Publisher Profile

Acapella La Campanella Floorstanding Speaker Review Part 1

Acapella La Campanella full range loudspeaker system $26,000 per pair: Forward

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Acapella La Campanella full range loudspeaker system Foreword

There are many forms and variations to being a music lover, and one of them certainly requires a good ear.

We all remember that moment when we first experienced the power of music reproduction via a high-end audio system. For a good number of us, our continuing passion in this hobby, after decades of buying and selling equipment, is inspired by that special, spectacular moment of spark. In a very important way, by our financial and time investment, we are the most ardent of music lovers.

Then, there are those orchestra conductors and players that, by the virtue of their career accomplishments, are the fiery declarations for being the purveyors of music. Of course, there are always other professions in music, such as research, music publishing and retail, that will make those practitioners no less music lovers than others.

Therefore, Acapella Audio Arts, a high-end loudspeaker manufacturer, can also be classified as a music lover of the high-end audio industry. In fact, this company has a philosophy of such breadth and scope that connotes an affluent understanding of the art of music appreciation and reproduction. The company believes that the mark of a music lover is one of a musician whose drive for performance excellence is as great as his passion for experiencing the intrinsic beauty of music itself. This is a stringent requirement for qualification as a music lover.

For there are musicians in professional orchestras whose proficiency in the performance skills and techniques never take them beyond the level of being a craftsman of it, relying on passionate, visionary conductors to lead them to connect with the audience. By that same definition, also, I can proclaim myself only as a music admirer at the most, which means I have neither attained the skills pertinent to servicing music in a performance of it, nor was I fortunate enough to have been a pupil of the dogma of music.

On music listening, Acapella Audio Arts is of the opinion that the role of a high-end audio system is to reproduce the meticulously preserved sonic flavors indigenous to specific concerts halls and churches, with the higher mission of accompanying its listener in a lifelong discovery and understanding of certain music’s interpretive variations and structures.

I reckon that my abilities of understanding the music stops at flavor sampling; but surely even that can take a lifetime to bring to fruition. In Roger Vaughn’s biographical portrait of the late Herbert von Karajan, the conductor quoted Goethe in saying that, “if I have so many things to think, to do, and to meditate upon, and my body refuses to follow me, then nature must give me another one. Must give me another. Not maybe.” Ditto.

“Little Bell”

Acapella Audio Arts also have music in mind when coining product names. It adopted the 16th century, unaccompanied choral musical form as the company name, and christened its entry-level, $6,800 minimonitors after the great Beethoven opera, Fidelio, and its upper-level, $13,700 minimonitor, La Musika (Italian for Music). Acapella also coined its $26,000, third upper model, the LaCompanella, meaning “the little bell” in Italian, and named its $35k sibling the Violon, French for violin.

From that point up are three large systems, namely the $58k, 94-inch high Campanile (“the bell tower”), the $145k, 88-inch Triolon Excalibur and the top-of-the-line, $325k, 90-inch Spharon Excalibur. Weighing over 1,300 pounds per speaker and sporting 100dB sensitivity, the Spharon Excalibur is described as in the following from the Importer’s website:

“This loudspeaker system has no limits: with a15 watt power already, music will be reproduced three-dimensional, thus giving you the illusion to be a member of the orchestra or the band. From the softest, perceptible sounds, these loudspeaker sculptures can accelerate the music like lightning, comparable only with the spurt of a racing car.”

The subject of this review is the $26k, 55 inches high, 93dB sensitive LaCampanella. Despite its modest position among its super-sized siblings, the LaCampanella remains the most expensive horn speaker I’ve listened to, as well as the fourth loudspeaker of its kind I’ve reviewed.

Featuring a 15-inch, hyper spherical wide band horn of a non-concentric, downward-opening mouth, the LaCampanella single horn traverses the enormous frequency range of 700 to the ultrasonic-30kHz, and is the one most encompassing horn in spectral fulfillment. The drive and logic behind this accomplishment is Acapella’s goal of creating an acoustic transducer to generate a comprehensive range of overtones within the human ear’s most sensitive auditory region of 1kHz to 4kHz. The benefit of which is described
in the following line from Aaudio Import’s website:

“The achieved result is a dynamic and musical loudspeaker with a high level of clarity and speed, compatible with best of live music.”

Visually, the 15-inch sphere is grown seemingly from a long, rectangular column behind it, which rested on one of the four long edges and protruded 21 inches towards the back, atop a rectangular woofer tower at 40 inches high and 24 inches deep. The Acapella LaCampanella’s lacquered burgundy horn and lacquered black tower conjure up an irresistibly modernistic appearance and an impossibly artful visual statement.

Acapella claims exceptional sonic feat of sorts from the horn, accorded by the use of a low-mass membrane less than 0.3 g in weight, while each of the four woofers is endowed with a 2.6lb Tesla magnet.

The German manufacturer identifies itself as the inventor of spherical horns, and maintains a strict degree of confidentiality on the company’s design specifics. My attempts in getting the company to voice off on the lower crossover points, enclosure construction and other design aspects have never been addressed. The LaCampanella’s topmost woofer produces a frequency range distinctly above 100Hz, and I suspect that any given one of the other three, front-firing woofers is tasked with reproducing more than just bottom octaves.

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