Accordo loudspeakers

Glorious Stand Mtg loudspeakers from Italy
"My passion for music, as well as my interest for musical instruments and their materials, heve lead my research since the early’80. Lutes and violin, through the use of wood, strings, their forms and harmony of their constitution, have inspired my systems".

DESIGN

The Accordo are stand mount speakers from the Italian company Franco Serblin. They have two-way design with bass-reflex. The high frequencies are reproduced by a 29-mm soft dome tweeter, designed by Ragnar Lion, the result of nearly 30 years of development work. The midrange and bass is handled by a custom modified top Revelator series Scan-Speak 150 mm midwoofer. The sliced paper cone features a number of precisely angled slices, dramatically reducing “break-up” modes in the diaphragm and preventing the formation of standing waves between the coil and the suspension. With the patented Symmetrical Drive (SD) motor system (using copper caps or rings in the magnet system which results in uniform magnetic flux density throughout the air gap and a symmetrical drop on both sides of the gap), dynamic distortions have been significantly reduced in comparison to conventional drivers. In the cone centre, instead of a dust cap it features a long, metal phase plug improving driver’s response at higher frequencies and improving cooling.

The drivers are mounted on the rounded profile cabinets, covered with leather (or its perfect copy). In the front we have rubber "strings" stretched on a chrome-plated frame – a very characteristic detail of former Sonus Faber designs.

The cabinet is made of hardwood staves, with the inside top and bottom plates made of aluminum and magnesium alloy, to make it more rigid. Very intriguing cabinet geometry, where the cabinet tapers sharply from the front baffle towards the back, and apart from the top and the bottom, no other walls run parallel to each other, adds further rigidity. The cabinet was clearly designed in such a way that looking at the speakers from the front you cannot see the side walls, no matter how much toed-in the speakers are. Bass-reflex port is not directed exactly towards the rear, more to the side. The port wall is dampened. 

The speakers arrive with stands that form their integral part. The stand consists of a large metal base plate onto which we bolt a hollow “leg” made of MDF. On its top we bolt a small aluminum plate, onto which, in turn, we secure the speaker. I must admit that it is not a very stable design; there is always a bit of wobble between the base plate and the “leg” and hence the whole system is not perfectly rigid. And the stands are not too heavy. To complete the picture let’s add that they sit on three spikes – two in front and one in the rear.

As I said before, speaker crossovers are housed in the stand “legs.” They feature air core inductors, polypropylene capacitors and non-inductive resistors. The crossover is of low order. It is connected to the drivers with a special (patented) Neutrik plug called Speakon – the best speaker plug that I know of, once used by Dynaudio and today only by professional companies. Regular speaker binding posts used in the audiophile audio, no matter how good, look like a joke next to the Speakons. And the posts located in the base plate are really good – a new design from Furutech. Internal wiring is supplied by Yter Audio, a company run by Massimiliano Favell, Mr. Serblin’s son in law of. 

A note from Franco Serblin on Amplification:

"Let me clarify some issues related to amplification for the Accordo. These speakers have been designed to be as transparent and dynamic as possible. In order to successfully achieve this objective I have used a unique woofer with a long-stroke diaphragm and low resistance in bass-reflex application, designed to offer the best impulse response. 

Although the Accordo can be driven by any amplifier, we recommend driving them with amplifiers with low output impedance and middle power output i.e 40/70 W into 8 Ω and 80/150 W into 4 Ω. Too much power may result in too long woofer cone travel and consequently deterioration of signal quality.

If we use the Accordo with a tube amplifier or a solid-state MOSFET with high output impedance we may not end up with fully optimal bass control, and this may lead to uncontrolled cone travel. Needless to say that tube amps are generally not as good in this respect. However I personaly use the Einstein integrated hybrid /tube amplifier, nice sounding, but with not such good bass as solid state amps."

...............Sincerely, Franco Serblin

Reviews

Testimonials

Reviews

Franco Serblin factory visit and report
Matej Isak
Artisan story goes on
 
Franco Serblin needs no introduction. He was one of the few true audio artisans who could seamlessly close the unthinkable gap between the technology and art in the service of music. And in true Italian way. With his genius vision in the form of timeless design ability he brought many people into the world of high-end and music that would normally never step into this wonderful universe of music. Let it be his appeal for design or sense of aesthetics combined with traditional wood craftsmanship, his work and heritage left behind made him already at his world presence a true living legend. His contribution to high end goes beyond audio as he managed to inspire so many and in high-end audio both listeners and manufacturers. 
With the sad news of Franco passing this year many wondered and ask me what would happen to the company. This is the reason we organized the meeting for the report. With Igor Kante of Vklop-Ubiq who knew Franco very good from the early Sonus Faber years, and who Franco really loved, we hit the road toward the sunny and beautiful Vicenza.
 
