Audio Solutions

LOUDSPEAKERS - an Extensive range of Award Wining speakers starting at Accessible Prices all the way up to the Elite class with Exclusive finish options, created in Lithuania
The Art and Science of Speaker Engineering

STORY
Owned and founded in 2011 autumn by a talented speaker engineer Gediminas Gaidelis, AudioSolutions speakers are produced and manufactured in-house in Vilnius, Lithuania (EU).

PERFECTION
Development of these fine speakers is a true challenge. We combine laws of physics with design, manufacturing stability and customers' needs to make perfect speakers. Every part is hand crafted and individully tested.
BEHIND
Years of hard work and research are hidden behind this revealing short name - not only in the realm of achieving ideal sonic abilities, but also in practical realization of pioneering ideas. AudioSolutions steps firmly into High-End territory. With the mission statement of ‘Art and Science of Speaker Engineering’, Audio Solutions’ aim is to combine physics and psychoacoustics. 

SPEAKER DRIVERS:
The [near] perfect drive unit combination of paper mid and bass drivers (doped for extra rigidity) with a soft-dome which comes into play at a higher than expected which is almost certainly the key reason the broadband characteristic of their speakers are so enjoyable to listen to. The tweeter is referred to as a mini-horn which aims to overcome a silk dome’s tendency to become slightly dulled at higher frequencies. It is combined here with a carefully engineered waveguide to aid HF dispersion. The tweeter is smaller than one might expect, that’s a deliberate attempt to create a faster response in the extreme top-end.  Gediminas explains, while bigger tweeters perform well in two-way speakers, where a greater power-handling is needed, in a three-way plus speakers we can benefit from a smaller speaker with its much lighter membrane and this translates directly to a faster response and lower distortion.

MANUFACTURE:
There’s attention to detail throughout their speaker: from the WBT Nextgen connectors, to a ‘self-locking’ cabinet to give maximum rigidity, and deployment of Jantzen components in the crossover network. Everything is sourced in the EU with absolutely no Chinese labour, I’m assured. Audio Solutions manufactures cabinets in its own factory, sources drive units from leading producers including SB Acoustics, SEAS and Scan-Speak.

AUDIO SOLUTIONS SPEAKER SERIES:
OVERTURE - 5 models priced between $1,995 - $9,250/pr
FIGARO - 6 models priced between $4,250 - $29,995/pr
VIRTUOSO - 5 models priced between $20,000/pr - $81,995/pr
VANTAGE - 5 models price between $37,995/pr - $204,995/pr

SAMPLE OF AUDIO SOLUTION INTERNATIONAL AWARDS:

OVERTURE SERIES AWARDED OUTSTANDING EXCELLENCE
First and we hope not last award for these exquisite speakers. Overture were awarded Outstanding Excellence in "Popularity Awards - 2016" category by "SUPER AV AWARDS".

FIGARO SERIES AWARDED "BEST OF HIGH-END 2018" - SOUNDSTAGE @ MHES 2018
During Munich high end show, our new speaker series Figaro was awarded by SoundStage Hi-fi magazine from Canada

FIGARO-S AWARDED "BEST BUY" - "THE EAR" MAGAZINE
We are very proud to receive second Best Buy award for the Figaro series speakers.

FIGARO-M AWARDED "BEST BUY 2018" - MONO & STEREO
We are very proud to receive "Best Buy 2018" award.

FIGARO-L AWARDED "BEST SOUND" - HIGH FIDELITY Mag
During Warsaw AV show 2018 Figaro L where awarded "Best Sound in show 2018" by "High Fidelity" magazine

VANTAGE SERIES AWARDED "OUTSTANDING" IN ELITE CLASS.
During Guangzhou exhibition AudioSolutions Vantage was awarded by "SUPER AV AWARDS" with prestigious award in "Overall Performance Awards - 2016" class. Verdict - Outstanding in Elite class

All Products

Reviews

Testimonials

Videos

All Products

Book Shelf/Stand Mtg

AS 01 SB 202B
NZ$ 3,250.00 pr (incl. GST)
REVIEW SUMMARY: the AudioSolutions Overture models under review demonstrated unexpectedly high value. This came with competitive performance and an unusually broad swath of finish options. Heck,...
Two-way speaker system.Highly braced, CNC precision and as thick as 36mm MDF cabinet ensure...
Super AV Award "Outstanding Excellence in Popularity Awards - 2016" category
Book Shelf/Stand Mtg
AS 10 SB FIGB
NZ$ 4,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
Figaro! speaker line is our newest speaker line for today. In 6 years of development we can offer much more efficient production and much better sound quality due to our specific Self-Locking cabinet...
We introduce as much as 17 different finishes allowing even most picky taste find their color....
Book Shelf/Stand Mtg
AS 20 SB VIRB
Price on application
NEW MODEL VITUOSO-B DUE FOR RELEASE DURING 2019 AudioSolutions will present their newest speaker series Virtuoso at the High End Show in Munich. Virtuoso takes most technology advantages from their...
Book Shelf/Stand Mtg
AS 30 SB VANB
NZ$ 72,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
High End News outstanding in-depth review. Read article here...
Book Shelf/Stand Mtg

Floor Standing

AS 02 SF 203F
NZ$ 6,250.00 pr (incl. GST)
REVIEW SUMMARY: the AudioSolutions Overture models under review demonstrated unexpectedly high value. This came with competitive performance and an unusually broad swath of finish options. Heck,...
Two-way speaker system.Highly braced, CNC precision and as thick as 36mm MDF cabinet ensure...
Super AV Award "Outstanding Excellence in Popularity Awards - 2016" categoryReview by Stereo i...
Floor Standing
AS 03 SF 204F
NZ$ 7,750.00 pr (incl. GST)
6 MOONS REVIEW SUMMARY: the AudioSolutions Overture models under review demonstrated unexpectedly high value. This came with competitive performance and an unusually broad swath of finish options....
Three-way speaker system. Highly braced, CNC precision and as thick as 36mm MDF cabinet ensure...
 Mono and Stereo "Highly Recommended Product" award.Mono and Stereo High-End Audio Magazine...
Floor Standing
AS 04 SF 205F
NZ$ 9,250.00 pr (incl. GST)
6MOONS REVIEW SUMMARY: the AudioSolutions Overture models under review demonstrated unexpectedly high value. This came with competitive performance and an unusually broad swath of finish options...
2.5-way speaker system.Highly braced, CNC precision and as thick as 36mm MDF cabinet ensure...
REVIEW: can you still start a speaker brand and expect to lure people away from names that have had...
Floor Standing
AS 11 SF FIGS
NZ$ 9,500.00 pr (incl. GST)
Figaro! speaker line is our newest speaker line for today. In 6 years of development we can offer much more efficient production and much better sound quality due to our specific Self-Locking cabinet...
FINISHESWe introduce as much as 17 different finishes allowing even most picky taste find their...
Floor Standing
AS 12 SF FIGM
NZ$ 13,500.00 pr (incl. GST)
Figaro! speaker line is our newest speaker line for today. In 6 years of development we can offer much more efficient production and much better sound quality due to our specific Self-Locking cabinet...
FINISHESWe introduce as much as 17 different finishes allowing even most picky taste find their...
Introductory interview, please press here...
Floor Standing
AS 13 SF FIGL
NZ$ 18,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
Figaro! speaker line is our newest speaker line for today. In 6 years of development we can offer much more efficient production and much better sound quality due to our specific Self-Locking cabinet...
FINISHESWe introduce as much as 17 different finishes allowing even most picky taste find their...
Floor Standing
AS 14 SF FIGXL
NZ$ 29,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
Figaro! speaker line is our newest speaker line for today. In 6 years of development we can offer much more efficient production and much better sound quality due to our specific Self-Locking cabinet...
FINISHESWe introduce as much as 17 different finishes allowing even most picky taste find their...
Floor Standing
AS 21 SF VIRS
NZ$ 33,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
NEW MODEL VITUOSO-S DUE FOR RELEASE DURING 2019 We are very proud to present our last speaker series in AudioSolutions family which finalises our portfolio – Virtuoso. Virtuoso series speaker is...
Floor Standing
AS 22 SF VIRM
NZ$ 48,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
World debut of NEW VIRTUOSO-M at Munich High End Show 2019.  Best of High End 2019 award
A significant highlight of the Virtuoso loudspeaker series is its advanced “box in a box” cabinet...
Floor Standing
AS 23 SF VIRL
NZ$ 81,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
NEW MODEL VITUOSO-L DUE FOR RELEASE DURING 2019 AudioSolutions will present their newest speaker series Virtuoso at the High End Show in Munich. Virtuoso takes most technology advantages from their...
Floor Standing
AS 31 SF VANS
NZ$ 87,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
For our 5th anniversary celebration we aimed to create something completely new with fresh looks, different kind of materials, and eye catching lines. This line shouldn’t have classical looks or...
As a standard in AudioSolutions products mini horn is introduced here to enhance tweeter...
Floor Standing
AS 32 SF VANM
NZ$ 104,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
For our 5th anniversary celebration we aimed to create something completely new with fresh looks, different kind of materials, and eye catching lines. This line shouldn’t have classical looks or...
As a standard in AudioSolutions products mini horn is introduced here to enhance tweeter...
Floor Standing
AS 33 SF VANL
NZ$ 204,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
For our 5th anniversary celebration we aimed to create something completely new with fresh looks, different kind of materials, and eye catching lines. This line shouldn’t have classical looks or...
As a standard in AudioSolutions products mini horn is introduced here to enhance tweeter...
Floor Standing

Home Theatre

AS 05 HT 201C
NZ$ 1,995.00 ea (incl. GST)
Overture speaker line is first line in whole AudioSolutions range and inspired by its predecessor Euphony line. Specially designed to be cost effective speakers with classic design. Much attention is...
Two-way speaker system.Highly braced, CNC precision and as thick as 36mm MDF cabinet ensure...
"Overture, the beginning of something more exquisite. The range consists of five models: one centre...
Home Theatre
AS 15 SF FIGC
NZ$ 4,250.00 ea (incl. GST)
Figaro! speaker line is our newest speaker line for today. In 6 years of development we can offer much more efficient production and much better sound quality due to our specific Self-Locking cabinet...
FINISHESWe introduce as much as 17 different finishes allowing even most picky taste find their...
Home Theatre
AS 24 SF VIRC
Price on application
NEW MODEL VITUOSO-C DUE FOR RELEASE DURING 2019 AudioSolutions will present their newest speaker series Virtuoso at the High End Show in Munich. Virtuoso takes most technology advantages from their...
Home Theatre
AS 34 HT VANC
NZ$ 37,995.00 ea (incl. GST)
For our 5th anniversary celebration we aimed to create something completely new with fresh looks, different kind of materials, and eye catching lines. This line shouldn’t have classical looks or...
As a standard in AudioSolutions products mini horn is introduced here to enhance tweeter...
Home Theatre

Reviews

REVIEW LINKS

Super AV Award "Outstanding Excellence in Popularity Awards - 2016" category
Review by HiFi Philosophy. Click here...
Review by Wstereo. Click here...
Review by PClab. Click here...
Review by 6moons. Click here...

REVIEW LNKS

Super AV Award "Outstanding Excellence in Popularity Awards - 2016" category
Review by Stereo i Kolorowo. Click here...
Review by Fairaudio. Click here...
Review by SoundStage! Access. Click here...
Review by 6moons. Click here...
Review by HVT. Click here...

REVIEW LINKS

 Mono and Stereo "Highly Recommended Product" award.
Mono and Stereo High-End Audio Magazine review and an award. Click here...

 

REVIEW LINKS

HiFi Netherlands review. Please click here...

REVIEW LINKS

Introductory interview, please press here...

HiFi Alex (Canada) very detailed review. Please press here...

Mono and Stereo extended review. Please press here...

Video review by AVShowrooms, please press here...

HXOS review, please press here...

Novo Highend Canada review, please press here...

