Reference, like the waveguide and cabinet designer. The CeLest’ is a wholly different ported loudspeaker which features a 1-inch silk ring-dome tweeter, and two 6.7” poly cone woofers in a vertical array positioned below the tweeter. Impedance is 4-Ohms, sensitivity rated at 90dB, range from 40Hz – 20 kHz ±2 dB kHz, and power handling from 20-watts to 100-watts (500-watts max).

Throughout all three rooms, the new Raven Audio Soniquil cables were in use, and with starting prices ranging from $119-to-$149 USD, I can’t think of a cable to be more excited about this year, and it’s only now June.

The Sound

The Corvus Reference Tower System represents a cost-no-object offering from Raven Audio, and it fully sounds the part. Sounding organic and life-like in scale, the Corvus’ delivers musical bodies in holographic form. The CeLest’ is hard to outdo for its price, and I want to love it more for the value it represents, but damn if the Corvus just steals my heart. I could easily see myself buying into the CeLest’ loudspeaker with paired with an Avian series integrated, knowing full well, that moving up to the much more esoteric Corvus Tower System would be a near painless maneuver.

The Systems

Raven Audio (Room #1)

– Corvus Tower System (loudspeaker and bass module)

– Elite Series Shaman Monoblock Tube Amplifiers

– Soniquil Cables

Raven Audio (Room #2)

– CeLest’ Tower Speakers

– Avian Mk3 Nighthawk Integrated Tube Amplifier

– Soniquil Cables