Druid Credenza Feedback

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Music has always been a large part of my life, and being recently disabled with much pain, it has become even more important to me, and the room I spend most of my time in, is not, (being diplomatic) an acoustically great room.  14x24, cathedral ceiling, and the only place to mount anything, is 6 ft off the floor, and the sloping ceiling prevents speakers from going over 36" in height.  The only speaker to have "survived" this room was the V2, but a monitor speaker, that high in a large room, had a lot to carry.  I saw your ad about the Druid's and did some research.  I was already interested conceptually in speakers like the Lowther, but "rolling my own" wasn't a possibility, and most designs, wouldn't work so high off the floor.

To say the results from internet reviews were confusing is an understatement, but having a astrophysics background (long... ago

), the comments from your company and from reviewers like 6 Moons, convinced me that this was a innovative, well designed speaker.

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I called and talked to Sean Casey, describing the room and asking if the new Credenza's would work.  Obviously the bass would suffer from the height, that would be true of any speaker that would fit, but my concern was the overall balance, particularly the critical midrange.  He assured me that the speaker would have no problems at all and suggested that with the components I was using (a 9W 300B SET amp and passive preamp), that I consider trying his speaker cables in place of my AQ bi-wire Slates.  It was refreshing that there was no pressure at all, not to buy the cables or even the speakers.  He even suggested a cable below his top, however, I felt that his top cable (the libtec) would give the speaker the best opportunity to shine.  Plus, with a 60 days, no questions Trial period, how could you lose?  Remember the last time you had 60 days to try high end audio equipment in your home, totally risk free?  I don't either.

When they came in, the shock on opening the box silenced me and my wife.  After using the supplied cloth to polish off the wax protecting the paint (when was the last time you did that?), the fit and finish was impeccable.  Beyond any speaker I'd even seen.  (My wife said she has seen few new cars look so good).  The libtec's were also a surprise, being relatively slim with very flexible ends, and significant departure from so many of todays massive and stiff cables.  (Oh, did I forget to mention the copper polish and cloth to make sure the contacts were perfect when you hooked them up - very nice touch)

But after all, this wasn't a car and the real importance was the sound.  I was going to be listening to these for many hours every day.  A call to my wife and up they went, 6 ft on top of a heavy cabinet, slightly toed in towards my position, 12-14 ft away.  The Libtec's needed 100hrs or so to break in, but supposedly the Credenza's were pretty much already broken in at the factory, something I appreciated.  Off the server, we called up our favorite classical pieces with Artur Rubinstein, several different female vocal numbers, some Fats Waller and a little Xmas for the season and settled back to see how "bad" they would be.

Well to all those that think these speakers don't work, maybe you should try them again.

Yes, the bass was moderate, but at that height, not a surprise.  What was a surprise was the life in the music.  With my wife owning a piano, she and I know what one sounds like, and these speakers made it sound like the piano was right there, in the room.  But not in your face, not exaggerated, just there.  Transient detail was superb as was the background micro-dynamics.  Despite the thunder from Artur's one hand, for the first time in this room, you could clearly hear the rapid counterpoint from his other hand, something most other speakers left as pleasant, but unresolved.  Vocals were smooth, even without burn-in, and for once, I didn't feel the need to turn down the highs.  They were not as extended or resolved as the maggie's, but they were in proper proportion to the rest of the system.

My wife, who is not easily impressed at all with speakers, noted how with the same music playing on the maggie's in another room, as you walked from that room into mine, the music stayed the same.  Not that the credenza's sounded like the maggie's, size and placement alone would prevent that, but tonally, the voice singing, or the announcer talking, sounded the same in both rooms, quite a feat considering the optimal placement of the maggie's and the wildly sub-optimal placement of the Credenza's.

The keywords for these speakers were balanced, musical, tonally correct and realistically resolved.  I'd already owned high resolution speakers (very highly reviewed and recommended), but their hyper-resolution didn't let you into the music, you couldn't just lean back, and flow with it. The Credenza's did that in spades.  These speakers, as small as they are, brought true life back into the recordings.  And the Libtec's, well, the AQ's are already history and now in their 200th hr, their sound is everything Sean said it would be, perfectly complementing the balance of the speakers.

When finances permit, I will probably replace some of the intervening cables with Zu equivalents, and add a Mini-Method.  Not because the Credenza's are overly bass-shy, but to help them fully bring to life some of the more forceful symphonic pieces.  Even the maggie's need help with some of them and I have a feeling the the overall combination will be a spectacular pairing.

Needless to say, there isn't a chance that these speakers or cables are going back after the 60 days are over.  Thank you Zu for letting me get back the enjoyment of music I thought I'd have to give up.

Regards,  Bruce Prager

Posted on December 3, 2007 and filed under Reviews.