Best of High-End 2018 award

Best Buy 2018 award

AVShowrooms "Best Sound" 2018 award

Best product of 2018 award

However, the most important thing is the sound quality. The smooth control, excellent timing and coherence of the Overture O205F are the main assets, making these AudioSolutions unexpectedly strong speakers.
JAMIE BIESEMANS

Conclusion: The Overture O205F has somewhat surprised us. You don't often come across a relatively unknown brand that comes in and immediately creates something very beautiful. Some people would say: "In terms of sound, they score, because design is not our thing." Well, we would understand that remark, although you have to admit that thirteen finishes offer a bit of personalization that you do not often encounter elsewhere. Not at this price point. The Overture O205F is also the largest of the Overture speakers, and a large size scares some. The smaller O203F, for example, will integrate better into your interior. However, the most important thing is the sound quality. The smooth control, excellent timing and coherence of the Overture O205F are the main assets, making these AudioSolutions unexpectedly strong speakers.

REVIEW: can you still start a speaker brand and expect to lure people away from names that have had decades to attract a loyal audience? For the young Lithuanian AudioSolutions we hope that the answer is "yes". Because they do have something that is worth hearing.

AudoSolutions

Gediminas Gaidelis is a name that you probably won't sound familiar. This Lithuanian engineer is the driving force behind the young loudspeaker builder AudioSolutions who has won a lot of praise in a short time. Interestingly, and after a brief exposure to a number of speakers from the brand at the recent XFI Show , we decided to get the O205F from the cheapest Overture line for testing. It was not so much the demonstration on the show that stimulated us, but the philosophy of the brand. After all, when designing speakers, AudioSolutions emphasizes scientifically based acoustic design - and that is exactly what we love.

Look mama, no glue

The O205F is the largest loudspeaker from the Overture family, which also has two smaller floor stands (O203F and O204F), a center speaker (O201C) and a bookshelf speaker (O202B) among its members. "Large" is a label that is fully in place here, because the floorstand that we place in our listening room weighs 36 kg and is just under 125 cm high. The width and height are in proportion, in contrast to many slender speakers that we recently saw passing. This makes the 0205F a really solid and very present presence in a room. We can imagine that for smaller living rooms it is too much of a good thing. But remember: there is also a slightly more compact 0203F. The large O205F costs 3,850 euros per pair, unless you choose a more expensive finish.

The O205F is not a loudspeaker that makes our heart beat faster, we must admit that. We prefer a smooth, rounded design. The size and the angularity make this Lithuanian speaker look very classic, although that impression is not entirely correct if you take more time to view and investigate the speaker. Yes, the speaker is basically matte black, but you can get the side panels in many different colors and finishes. Thirteen to be exact. Our test speaker was finished in 'Texture White', a glossy white with very fine, irregular lines. If you look at it better, a relief appears to have been applied, but if you brush it over by hand it is mirror smooth. It is difficult to describe and photos do not do it justice, but it is quite distinct and beautiful. Just like some other finishes, Texture White raises the price to 4,250 euros per pair. Dark Olive and Ebony the price tag rise to 4,650 euros.

So you have plenty of choice with the Overture series. The same Texture finish is also available in black, in addition to four glossy lacquers and seven wood finishes with a lacquer layer. Rotted Zebrano for example, we personally find a great finish. It may have a somewhat unsavory name, but it looks worth it. If you purchase an O205F you must immediately make the right choice, because the side panels cannot be changed afterwards. AudioSolutions first builds the Overture speakers without side panels, but confirms them as a final step in a way that is permanent. The entire speaker cabinet clicks together cleverly, a technique that Gaidelis calls a self-locking cabinet. Both the outer walls and the internal reinforcement (bracing) fit together in such a way that it is impossible to disassemble the speaker at a later time. You can of course replace drivers. The remarkable thing is that the housing appears extremely solid and resonance-free, but that hardly any adhesives are involved. Clicking the cabinet parts together is enough to build a strong whole. 

The front is the grille

What is replaceable is the front of the O205F. That sentence might make you look up, but Gaidelis has a strong opinion about the use of a speaker grille. The drivers of the O205F are mounted flush with respect to the front, with softly curving edges at each opening. As a result, the outer edge of each driver is 'lengthened', as a result of which fewer mini reflections are created at the edge of each driver opening and the edges act as a horn or wave guide to send the sound waves of a driver wider into the room. This is not obscure science, because we often see the same approach with speakers.

For example, with the tweeter of the Paradigm Monitor SE speakers that we recently visited for a test. But, says AudioSolutions, if you now place a grille for this construction, you will change the acoustic properties because it will have an extra layer. The solution according to the manufacturer is a front that is completely replaced by another with a cloth applied over the entire length of the panel. Both panels - with and without grille - are included in the box. The first time you replace the panels you may think "this is crazy to do", but actually it goes very smoothly. Just lift it off, like a conventional grille, but this is one big piece.

Fluent music

For our test we connected the Overture O205F to our fixed amplifier, the Devialet Expert 220 Pro, with Roon. Towards the end of the test we received the Linn SELEKT DSM. The latter is interesting, because this versatile all-in-one amplifier is equipped with Space Optimization - a fascinating room correction system without a measuring microphone and that takes into account the dimensions of your room and the characteristics of your speakers. You can read more about this in our review of the Selekt, which will be online soon.

During testing, we happened to meet a colleague from another magazine who had been working on the smaller O203F for some time. He noted that, in his opinion, Overture speakers are close to Sonus faber in terms of sound. A description that we can agree with, although we would dare say that AudioSolutions is less attracted to a presence presence than the Italians. This is a huge generalization of course, but it gives you an idea how the Overture O205F offers something else.

Overture O205F places the dome tweeter in the middle, between two pairs of midrange woofers. AudioSolutions is certainly not the first to do this. It is also an approach that we do like. Yes, with broad-woofers radiating the sense of detail may theoretically be somewhat lost, but on the other hand we find this driver arrangement often produce a coherent sound image. The tweeters on the O205F are also more or less at the correct ear height due to this placement and that is another plus. During our tests the O205F appears to control very quickly. The specifications support that impression, because the sensitivity of 92 dB means that you do not need an amplifier with an enormous power for this floor stand.

One of the things that we liked very much about the O205F is indeed how the speakers put down a coherent sound image, even with genres that have not been produced enormously. Even at high volumes, the whole remains very well balanced and holographic, in the sense that every instrument is perfectly placed. The brand new re-release of 'Love & Work: The Lioness Sessions' (originally dating from 2000) from Songs: Ohia, aka the early-dead Jason Molina, demonstrated that well. Almost all the songs on this album consist of a voice, a slow electric guitar, a drum that sounds like recorded in the distance, and occasionally some Hammond-like synthesizers. It is not a bad mix, but on some speakers that guitar or synth can become sharp and dominant as soon as you play loud. The O205F, however, presents the entire sound stage as a whole, very fluent and forgiving too. What also helps is that the Overture sets a fairly tight low, even if we switch off Space Optimization - which mainly affects 100 Hz and lower - on the Linn.

The timing of the drivers seems close to perfection, and that gives all music a fresh, accurate sound. The deep, reggae-like bass line at 'Gun to the Head' on 'Merrie Land' by The Good, the Bad & the Queen is also measured but has enough fat. If we once again get the beautifully recorded SACD from Karajan's Symphony No. 9 above, we will be served a relatively open presentation. At this point we did experiment a little with the toe-in (something that is also an interplay with room acoustics), and in the end we ended up with partial but not completely screwed in for the best panoramic view. We also liked the Berlin Philharmoniker to be slightly more attractive when we switched off the Space Optimization function on the Linn, or played it on the Devialet Expert Pro amplifier. Perhaps because a little more energy could be heard in the layer, due to the room acoustics. A case of: not correct, but better.

Conclusion

The Overture O205F has somewhat surprised us. You don't often come across a relatively unknown brand that comes in and immediately creates something very beautiful. Some people would say: "In terms of sound, they score, because design is not our thing." Well, we would understand that remark, although you have to admit that thirteen finishes offer a bit of personalization that you do not often encounter elsewhere. Not at this price point. The Overture O205F is also the largest of the Overture speakers, and a large size scares some. The smaller O203F, for example, will integrate better into your interior.

However, the most important thing is the sound quality. The smooth control, excellent timing and coherence of the Overture O205F are the main assets, making these AudioSolutions unexpectedly strong speakers.

At its price point, the Figaro S sets new standards.
Trevor Butler

CONCLUSION: The Figaro S provided an unforgettable impression and one which other designers would do well to emulate. It plays quietly but it also goes loud, pretty loud indeed. I found that hours passed without any hint of listening fatigue, and that says a lot about a speaker’s credentials. Overall, the sound is balanced, detailed and well-controlled. Bass is deep (and highlighted a 40Hz issue in my room), but not over-blown or boomy. The midrange is exemplary, not only extremely harmonious but detailed and accurate in this all-important frequency band. High frequencies are handled well, there’s enormous transparency and fluidity without harshness or any hint of grain to the treble sound. 

Should the listener expect more? Well, certainly not at this price point and, in my experience, would need to spend ten-times the amount to achieve any significant improvement. At its price point, the Figaro S sets new standards. 

We are promised to expect from Audio Solutions a full range of cables, room acoustic solutions as well as plans for their own electronics, comprising amplifiers, preamps, DSP and streamer. If they live up to the experience I had with the Figaro S loudspeakers we are in for a treat

Audio Solutions Figaro S

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
floor standing loudspeaker
Trevor Butler

Eastern Europe has been generating a clutch of new audio brands, among them loudspeaker marque Audio Solutions which has launched a new range. Trevor Butler’s been taking a listen.

I first heard Audio Solutions’ new range of  loudspeakers at the busy Hamburg show at the start of the year and was immediately impressed. Any manufacturer who can create a good sound in a hotel bedroom has a product worthy of closer investigation. This Lithuanian brand is the creation of Gediminas Gaidelis who, after working in his home market for the best part of a decade, launched Audio Solutions as a global marque four years ago. The company is interesting: it targets mainly consumers in the 24-45 age group, including women, and offers a enormously wide range of finishes which extend beyond just colour choice to textures which allow the cabinets to integrated more easily in contemporary interiors.

With the mission statement of ‘Art and Science of Speaker Engineering’, Audio Solutions’ aim is to combine physics and psychoacoustics. It started with two model ranges: Euphony and Rhapsody. Euphony was upgraded and became Overture, while Rhapsody has been re-launched as Figaro. At the recent huge Dutch audio affair which is XFi I had the chance to hear the three-way floor-standing M (for Medium) model. This prompted me to try a pair in my own listening environment and I was delighted when two large cartons arrived containing a pair of the slightly smaller Figaro S models. S may stand for ‘small’, but such things are relative – it is second-up in the range, above the two-way bookshelf Figaro B. Here we have a floor-stander which measures a substantial 94cm high.

Engineering
I have always had a penchant for three-way designs – they are, after all, proper speakers, are they not? Two-ways are a compromise in that one is expecting a midrange cone to produce meaningful bass; while a plethora of drive units in a cabinet all too often sounds just that. 

 

 

The [near] perfect drive unit combination of paper mid and bass drivers (doped for extra rigidity) with a soft-dome which comes into play at a higher than expected 4kHz, which is almost certainly the key reason I find the broadband characteristic of the Figaro S so enjoyable to listen to. The tweeter is referred to as a mini-horn which aims to overcome a silk dome’s tendency to become slightly dulled at higher frequencies. It is combined here with a carefully engineered waveguide to aid HF dispersion. The tweeter is smaller than one might expect on a speaker of this size, and that’s a deliberate attempt to create a faster response in the extreme top-end.  As Gediminas explains, while bigger tweeters perform well in two-ways, where a greater power-handling is needed, in a three-way we can benefit from a smaller speaker with its much lighter membrane and this translates directly to a faster response and lower distortion.

There’s attention to detail throughout this speaker: from the WBT Nextgen connectors, to a ‘self-locking’ cabinet to give maximum rigidity, and deployment of Jantzen components in the crossover network. Everything is sourced in the EU with absolutely no Chinese labour, I’m assured. Audio Solutions manufactures cabinets in its own factory, sources drive units from leading producers including SB Acoustics, SEAS and Scan-Speak. 

Normally something of an add-on, a designer’s after thought, with the Figaro range the grilles are worthy of note. The Stealth Grille has geometrically identical baffle option for either cloth-covered or bare drive units as a matter of listener choice. 