New premises
 
Franco Serblin son in law awaited us at the new factory building. He’s the mastermind behind Laboratorium  and the man who took the task of preserving Franco’s legacy and family business. Even at the times when Franco was present Massimiliano was already in charged of whole production and company operations for building Accordo and Ktema speakers. If you’ve ever looked closely on both speakers models, there was always a small description on them noting: “Manufactured under the license of Franco Serblin by Laboratorium”. 
 
In this way Franco Serblin already ensured the safe path for future. 
 
With Franco Serblin passing away everybody wondered about the spirit of Franco and his company existence. Let me assure you; there is no better person on the planet to carry on the brand unmatched legacy then Massimiliano. I’m working with people all my life and my intuition rarely fails me. Massimiliano not only took his part of carrying on Franco legacy seriously from the business perspective, but by heart. In Italy family means everything. It’s a matter of culture. Tears came to his eyes repeatedly when we talked about Serblin his time together and work.
 
Franco Serblin Company was started from the ground, as a true artisan workshop and it remained as such. Everything stayed the same. Subcontractors, the building process, building materials, handwork, hand assembly etc. Once you learn a thing or two about speaker design it’s instantly become clear speakers like Accordo and Ktema can only be manufactured in Italy and only by persons of true passion for woodwork. Its in Italian blood. 
 
For Massimiliano the keeping of artisan production unchanged is the most important thing and life vision. Like from the first models of Accordo and Ktema he assembly each speakers alone. Yes, alone! Checking each part quality, screwing the parts, measuring, packing etc. Even the soldering, which is done in point-to-point fashion is done by him sole. He wants to keep it perfect and by doing it personally it is the only way to control the quality and outcome. I saw the man’s passion and dedication and it won my heart very quickly. In this an age you rarely see this kind of efforts to build and ensure the production of a true “slow” hand work. No rush, no panic. Like with Japanese Katana sword making; a process of building itself is an art and a matter of pride. It further reminded me of the process of high-end watch assembly or one of the kinds Hermes dedication for their perfection of hand work. Just for example. It takes a whole day to assemble Ktema’s. 
 
Only selected materials are used and everything in factory space is organized very nicely an on hand. Woods used as a part of speakers are left for at least two months once arrived to be dried up and ready to use. And even then they’re once again checked and rejected if not to the standard. 
 
There were numerous Accordo enclosures waiting for assembly at the factory. There is a new finish, it’s called Accordo Grey and it will be approximately 1000 euros more expensive then walnut version. It’s not only the finish that is different. Accordo Grey is multi layered hardwood and made of 1 mm layers of multi layered hardwood. This gives certain rigidity and a sound. The new Gray color is done in mirror like finish with twelve layers of hand brushed and polish. Result is eye catching and with premium feel. For example Franco Serblin Ktema black piano finish carries the similar twelve-layer finish, but with Ktema it’s done by piano company. 
 
Last wish
 
Franco last wish was to produce speakers for everybody. To make and affordable artisan speaker for people. Not only that, he wanted to give music also to those in pain in illness. He deeply understood the potency of music as realized in last years by science. Music can have a healing potential and its appeal is not only pleasing, but emotionally en-charged. For that he asked Massimiliano to make this project happen. 
 
New speaker
 
There are few projects in the future pipelines, but first one to come in a good year is a two-way floor-stander. This speaker will be even more affordable then Accordo and it’s the one, which Franco wanted to reach more people as mentioned above. Nothing will be done half way with this new third speaker. Same quality parts and hand assembly, just in the respect of Franco last whishes. 
 
Italian hospitality
 
Massimiliano was a perfect host. His energy and openhearted nature won me over. We finished our meeting by the perfect Italian lunch on the top of the evergreen hills. There is no place like Italy and even food taste differently, in better way. We talked about things generally and especially where high-end industry is going. Time passed to quickly in great company. Review on new Grey Accordo was set and I’ll report more in due time. 
 
Conclusion
 
For me the visit it only deepened my respect for Franco Serblin as person and now as brand to be carried on. There is no other person on the planet that can push on the legacy preserved as imagined by master himself, but Massimiliano. He’s the man of true passion and dedication, a family man with the deepest respect for masterwork left untouched and presented as such. 
 
