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March 2014
Superior Audio Equipment Review
Enjoy the Music.com's Top 20 Best Gear Of 2014
World Premiere!
Franco Serblin Accordo Grey Stand-Mounted Loudspeaker
Highly refined execution of every little detail.
Review By Matej Isaka

 

Franco Serblin Accordo Grey Stand-Mounted Speaker  Franco Serblin is the name we don't have to reveal in a dedicated elaboration. Franco Serblin's Accordo Grey speaker is another great product in his continued success. He's one of the most prominent names in high-end audio industry along with other legends. He not only shaped the most striking speakers throughout of his career, but changed the way people look at high-end audio. He made the high-end audio loudspeakers, like Accordo Grey reviewed here, appealing to people on such grand scale. This created a market on itself and invited to high performance audio many of those who would never make the leap or even consider it.

Franco Serblin managed to create quite some prominent loudspeakers through his career, which are still hankered about after all this years. After he retired from his company Sonus Faber many thought, that this was his final conclusion and retirement from high-end audio industry. Only after three years he returned in a grand way. This time with the company, that carried his full name as a statement. Both new speakers, the floor standing Ktema and small monitor Accordo Grey were one of its kind in its concept and appearance. People and industry was moved by his passionate creative output and right after revealing his two products, many companies try to implement some of his freshly brought ideas. Many tried and still trying, but so far no one has equally succeeded and, frankly, I strongly doubt that someone will be able to match the aura and beauty of both Ktema and Accordo. They are Franco's crown jewels and the pinnacle of his design language. These two are the landmarks enriched with two different stories and a mileage, which perhaps no one can compete with.

Franco Serblin Accordo Grey Rear CurveTo create a lifelike feeling of live acoustical instruments, there seems to not be a better building block material than wood. In some of its forms wood can help in recreating, that unmistakable feeling of natural resonate decay and delay. Each acoustical instrument has its own resonance frequency and in recreating them, wood seems to bring some of this inherited audio signature unmistakably great. Now how and to what extent one must use the different materials is the hardest thing to know. We've seen in past decade the raise of CAD and other programs, which simulate the speaker's enclosure and try to predict the sonic outcome. I won't argue about basic technical aspects, but we cannot blindly accept the complete sound prediction or signature of such simulation. I've read raving announcements of new technologies, materials and computer aided designs, yet when it came to hear this "ground breaking"  products in real life the results were not really all that promising. This shows that human sound perceiving gift and intuition towards music is precious. And ear is still among most important instruments when it comes to the final listening and fine tuning.

 

Accordo
Franco Serblin Accordo Grey loudspeakers are a small monitors based on their size. With its stylish appearance they quickly catch your attention. The combination of mirror like polished aluminum and the Grey finish is striking. This further relate to each constructional part. Arched-like shape helps in positioning into the listening room and helps with fine tuning the bass. Accordo's are elegant objects that radiate their own character even prior to listening. Most importantly, when it comes to the music, they relate on the same upper echelon level as they appear aesthetically.

 

Sound
It is important that a loudspeaker radiates sound with a quest of its own to convey what you hear into the right words. The words and sentences must have a constructional feeling, that makes all the sense and one can draw a conclusions, which will help in understanding the product core. With Franco Serblin Accordo Grey speakers it was much easier as they possess the rare organic nature by default. This makes them very special and being able to deal with the only real reference for the music; the real unamplified acoustic recordings.

We came far with the modern production of the music with its bells and whistles, but the ultimate reference for any serious testing is still unaltered live music. Acoustical instruments and human vocals might seems like an easy task to reproduce to the most of the people. Trust me, they are not! What it seems to be the simplest goal, becomes a complex venture if one wants to achieve the ultimate performance. The complexity of natural tone is something that most of the audio designer were chasing for decades. Why some? It's not everyone's grand wish or urge to follow this route. Some of the audio designers and listeners prefer more contemporary approach to the sound. I'm not going to argue about right or wrong. Let us talk about preferred sound. While the ultra-dynamic resolution might give some of its own benefits I do prefer the tonal, timbral more lifelike sound that its closer to the real world experience. The nature of the music, and sound itself, have to do mostly more with emotional side of things around us rather than sole technical aspects. As I say often, we humans are emotional creatures.

It takes a man of passion and love of music to create something extraordinary. The passion and dedication is always finally implemented into the product. This translates to both aural and aesthetic impact. And when it comes to that, Franco Serblin was not only a true artisan, but a visionary, that could connect music to something bigger and better in its reproduction. He was able to evoke emotions and passion with his creations.

 

The Music
How do you know when something's done properly? Simple! It'll relate and correlate with the things you cherish the most with ease. With Accordo Grey loudspeakers under the scope the music is becomes the media that translates to interaction between the performer and listener. I love my Kuzma Ltd Stabi S turntable as the analog front end. It's one of the cleverest and most stylish turntables money can buy. It holds the legendary spot in many countries, but in Japan it seems to have become a cult analog object. Why the highlight? As I feel those two products represent a lifelong strive for perfection in a special way. They both correlate with music in an intimate way.