 

The hefty speaker weighs in at 28kg and combines a pair of 150mm doped-paper woofers for frequencies below 400Hz, with a 150mm doped-paper midrange at the top of the array. Sensitivity is quoted at a respectable 91dB/W and nominal power handling at 90W RMS. The frequency response (-3dB) is given as 31Hz to 25kHz. A 90mm wide port is located to the rear of the reflex-loaded cabinet.

Sound quality
Placement proved relatively easy and I began with a direct connection to my beloved Hegel Röstintegrated. I knew that these speakers had been used at a recent show and therefore needed no run-in period. My memory was that they were good, but I hadn’t realised just how good until they were in my own system. Wow! 

My usual routine of acclimatisation to newly-installed speakers, followed by careful and analytical audition using some well-known recordings went completely out the window. I became so immediately absorbed by the sheer quality, scale and detail of the Figaro S’s performance that it was several hours before I picked-up my laptop to begin making notes. 

In essence it is hard to fault these speakers. For the size and, especially for the price, they offer a truly phenomenal sound which is hard to equal let alone beat. Bass was sufficient to alert my neighbour that I had something really special on test, while all the usual assessment parameters of imaging, soundstage, detail, transparency, attack, weight and involvement were passed with flying colours. Here was a product which I didn’t want to review, here was a product I just wanted to sit and listen to – not something I often say about speakers on test. 

 

Down to specifics, though… and listening way beyond my normal test repertoire into library albums and tracks streamed from the cloud because I just could not stop enjoying everything the Figaro S did, and did so well. My favourite genre of choral works were just lapped up by this design which found it so easy to re-create meaningful renditions of even complex works to fill my listening space with some of the world’s top performers as though they were there in front of me. Such convincing realism is really what a top-notch loudspeaker is about. Full marks here to Audio Solutions as I wallowed in the immersive portrayal of Bach’s Magnificat (Collegium Vocale Gent under Herreweghe) on an award-winning Harmonia Mundi recording from 2002 where the tempo brings the composer’s kaleidoscope into focus. Here it was evident that the Figaro S handles even complex material with aplomb; rendering human voices with extreme realism is achieved with consummate ease during the twelve-minute whirlwind of exuberance and solos. 

On to orchestral works and arguably Tchaikovsky’s most powerful symphony, his sixth (Kiov Orchestra/Gerfiev) on a Phillips CD made in 1995. Such weight, sheer power and phenomenal scale proved a cinch for these speakers which managed to capture virtually every facet of this amazing symphonic edifice from the conductor’s first recording with this orchestra. The listener is treated to the heart of the darkness at the beginning and end of the composer’s 1893 Pathétiquework, and can revel in the powerful extremes in a most moving and involving way. So many products at this price-point fail to immerse the listener fully in the performance, but not this one.

Many will know that I turn to well-know human voices to test speakers, and that many fall down given such material – all too often revealing a tendency to nasality, sibilance or chestiness. It amazes me, when visiting factories, to discover that there is a total absence of voice recordings and the thought of using some to prove a speaker’s credentials has not crossed the manufacturer’s mind. So it is, with some trepidation, that I pressed my well-used tracks into service. 

 

Needless to say, the Figaro S passed the ‘voice test’ with flying colours. Trying first a 1994 recording of the mellifluous Charlotte Green reading BBC Radio Four’s news bulletin brought back memories of being in the studio as it was re-created with such natural realism as to send tingles down my spine. Moving to some BBC Radio drama, and my much-loved Rumpole of the Bailey material featuring the unmistakable voice of Julian Rhind-Tutt in the star role, this excellent recording is often the acid test. Passed! The midrange and, all-important ‘presence region’ of the Figaro S are sublime.

Unable to trick this Lithuanian box with my standard repertoire, it was time to get heavy. Rock, courtesy of Bon Jovi’s 1986 ‘Livin’ On a Prayer’ certainly showed how the Figaro S could move some air. Here is a design with plenty of rhythmic ability and pace in equal measure. Weight and scale are pretty amazing from the start of the distorted talk box effect guitar and, excusing the rather cheesy lyrics, the fake falsetto singer seemed to be at a mere arm’s length from me. What more can an audiophile ask from a speaker but such a level of natural realism?

I normally spend my mid-day break sitting at my desk with a sandwich ploughing through emails and listening to BBC Radio Three’s Lunchtime Concert through a DAB receiver. With the Figaro S in my system downstairs, I was increasingly migrating to enjoy a variety of intimate live recitals in all their glory. These speakers are dangerously addictive.  

 

Conclusion
The Figaro S provided an unforgettable impression and one which other designers would do well to emulate. It plays quietly but it also goes loud, pretty loud indeed. I found that hours passed without any hint of listening fatigue, and that says a lot about a speaker’s credentials. Overall, the sound is balanced, detailed and well-controlled. Bass is deep (and highlighted a 40Hz issue in my room), but not over-blown or boomy. The midrange is exemplary, not only extremely harmonious but detailed and accurate in this all-important frequency band. High frequencies are handled well, there’s enormous transparency and fluidity without harshness or any hint of grain to the treble sound. 

Should the listener expect more? Well, certainly not at this price point and, in my experience, would need to spend ten-times the amount to achieve any significant improvement. At its price point, the Figaro S sets new standards. 

We are promised to expect from Audio Solutions a full range of cables, room acoustic solutions as well as plans for their own electronics, comprising amplifiers, preamps, DSP and streamer. If they live up to the experience I had with the Figaro S loudspeakers we are in for a treat

I’m happily giving out the Mono and Stereo Best Buy Product Award to his proud creations - the Audiosolutions Figaro M speakers. Hats off and well deserved.

CONCLUSION: There are many exciting features about the Figaro M speakers. The convenient proportions, properly executed voicing, highly engaging sonic performance, captivating aesthetics, value for the money and more.

It’s never easy to establish a worthy replacement for any audio product. The usual undertaking in high-end audio always follow the money traits and a heftier price sticker comes mandatory. Acting completely contrary, Gediminas Gaidelis managed to create a more affordable speaker line with the choicest attributes of the preceding line and most importantly with the key elements expected and required from the contemporary high-end audio loudspeakers.

The Figaro M’s easily engages you into the listening and thanks to a clever construction and careful selection of the drivers, a rare quality was achieved — a—non-problematic prolonged immersions into the musical universe without experiencing listening fatigue. That alone is a winner strike! 

AUDIOSOLUTIONS FIGARO M SPEAKERS REVIEW 

What makes any audio product worthy of the high-end notion? Recently the high-price is surely becoming or is already a driving factor of determining so-called high-end audio kittening. Audiosolutons acts completely opposite under the leadership of Gediminas Gaidelis.

As you’ll learn on, Gediminas deliberately and constantly challenges not merely himself but with his latest products also the industry with his quest for a loudspeaker of a true high-end audio pedigree, but an omission of the elite conduct of a loftier pricing.

MEET THE FIGARO

The all-new Audiosolutions’ Figaro speaker line is the developmental and evolutionary step up from the Rhapsody range. There is no stepping down when it comes to the quality of the materials, built in parts and most impotently the sonic potency.

After six years of R &D, Audiosoluitons team has managed to optimize the production in such a way, that they can bring the same quality at a considerably more affordable cost and without losing the auditory impact. Their Self-Locking cabinet approach to the enclosures assembly, dedicated tweeter horn and plenty more of propriety designs were being trickled down from the Vantage Anniversary flagship speaker series. The key factor of doing this was also the production efficiency and highly competitive determination of the Audiosolutions CEO and owner Gediminas Gaidelis.
 
One cannot argue about the fact that there are already more than enough speaker companies taking care of the steady demand for the natural wood finishes and veneers. Gediminas wanted to follow the ongoing trend of the interior design and gradually, but surely pointed his manufacture and speaker designs towards more contemporary outlook. The Audiosoluitons head honcho strongly believes that classical shapes and finishes are not fitting well into the modern surroundings of the younger generation.  
 
Consequently, the all-new Figaro line was brought to life as the successor of the Rhapsody series in the same way as the Overture line was established to take over from the Euphony series speakers (after being highly successful for six plus years). “Figaro maintains the same style accents as Overture or Vantage series and gracefully slides into overall AudioSolutions production portfolio.”

THE INNER HEART  

 
Figaro M speakers implement new custom SB Acoustics drivers with the ER (extra rigid) cones. Gediminas wished to deliver so-called locked performance (the speed and transparency from the much more costly speakers to considerable more down to the ground priced loudspeakers.

 
Audiosolutions’ Self-Locking cabinet assembly that translates to an exceedingly solid enclosure joints technique that symbolizes the attributes of the monomythical structure assures focused, fast, deep and highly controlled bass even for the S, the smallest model in Figaro line.
 
Self-Locking chassis reacts very differently to the inertia, then the common six surface approach. Such designs are generally lacking appropriate handling of multiple frequency control. The bass reproduction is tamed down, decays and delays are presented more chaotically and in most instances sound energy accumulates at particular frequencies, therefore functioning as an equalizer. 
 
In more familiar—earthly language, the booming bass (d)effect takes place. 
 
“This is typical problem for speakers under 10000Eur. Our Self-Locking cabinet is designed in completely different manner. It is possible to achieve much greater sonic properties with only little more expenses if engineer knows what he is doing and financial department approves for couple more bucks in self-cost. The key concept in eliminating unwanted vibrations is combine materials with different resonant properties so they damp each other. Simplest way to do that is to use different thickness materials or make sandwich of different materials. We did both. Figaro cabinet thickness varies from 18mm up to 50mm in different areas, and starting from middle way to all back speaker part is made from sandwich materials (in the back of speaker maximum pressure is always present and this is critical area). Combining materials is nice, but we stepped further, we modeled every surface in speaker and made its vibration analysis as a whole, so we can see how important is joints between different surfaces. It is remarkable what modern software can do. It is a very big difference between simple glue joint between two surface edges and our Self-Locking joint. Without Self-Locking joints cabinet was good but not perfect, after calculating our joining technique cabinet became almost monolithic.”
 
The secret behind this method is the cordial acting of all surfaces as one giant sandwich construction that dampens and cancel out singularities.
 
The usual sandwich construction might perform their duties stellarly on its own but simply loses the potency once all of them are joined together as a whole. Suddenly the potential properly functioning process of solitude solutions develops into a giant assembly of non controlled conditions. 
 
As opposite, the Figaro M speakers function in absence of typical bass booming. The result of Audiosolutions technique secures the even and regulated delivery of all frequencies. One would predict how such an enclosure would be stiff and heavy as anything. Well, not at all.
 
Gediminas has managed to scale down almost 50-70% of the sheer weight and Figaro M’s 41 kgs would claim almost 70kgs in the real world. 

MY WAY OR THREE WAY

“All Figaro models, except bookshelf and center speakers are three ways. Why three? Well there is two main opinions where one states that two way is better because speaker is closer to point source and there is only one crossover point meaning more homogeneous sound, another opinion is that three ways is better because engineer can pick crossover points not to meet critical area where human ear during centuries of evolution became most sensitive (800-2000Hz). I myself was for two ways at first, because design is much simpler yet cheaper, however now almost all our products shares three ways (even bookshelf Vantage) because not having crossover point in critical to ear area really does the job. All products which were designed following this fashion received best impressions usually like “highly detailed and clear midrange”. I am not saying that two ways is much worse, we have some bookshelf designs with two ways but we are forced to use more complicated drivers and raise crossover point as high as possible to step away from critical crossover area.”
 
The usual soft dome tweeters can (and do) start distorting too quickly at the greater playback volumes. Figaro M implements the mini-horn and waveguide that undoubtedly helps with the “shaping” of the highs. Gediminas also picked slightly smaller tweeter driver for ensuring the faster transient response in the higher spectrum. 
 
Larger tweeters might be more suitable for the two-way designs, that calls for better handling of energy, but the Figaro M tweeter choice escapes the loosing of the slower reaction time, thus lower level of transparency. Figaro’s smaller tweeter has a much lighter membrane, that provides faster response and considerable lower distortion. 
 

THE GRILL MASTER

In high-end audio loudspeaker's grill serve as more or less the necessary evil and consequently the sound presentation will highly likely be changed in a not exactly subtle way.

