This Italian-made beauty features unusual multi-tweeter arrays – just like its little brother
Spendor has a long and illustrious history in the UK loudspeaker business. The company started almost 40 years ago with Spencer and Dorothy hughes (hence the name Spen-Dor) harnessing the expertise gained from Spencer's years in the BBC's sound engineering department.
Aurousal is a relatively new operation. It started out with a smart-looking standmount speaker called the A1, based on a solitary port-loaded 'full range' Jordan drive unit with a 90mm metal foil diaphragm (that's claimed to flex progressively towards higher frequencies). As is usually the way with such systems, this crossover-less system had fine coherence, but delivered limited performance as one moved towards the top and bottom extremes of the audio band.
The Italians wrote the book on high- class compact loudspeakers, partly through availability of fine sustainable homegrown hardwoods, plus a particular affinity for high-quality craftsmanship in the design and build of loudspeaker enclosures.
US brand Ingenious Audio specialises in single-box speaker systems suited to small(ish) flatscreen TVs. There are two models in the range, the ZVox Mini for dinky TVs in a bedroom, say, and this ZVox Loudspeaker, which is generally aimed at 32in models.
We first heard the Callas loudspeaker about a year ago at Opera's own factory near Venice. At the time it was a work in progress, but even then we were suitably impressed by its balance and overall coherence.
The XQ30 is an appealing slender floorstander from KEF's new XQ range, which currently includes a larger floorstanding loudspeaker, two compact two-ways (including the XQ20 reviewed in HFC 307) and a centre channel speaker. Currently there's no subwoofer in the range, although a dedicated model with matching finish will probably emerge in due course, although KEF does have subs in other ranges.