Notable Audio, if you don’t know, is the importing and distributing wing of Jeff Fox’s audio empire. Jeff, of course, has been a dealer under the Command Performance A/V moniker for as long as I can remember, and I’ve always considered him as one of the most knowledgeable guys in high-end audio. But I really dig the work he’s been doing as Notable Audio. First, he brings the stunning J. Sikora turntables from Poland, and now he’s found an intriguing panel speaker from a company named Popori Acoustics–which is also from Poland.
Words and Photos by Marc Phillips
I’m not sure how my personal feelings about electrostatic panels escaped into the wild. I love the speed and the scale, of course, but some of the bigger panels out there give me a feeling like I’m standing on the edge of an abyss that’s going to swallow me alive. (The exception, of course, is Quad ESL-57s, which I still adore.) But I had two separate people tell me that the Popori Acoustics speakers in the Notable Audio room would be my jam, despite my misgivings about ESL technologies.
The first person, of course, was Dr. Vinyl. He asked me to visit the Notable Audio room twice–for each of the two Popori models Jeff brought to PAF 2023. “I knew you would like them!” he said. As soon as I sat down and started to listen, I knew everyone was right, The Popori speakers don’t sound like big panel speakers–they have plenty of coherency and, unlike most big panels, they disappeared in the room.
The rest of the Notable Audio system was no less impressive–a J. Sikora Reference table with Lyra cartridge, Doshi Audio electronics (go Team Doshi!), an Aurender music server, Wireworld cabling and HRS racks. I noticed two distinct things about the overall sound. First of all, the vinyl playback was unusually quiet and clean, approaching the unblemished bliss of reel-to-reel. Second, both Popori models were absolutely stunning at low frequencies. Not big and formidable, but tight and focused.
One of the unique features of the Popri WR1 panels is an additional tweeter–that’s the three vertical vents on the side of the panels. (The smaller WR2s are a purer two-way panel design.) Here’s another plus–Popori speakers are easy to drive, and can sing with amps with 20wpc or more. This, of course, is another great audio brand from Europe, and I hope Notable Audio has the same success with Popori Acoustics as J. Sikora. Congrats, Jeff!