Audiosolutions constructed their own “stealth grille” for the Overture series based on their analysis and understanding: “The main concept of grilles is wrong starting from a scratch. That’s why people are forced to remove grilles when they are listening to speakers. Our protective grills share a unique technical decision where one speaker has two different FRONT BAFFLES (one with protective cloth other without) which shares the same geometry.” 

With anything in a stand before the speakers' drivers, the front baffle geometry changes and alterers the early reflection as well the originally sonic direction It’s a compromise, to begin with.  

"When scientists are talking about reflections, standing waves, scattering etc. the key variable here is geometry. It is geometry to blame for all effects of poorly designed grilles. By applying typical grills on top of front baffle you change speaker geometry and what is most audible is first reflections from plastic grill mesh or from MDF edges which is usually 1cm thick as minimum."

Audiosolutions's “stealth grilles” employs the same geometry for both front covers. Its actually more spot on to call them baffles as Figaro M speakers’ grills were actually projected from the ground up as an integral part of the front baffle. So, when they’re exchanged the geometry is exactly the same and as planned originally.

Gediminas ensures that the difference cannot be measurable and audible evaluations confirmed it. 

VARIETY IS THE KING!

 
There’s no uncertainty. The customer is the king and diversity of finishes are essential for covering as many distinct tastes and preferred color preferences. Figaro M speakers are available in 17 various surfaces. This allows finding an exact interior matching for even most demanding clients.

 
Along with favorites like high gloss Xiralic finishes, Audiosolutions are also extending their unique looks with the 3D textured high gloss finish, or three contrasting colors of linen in a high glaze.
 
These refreshing and newly introduced finishes permit much broader variety for the upmarket customers and nonetheless interior designers that are (like it or not) also playing a prominent role in the speakers' placement in the modern homes. 
 

THE MUSIC

 
I’ve covered fairly extensively the design fundamentals, but how are they Audiosolutions Figaro M speakers playing in the real world aural challenges?

Even non-casual listener would certainly place the ECM tag on the Batik - Headland and for the proper reasons. It’s a terrific album with a mightier sonic nucleus and an excellent reference for classifying any high-end component. With speakers evaluation, there is no pardoning when the system is already set up at the appropriate level. They’ll either handle Batik’s sonic enormousness or won’t. Despite their given size, Audiosolutions Figaro M speakers have preserved the required grip intact. In order to really shine many sonic requirements are needed to be met with Headland as it also heavily challenges the rendition of spatial presentation and frequency balance.

Figaro M speakers have demonstrated their adequacy to distribute the sonic energy properly across complete spectrum. The metallic percussions' sphere can too easily evade from the control in the same form that bass can, yet Figaros’ enclosure and tuning have granted a grander than expected purview of music’s information.

This album distinctly evinces the advances and benefits of Audiosolutions’ specific Self-Locking cabinet construction.

Wes Montgomery - The Alternative Wes Montgomery compiles the alternate non-releases takes for previously published albums on the Riverside label.

Especially Stairway To The Stars and Milt Jackson’s vibraphone playing takes the song’s opening instantaneously to the celestial spatial spheres. This particular clarity and ethereal quality of vibraphone never fail to excite me to delve further with any speaker under evaluation. Audiosolutions Figaro M’s balancing act was at once acknowledged and my listening notes page was relatively dense with my mind’s metaphors and words’ permutations.

Yes, Figaros’ have passed the initial spatial and resolution analysis with a higher grade. Stairway To The Stars has greatly facilitate further under the loupe evaluation. The timbral structure of Vibraphone is no exactly easy to convey. The acoustical cue density aims for a more accomplished performer. And so does the remarkably exceptional atmosphere of The Alternative Wes Montgomery. Again, without the required density of acoustical cues the degree of believably cannot be attained, yet Figaro M speakers were adequate to deliver an unanticipated level of contextualized atmospheric impact.

The same continues for the discernible timbral quality. With Figaro M speakers it was not just about the compelling sum of quark like decays and delays, but about reaching it scrupulously close to the point of realism. And Figaros have espoused it daringly and with the finer grasp of genuine fundamentals, that are indispensable for the enticing reproduction.

Tanita Tikaram - Ancient Heart is another one in the personal collection of the safe side of melancholy aural journeys. This Tanita’s debut album is still as sharp and influential as it was back when it was released. I’m certain people of my “decent” age” remembers album’s chart-topper Twisting My Sobriety.

The whole album is recorded more than adequately for the regular pop album, yet Ancient Heart holds nothing that would classify it as common. It still astounds me what then 19 years old Tanita Tikaram managed to accomplish artistically with this record. Album represents quite a few particular sonic demands, most notably it immediately discloses the way speakers can bear the impact with the well-recorded studio music.

There is something about this record, that demands proper loudspeakers’ voicing when it comes to the vocal. It’s not exactly simple to establish a believable vocal interpretation, that won’t disintegrate when its mixed with the numerous instruments.

The research of determining Figaros’ chameleon-like universality ability was further confronted with the portrayal of Ancient Heart’s metallic percussions. The rides, hi-hats and the rest of the iron percussion paraphernalia were recorded, mixed and equalized with an expert engineer touch allowing them to embody natural timbral propensities as well as stand out airiness.

Twisting My sobriety shares some resemblances with Tracy Chapman‘s Fast Car from, another extremely powerful debut album from 80’s that was recorded above average expectations and is sonically is even a few steps above the Ancient Hearth. After all the years this song still sends shivers down my spine on each playback. Tracy Chapman self-titled debut album keeps powerful message across the whole record and with the current climate it appears like it was recorded yesterday. It’s very dear album of mine for many reasons and one of the getaway records I’ve played on my deliberate no-strict-end journeys... 

With this timeless gem, the referencing quest is in the segregation of the instruments and a rich formation of bass guitar. The bass will subtly find the problematic acoustical nodes before you even have the time to realize. Figaro M speakers have allowed lower octave notes to form captivating and refreshing control. Instruments had enough acoustical cues to constitute a fixated and righter than expected three-dimensionality. 

The next challenging track Across The Lines can instantaneously clear any deceptions of many speakers designers about the achievement of their beloved speakers. One of the factors to especially look for (when all is set right) is the fretless guitar like tone, that will take the control of the room with the energy around and far beyond the speakers. No, this exact momentum doesn’t take place with every speaker, but it did with Figaro!

Behind The Wall holds the same uplifted positions for yours truly as Susan Vega’s Tom’s Dinner when it comes to the studio vocal analysis and Figaro M have again and again shown its assets and uplifted standing! No matter how simplified human vocal might occur, it’s not! Even non-live, studio recorded vocals will illustrate the foibles of the voice’s formants. Audiosolutions Figaro M speakers never skip over to the spheres of analytic dissection of vowels and consonants. This can be elucidated via spectrogram, but going deep into subject matter is not an objective of this review. Most importantly Figaros didn’t modify the constitutional parts. This cannot be asserted for many speakers priced way beyond Figaro M. That tell A LOT!

 

CONCLUSION

There are many exciting features about the Figaro M speakers. The convenient proportions, properly executed voicing, highly engaging sonic performance, captivating aesthetics, value for the money and more.
 
It’s never easy to establish a worthy replacement for any audio product. The usual undertaking in high-end audio always follow the money traits and a heftier price sticker comes mandatory. Acting completely contrary, Gediminas Gaidelis managed to create a more affordable speaker line with the choicest attributes of the preceding line and most importantly with the key elements expected and required from the contemporary high-end audio loudspeakers. 
 
The Figaro M’s easily engages you into the listening and thanks to a clever construction and careful selection of the drivers, a rare quality was achieved — a—non-problematic prolonged immersions into the musical universe without experiencing listening fatigue. That alone is a winner strike! 
 

Unique removable grills were already mentioned above, but it's more than worthy of bringing them up again. With most of the speakers, the grill is regarded as a stylistic hubris. A compromise, that is most often a must aesthetically wise. Audiosolutions Figaro M speakers grills were developed with a lot of attention. Each pair of speakers comes with two set of covers/grills. Usually one can immediately detect the variation when the grill is in place. Well, that’s not exactly the case with Figaro M speakers. Both of the grills were constructed from the ground up to provide diffraction-less sonic uniqueness, that is not in the way of the sound…

 

A lot of energy went into balancing the technology, aesthetics, and performance and especially at such price each right choice is valued. 
 
It’s great to see Gediminas Gaidelis‘ Audiosolutions proud venture growing so prosperously. As we require the newer generation discovering and entering into our beloved industry, so we need the young creative people, that understand the generation’s momentum and collective minds of present generation for creating the high-end audio products, that can inspire their hearts.  
 
Audiosolutions Figaro M speakers and Gediminas Gaidelis deserves to be recognized and appreciated for the efforts and what they are representing musically and price wise. Yes, I do love exotic, esoteric and consequently, sky-high priced high-end audio products, but I’m no snob when it comes to the down to earth high-end audio products, that make all the sense and are of importance to our industry. Figaro M speakers are a clear reminder of a too often neglected aspect of the era; the affordability and a real-world value. 
 
I’ll never forget my roots and how I’ve started my audio journey almost three decades ago. We ’ve always needed and still urgently need products, that are created by enthusiasts for the enthusiasts. 
 
Gediminas is bringing back the right spirit and I appreciate his earnest efforts with his beloved brand very highly. That’s why I’m happily giving out the Mono and Stereo Best Buy Product Award to his proud creations - the Audiosolutions Figaro M speakers. Hats off and well deserved. 
 
Matej Isak

What’s nice about the AudioSolutions Overture O203F is that it can play any music in a satisfying fashion, but without drawing attention to the flaws of poorer recordings -- all while sounding open and resolved enough that it never sounded boring or tame.
Jeff Fritz

CONCLUSION: What’s nice about the AudioSolutions Overture O203F is that it can play any music in a satisfying fashion, but without drawing attention to the flaws of poorer recordings -- all while sounding open and resolved enough that it never sounded boring or tame. In short, I thought the pair of them struck just the right tonal balance: not veering too far from neutral, but possessing a slightly fulsome bass range that gave them a sound slightly bigger than I’d expected. They didn’t play ridiculously loud, but they could get up into the low-90dB range without seeming to strain. as long as you keep the volume level reasonable, you won’t hear anything amiss.

SUMMARY: All over the world, there are good audio manufacturers you’ve never heard of. As entrenched as I am in high-end audio -- I’ve been with SoundStage! for two decades now, many of those years as editor-in-chief -- not a week goes by that I don’t see online some cool, audio-related thingamabob from a company I’ve never heard of. Granted, many of these “companies” are just a guy with a shop and maybe an uncle who’s helping him assemble his thingamabob. But if you don’t want to buy from the mainstream companies, there are options around every corner.

You may never have heard of AudioSolutions if you are from North America, but they are quite well established and operate out of a 350-square-meter factory. Based in Lithuania, they’ve been in business for five years now. The founder and chief designer is a young buck named Gediminas Gaidelis, who began studying loudspeakers in 2003, and in the course of time learned that speaker design and manufacture are as much art as engineering. He formally launched AudioSolutions in the summer of 2011.

AudioSolutions Overture O203F

Since then, Gaidelis has been busy filling out his already impressive stable of speaker models. He makes the tiny Guimbarde bookshelf model; the five Rhapsody models, the bread’n’butter of the AS line; and the flagship, the four-way, five-driver Vantage. In May, at High End 2016, in Munich, he launched the new Overture series, the least-expensive models yet from AS: a center-channel, a bookshelf, and three floorstanders. I chose to review the smallest floorstander, the Overture O203F.

Design

The Overture O203F is a three-driver, two-way design standing 40.9"H x 9.1"W x 14.8"D and weighing 55 pounds. The speaker is boxy, though thoughtful design touches give it a unique appearance. The cabinet proper is made of MDF up to 1.4” (36mm) thick and is internally braced, and the speaker sits on a small rectangular plinth that gives it a firm foundation on the floor. To make the design cost-efficient while offering multiple finish options, most of the enclosure -- front, back, top, plinth, and edges around each side -- is covered in a textured gray paint not unlike Nextel. The sides, however, have permanently affixed recessed panels that can be ordered in a multitude of finishes -- the AS website lists 13 of these, from high-gloss and textured colors to high-gloss wood. You almost never see speakers at this price that can be customized to this degree. My review samples came with HG Ebony side panels. I found these panels to be well done; they added a touch of luxury to an affordable floorstander.