With the late happening in high-end audio where everything get fast forward and measured by the numbers Franco Serblin speakers remains built by hand, passion, heart and real people! 
 
Once you experience the brand and man behindas such, it’s hard not to hanker after the products as Accordo and Ktema even more.
late Masterwork
Neil Gader - TAS

Brief summary:
The more time I spent with the Accordo the more I came away with the impression that this was a man who had discovered another artistic level within his own creative limits. I came to believe the Accordo is not just Serblin’s epitaph; it’s a fitting celebration of a passion pursued and a life well lived. 

Expanded review:
Franco Serblin, who died in March 2013, is remembered as the founder, creative force, and papa behind Italy’s Sonus faber. I remember him for his incisive and curious mind, and the Italian ease with which he draped a cashmere sweater over his shoulders. Serblin’s earliest Sonus faber creations were compact loudspeakers like the Minima, Parva, and the famed Extrema. Growing ever more confident, he soon added the sophisticated Homage Series jewels—the Guarneri in 1993, Amati in 1998, and Stradivari in 2005—to the Sf crown. In each, he pursued a rare balance of beauty, design, and romantic musicality. When he withdrew from Sf a few years ago, many in the industry (including me) thought that he was too young and energetic for real “retirement.” Sure enough, Serblin’s creative juices were still flowing, and by late 2010, after four years of development, production began on two new models, the Ktema floorstander and Accordo stand-mount, which I will consider here. The speakers are produced under license to Laboratorium, owned by Franco’s son-in-law, Masssimilano Favella.
 
The two-way compact in a bass-reflex enclosure is where it began for Serblin, and the simplicity and purity of his designs were what ultimately put Sf on the map. Thus, Accordo is a return to familiar terrain—a Minima of sorts, but with the benefit of decades of experience.
 
From every angle the Accordo has the look of hand- craftsmanship, as well it should given its $12,000-a-pair price tag. The enclosure—one of the most striking and elegant I’ve seen, regardless of size—is an asymmetric design with inward-curving side panels and non-parallel surfaces (save for the bottom and top panels). The cabinet narrows precipitously to a short flare at the rear, a tiny chrome-encircled port dotting its angled back. The walnut side panels are inscribed with a series of short, deeply etched, V-shaped grooves that add to the impression of a limited- edition loudspeaker. Running horizontally along the top and bottom edges of the rigid, solid-wood enclosure are aluminium- magnesium inserts that decouple abutting wood elements to control resonances. Another such insert runs vertically up the rear panel.
 
Other flourishes (instantly reminiscent of the Sonus faber Guarneri Homage loudspeaker, also a small two-way reflex design from a couple of decades earlier) include heavy chrome fittings etched with Serblin’s signature, which support the familiar lute-string “grille.” Aficionados will note that some of the Accordo’s design cues are also strikingly similar to Sonus faber’s new Olympica Series, but I’ll leave it to others to speculate on just who inspired whom.
 
The drivers, thoroughly hot-rodded to Serblin’s specifications, include a 29mm silk-dome tweeter credited to Ragnar Lian of SEAS fame, and one of the great talents in transducer design. The mid/bass—a custom-made Scan-Speak 150mm paper cone with radial slices designed to control cone break-up—uses Serblin’s symmetrical drive motor system. The crossover is an example of Serblin’s trademark minimalist approach—a first- order, phase-coherent network optimised with select premium parts.
 
The graceful stands are standard equipment for the Accordo. Purpose-built, with a heavy chrome aluminium baseplate, a single black strut, and a top plate, each stand also houses the loudspeaker’s crossover network. Using an external crossover opens up the speaker cabinet’s interior, effectively increasing the usable volume and, crucially, avoiding driver-induced buffeting of delicate crossover parts. Neutrik speakON connectors link the crossover with the input in the stand of each Accordo. Finally, the Accordo’s unique shape (each speaker is a mirror image of the other) means that its front baffle is automatically toed-in a few degrees when the stand it is sitting on faces squarely into the room.
 
Accordo means “agreement” in Italian. Or harmony. It only takes a few bars of solo piano to understand why the speaker is so named. Accordo captures vividly the many moods a pianist can summon from this instrument. The electric brilliance of a presto upper-octave passage like the “Ballet of the Chicks in their Shells” in Evgeny Kissin’s performance of Pictures at an Exhibition, or the solemn and soothing weight of Bill Carrothers’ Civil War Diaries, or the resonant bloom and sustain from the final chord struck by multiple pianos at the close of the Beatles “A Day in the Life.”
 
