DENVER (PTA) — At the beginning of the summer Marc Phillips and myself attended T.H.E. SHOW 2019 in Long Beach, California. While there we both independently discovered Acora Acoustics, and during a mid-day lunch meeting exclaimed our love for the Acora sound. It’s a good sign when a blind consensus forms among the writers.
Marc and I were so duly impressed with the new loudspeaker company from Ontario, Canada that we both included it in our show coverage. I gave Marc the honor of being first to write about it in long form, while I took to including Acora Acoustic in my daily “Must See Rooms” report.
In contrast to the Long Beach show where I first heard Acora Acoustics’ largest of its three speaker offerings, the SRC-2 tower in a small-ish hotel room. It’s here in Denver, where I’m left confounded as to how Acora Acoustics SRC-1 (mid-size tower), and SRB (small bookshelf) command, control, and punish the air of two exceedingly large exhibit rooms.
First, the Acora Acoustics SRB ($15,000 pr USD), a two-way stand-mount loudspeaker, in a true bass-reflex enclosure, that utilizes a 5.5-inch sandwich paper cone mid-bass drivers, 1-inch beryllium dome tweeter, and 2cm-thick high polish black granite time-aligned enclosure that weighs a hefty 58lbs each. The pair presenting an 8-ohm load, requiring 10 to 150-watts of amplifier power, with a sensitivity of 86.5dB 1w/1m, over a frequency range of 43Hz to 35kHz, and standing 13-inches tall, or 40-inches with the recommended SRS matching granite speaker stands (27-inch/63lbs).
Second, the Acora Acoustics SRC-1 ($28,000 pr USD), a two-way floor-standing loudspeaker, in a true bass-reflex enclosure, that utilizes a 7-inch sandwich paper cone mid-bass drivers, 1-inch soft dome ring radiator tweeter, and a 3cm-thick high polish black granite time-aligned enclosure that weighs a whopping 246lbs each. The pair presenting an 8-ohm load, requiring 10 to 250-watts of amplifier power, with a sensitivity of 90.5dB 1w/1m, over a frequency range of 29Hz to 30kHz, and standing 43-inches tall.
Third, the Acora Acoustics SRC-2 ($36,500 pr USD), a two-way floor-standing loudspeaker, in a true bass-reflex enclosure, that utilizes two 7-inch sandwich paper cone mid-bass drivers, 1-inch beryllium dome tweeter, and a 3cm-thick high polish black granite time-aligned enclosure that weighs a whopping 244lbs each. The pair presenting an 4-ohm load, requiring 10 to 250-watts of amplifier power, with a sensitivity of 92.5dB 1w/1m, over a frequency range of 29Hz to 30kHz, and standing 43-inches tall.
The history of the Acora Acoustics company may be only a few years long, but the loudspeaker design experience of founder Valerio Cora goes back twenty-plus years. As the story goes, granite is an extremely hard material and even harder to work with. The milling and processing technology needed to precisely manufacture a material like granite into acceptable loudspeaker enclosure tolerances, didn’t commercially exist until more recently at less than NASA budgets.
As for Acora Acoustics using granite as an enclosure material, it is the ultimate ideal choice. It doesn’t resonate at audible frequencies, it has mass-loading for days, and provides a solid cabinet structure that requires no internal bracing, only damping. Whereas internal bracing achieves a less resonate cabinet in wood-based designs, the engineering compromise that comes with internal bracing causes turbulence and reflections inside the wood cabinet that affect both through-driver-distortion and venting issues. Also, granite looks good. You can actually see the granite aesthetic just by looking at it.
The downside to granite enclosures, is only on the manufacturing side. It’s labor-some, expensive, and time consuming to work with. The production time for the average Acora Acoustic cabinet requires 40-hours-plus of machine time alone. This is due to the work-ability of the material and the high tolerances in the Acora loudspeaker design.
Is all of this work and sweat over building a granite enclosed loudspeaker worth it? Absolutely! These speakers are by gut reaction as “perfect” sounding as we’re ever going to find. What they achieve objectively leaves nothing to be wished for on the engineering table when it comes to cabinet interference. The only thing left to be judged is the subjective parts of the design, which through a well built crossover and the best driver selection, leave little room for a range of opinions. I triple-dog-dare you to hate this speaker.