AudioSolutions Overture O203F

Among the most visible features of the Overture line are the grilles. Each Overture speaker comes standard with two grilles: one with fabric, one without. These grilles are not optional devices, which is why there are two sets. Their pins fit into holes in the baffle, and the grilles must be installed for the speaker to perform properly. The tweeter is actually loaded by what AudioSolutions calls a mini-horn -- it’s not as wide-angled as a more traditional waveguide -- machined into the grille (the other drivers’ outputs are optimized with chamfered openings in the grille). The only difference between the grilles is that cloth covers one of them. Gaidelis told me that the reasons for the horn loading are several: for increased sensitivity and lower distortion, but also to lower the crossover frequency to 1900Hz. To accomplish this, the horn loading increases the tweeter’s output by 5dB between 700 and 3000Hz. In an e-mail, Gaidelis said that most inexpensive speakers suffer from distortion at or near the crossover frequency, and that his design addresses that.

The O203F is equipped with a 1” (25mm) SEAS silk-dome tweeter; above and below it are a pair of midrange-bass drivers with 5.9” (150mm) cones of hardened paper. The midrange-bass drivers are vented to the rear through a flared port just above the biwirable metal binding posts (jumpers for single-wire operation are included). AS specifies the O203F as having a highish sensitivity of 91dB/2.83V/m and a nominal power handling of 90W (180W peak). The in-room frequency range is a claimed 36Hz-26kHz, the nominal impedance 4 ohms.

AudioSolutions Overture O203F

Sound

I began my auditioning of the Overture O203F by listening to “Scared for the Children,” from Jeff Beck’s new Loud Hailer (16-bit/44.1kHz FLAC, Atlantic/Rhino/Tidal). Beck’s ethereal electric guitar immediately cast a thick layer of sound in my room, sounding tangible but not overtly sharp. At about 1:35 in, when Rosie Bones begins to sing, her voice, unlike the guitar, was more precisely positioned on the stage. The center image of the voice was solidly there, but never veered toward the hyperrealism of too-crisp outlines. The bass was full and somewhat round, with enough low-frequency depth to steer most listeners away from adding a subwoofer. I thought, They sound pretty big -- surprising for a speaker with a pair of 5.9” woofers.

Next up was “Light Me Up,” from Ingrid Michaelson’s latest, It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense (16/44.1 FLAC, Cabin 24/Tidal). Her voice soars in this song, and the AS speakers nicely conveyed her wide vocal range -- unlike some soft domes, this one is not subdued. No, the sound was more open than I’d thought it would be, perhaps owing to the tweeter’s mini-horn loading. Regardless of why, I was impressed, and enjoyed the free-flowing sound of the O203Fs with this recording.

AudioSolutions Overture O203F

Then I loaded up the Silk Road Ensemble. In 2016, the current lineup of cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s rotating group of classical musicians released Sing Me Home (16/44.1 FLAC, Columbia Masterworks/Tidal), which features Abigail Washburn singing “Going Home.” The sound of the stringed instruments was authentic, with none of the offensive edge so often heard from cheap metal-dome tweeters. I attribute this lack of brightness not only to the silk of the O203F’s soft dome, but also to the speaker’s voicing -- it’s clear that AS didn’t want to make a speaker with tilted-up highs. They’ve succeeded. The O203F’s tonal balance will suit most any music, though it will be perceived as being slightly forgiving of lower-quality recordings.

At this point in my auditioning I concluded that while the AudioSolutions could sound nice and cozy, it was time to open them up a bit more to hear just where their limitations might be. I cued up Donald Fagen’s Morph the Cat (24/96 AIFF, Reprise/HDtracks), an old standby of a demo for the well-recorded kick-drum that opens the title track. I cranked up the volume and played the opening minute about ten times in succession. At 90dB in my room, measured at the listening position with an SPL meter app on my iPhone 6, the O203Fs did not fall apart. Far from it -- the sound was punchy and palpable, if missing the last iota of physicality that bigger speakers can produce. Just shy of 93dB, the O203Fs had about all the power they could handle -- I could sense that their woofers were doing all they could with this track’s ample bass and midbass content. So, yes, the AudioSolutions O203Fs did have some output-level limitations, but what was impressive was that their woofers never bottomed out, nor did their sound become ragged. The tweeters’ output remained clean and under control.

AudioSolutions Overture O203F

I said earlier that the O203F had a tonal balance that sounded well chosen by the designer. This was a definite strength -- the speakers didn’t sound dull or blunted, nor did they try to be monsters of resolution. They did a good job of morphing to the music -- or, better yet, morphing to suit the listener, no matter what music they were asked to reproduce. You won’t be able to dissect every single microscopic sound in your best recordings, but for many listeners, that’s not what gives them the ultimate in musical enjoyment.

Comparison

I hadn’t reviewed a floorstander in this price range in quite a while, so I went back to my listening notes for the Aperion Audio Verus Grand loudspeaker which I’d reviewed in 2011 but have heard more recently - a friend owns a pair.

I wrote in 2011 that “Aperion’s tweeter is cut from the same cloth as the Dynaudio tweeters I’ve heard through the years, in that it produced the meat of the highs really nicely, as well as most of the ultra-high frequencies.” Although the AudioSolutions’ tweeters were similar in this regard -- meaty, if not resolution machines -- it was in the treble that the O203F had the advantage over the Verus Grand. Depending on the music, the AS speakers could sound a touch more open in the treble, and this proved important. They had just a bit more sparkle when the highs called for it, which became apparent when I listened to Alexandre Desplat’s score for the film The Secret Life of Pets (16/44.1 FLAC, Back Lot Music/Tidal). This high-energy orchestral music requires a speaker to let its hair down, and that’s just what the O203Fs did. The sound in the highs was quick and agile, but remained painless at all times. There was an effortlessness to the highs that I don’t often hear at this price point, and that I didn't hear with the Aperions.

Conclusion

What’s nice about the AudioSolutions Overture O203F is that it can play any music in a satisfying fashion, but without drawing attention to the flaws of poorer recordings -- all while sounding open and resolved enough that it never sounded boring or tame. In short, I thought the pair of them struck just the right tonal balance: not veering too far from neutral, but possessing a slightly fulsome bass range that gave them a sound slightly bigger than I’d expected. They didn’t play ridiculously loud, but they could get up into the low-90dB range without seeming to strain, as long as you keep the volume level reasonable, you won’t hear anything amiss.

For the chameleon musical like nature and the level of dedication, that goes into the creation of the AudioSolutions Overture O204F speakers I'm happily giving out the Mono and Stereo Highly Recommended Award.
Matej Isak

SUMMARY: AudioSolutions Overture O204F offers a stylish and musical package, that is not shy in delivering the balanced sound. These are the "honest" speakers, voiced right and with a healthy dosage of bottom end. The lower end impact will keep bass fans more than just happy. O204F also reveals the potent Overture musical universe to the music lovers in demand of powerful and musically involving sound

REVIEW: I'm more then sure, that many of you already heard about or heard the AudioSolutions speakers from Lithuania. The company operates for quite some years pointing back to their beginnings in early 2000. 
 
My main inner interest triggers are in 99% percents ignited by the upper echelon and top of the line high-end audio products. On contrary to my modus operandi Gediminas Gaidelis (owner and CEO of AudioSolutions) asked me to start my exploration of the AudioSolutions loudspeakers in another way around. He wanted me to explore the Overture product line in order to understand, the difference between their flagships and more affordable speakers and how much of the AudioSolutions' gestalt comes already with their entry-level loudspeakers. 

I've asked Gediminas to select, what would be the most proper speaker to start with and a few weeks later the AudioSolutions Overture O204F speakers had arrived at Mono and Stereo... 

THE OVERTURE 0204F

Overture O204F is a 3-way design floor-standing speaker equipped with customized silk dome tweeter, paper cone mid-band driver and two long-throw woofers, that can be also used with bookshelf and center channel speaker sets to form home cinema environment. 

 
 
Slim, small and light cabinet will fit in any part of the listening room, a variety of finishes including high gloss colors, classic wood, and piano gloss woods will satisfy all tastes. Unique highly braced, CNC-machined, self-locking cabinet gives stand out performance in the bass region and specially shaped front panel with mini horn tweeter loading ensures lowest THD in this price range.
 
Overture O204F's highly braced, CNC precision milled enclosure, that uses MDF with up to 36mm thickness is a ground stone of the acoustically silent and rigid structure. High-flow bass reflex port with highly rounded flange eliminates airflow noise. 
 
High-grade components were chosen for the crossover and Overture offers bi-wiring/bi-amping binding posts. Mid-bass lightweight paper cone lightweight customised soft dome mini-horn loaded tweeter loaded elevates performance and delivers greater sensitivity in the critical range.
 
 
With the Overture product line, AudioSolutions have introduced self-locking cabinet system, that is also used with the recently introduced Vantage anniversary speakers. This technique gives very strong joints between different parts. The fully assembled enclosure is much more tough and rigid compared to similar sized and priced speakers.
 

THE INSIGHTS

 
Overture speaker line is the AudioSolutions' entry line range, that was inspired by its predecessor - the Euphony. From the initial idea, Overture line was designed to be a cost-effective speakers with a classic design. Much attention was placed to provide the same captivating audio quality as a top of the line AudioSolutions speakers. Gediminas Gaidelis also described the Overture line as the best way to enter and discover the AudioSolutions world of High-End sound reproduction.
 
 
Overture name was not chosen lightly. Gediminas Gaidelis wanted to introduce something more substantial, than just a mere entry line speakers. It needed to be both delicate and majestic. All that has resulted in an Overture speaker series, that delivers a grand portion of AudioSolutions's top tiers despite being the entry level and a first step into the high-end audio world of AudioSolutions.
 
 
In the usual dealings, the top of the line models creates a blueprint for any lower line models. With Overture line AudioSolutions started the other way around. The overture was set to give the "tone" for the upper series from the very beginning.  

"Downgrade from something better is quite simple to achieve, meanwhile having high-class product from the very beginning and pushing limits in more expensive products it is something that needs a lot of efforts and knowledge." - Gediminas Gaidelis

The development of the Overture took almost a year for the cabinet construction only. Speakers chassis combined with some clever engineering and backed up with the years of experience in making the loudspeakers resulted in much more faster production and shorter assembly time, that translates to the much lower final price. The shorter production time has allowed AudioSolutions to implement more expensive materials and technologies, that are usually associated with the higher priced speakers.
 
 
No usual sound-damaging grilles are used in Overture. Gediminas Gaidelis's engineering heart is not softened by the grilles and he has a very strong opinion about them. 

"However, grilles is a must for cheaper speakers. We couldn't design usual grilles that wouldn't interfere with sound reproduction. Usually, it was not cloth as we thought at first - it was the frame. Even a thin-braced frame was creating a lot of reflections. We decided to raise our expenses for better sound reproduction. We designed double removable front baffle." - Gediminas Gaidelis

One set of the speaker includes four front baffles. One pair is covered with transparent acoustically cloth and the other pair is painted in the matching speaker color. All four panels are identical in shape and have similar performance characteristics.
 
 
Implementation of the waveguide with the soft or hard domes almost comes as mandatory these days. This raises sensitivity and creates controlled radiation pattern. While this is beneficial, AudioSolutions had decided to go a bit further... 

"Since by default we think that customer will have at least little acoustically treated room we do not control radiation, but we unload tweeter in its critical region. As You may notice usually speakers in lower price region plays nice when driven up to 90dB-95db. Troubles starting when they are driven really hard I mean like 100dB (trust me it is VERY loud don't dream about 120dB in a home)." - Gediminas Gaidelis

Usual soft dome tweeters starting to distort because of soft materials and act more like waving sea than piston driver. It can get even worse when the whole assembly of coil and suspension starts to make radial movements at some specific frequencies because the suspension is too soft (better sensitivity for data sheet). All this translates into screamingly/noisy and unpleasant tone. AudioSolutions Mini-Horn is working in quite a narrow band around tweeter's resonance frequency, where most of the distortions described above appear. The result is unloaded drive system in the specific area and lowered distortions. Overture Mini-Horn lowers distortions by 8dB in that region.
 
