Wrap. Commercial SOB aka salonfähige open baffles aren't exactly a dime a dozen; more like the dirty dozen in fact. Obvious suspects are Bastanis, Emerald Physics, Jamo, Kyron, Spatial and Zugspitz. From $2'000/pr to well north of $100K, even this incomplete sampling spans a gamut. Yet none look anything like the Swiss Libération. Whether that's good only you can decide. Suffice to say that their finishing is gorgeous. It's like fine handcrafted furniture from all angles. Whilst lack of experience prevents me from knowing how much of what I heard is inherent in the basic OB concept, I can confirm that ditching the box also ditches common room issues. Considering how the box tends to be a speaker's costliest part—here I lump enclosure build and finishing it to contemporary standards together—it seems outrageous that eliminating said expense would be so sonically advantageous. Yet there it is, unmistakably. With big woofers endemic to the concept, broader than currently fashionable baffles become part of it. Yet contrary to Twiggy propaganda, those don't undermine soundstage spectacle. Besides moving more air for bigger dynamics, big drivers also produce bigger chewier tone density. By exploiting their drivers' total not just partial output, sensitivity increases as well. If all this suggests pure upside, one wonders why commercial open baffles remain the exception. If it's the salonfähig aspect, Martin Gateley's efforts on behalf of more critical buyers should be major progress. If it's current obsession with ultra-sorted hyper transparent small-driver sound (premium mini monitor flavour scaled up for full bandwidth in an equivalent floorstander), an alien like the Libération becomes either blast from the past; or futuristic preview beyond that obsession's ability to make out yet.
Just so, to anyone seriously interested in our audio arts, an eventual listen to these soundkaos speakers should nearly become required rite of passage. It's something which, like valve amps or electrostatic panels or premium headphones, one must cross paths with at least once in a high-calibre example to be properly informed. How can any of us make educated decisions if we remain ignorant of this most valid alternative to the ubiquitous box speaker? Having righted my own passage now, I remain baffled. Why does going boxless remain so unconventional? It's not the equivalent of a town hall proposal to convert a tony seaside resort's only beach into a nudist colony; or is it? If so, current audiophilia is far too stuck on the status quo for its own good. It's shocking or bitingly humorous then that this glorious alternative should rise from that most conservative of countries called Switzerland. Or as their website puts it: "Without creativity, this would just be another pair of boring boxes." Vive la difference!
Read our first review here : http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/soundkaos2/1.html
In 2013, Srajan Ebaen from 6moons awarded them a blue moon.
This is what Srajan wrote :
"As always the final proof is in the listening. There the soundkaos Wave 40 sounds exactly like theory predicts a high-efficiency light-coned point source in a low-mass cabinet ought to. It's very quick. It lets go of sounds as though they were red-hot coins. It stages in grand style and scale. First and foremost though it's immediate, lucid and energized as the antithesis of dull and damped. This is a major accomplishment for the breed. It deserves enthusiastic accolades and a long standing ovation. Bravissimo!"
Read the full review here : http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/soundkaos/1.html
In the December 2014 Edition of HIFI Critic, the top independent UK publication, Paul Messenger awarded them an Audio Excellence gong. This is the top HIFI Critic award.
This is what Paul said :
This is an excellent example of how to retain the very real virtues of single full-range driver working while taming its usual eccentricities. The Wave 40 is unquestionably costly, but it’s also very pretty, and the bottom line is that it also does the sound quality business, sufficient to justify an Audio Excellence award."
Read the full review here : http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/soundkaos/review.pdf
January 2015 brought our 3rd review and 3rd accolade. Greg Voth, reviewer with the US publication Stereo Times, awarded them the "Most wanted Components 2015" award.
This is what Greg wrote :
"The Wrap Up
The wonderful soundkaos Wave 40’s are truly musical instruments. Their ability to freely rid themselves of internal energies and more freely project the music played through them adds a new dimension to the listening experience. The Wave 40’s deliver music with a drive and pacing that commands your attention. Perhaps that’s why you can pivot the speaker cabinets on the stands… to be able to hold them more like a guitar while they do their magic!"
Read the full review here : http://www.stereotimes.com/post/soundkaos-40-loudspeakers/
Review by Srajan Ebaen from 6MOONS
Here the highlights :
In conclusion, these artisanal Swiss solid-wood speakers are reminders on two important key issues. First, current notions on resolution so often exclude tonal weight from the equation. Second, unproblematic infra bass is essential to musical scale and spatial realism (yet without comprehensive DSP programmability, it rarely ever is unproblematic). The SK16 declares that weightiness, generosity of scale and moisturization—the latter to directly combat that sad desiccation promulgated in the name of precision—ought to be a major part of what's being resolved or recreated; even if it does imply lower detail resolution and lesser separation as a direct result. Here these glossy or matte sticks from the wider Gstaad region stake out just the right claim, no glowing anodes required. Finally, all of it explains their nick's apparent misspeller. Skinny so isn't what these are on about. Hence soundkaos Skiny it really and truly is!
Read the full review here : http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/soundkaos/1.html