Publisher Profile APPEARANCE - Editor - Theme Header Google Adsense Top Banner

EnigmAcoustics Sopranino Electrostatic Super Tweeter Review

By: |

 EnigmAcoustics Sopranino Electrostatic Super Tweeter Rear Panel View

Using the Sopraninos

One of my goals was to use these with several different speakers. I thus used them with my Teresonic Ingenium XR Silver, Teresonic Magus A55, Linn Audio Athenaeum, and B&W 805S. EnigmAcoustics claims the Sopraninos were designed to be used with such diverse types of speakers. To quote one of their white papers:

“To ensure Sopranino can become even more adaptable to all loudspeakers big or small with either high or low sensitivity, we’ve devised (two) adjustments on the Sopranino: the first is the Attenuation (Gain) Control switch, and the second is the Crossover Frequency control.

The Sopranino is designed with a nominal sensitivity of 90dB at 2.82V input. It is compatible with most recently developed high-resolution loudspeaker systems. However, in case your speakers are of lower sensitivity, you will have the option to switch the Gain Control to –3dB position for a more proper textbook sensitivity matching. Nevertheless, since the characteristics of SBESL™ are vastly different from even traditional ESL drivers, we believe more emphasis should be placed based on the concept of spectral energy by density utilizing our Crossover Frequency control with a 3-step (Low, Mid, High) adjustments. Low is to crossover the frequency at 8kHz, Mid at 10kHz, and High at 12kHz. Sopranino outputs more energy when switch is set at Low, and it outputs less energy when set at High.”

In some ways, these are incredibly easy to set up and in other ways they are very difficult. If you are the kind of audiophile who doesn’t trust your ears, you need to be sure to buy them from a dealer who will help you, and right now EnigmAcoustic is still setting up a dealer network. Truth is, anyone can set these up, you just need to trust your ears. I tried them with three different systems. Their instruction manual says to hook them up in parallel with the main speaker’s terminals, and they are intended to sit on the speaker’s top surface. There is a rear-panel switch that allows you to change the crossover frequency to either 8, 10, or 12kHz, each having 2nd-order slopes. They were easy to dial in, and a little playing around with where they sit on top of the speaker and they were ready to go.

I used them in three different set ups; in two they were superb, in one they didn’t work at all. Why? They just won’t work with an 8-watt SET amp; they need more power. They worked great with my Electrocompaniet that puts out 100 watts into 8 ohms, so I used them with this amp and two different speakers. With both, they worked as well or better than they did at the shows.

Listening

I used these little wonders with both my Teresonic Magus A55s and the Linn Audio Loudspeakers Athenaeum speaker system. They were very good with both, but made the biggest difference with the LALs. I should warn you that like all super tweeters I have used after first installing them, they did not make a dramatic difference in the sound. I was not surprised because this has been my previous experience with super tweeter and at the demo at CAS the changes were subtle, but significant.

The best super tweeters I had used in my home was the Murata ES103a. The difference in these and the Sopraninos is significant. In my review of the Murata, I said, “I was surprised when I hooked them up all by themselves, that I could not hear anything at all … if I put my ear right up to the speaker it was kind of like putting your ear right up to a moving coil cartridge as it tracks a record. Still, they put out very little that I could hear. So I think we can agree that, to ask what they sound like is the wrong question. We must ask, “how does my system sound with them.” Now, this isn’t the case with the Sopraninos. I guess this is because they begin to play at a much lower frequency. This also seems to make a difference in the way they effect the sound of my system.

Again with the Murata, I wrote, “My system sounded better; it sounded more like music; and it sounded clearer. I think before we go any further, I should tell you what they do not do. They do not make the system brighter, they do not add sparkle to the top-end, and they do not make your system sound super -detailed or etched.”

The Sopraninos don’t make my system sound bright, super-detailed, or etched either, but they do much more than what you would expect something with “tweeter” in their name to do. They do add sparkle and audible extension to the top-end, especially with the Linn speakers. This added detail in the top-end, also provides better cues for more precise imaging on the soundstage.

Neither will the super tweeters change the tonal balance of the system, and they will not change the basic character of your system. If, like with the Linns, your system leans towards the warm side, it will still be arm.  Likewise, if your system is more alive like the Teresonics, that will not change or get bright. What they did with the Linns was to give a more delicate and extended top-end that was simply beautiful. String instruments and some horns had more sparkle and better decay with the Sopraninos in the system. Likewise, with some female vocal recordings I could hear more air around the voice.

Conclusion

The EnigmAcoustic Sopranino super tweeters are a quality product from their beautiful build quality to their equally beautiful sound. If you system is where you want it now, then you are the proper candidate to hear these. I bet you’ll love the way they put the proverbial “icing on the cake” into your system.

2 Responses to EnigmAcoustics Sopranino Electrostatic Super Tweeter Review


  1. federalist says:

    Would these work with a speaker around 95-96 dB sensitivity?

  2. hifitommy says:

    for nearly $4k , that is WAY too much money for the results. i added a philips clear plastic dome tweeter to my stacked dyancoa a25s back in the day and crossed them over at 10kHz. the results i garnered was a beautiful, airy, more extended top and an overall better transient response to the speaker and a more extended low end (perhaps that part is psychoacoustic).

    after listening to them for a month or two, i thought about how some speaker designers reverse the phase of the tweeter to the woofer to eliminate the hole in the middle. i figured there was nothing to lose by inverting the phase of my philips supertweeter (for the a25, extending the response above 12k IS a supertweeter in that system). WOW, it opened up even more so it was a fortuitous experiment.

    were the sopranino HALF its price, it would still be a stretch for the results. another factor is that the level is only adjustable in two steps, not continuously variable or with about four level selections. i think it has three xover pints too, which should be adequate.

    i still have to hear a well conducted listening session utilizing theses tweeters. one dealer i attended a session with wouldn’t turn the tweeters off at all except once which resulted in better sound without them. this was with the carver amazing full range ribbon. i can’t afford them anyway but i would like to feel like i had heard a proper demo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Popups Powered By : XYZScripts.com