While the sacrifices made to strike the appropriate balance in small speakers are often unmistakable, Serblin has so cannily blended tonal color, dynamic power, micro-dynamic detail, and lack of port coloration that the sense of compromise seems to all but vanish. The Accordo weaves an impeccably tailored curtain of sound, brimming with a wealth of ambient information, including height specifics and precisely focused, three-dimensional images.
 
Sonically, it emphasises the midrange with a hint of added lower-midrange warmth. It’s a balance that conveys a goodly amount of the flavor of the live event and underscores the dynamic vitality of instruments that play primarily in the lower mids—such as piano, cello, and some brass.
 
Being a two-way its overall balance is on the lighter side compared to big multi-ways—no major surprise here—but its mid and upper bass are more than sufficient in quantity and quality to enjoyably reproduce large-scale orchestral music or high-voltage pop or rock offerings. Response into the 50-60Hz range is easily achievable in a smaller room, and with room gain factored in further extension will be perceived. There’s a hint of a midbass rise that adds warmth and weight and expertly masks the lack of true deep bass, but the Accordo avoids the dreaded upper-bass bump that results in a one-note bottom end. So, while it may not throw its weight around like a Magico Q7 or Raidho C 4.1, the Accordo establishes enough of a low-frequency foundation to achieve a fully realised performance.
 
As I expected from a Franco Serblin effort, soundstage and imaging are excellent. Depth is particularly well rendered although I’m not sure it’s entirely honestly earned. The upper mids have a slight dip in energy that lays vocals back just a touch and deepens the curvature of an orchestra. It’s a flaw easily forgiven after a few minutes of listening but it doesn’t go unnoticed.
 
Equally significant are the openness and sense of scale the Accordo affords. Part of this may be attributable to the enclosure and part to the good off-axis dispersion of the drivers, specifically the sweet, oversized tweeter. Whatever the reasons, the Accordo disappears as a source, and images emerge unconstrained by box or driver, attaining credibly natural scale in the room. Vocalists like Tierney Sutton and Norah Jones have genuine physical presence, rather than being reduced to the size of tiny bobble-head dolls. The dynamic thrust and weight of deep-throated male vocalists, such as bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, aren’t served quite as well by the Accordo, but that’s an area where most compacts simply bump up against reality.
 
However, that tweeter fares well on everything. It makes you thankful for great analog LPs, like the Impex resissue of Hard Bop by the Jazz Messengers, which plays right into the hands of the Accordo. The transient speed, transparency, and air of the tweeter create an engagement that borders on the addictive. Try “Stanley’s Stiff Chickens” if you have any doubts how lively and spacious a monaural recording can sound.
 
Minimum recommended power for the Accordo is a modest 20 watts, but that’s not to say that it has a tiny appetite. Give the Accordo a little more rein in the form of an mbl C21 or Aragon 8008, and the thoroughbred bloodline begins to show. Incredibly responsive to amplification, dynamics become bolder at the macro extremes and more finely graduated at the lowest levels. Likewise, bass response is more defined in timbre. Amplifier power tightens up pitch, and resonances vanish.
 
This is the first time I’ve been assigned a product review so proximate to the designer’s death. Although Franco Serblin’s passing looms large, his legacy emerges even larger. The more time I spent with the Accordo the more I came away with the impression that this was a man who had discovered another artistic level within his own creative limits. I came to believe the Accordo is not just Serblin’s epitaph; it’s a fitting celebration of a passion pursued and a life well lived. 
 
This is the finest aural art for musical reproduction... and a product for true connoisseurs.
Matej Isaka

REVIEW SUMMARY: 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.

EXTENDED REVIEW: 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.
...........Matej Isaka

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 aluminium.
Stand: Specially designed to encase the crossover network.
The floor-standing monitors of Franco Serblin offer one of the most balanced performances I have ever Experienced in any room. Actually, They are cleverly designed so That They Represent state-of-the-art of technological Possibilities
HIGH STYLE MAG - MJ (Czech)

REVIEW SUMARY: The Franco Serblin Accordos are sweet as a candy and They Can be razor sharp at the same time. They Can SOOTHE you would sways of strings and They Can rock your house if Asked. They Were built for music connoisseurs, for Those Who savor delicacy, colors and timbres. If you do not push too hard Them They are closer to a one-point sound source Than anything else. Not only was I unable to distinguish Whether the sound came from the tweeters or the midwoofers, but I was unable to Localize the speakers in the room at all. Add the unique craftsmanship and here They Are - The Accord floor-standing monitors That exhibit the sonic delight That our world longed for. They deserve our 100% Reference label beyond all doubt.