I've just set the Stabi S to the 45rpm speed upon arrival of the Accordo Grey. This was a great opportunity to hear some of my favorite artist in the best way. Meeting By The River by Ry Cooder, released on Chad Kassem's Analog Production Acoustic Sounds label, is a truly remarkable album. One of my most cherishes music choices for both testing and enjoyment. Now you might heard the high-resolution version of this album, but let me assure you. What you'll going to experience with this two discs vinyl will left it behind by miles. This is a true analog recording and Kavi Alexander of Watter Lily records label was personally looking over the mastering process to ensure the outcome as he wanted. This recording will show what your system and especially loudspeakers are capable of. You might like the energetic and vivid guitars from another classic Folk Singer by Muddy Waters. It is truly a great and outstanding record, but with this vinyl LP version you'll double rethink the sense of real natural guitar overtones and dynamics. When it comes to the acoustical recording of the guitar, the tone is utmost important. Some speakers might clinically reconstruct the body and shape of the guitar in a flashy way, but they fail in bringing the naturally resonate tone of this instrument up to the level of being believable. One thing is simulating and other recreating. For the second one a real mastery is needed including gift and talent.

Franco Serblin Accordo Grey SpeakerIn my twenty some years of experiencing the vast models of speakers in widest prices range, there are really not all that much of a true winners. For the ultimate demand there have to be some of the "magic" recreated that ignite the passionate respond to the music. I've been through the different camps and schools of sound, but after all the years and mileage gained, for me the music mattes the most and it's in the first plan. And if the music is on the pedestal, then everything connected to its best reproduction have to be in line. Music has the power to create a special atmosphere where you forget the world's dealings and step into another dimension that goes beyond time and space. Certain high-end audio components are being able to ignite this illusion. This is where the real gift of dedicated designer shows. In the recreation of a happening the audio designer vision and musical DNA becomes a reality. That is how we all should perceive true high-end.

Franco Serblin Accordo Grey monitors could enable the potency of musical impact. These loudspeakers simply disappear in the room. Even with their small size, they are able to create the true drama of music that defies their size. Interestingly in most cases smaller monitor speakers loose a large portion or three dimensionality and character. But, here with the Accordo Grey speakers the energy was not being lost in translation. Another one of my 45rpm vinyl LPs being in constant rotation is Cannonball Adderley Know What I Mean? His saxophone playing is both provoking and sensual. The sense and feeling of his impact was again recreated with Accordo Grey on the level I would expect from much bigger speakers. This proves that Accordo Grey was design differently. Design to recapture the most important. With each great high-end audio component we receive the certain amount of anchor points, which helps our senses and brain in reshaping the certain musical event. Some of the designer got this right and you can both hear and feel it instantly. It either clicks or not. Franco Serblin Accordo Grey enables so much of the happening on its core level, that It immerse you into the music without rationalizing it. As it should be.

 

Conclusion
Franco Serblin Accordo GreyFranco Serblin Accordo Grey is a mastery of high-end audio loudspeaker design. Everything feels refined and matured to the point where you don't look for the mistakes, but simply enjoy the musical happening. This should always be the ultimate challenge for any loudspeaker manufacturer, that claims his advancement or superiority. The artisans approach, that its expertly executed and noticeable on every step blends with all the musical material, but excel with live, acoustic music. In the times where we're taking so much things for granted Accordo Grey represent a gift from the legendary loudspeaker designer.

This is an embodiment of his genius that is carried on by his son-in-law Massimiliano. As I wrote before, there couldn't be a better person to keep the legacy of Franco Serblin alive. Everything with the Accordo Grey two-way monitor loudspeakers feels premium. From the packaging to manuals and the loudspeakers themselves, you'll be catered with refined execution of every little detail. And it goes the same with the music that Accordo Grey loudspeakers produce. All the little nuances are being posted in such grand way that you never question the Accordo Grey size, but embrace its emotional side. Like state-of-the-art mechanical watches carry on the time with its own authoritative pace, so do Accordo Grey loudspeakers with their lyrically portraits of the musical events. Boldly, and with the character, that resonates with the music. This is the finest aural art for musical reproduction... and a product for true connoisseurs. Highly recommended.

 

 

Specifications
Type: Two-way stand-mounted monitor speaker
Frequency Response: 40 Hz to 33 kHz
Nominal Impedance: 4 Ohms
Sensitivity: 87dB/W/m
Cabinet: Arch-shaped solid wood structure decoupled with alu-mag for resonance control. 
Tweeter: 29mm silk-dome by Ragnar Lian
Midrange/Woofer: Custom made 150mm sliced paper cone with symmetrical drive motor.
Crossover: Low-order, phase coherent using selected premium parts.
Minimum Amplifier Power Output: 20 Watt
Dimensions: 360 x 190 x 360 mm (HxWxD)
Stands Height: 740 mm
Weight: 35 lbs for speakers, 35 lbs for stands
Finish: Solid walnut, metal parts of chrome and aluminum.
Stand: Specially designed to encase the crossover network.
Price: 7400 for pair (~$10,155 USD)

 

Company Information
Franco Serblin
Via Sardegna 52
36100 Vicenza
Italy

Contact: info@francoserblin.it 
Website: www.FrancoSerblin.it

 

United States Distributor
Axiss Audio
17800 South Main Street
Suite 109
Gardena, CA 90248

Voice: (310) 329-0187
Fax: (310) 329-0189
Website: www.AxissAudio.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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