HECO, Rega, Technics, Salamander Design | Audio Advice LIVE 2022

The HECO BellaDonna

A behemoth of a bookshelf monitor that isn’t even listed on the HECO-USA website. To see it, one has to visit the HECO Germany website to learn more about this hulking standmounter.

Reporting by Eric Franklin Shook

Or, one could have visited the Audio Advice LIVE 2022 audio show and seen first hand why the HECO BellaDonna receives prime placement on the Germany website.

Billed as a solution for big sound in small spaces, there are reasons why this form and formula appeal to many audiophiles. Doing less in ways of diffraction, overloading the room, or just as a cost saving measure, quality-over-quantity and all.

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The HECO BellaDonna is a two-way loudspeaker featuring a large 200mm (7.87 inch) woofer that crosses over at 2,600 Hz and passes off to a 30mm (1.18 inch). The woofer cone material is a unique combination of softwood paper pulp and wool fiber interlace. Making for a more rigid and still lightweight piston-like assembly.

The tweeter material is nothing exotic, just silk, however the baffle area around the tweeter is called a Fluktus design, and seems to be proprietary to the HECO brand.

So far, nothing is really posing itself as an exotic or revolutionary material implementation, but where I think the magic of this speaker comes from is its cabinet design. Both in shape and in resonance control. It does well to get out of the way of the drivers used and let nothing escape the backwave. Making a case for why this loudspeaker is considered the flagship of the HECO brand.

Technics and Rega

An interesting pairing for sure. The Rega P10 is something we know well at Part-Time Audiophile as it was me who first covered its US debut at one of Audio Advice‘s MUSIC MATTERS events during the “before times.”

And it was Dave McNair who wrote the ultimate review of the Rega P10 that still moves the needle for many Rega purchasers.

The Technics SU-G700 chosen to show with the Bella Donna speakers was a smart choice in clean power output, but my only gripe would have been to show it in a coordinating silver to match the speakers finish. If that isn’t me being petty, I don’t know what is.

Listening Wise

I don’t think I got a fair listen with the BellaDonna system, as the exhibitor was quite busy conducting a sale, more than being open to three hi-fi journalists who walked into the room ready and salivating to experience an exhibition.

Both are allowed at audio shows, but in proper ratio. It’s definitely like spinning plates. I know from experience.

I’m definitely considering making-right of this situation by requesting a review pair, because I suspect that the product merits more exposure than what’s given here.

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