 
A second no go for the Gediminas Gaidelis's engineer mindset was the use of standard PCB boards, where thin copper layers come as standard. That why a pin-to-pin assembly was used (similar as point to point with tube amps).
 
 
But this was changed recently when Gediminas had found a good supplier, that could provide three times more dense copper signal paths compared to the traditional PCBs. At the end, measurement had shown no difference between pin-to-pin construction and PCB mounted and this is now a preferred solution.
 
 
The audiosolutions team has pushed from the very beginning to finalize a working prototype, that would include all the high-end criteria associated with the expensive models. This might be the very reason, that many people, that have listened to either Overture or Vantage, discovered the same sonic DNA spread across all of the AudioSolutions' models.
 
 

THE MUSIC

 
The technical side was covered quite extendedly, so its time to enter into the musical realms. Overture O204F went through the prolonged listening sessions with quite a few different amplifiers and speakers' cable. Sometimes, the speaker undervaluation points towards the particular music genre, yet with AudioSolutions Overture speakers, there was no specific genre preferring. They've handled the music in equal equilibrium.
 
Donald Fagen - Morph the Cat
 
Gediminas Gaidelis loves to present the AudioSolutions speakers' ability to deliver a grand but focused bass rendition. There is no better record to test the "submarine" depths then Donald Fagen's Morph the Cat. First few notes of the albums' title track will let the speaker to "make it" or "brake/fake it". 
 
Overture O204F mighty bass is consequential to the sum of all the design choices. First and foremost O204F (luckily) won't turn into wobbling sonic momentum, that is too often associated with the similarly priced speakers. The bass expands with the full energy impact and carries over the rawness needed to employ the lower frequency energy into the room. This was positively evident in both smaller sized room and a bigger listening space. 
 
As with all the speakers, you'll need to find the right spot in order to let speakers "breath", but once properly positioned, Overture O204F will lock and load. 
 
When Morph The Cat's music expands with all the instruments in place, O204F allowed the even distribution of complete sonic range, that let instruments to appear with believable three-dimensional rendering. This particular track can bring many speakers to its knees with its demanding energy transfer, yet Overture O204F have kept the sonic projection firm and focus!
 
Nancy Brick - Nancy Brick
 
Nancy Brick belongs to one of my favorite Nordic duos. Mysterious music, sensually packed into the sonic scenery, that penetrates deeply into the subconsciousness. 
 
 
There is an immersive purity in these compositions. In their simplicity, they can instantly reveal any non-balanced nature at the very end of the audio chain, namely the loudspeakers. 
 
The Mountain's ghostly atmosphere expands with the subtle pinpointing of the notes, that call for a highly potent mirroring of the acoustic cues. 
 
The AudioSolutions Overture O204F braced and thick MDF enclosures were certainly "guilty" of delivering the powerful spatial cues. Micro and macro details are too easily masked within the intreated resonance frequency of the speakers' enclosure, yet Overture O204F delivery of micro decays and delays formed a sensual interaction, that pulled me into more than just one track aural evaluation with my beloved Nancy Brick. That alone is worthy of the praise...
 
 
Music For Viola and Cello - Herbert Downes and Jacqueline Du Pre is by no means an easy reference evaluating album for any speakers. It's challenging. This iconic, classical gem, that reaches a crazy pricing on the vinyl is extraordinary and both sonic and musical marvel. 
 
I've especially love to pull this remarkable album out to challenge any speaker ability to deliver the sheer density of tone and how well it deciphers the potency of music's message. 
 
Overture O204F tone, timbre, and color were on forte, without stepping into the overblown realms. At the O204F given price range, this is something to be proud about... 
 

CONCLUSION

 
With Overture line Gediminas Gaidelis wanted to embrace all the qualities of AudioSolutions upper speaker's range at more affordable pricing while keeping the recognized sound quality and design. And he succeeded...
 
AudioSolutions Overture O204F speakers are stylish contemporary take on the "classical" loudspeaker design, but with enough attributes to stand out from the crowd.
 
The hardest thing for any high-end audio speaker manufacturer is founding its own recognizable signature design. After years of exploration, Gediminas Gaidelis managed to develop his own design language, that is recognizable and different enough to draw the attention.
 
I really liked the Overture self-locked and exchangeable front panel system, that allows quick change of aesthetics from more classical to the modern as well as the quality of fit and finish. Even some of the long-standing speaker's brands struggle with quality at the more affordable level, but Gediminas managed to expertly deliver a visually captivating design with the instantly recognizable carpentry quality.
 
From packaging, manual and up to the speakers, everything screams out "quality". I like and love when manufacturers do their homework properly. Its still baffles me, how some, even crazy priced exotic products are being presented. Rather then "we want to please and thank you for your purchase" the very opposite "we simply want your money" applies. Sad, true and unforgiven.
 
AudioSolutions Overture O204F offers a stylish and musical package, that is not shy in delivering the balanced sound. These are the "honest" speakers, voiced right and with a healthy dosage of bottom end. The lower end impact will keep bass fans more than just happy. O204F also reveals the potent Overture musical universe to the music lovers in demand of powerful and musically involving sound.
 
Gediminas Gaidelis pushes himself further by each year, to implement better materials, make speakers better looking and most importantly to deliver better sound.
 
For the chameleon musical like nature and the level of dedication, that goes into the creation of the AudioSolutions Overture O204F speakers I'm happily giving out the Mono and Stereo Highly Recommended Award. 
 
Well deserved Gediminas Gaidelis! Keep the flow on!
 
Matej Isak
When I told people the price $7500 USD excl tax (NZ$9,995/pr incl GST), they could not believe it, Some said they thought it was US$30,000 excl tax. Now if that's not excellent value for the money, I don't know what is.
Alex G.- HiFiALEX

SUMMARY: Having spent almost 3 months with the Figaro M speakers, I was very sad to part with them. Their excellent design and construction, their natural and balanced sound brought me hours of enjoyment of music. They allowed me to rediscover albums and performances I thought I knew well.  
Loudspeaker market is overcrowded, but I can honestly say that in terms of performance and value for the money they are very tough to beat. Sure you could find better sounding speakers, but they will cost a lot more, yet will not have some of the unique features that Figaro speakers offer, such as choice of 17 beautiful finishes as well as "Stealth" grille. So if you are looking to upgrade your speakers and considering models in under US$10K price category, Figaro M are highly recommended. You will be getting a lot for your money with performance that rivals speakers in much higher price categories.

Introduction

 

AudioSolutions loudspeakers have been on my radar for a while because of their distinct looks. But being from Lithuania, and without North American distribution (until very recently), it was impossible for me to experience them in person. As luck would have it, an opportunity soon presented itself. Gediminas Gaidelis, the chief designer and founder of AudioSolutions, contacted me through this blog to ask me if I were attending Munich High End 2018. Sadly, I could not go, but my good friend Jonathan of Sonic Artistry was going. I quickly put them in touch with each other and the rest was history. Jonathan absolutely loved the sound of the Figaro line of speakers in Munich.

 

 

 
Munich High End 2018

Munich High End 2018

 

 
 
3/4

 

Soon after, three Figaro models arrived in Toronto - M in Marine Blue finish, L in Burgundy Rain and the massive XL in Gold Linen. A few days later Figaro M were in my living room and ready to spill their secrets.

 

 

 

Design and construction

 

Figaro M loudspeakers are a 3-way design with one 2.5 cm Mini-Horn loaded silk dome tweeter and waveguide ER (Extra Rigid) paper cone drivers (2 x 18.3 cm woofers, 1 x 15.2 midrange). The rest of specifications are:

 

Dimensions (HxWxD) : 1120 mm x 272 mm x 470 mm; 44.1 x 10.7 x 18.5 in

Weight : 41 kg/90 lbs each

Sensitivity : 91.5 dB @ 2.83V 1 m

Nominal power handling : 140 W RMS

Maximum unclipped power handling : 280 W;

Impedance : nominal 4,0 Ohms

Crossover frequency : 400 Hz; 4000 Hz

Frequency response (in-room environment) : 32-25000 Hz

 

Figaro M cabinets use back ported Self-Locking design developed in-house for improved sound quality. The cabinet joints trickled down from AudioSolutions' top of the line Vantage 5th Anniversary series. The key in eliminating unwanted vibrations is to combine materials with different resonance properties so that they damp each other. The simplest way to do this is to use materials of different thickness or make a sandwich of different materials. AudioSolutions did both. The thickness of the Figaro cabinet varies from 18mm up to 50mm in different areas, and starting from the middle of the speaker the whole back part is made from sandwich materials. They went one step further than that. They modelled every surface of the speaker and made vibration analysis. The Self-Locking joints design is the result of the analysis. The key concept here is that all surfaces act as one big sandwich dampening each other out. This results in bass that is not boomy, but fast and tight. Mini-horn tweeter, which is used in all AudioSolutions speakers, was introduced to reduce tweeter sharpness at higher volumes. A slightly smaller than usual tweeter size was chosen to provide faster response and lower distortion.

 

 

 

Figaro towers come with height adjustable feet. Minimalistic design comes in 17 different finishes. You can view them in my earlier blog entry. Build quality as well as quality of the materials and finishes is superb!

 
5

5

 

 
 
5/6

 

The entire Figaro line (B, C, S, M, L and XL) was in development for 6 years to replace the older and more expensive Rhapsody line, which was in production since the company's inception in 2011. All speakers are hand made and assembled in-house in Vilnius, Lithuania with special attention to strict quality control.

 

As Jonathan and I unpacked the speakers and installed them, I was very much intrigued by another unique feature of the Figaro line - the "Stealth" grille system. It's a unique technical solution where each speaker has two detachable front baffles which are different in looks (one with protective cloth and the other without) but share the same geometry. The manufacturer claims that the same geometry of front baffle means exactly the same power response. According to them, cloth rarely interacts with sound waves because wavelengths even at high frequencies are much longer than thickness of cloth fibre. Yet, I did hear a bit of difference between the grilles and ultimately preferred using cloth-less grilles.

 

 

 

 

Sound and performance

 

Over the course of 3 months, I have used Figaro M to listen to all kinds of music with 3 different amplifiers; 

  • Marantz NR-1402 AVR (solid state, 70 wpc)

  • THÖRESS F2A11 Stereo Integrated Amplifier (vacuum tubes, 6 wpc)

  • Luxman L-509X integrated amplifier (solid state, 220 wpc; review availablehere)

Each provided its own distinct signature, yet the speakers had common characteristics with all 3 - very natural and uncoloured midrange and highs), plenty of details, great imaging and well defined sound stage. Bass performance varied, obviously, my favourite being provided by Luxman pairing. Luxman gave ample bass that was tight and focused, while with Marantz it was more relaxed.

 

Bass with the THÖRESS depended on music. With very challenging musical pieces, like Shostakovich symphonies, it was not up to par. But as I quickly learned, THÖRESS is absolutely superb for jazz and acoustical music with or without vocals. Due to Figaro M's high sensitivity, THÖRESS  had no problem driving them. Playing jazz, provided absolutely superb holographic imaging, which is the signature of all THÖRESS amplifiers. You have to hear it to believe it, but trust me, it is amazing!

 

 
THORESS

THORESS

 

THORESS

THORESS

 

 
 
5/5

 

Playing acoustic guitar performances, specifically Nils Lofgren's "Acoustic Live" or Mark Lanegan's "Imitations", was pure joy. In both instances, I could hear every single pick of a string, fingers moving up and down the strings, with plenty of notes decay. Vocals were natural and warm, pronunciation of each word was heard clearly and without any distortion or sibilance.

 

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Actually the very first album I played after connecting the speakers was Vanessa Fernandez "Use Me". Even with my Marantz I immediately noticed how natural and involving the sound was. I was completely unprepared for it and sat quietly for a while, lost in the music and the moment of revelation. But the best was yet to come!

 

Next I played Norwegian folk/jazz album "Quiet Winter Night" by Hoff Ensemble and the speakers just disappeared! Playing their latest album "Polarity" provided the same result.