EXTENDED REVIEW: "The soaring chorus Brought me few feet from the band That just sung for me in a private performance with droughts moving passion That I stayed seated Completely mesmerised many minutes after the track ended. There was nothing I could criticise - there was no sound anymore, just pure emotions ... "

Lights, speakers, action!

Mister Serblin has Become a legend despite he is alive and doing well. For over 30 years he serpent been helping to build and make famous Sonus Faber, probably the most reputable loudspeaker manufacturer in Italy. The products of Sonus Faber always encapsulated unique philosophy and heritage of violin makers not only in how They sounded but how Also in They Were designed. So why has Serblin Franco departed from a well running company? Well, the reality is less romantic and always in the Merciless world of Capitalism and business relations it is sometimes beneficial to walk your own path provided That you do not wanna give up your ideals.

"I have always loved small speakers, for Their discreet presence, for Their suitability in less critical environments, for the" magic "Which Often They are Able to create in music reproduction. 

With "ACCORD" I FOLLOWED That design patterns are particularly dear to me. A sound, a voice Capable of Reaching the depths of the soul"
..........Franco Serblin

"I started this review with a kind of manifesto of Franco Serblin That answers the question why the Accordos. I think it is not really Necessary to comment These simple Sentences, yet if you are not fully convinced, I can only Encourage you to check The Accord's That website shows the inspiration of ITS creator without words. The other option is browse down to the end of this review to get a flavor of the same."
.........Franco Serblin Accordo

The 1.1 meters tall monitors

 
Rather I should say minimonitors. The price tag of € 6,500 / pair Including stands will not definitely prepare you for drought Diminutive physical appearance of Their cabinets and I dare to say That They Are Even Bigger Than on pictures in reality. Still, if you are lucky enough to put your hands on the Accordos, it is clear right from beginning what you pay for. These speakers are not only for Those Who look for a sonic perfection but for Those Who Also look for a perfection of form and shape.

Franco Serblin Accordo Measures only 36x19x36cm Which implies ease of placement and physical Disappearance in a room. Should you expect That you put the speakers on a shelf or a stand to the back of the room, you are Completely wrong.

First, the Accordos sport a very Complicated Curvature. Apart from top and bottom boards there are no two parallel surfaces and there are no two planar surfaces just - all planes are curved to a radius PRECISELY Defined to the EXTENT That Practically the speaker does not show any of apparent symmetry. In dark They look like randomly grabbed a piece of wood Rather Than something touched by a man's hand. Referring to: throw a little bit light on the speaker and it blooms it a unique form of art. Can You simply feel the passion of Franco Serblin in every detail.

As said, not only is the craftsmanship attentive but it is a real work of art - a game employs That shapes and light to sculpt the unique enclosures and the unique sound. Sonus Faber speakers always tended to be much closer to a music instrument Than it a sound making device and the same Applies here. Seamlessness of the walnut cabinet is broken only by thin aluminum inlays That Separate the cabinet's bottom and top walls from ITS Both Visually and Mechanically. Note That I used the word 'walnut' Rather Than walnut veneer as there is no veneer on the Accordos - everything is solid wood. The warmth of the walnut harmonizes with pretty polished aluminum That is Used for That grilles are made ​​from nylon-like strings in the typical Sonus Faber fashion and That are not removable. It is nothing That should bother you as the grilles are ultra-transparent and They are accounted for in final voicing of the speaker.

The speakers are ported with felt-lined firing ports to the back. At first glance the ports look elliptical but They Are not and it is just the beveled rear panel That optically misleads an observer. Apart from the ports and serial number plates there is nothing else to be seen. No speaker terminals. Wait, no speaker terminals?

Well, this is the second reason why the Accordos can not be Considered bookshelf speakers - there is no way to get Them play without the original stands. The monitors are connected to the stands with the help of a Speakon cable terminated That runs through the stand and secured Then via two fixing bolts. The crossover assembly of low order is hidden in the lower parts of the stands, Amaranthus Valuable saving space inside main cabinets to enable the Accordos go Deeper with Their minimum footprint. The speaker terminals are located at floor height and are not bi-wirable. Similarly to the main speakers the stands are high gloss polished Also with Mr. Serblin Engrave's signature on them.

