LOS ANGELES (PTA) — Sanders Sound Systems of Conifer, Colorado made the trek out to the miserably fantastic sunny weather of southern California, with the hopes of bringing a little of their own sunshine to the affair with powerful one-brand ESL loudspeaker system.
I love a good ESL system, so paint me with a biased brush. However typically it is a challenge to assemble a good ESL system without proper guidance when it comes to curating the complete list of system components. Often one buys the speakers, used or rebuilt, and then has to assemble a system using knowledge gained in online forums or with the hope of being lucky through trial and error.
Under the Sanders Sound System umbrella, a fantastic ESL based system is expertly crafted and assembled from soup-to-nuts. Loudspeakers, electronics, you name it. Starting up front with the Preamplifier, which combines the features of Sanders’ previous Line Stage and Phono preamplifiers into one chassis. Gain on the preamplifier is user adjustable, and thankfully so as I am one of those listeners who often listens at low volume. Inputs include five line-level RCA type connectors, and one balanced input using XLR connectors. Following with an RIAA equalized unbalanced RCA phono input with switchable gain, adjustable input loading. Even further, a video processor input with fixed level unity gain for “pass through” use.
In the demonstration system, power for the Sanders ESLs was handled by two outwardly identical stereo amplifiers, one for the ESL panels, and one for the transmission line dynamic-driver woofer enclosures located at the base of the loudspeakers. The amplifiers are both solid-state and designed to be the perfect ESL amplifier. Delivering 500-Watts per channel at 8-Ohms, and 900-Watts per channel at 4-Ohms.
Aiding in all of this ESL glory and power, was a DSP crossover used to do both crossover duties but also digital room correction processing. Considering the constraints of a small hotel room, I would expect the DSP to be absolutely necessary, and considering how focused the sound of the system, I’d say it was awesomely implemented.
Once in-line with the center position, be it near or not-so-near to the panels. Don’t be confused in thinking it’s a near-field system, it’s just that these are small rooms with not a lot of space to properly exhibit with scale in mind. However, once aligned with the panels equidistant to your ears, the magic really does happen. Treble is accurately laser etched into the air, while the mid-range images are full of detail and body. Bass provided from the lower cabinet blends in beautifully and with proper pace to keep up with the panels. Nothing sounds bloated or fat on the bottom notes like some hybrid panels I am familiar with. The Sanders’ sound is a homologous one throughout the spectrum.
Sanders Sound Systems
– 10(c/d/e variants) ESL Hybrid Loudspeakers – starting at $14,000 USD
– Preamplifier – $4,500 USD
– Magtech Stereo Amplifier – $5,500 USD