 

cover
 
cover1
 
 

In my conversation with Gediminas about my first impressions, he said that was the exact intention with combination of the wavelength drivers and mini-horn tweeters.

 

A few weeks later, after giving the speakers plenty of hours to burn in, first with Marantz and then with the THÖRESS, I held a demo session for members of theGreater Toronto Area Audiophile club, as well as other local audiophiles. We played all kinds of music (jazz, classical, opera, blues, world, hard rock and heavy metal) in various formats (vinyl, CD, CD quality and HiRes FLAC, as well as streaming from TIDAL). Everyone enjoyed the sound and the performance of the Figaro M, remarking how natural and balanced they sounded, how pleasant they were to listen to. It was never harsh and never fatiguing. We listened to them for hours without any issues.

 

Of course, not everyone prefers this kind of European speaker sound. Some like the absolutely precise sound of speakers like Magico. Those people may not enjoy the Figaros. It's all about personal preference. Personally, this is my kind of speaker.

 

When I told people the price ($7500 USD, $8500 CAD), they could not believe it, Some said they thought it was $30,000. Now if that's not excellent value for the money, I don't know what is.

 

Yet, the biggest surprise and even more enjoyable listening were still ahead, when I paired the speakers with the Luxman L-509X integrated amplifier, courtesy ofAudio by Mark Jones

 

 

Due to the ample power (220 wpc) and refined Japanese sound, everything I played with this combination was absolutely amazing. Especially the explosive dynamics, which were revealed when I subjected the system to the ultimate test by playing various movements from some Shostakovich symphonies. Allow me to quote from that review:

 

"But my absolute favourite is Symphony No. 10 performed by Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons (Deutsche Grammophon ‎– 479 5059). 

While playing all these, I really cranked it up to push the system to the limits. And I must say it performed wonderfully. The sound was fast and very dynamic without a single negative issue. Previously, when I played Symphony No. 10 using my Marantz AVR and the same AudioSolutiions Figaro M, the sound was severely lacking, with lacklustre dynamics and the whole performance felt lifeless in the entire frequency range. But with the Luxman it truly came to life and just exploded in my living room. There was no distortion nor any kind of clipping even at very high volumes. It did sound like I had an entire orchestra  right in front of me. Plenty of frequency extension on both ends of the spectrum, with excellent bass control. It did not sound boomy or loose, but instead it was tight and very well textured. All instruments were clearly defined within the sound stage, which was deep and wide and provided plenty of ambience of the Boston Symphony Hall, where this performance was recorded."

 

This excellent performance was possible not only due to the Luxman, but to Figaro M themselves and the overall combination of these components. It speaks volumes to the capabilities of these excellent speakers and their value for the money.

 

Of course my review would not be complete with some notes on the performance of the speakers playing hard rock and metal. It is always challenging playing this kind of music due to its nature and often less than stellar recording quality. So for my listening tests, I carefully chose the albums to play.

 

My first choice was "Rock & Roll Machine" by the legendary Canadian power trio Triumph (Attic ‎– LAT 1036). Properly recorded, it sounded fantastic in all aspects - plenty of deep punchy bass, clear and detailed midrange and extended highs. The songs themselves are excellent too, of course. It's too bad the band was often overlooked and overshadowed by the other Canadian trio - Rush.

 

My next selection was Ayreon's latest album "The Source" on double vinyl (Music Theories Recordings ‎– MTR 7515 1, Mascot Label Group ‎– MTR 7515 1). Arjen Anthony Lucassen has always paid attention to the production quality of his albums and "The Source" is no exception. Powerful rhythm section, sweeping keyboard and guitar solos and soaring vocals combined with excellent melodies were reproduced exceptionally well by the Figaro M. By its nature, this type of music seems compressed, with so many instruments playing at the same time. But the speakers managed to eliminate this problem and every instrument was detailed and distinct. 

 

The most challenging metal release I played was Dragonlord's new album "Dominion" (Spinefarm Records ‎– spine712762). It's a symphonic black metal project by the legendary guitarist and founder of the thrash titans Testament, Eric Peterson. The music here is even more complex and compressed, with multiple tracks overlaid on top of each other. But it is recorded well and the Figaros were up to the challenge and provided plenty of enjoyment.

 

Conclusion and final thoughts

 

Having spent almost 3 months with the Figaro M speakers, I was very sad to part with them. Their excellent design and construction, their natural and balanced sound brought me hours of enjoyment of music. They allowed me to rediscover albums and performances I thought I knew well.  

 

As the last note, I must mention that I also experienced Figaro XL at Sonic Artistry Aurora. They were driven by soulution 311 stereo amp, brand new 525 preamp, with Dohmann Helix 2 turntable and the amazing DS Audio DS 002 optical cartridge as analog source. As much as I loved Figaro M, Figaro XL simply blew me away! Very detailed sound with precise imaging, excellent instrument separation, deep and wide sound stage and lots of ambience. When Ed played for me Black Sabbath's debut album, it's like I was hearing it for the first time. If you wish to audition the XL, do not hesitate to contact Ed or Jonathan at Sonic Artistry. I'd like to thank them both for providing me Figaro M speakers for this review.

 

Associated equipment:

 

Marantz NR-1402 AVR

THÖRESS F2A11 Stereo Integrated Amplifier

Luxman L-509X integrated amplifier

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon turntable

Ortofon 2M Red cartridge

Gold Note PH-10 phono stage

Gold Note DS-1000 DAC and streamer

Denon DVD-3800 DVD player

Sony TC-WE635 double cassette deck

Bluesound Node 2 streamer

PSB Stratus Bronze speakers

KirmussAudio speaker cables

Transparent and EnKlein interconnects

BIS Audio power cables and power bar/surge protector

The AudioSolutions 023F are thoroughly synergistic and symbiotic, harmonious and complete. It's a real "dream set" that can be recommended to anyone who appreciates beautifully sounding music. I assure you that you will love this Lithuanians immediately
Stereo and Colourful - Underground
Sound impressions
I made a listening session in a room with an area of ​​about 30 m2. The comparative amplifiers are transistor Hegel H160,  The speakers are Pylon Diamond 25 and Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand. 
 
The first felt feature of the Italian-Lithuanian tandem is its unforced freedom of playing and the excellent naturalness of the sound. You can not feel any increase or blurring of tones, you do not hear any excessive sharpening or aggression. There is full harmony and first-class balance here. The sound is exactly what it should be - strong and expansive, but balanced and emphasizing tonal subtleties. It is organic and coherent. The second very pleasant feature of the described set is complementarity, complement and saturation of the message supported by excellent volatility and agile lightness. The message is characterized by high caloricity and ardent tangibility, which is manifested not only by the high voicing, but also the carnal sensuality of the sound. For these are cultural and sophisticated. Refined. Yes, it is possible to point out a set of light distancing and sometimes not very extensive offensiveness, but you can not deny him the first-rate plasticity and soundness of the sound. the precision and faithfulness of the sound are phenomenal. In other words, the Lithuanian-Italian set focuses on imaging the beauty of music, showing its natural attributes such as melodic, tangible and expressive, emphasizing the advantages of tone and tone color, and far-reaching detail and tonal depth are in the further place (which does not mean that the set can not reveal the piece and show the resonance of details, because it can, but this is not the main accent here!). It is hard not to admire such a sophisticated sound substance - from the very first beats of the listening session.
 
Okay, I'm overjoyed with the raptures and elation, now it's time for specifics. How is this game set? The general expression of the sound is dense, fleshy and saturated, but light - aerated. The diameter is essential, but at the same time very clear and detailed. The tested duo plays a very bold, wide and compact middle band, building a direct and credible first plan, because the major part of the show concentrates here. In turn, the low tones are bold and expansive; they are also well controlled and springy. It is not a bold, hard and blocky (or showy) sound, but provides good consistency and consistency - substantiality and corporeality. Nevertheless, the offensive of the strongest beats is somewhat softened and rounded, which results in some kind of velvetiness and silkyness - even at high volume levels. For this reason, the sound produced by the amplifier and transmitted by the speakers is always very physiological and pleasant. One hundred percent attractive and not tiring. Hedonistic.
 
Overture loudspeakers stands out very positively among many other constructions. Because it is characterized by fantastic vividness and communicativeness, freedom and clarity, expressiveness and obviousness. It is characterized by full harmony of sound as well as mutual synergy. Such sound has all racial and full-blooded qualities. Consummated.
 
Special microdynamics also pay attention to; in this area there is a lot going on, sound subcutaneously bursting with hidden potential. This set has a great willingness to play and does it in an unrestricted way - on "full drive". At the same time, he is deprived of any aristocratic manner - he does not ditch his nose. Live everything that is contained and hidden in the recording. Just..
 
Conclusions

The AudioSolutions Overture O203F are loudspeakers characterized by exquisite box and woodwork, beautiful finish and attention to every detail. 
The class itself is a material masking frame, which is exchanged with the entire front. Lithuanian speakers offer a massive and full sound with a fancy cord. It is a committed and energetic message, and at the same time precise and credible. In addition, Overture perfectly determine the timbre, so that the instruments and vocals are imbued with a colorful glow. It's a refined and coherent sound.
 
In conclusion. AudioSolutions 023F are thoroughly synergistic and symbiotic, harmonious and complete. It's a real "dream set" that can be recommended to anyone who appreciates beautifully sounding music. I assure you that you will love this Lithuanians immediately! 
 
The Audio Solutions Figaro M is a fabulous sounding speaker that managed to excite my soul every time I sat down to listen to my favorite tunes.
Suave Kajko

Conclusion: The Audio Solutions Figaro M is a fabulous sounding speaker that managed to excite my soul every time I sat down to listen to my favorite tunes.  It performed very well with all genres of music and paired equally well with all the amplifiers that I tried it with.  It’s a good sized speaker that requires a decent sized room to fit into, both sonically and visually.  I personally enjoy its textured industrial finish and color glossy panels.  If you’re looking for an honest performing loudspeaker with a distinctive design  – I definitely recommend you give this one a good listen.  And if this model doesn’t fit in your space, or budget, then check out the smaller Figaro S model at NZ$9,500/pr incl GST. 
Well done Audio Solutions!

REVIEW: It’s always fun to learn about a new audio manufacturer, especially one that manages to impress you with the performance and quality of its products.  I first learned about Audio Solutions from Canadian high-end audio retailer Sonic Artistry who offered to lend me a pair of the company’s Figaro M speakers at the end of 2018.  Founded by speaker engineer Gediminas Gaidelis, Audio Solutions is a high-end loudspeaker manufacturer based in Vilnius, Lithuania.  A lot of very interesting high-end audio companies have sprouted in Eastern Europe over the last decade – it’s a part of the world that we’ve been paying closer attention to lately when it comes to audio.  Perhaps that’s why Warsaw, Poland has also become host to one of the largest high-end shows in Europe.

Today, Audio Solutions offers five attractively styled product ranges that go under the names Vantage Classic, Vantage 5th Anniversary, Guimbarde, Figaro and Overture.  In the spring of 2019, Audio Solutions will add a sixth line, called Virtuoso, which will sit Visually, I love the styling of the Vantage 5th Anniversary series the most, perhaps because these speakers look like they would fit perfectly into a sci-fi movie like TRON.  Sonic Artistry’s owners Jonathan and Ed promised for the Figaro M to deliver a stunning performance to price ratio, but of course they would say that – after all they are a retailer for the brand.  As a reviewer, I hear such promises all the time so naturally I take such statements with a grain of salt.  There is only one way to judge a loudspeaker: you have to give it a good listen.

But first, let’s examine the range of products offered by this company.  The Audio Solutions Figaro M loudspeaker hails from company’s third-from-the-top series in terms of performance and price.  There are four floor standing models in this series – the Figaro S ($5,750 US), Figaro M ($7,500 US), Figaro L ($10,000 US) and the headlining Figaro XL ($15,000).  The series also includes the Figaro B bookshelf speaker ($3,250 US) as well as the Figaro C center channel ($2,500 US).  The inclusion of a center channel of course indicates that the company intends these speakers for use in both 2-channel music systems and home cinema setups.  All the prices I mentioned are for the standard finish, and like most high-end loudspeaker manufacturers today, Audio Solutions’ speakers can be ordered in many custom options – in this case there are 17 custom side-panel colors to choose from.