Let's sumo it up: the Franco's Serblin Rather Accordos are a kind of "floorstanding monitor" Than a bookshelf speaker. To excel and to breath They need a lot of room around Them so do not think That you will save some space comparing it proper floorstanders. Also They require you to keep a reserve of lint-free to keep Dusters Their gloss lacquer and shiny and free of fingerprints.

One more remark - the ritual of unpacking of new speakers is Exceptionally pleasant with the Accordos as the packing material and Instructions for use correspond with the artistic concept of the speaker.

Casting and the scene

The Accord is a two-way speaker with a tweeter and a midwoofer. The dome tweeter bears Ragnar Lian's (of SEAS and ScanSpeak) signature and, despite ITS ordinary look, is Easily among the best available today. I know of only two other tweeters That Can Compete, beryllium IAL2 from the French and the Focal silk Esotar2 from Danish Dynaudio. Yet, the tweeter of Ragnar Lian shares the best from the worlds Both he and Improves it, Therefore Responsible for being the sonic equilibrism of the Accordos.

The midwoofer comes from ScanSpeak's Revelator line with a paper cone That is reinforced with cellulose and with spiral grooves resin That Improve ITS dynamic behavior. It is Claimed to be modified as it is for any of the numerous speakers around the globe.

It is recommended to position The Accord with That the axes of the speakers Would cross in front of a listener. Though a bit unusual it is not exceptional and optically quite comfortable too as due to the Accordos' slanted baffles it is just fine if you years of the stands point directly to you. Naturally I snake and a tendency to manipulate the speakers Into the positions That I am used to, having the tweeters fire just behind my ears. It did not work. Highs Were too prominent in the mix, the balance was lost and so was the magic. I highly recommend stick to what was prescribed by the designer.

I would not say That the Accordos are Overly sensitive to speaker cables. I tried few different sets of Consistent with results. Sure They let you hear and cable That was Swapped but I Could not find any mismatch. To get the most out of The Accord's transparency I recommend to use the best cables your budget Can afford - Personally I was using a pair of Crystal Cable Ultra Diamond speaker cables That Were in for a review but I got a not less good result with more Reasonably priced Crystal Cable Piccolos.

Franco Serblin The Accord calls and tuneful speaker. Obviously the speaker needs a tuneful tuneful amplifier. The speakers are not hungry Watt, referring to: your amp should exhibit a Certain degree of stability and musical maturity like the Luxman L-590AX That I used (among others) throughout the review. Again, if your budget Allows, get M-600A / C-600f pre and power combo to Elevate the experience. On the other hand Franco Serblin is Said to use an Einstein amplifier so there is no preference for solid-state or tubes. Anyway, all the tuneful Mentioned amps are amps.

The hero Accord

I was surprised how deep the Accordos Can play despite Diminutive Their enclosures and Their positioning far away from the room's boundaries. Than OTHERWISE ITS sheer volume and mass I did not miss anything on a double-bass in Topsy (Dick Hyman, From The Age of Swing, RR-59CD) - the speed, tone, articulation and attack was at a least as good as with the best speakers I auditioned snake. The Accordos provided me with extreme transparency That helped me to explore the tinniest details of the mix no matter if I listened to jazz ENSEMBLES or symphonic Orchestras. Big drums take over around 2 "Into Saint Saens's Danse-Macabre (Charles Dutoit, Philharmonia Orchestra, Decca 425 021-2) and the Efficient Accordos are enough to get under your skin Them. Of course, the scale is different as it is with any but the Biggest loudspeakers, yet all Aspects of the sound are minimized with elegance and truthfulness to the original. At lower listening levels I did not miss anything, When playing loud the Accordos Were a bit short of breath.

Normally Would you expect a lot of compromise from speakers of this size as it comes to playback of bass guitars - Then you'd be very pleasantly surprised by how the Accordos Could render Dave Ellefson's bass in Poison Was the Cure (Megadeth, Rust in Peace , Capitol CDP 7919352). Living with four subwoofers at the time of this review let me learn how successfully blended a subwoofer Can Contribute to an instrument That has no energy in Prevailing bottom two octaves, yet without a sub Even the Accordos Could Provide Extremely Precise and tonally rich sonic That picture Could challenge the best speakers irrespective of Their class.

