Manger Audio, Primare, Dr. Feickert Analogue | RMAF 2019

With all this talk about women in audio, I wonder why more isn’t said about Danielle Manger of Manger Audio in Germany. Her loudspeakers are innovative–check out that unique Manger Sound Tranducer, which is at the heart of all Manger Audio designs. Originally developed by Danielle Manger’s father Josef back in the ’60s, these speakers offer an unusual degree of transparency, and every time I hear one of these products I am floored by the huge, detailed soundstage. It’s obvious that she’s taken her father’s original ideas to new, dizzying heights. At the 2019 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, Manger Audio was paired with Primare electronics and that delightful Volare turntable from Dr. Feickert Analogue paired with a Koetsu Sky Blue Urushi cartridge ($5995).

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Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 coverage sponsored by Core Power Technologies A/V

Manger Audio brought the P1 speakers (starting at $11,500/pair, depending upon finish), a slim and compact floorstander that was placed close to the side walls with plenty of space behind them. This resulted in that trademark deep, deep soundstage that was unusually airy–even with the steady diet of Beatles recordings I heard while I was in the room. (Not that I don’t think Beatles albums are airy, but they’re not.)

The Manger Audio transducer is based on the “bending wave principle” and is designed to be a full-range driver. Its flat diaphragm, which is used in every Manger Audio model including small bookshelf monitors and on-wall speakers, was designed to eliminate phase issues and colorations, which is why they sound so darned transparent throughout the frequency range. It moves and bends as a result of the activity of the voice coil, and its wide dispersion characteristics creates a rather large sweet spot. As I moved through the room, I was impressed with the Manger Audio P1’s ability to remain musical despite the listening position.

I also have to give a little love to Dr. Feickert’s Volare, an entry-level turntable that sounds anything but entry-level. If you read my recent review of the flagship Firebird, you’ll know that I was originally clamoring for the simple and elegant Volare, which usually retails for just around $3500, depending upon the arm. (In this case, it was an Origin Live) I sat and talked with Chris Feickert at the show and went on and on about the excellence of the Firebird and how it was one of the finest analog rigs I’ve encountered, but it’s amazing how much of the Feickert sound is present with this more modest design! I still want one.