Product Description

It’s a little difficult to judge from the pictures on the website but the Figaro M is a pretty good sized speaker, measuring 1120 mm H x 272 mm W x 470 mm D (or 44.1” x 10.7” x 18.5”).  Since it is rear-ported, it’ll perform best when placed at least a foot or two away from the back wall.  My 12 x 20 foot room was just barely large enough for this speaker and I suspect that giving it more space would allow it to breathe a little better and further improve its sound.  Styling-wise, the Figaro series offers a somewhat industrial look because of its textured, flat dark grey/black finish.  Each side wall of the cabinet is decorated with a glossy panel which covers roughly half the side wall.  These panels can be ordered in a choice of 17 colors/finishes, and include some very attractive 3D textured finishes.  The only trouble is that unless you place these speakers in a large enough room, where you’ll be able to see the sides, in most rooms, you’ll likely mostly see the front of the cabinet and hence won’t be able to enjoy the beauty of the custom side panels.

From a technical standpoint, the Figaro M offers a 3-way design, with the midrange driver playing a slightly wider range of frequencies than more traditional designs, to reduce crossover distortion in this most-critical region of the frequency range.  The 3-way design approach means that no crossovers sit where human hearing is most sensitive, in the 800 – 2000 Hz range. Sonically, this allows Audio Solutions speakers to achieve a cleaner, more detailed midrange sound.  From top to bottom, the front baffle houses a 15.2 cm ER paper cone mid-range driver, a 2.5 cm mini-horn loaded silk dome tweeter, and two 18.3 cm ER paper cone bass drivers.  Its key specifications include: a frequency range of 32-25,000 Hz, sensitivity of 91.5 dB, and an impedance of 4 ohms.  The cabinets offer an in-house developed self-locking design which promises an improved sonic clarity and performance.  The Figaro M comes with a unique “stealth” grille.  To be more precise, it actually comes with two detachable grilles: one that blends perfectly with the front baffle and allows you to see all the drivers; and one that is a traditional cloth grille.  Regardless of which one you choose, the Figaro M is designed to deliver precisely the same sound.

With a price of NZ$13,500/pr incl GST the Figaro M speaker sits in a market that’s flooded with a lot of great sounding / great looking speakers from both major and boutique brands.  The competition is stiff in this space – there’s no question about that.   So how well did this speaker perform?

General Sonic Impressions

My initial impression when listening to the Figaro M speakers was that they offered a very well balanced sound.  The ever critical midrange was spot on.  The vocals sounded natural and palpable, while instruments in the midrange played with great clarity, detail and a natural timbre.  The high frequencies played with an excellent resolution and crispness that you would expect from real instruments.  And at the bottom end, there was more than enough punch to satisfy those that like recordings loaded with great bass lines.

During the three months that the Figaro M speakers spent at my house, I had the chance to pair them with different electronics – including my Jeff Rowland Continuum S2 integrated amp, the Unison Research Sinfonia Tube integrated amp, as well as the ModWright Instruments LS 100 tube preamp / KWA 100 amp.  All of the components were plugged into my Nordost QB8 power distribution box and wired up with Nordost Tyr 2 cables.

Listening Tests

During my in-depth tests, I listened to a long list of digital files, streamed music and dove deep into my record collection.  I began with a few recently released tracks like “Relentless” and “People’s Champ” from Arkells, “Ready to Let Go” from Cage the Elephant, and “Lo/Hi” from The Black Keys.  The Figaro M immediately filled my listening room with an intoxicating energy, placing a great big grin on my face.  It wasn’t long before I danced my way out of the armchair and broke out into a full body dance.  The Arkells’ tracks teleported me back to the live show I recently watched in Toronto, bring back the memories of the dark stadium filled with dancing, singing, alcohol-fueled fans.  The Figaro M speakers effortless performance certainly recreated the memory of the concert, and that is definitely a great personality characteristic of a speaker.  The tracks from Cage the Elephant and The Black Keys were equally as engaging – I can’t wait to hear the full albums from these bands when they come out.

With the dancing out of my system, I cued up a fine selection of classical music and I reached for my (imaginary) conducting baton.  André Rieu is a Dutch violinist and conductor, responsible for creating the Johann Strauss Orchestra, who presents classical and waltz music, combined with a sprinkling of humor, to the masses with incredible success.  He is the “rock star” of these music genres, filling stadiums around the globe with fans, much like the biggest rock and pops stars of today.  The Figaro M speakers painted an expansive soundstage with great dynamic energy while playing his albums.  The separation between the sections of the orchestra and instruments was excellent, even when the music reached its crescendos. I was able to easily tune myself into any section of the orchestra when I chose to do so. Of course, just as importantly, the recording as a whole was presented with a great cohesiveness, everything presented with perfect timing and pace.  Instruments sounded lively and played with a natural timbre and detailed textures.  High frequencies were presented with a high level of resolution, yet they never tired my ears.  The Figaro M was capable of excellent sound staging with these types of music.  Overall, classical music was nothing shy of a great pleasure to listen to on the Figaro M.

So far, so good, but a great speaker has to deliver a convincing vocal performance.  To test this, I turned to various tracks from Florence and the Machine, Johnny Cash, Jack White, and the Sounds of Anarchy soundtrack.  Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine has a remarkable vocal range – and one of the greatest voices in the world of music in my opinion.  I love listening to her MTV Unplugged album, and love playing it for friends.  Some of the tracks send chills down my spine every time I hear them.  The Figaro M was more than up to the task of faithfully reproducing Welch’s voice, with a passion and emotion that had me craving more.  Every nuance and quirk of her voice was presented clearly.  The Figaro M captured my attention and wouldn’t let go – I couldn’t break away from this performance and ended up listening to the whole album.

Where the Figaro M definitely outperformed my Raidho speakers was in the low frequency department.  This speaker dove deep and sang the bass notes very cleanly and I enjoyed every part of it.  Putting its through its paces, I listened to several albums from bands like BORNS, Milky Chance, Florence and the Machine, Prodigy, Collective Soul and the TRON: Legacy soundtrack.  With the various BORNS tracks, the bass was fast and very well articulated.  “The Grid” on TRON: Legacy starts out with a gentle electronic beat and builds up in intensity until it explodes like a star going supernova, energizing the room as it washes over the listening space. Wow – that’s all I can say – the Figaro M speakers did a fantastic job here.

During the time the Figaro M spent at my house, I was lucky enough to also listen to its larger brother, the Figaro L at NZ$18,995/pr incl GST, at the Sonic Artistry store.  In this system, the speakers were connected to much higher caliber equipment from Soulution Audio.  As much as I enjoyed what I was hearing in my own room, the performance of this system was several notches up on the “sonic ladder”.  This system offered a dramatic increase in sonic details, the soundstage was significantly larger and better defined and the overall presentation was even more energetic.  I am well aware of just how capable the Soulution Audio components are – I’ve heard them on several occasions and quickly fell in love with their sound.  What really had me impressed though, was the performance of the Figaro L speakers and their ability to relay all the musical information extracted from the music by electronics of this caliber, something that is no easy feat.  This demonstrated that in some ways, the Figaro L was able to punch well above its price point.

Conclusion

The Audio Solutions Figaro M is a fabulous sounding speaker that managed to excite my soul every time I sat down to listen to my favorite tunes.  It performed very well with all genres of music and paired equally well with all the amplifiers that I tried it with.  It’s a good sized speaker that requires a decent sized room to fit into, both sonically and visually.  I personally enjoy its textured industrial finish and color glossy panels. If you’re looking for an honest performing loudspeaker with a distinctive design  – I definitely recommend you give this one a good listen.  And if this model doesn’t fit in your space, or budget, then check out the smaller Figaro S model at NZ$9,5000/pr incl GST. 
Well done Audio Solutions!

Gediminas, talks about some of the reason on what prompted Overture.

"Overture, the beginning of something more exquisite. The range consists of five models: one centre channel, one monitor and three floorstanders. We developed a special type of protective grill which unlike conventional solutions doesn't distort the sound. Each speaker comes with two detachable front panels, one of which is cloth covered. You get exactly the same sound, tonal balance and overall clarity with or without these cloth-covered versions."

"The tweeters of this range are loaded with a deep waveguide. This raises their sensitivity in a critical region and unloads the drivers themselves to net measurably lower THD. All Overture models are available in an expanded array of exciting finishes - gloss colours, textured gloss never seen before and classic veneers, all protected by a scratch-resistant coating." 

"Naturally the first reason was that I felt how during these past few years, I'd gained knowledge and better tools to make a far superior speaker. The Euphony line played and was balanced extremely well—we even received Fairaudio.de's Product of the Year award—but I felt that I could push it a lot further. To do so, I couldn't simply design a better crossover. It had to be a far more complete complex makeover. I started with computer analysis and blueprints. First I wanted to change the basic enclosure concept. I wanted higher rigidity without excess weight to ease assembly for my employees. We modelled enclosures with modern software to identify the bad spots in our old enclosures. Then we came up with the notion of a self-locking cabinet where all parts would slide into each other, then lock in. Such a concept exhibits great stability and once assembled, becomes monolithic. Weight increased 35% compared to the previous models but rigidity by more than 100%. That was clearly audible. I also exchanged the ScanSpeak tweeter for a custom SEAS silk dome. This change was minor but essential to work with our miniature horn loading. That small horn helps a lot. The Euphony models had small problems with high SPL. The tweeter would start to distort near the crossover region due to low sensitivity and a membrane that was too soft. When loaded with our mini horn, the tweeter in this critical area now has 5dB more sensitivity and lower distortion. The Peerless mid/woofer remains unchanged from the Euphony line. But a different crossover, more precise measurements and stiffer enclosures allowed me to push the Overture performance close to our Rhapsody range. 

"The second reason for the new line was that I felt a bit ashamed about our entry range not looking as good as subsequent models. Finally end users and distributors pushed me for grilles. It was a very hard decision since I am very skeptical about grilles and their inevitable sonic degradation. But finally I agreed that cheaper speakers must have grilles because of children, cats etc. So I started to think about how to make a frameless grill because frames alone distort the sound with a high level of early reflections. We made some conventional trials, then decided to change the entire concept. We arrived at a detachable baffle, then covered it with acoustically transparent cloth. The customer gets two baffle pairs, one with and one without cloth. Measurements prove identical performance. We even demonstrated our speakers at various shows where one had the cloth grill but not the other. Nobody ever heard a difference between the left and right channel. Where the Euphony was a very good line for the price, Overture is a very big leap forward. Finally I'd like to mention our variety of finishes. Usually affordable speakers come only in black or white. We decided to give people 13 finishes to choose from. This raises domestic friendliness. Due to improved manufacturing technologies, we can make any colour very fast so there is no big delay on special orders. Our stock finishes include 7 options for the same price: white, ivory, red and black in high gloss and natural, stained and dark oak in soft-touch matte. For an additional 10%, we have exotic rotted zebrano, matured oak and entirely new textured black or white finishes with a lovely 3D effect. For an additional 20%, we finally have dark Olive and Ebony in high gloss." 

Testimonials

Thanks for your help and patience. It was a long haul to get to where we are.

Hi Terry

Thought it was time to give an update on the:

Antipodes Audio EX music server
Ayon Spirit V tube integrated amp

Audio Solution Figaro S speakerts

 

The reason I haven’t done so sooner is very simple: I have just been enjoying listening to the music and hearing the differences as the system opens up.

 

For not having an ideal positional setup, no isolation equipment, racks or standalone DAC (everything sits on 20mm marble slabs) the system has no right to sound as musical, detailed, open  and wide as it does. I know that previous systems I’ve had would struggle under the same conditions. For the range of music styles that I listen too, the system manages them with ease.

 

The Audio Solutions Figaro S speakers are a genuine surprise.

Beautifully open, communicative and (the surprise)  they do not lack for bass. My wife was surprised in that they were bigger than she expected but they have a neat trick in that the rear half of the side panels is reflective. We have wooden panels in our old house, so by getting the speaker with the xiralic brown finish, the rear bulk of the speaker has effectively disappeared. Nice.

 

Thanks for your help and patience. It was a long haul to get to where we are.
Now to get some of those missing pieces in place.

 

cheers 
Ross

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