If you think That The Accord is just another small speaker for jazz lovers just read this: I listened to double kick drum driven Megadeth's Dawn Patrol That Transforms Into a raging piece after short introduction and the Accordos Were raging without any stress. The ability of separation of Individual instruments in the mix lends a sense of order to the music, yet it never ceases to sound organic and enjoyable at the same time. It May be quite revealing for most hard rock lovers how to listen Their favorite bands May sound through a system comprised of Highly resolving monitors That Can Deliver the raw energy of a live performance. Sometimes this experience Can be EXHILARATING Almost like when i listened to Afterglow (INXS, Switch, Epic, 82876 75189 2). The soaring chorus Brought me few feet from the band That just sung for me in a private performance with droughts moving passion That I stayed seated Completely mesmerized many minutes after the track ended. There was nothing I Could criticize - there was no sound anymore, just pure emotions.

The Accordos are not what you call neutral speakers. They cast a tad of warmth and comfort on how They sound. In Fact the prime focus of the Accordos is to connect a listener to the music; the high resolution is a kind of bonus he or she gets for free. They are not Exactly group for entertainment but for individualists Rather - if you position Them Correctly and carefull Then Their sweet spot is really a spot and I recommend making an X-mark on it and do not move away. In the Principle Accordos are not directional, yet the optimum balance, I mean outstanding balance, is Achieved only in a narrow Relatively listening window. There is no manual how to get the balance right - if it is right Then you will simply know it as all music elements lock together and the only thing Would not you want to do is to stop listening.

For sure not the snake Franco Serblin Spent His time to build a speaker for Megadeth fans. He Could not have presumed That I would review the his speakers. Normally Would he expect me to praise the fantastic silk-domed tweeter Ragnar Lian. Okay, let me declare my jaw dropped That When I listened to the tambourines in Source of Fire of Hossam Ramzy (ARC Music, EUCD 1305). They know how to Impregnate the domes in ScanSpeak and Ragnar Lian is Said to do so over weekends When the factory is silent and empty it get the best result. Texturally the tambourines Were comparable only to an unamplified live performance - the Individual zils Were depicted very accurately and Almost holographically in space and I wish you could be track and hand with the instrument moving in the air like I did. Should there be a reference speaker for accenting every nuance of spatial definition, The Accord will be it.

Vranicky's string quartets from 17 th century (Stamic Quartet, Panton, 81 1046-2) Can Also Be Called ethnic music in a sense, though from a totally different ethnic perspective. By now it should be no surprise if I say That the speakers That build upon violin-makers heritage Can play the violins and other bowed instruments Exceptionally well. Exceptionally well Intoxicating Means with tonal purity and fidelity. If I KEPT my eyes closed the members of the quartet Were sitting in my room, with my eyes opened I Could only see the Accordos. Looks like there is nothing That Would stop the Accordos from conveying the deepest emotions to a listener but beware, there is a hook - an amplifier.

The villain: amplifier

The sonic exhibition is in the case of The Accord conditioned by a tuneful amplifier, as already Mentioned. I believe That we should forget the price and size of the thesis of speakers and handle Them if They Were as the best speaker with on the planet. What would you use to feed the best speakers on the planet? I suppose the best amps and cables the best on the planet. The Accordos deserve it.

From what is available I would bet on class A amplification, tubes respectively, Both very transparent across the whole frequency response and Both proven and stable designs. Only Then you will savor the fragile textures of brushed cymbals in full bloom like never before. For sure it is pretty okay to use any amplifier - if you like the sound Then stick to it - referring to: if you give a try and listen to the Accordos on something That Gives ideal match, there is no way back.

The Luxman L-590AX, though excellent, is not the best amp on the planet, so is not Burmester 082. The latter is a shiny chromed monster with the price tag very Similar to the L-590AX. I used it as a challenger for this review.

The Burmester Excels especiall at the bottom end of the ITS frequency response. Its bass fundament is well Developed and Improves the perception of fullness and completeness of any music Played back through The Accord. The double bass in Topsy Went only a tad Deeper Than with the Luxman, yet this enhancement brought` the sound closer to Lifelike quality. The same happened to the piano Acquired That very concrete size in the room and an Even Higher sense of dynamics. The Burmester was a more Competent partner for the Accordos in all but one ASPECTS: the highs exhibit Higher resolution, relaxed dynamics and finesse through the L-590AX. This is natural considering the Burmester is a class AB amplifier with it induced a Certain degree of compression to tambourines and Hossam Ramzy of tablas. The short term effect was very audiophile-like, referring to: the longer I listened the more tired we got ears. I do not think this partnership is the Trumps Luxman-Accordo combo, at Least in my notes.

Well, I hear you Asking what if I just have a decent amp at home, can I use the Accordos? I Had all new Cambridge Audio Azur 851A (less than € 1,800) on hand and I have to say That it is a decent amplifier. Cambridge Audio improved on the successful Azur range with this heavy beast That is like a concrete block.

The comparison with the Luxman or the Burmester was not straightforward as first I needed to acclimate to a different altitude. After the minutes, When my ears Erased Their memory and got accustomed to the CA's sound, I found myself writing in my notebook That "it Actually sounds good". The Azur 851A provided the Accordos with all the information it Could and for it was Also a very disciplined amplifier I did not Suffer at all. I dare to say That was the Azur Even a bit more Coherent ITS across the spectrum Than Burmester 082. It does not mean That it was Better than the 082, it was better balanced however. There are many FACETS of sound in high fidelity and depending on your point of view you prefer May this OR that philosophy. I Assume That The Most Important Conclusion from my exercise with the amplifiers is That The Accord did not fail to communicate the music in any set up. Vice versa, if the Accordos fail in your audio chain, check the other components for Their capabilities as the Accordos are tunefully truthful speakers.

The Accord in Oppression

So far this looks like a review of the small celebration champions. The Coherent absolutely sound, the ability to dissolve and disappear in the sound field, and the ability to get out of the way of sound are all exceptional. Are there any trade-offs? Yes, there are. As Mentioned, The Accord's physical dimensions can not exploit the full harmonic envelopes of instruments That Operate in the low end of the frequency spectrum. A double bass Provides a deep and exciting Journey into techniques of plucking, depicts how resonances of strings rise and decay, yet you do not feel the body of the instrument. Similarly a Steinway is a downsized version of the instrument and a symphonic orchestra is rendered in a zoomed out perspective. I missed the flesh, the mass, the scale. This is not a criticism of the Accord Rather the criticism of any stand mount speakers.

Microdynamically the Franco Serblin Accordo is a perfect speaker That will find only a few challengers irrespective of Their price tag. If you like to listen to your music at night, if your room size is modest or if you cherish your 20W amplifiers, Then the Accordos May be your destination. At the average levels below 50-60 db They excelled Truly, from pianissimos to fortissimos. With Increasing the loudness midwoofer Slowly gets out of ITS comfort zone and orchestral climaxes are restricted in Their size and impact. Like with a very quiet listening and hearing our brain Can successfully compensate for it, yet if you want to occasionally get the feeling of concert sound pressure, you can not. I Assume That the goal of a full range system really is achievable with the Accordos combined with a superb subwoofer - Recently I have Lived with a subwoofer that can be blended seamlessly with any speakers in world thanks to its DSP-powered capabilities and on top of that it sports the tightest and the most tuneful bass I have ever Heard from a subwoofer.

Sonic exhibition

The floor-standing monitors of Franco Serblin offer one of the most balanced performances I have ever Experienced in any room. Actually, They are cleverly designed so That They Represent state-of-the-art of technological Possibilities in Smaller Than small speakers. The ears and hands have built Them That drew inspiration from many years of experience as well as from the most powerful source - human emotions. If seuraavilla pictures do not say anything to you Then do not buy the Accordos and look elsewhere.

Franco Serblin = inspirace

The Franco Serblin Accordos are sweet as a candy and They Can be razor sharp at the same time. They Can SOOTHE you would sways of strings and They Can rock your house if Asked. They Were built for music connoisseurs, for Those Who savor delicacy, colors and timbres. If you do not push too hard Them They are closer to a one-point sound source Than anything else. Not only was I unable to distinguish Whether the sound came from the tweeters or the midwoofers, but I was unable to Localize the speakers in the room at all. Add the unique craftsmanship and here They Are - The Accord floor-standing monitors That exhibit the sonic delight That our world longed for. They deserve our 100% Reference label beyond all doubt.

Testimonials

....how lucky I am to have such a nice and varied fleet of speakers

Morning Terry,
A nice few words in the review of the lovely Accordo speakers, thanks for that.

Agree with his comment re not having the "dreaded upper-bass bump" a lot of shelf mounts have.

I often think how lucky I am to have such a nice and varied fleet of speakers thanks to Mr Terry!

Cheers
DC