UBIQ Audio

for the connoisseur who knows and appreciates the live sound experience

MODEL ONE - back to the fundamentals of a lively, powerful and dynamic music reproduction
The birth of MODEL ONE is a direct result of Igor Kante's decades long quest for an affordable, relatively compact speaker system of the highest sound quality caliber. Being an avid concertgoer he was mostly disappointed with the sound quality achievable even with very expensive audio gear. He always felt there must be ways to significantly improve the sound quality levels under the typical home conditions. In recent years he re-discovered some of the legendary, classic speaker designs from the past like Altec and Acoustic Research. The listening experiences with these designs were much more reminiscent of the sound he heard at concerts and certainly much more realistic than with the plethora of the modern speakers coming from the high end audio sector. The idea of having the most desirable traits of the old school speaker designs (the authority, dynamics, overall believability) coupled to enhanced  levels of transparency — under one hood, seemed very attractive and finally led to his decision to materialise such speaker under his own brand name.

In the production of the Ubiq Audio Model One speakers., everything is slow paced, hand made and produced  by the means of the boutique manufacturing. Nothing is left to chance and it takes great amount of man hours to complete each speakers pair. All the drivers and crossovers are burn in for at least three days and rechecked before being implemented. Then the initial listening test are performed to ensure the desired voicing. Each speakers have their own dedicated measurements and all the processes are evidenced and stored in the company archives. In the days of fast forward manufacturing Ubiq Audio production is a welcomingly different and inspiring. 

Paul sat down to listen to the UBIQs, it wasn't long before he said, "look at this, I've got goose bumps on my arms, I can't make that happen," if you know Pau, you will know he loves his tube gear and a very specific, certain speaker, he is not often given to praise outside of those, so for him to be so taken by these unique UBIQ speakers driven by Accustic Arts sold state gear says an awful  lot about their wonderful presentation...."

Lifelike dynamics and authority of the sound. Timbre and tonal colours are very natural and the transparency is excellent even at modest listening levels.

Timeless, elegant visual aesthetics based on the customisable finish which fits into every environment.

The loudspeaker enclosure is hand-build from Okoume wood. Point-to-point wired crossover. Specially designed custom wave guide for the tweeter.

Musically involving sound that creates a genuinely chilling con-cert-like atmosphere at home.




Ubiq Model One special Gold Edition speakers is coming
Mono & Stereo
Most of the Munich High-End Audio Show 2015 visitors missed the exclusive presentation of Ubiq Audio Model One speakers at the remote location of Sheraton Arrabellapark hotel for selected distributors and dealers. Seeing in person few different finishes I was mesmerised with the aura and aesthetics of black piano version. Here is a closer look at this particular model in all its glory. 
Special version of Ubiq Model One Gold Edition is coming soon to Mono & Stereo for in depth test and review. And yes... These speakers sounds as good as they look and they intrigue with its technical approach. Already signed as another excitement of the year. Stay tuned for more soon...
I have only given the Mono & Stereo Editor Choice award twice.....UBIQ's potency entrapped me into the listening that left me with even less sleep - my wife rarely comments…. she was very moved and asked me, “You’re not returning them right?"
Matej Isak
The Ubiq Model One speakers represent a completely new breed of transducers, connecting the past and the future with a number of apparently unique sonic virtues and attributes. Their full-bodied sound, which is coupled to their exemplary resolution and transparency abilities, finally brings back the joy and excitement into the listening sessions - which had almost vanished from the high-end audio circles. Most speakers are seemingly after transparency/resolution and they hardly show any substance/authority but the Model One proves to be an exception - and a most welcome one. Their “Time machine” ability to shift minutely from one musical era to another while maintaining and preserving the SOUL of musical performances is both highly captivating and also mind-blowing.

The Model One speakers show class and elegance boldly. They are a stand-alone piece of art that fits homogeneously into any living space be it traditional or modern, minimalistic and they radiate the joy of listening profoundly.

I`ve rarely stumbled across such a company`s first born and complete product.

Vitanda est improba siren desidia (One must avoid that wicked temptress, Laziness) - Horace Vestis virus reddit (The clothes make the man) - Quintilianus. 

These two proverbs suit in the best manner my introduction of the Ubiq Audio Model Speakers. They are the product of a few years extensive work and lifetime experience combined in a very special team; Igor Kante, Janez Mesarič and Miro Krajnc. Each of them contributed their own expertise, know-how and passion in the creation of these stand-out loudspeakers. The Model One speakers speak for themselves and mesmerize one instantly with both aesthetic and sonic appeal.

Even a slightest glance at the pictures and a few notes` strike will let you know what I’m pointing at. These loudspeakers hide their complexity and potent musical impact under the elegant, stylish - timeless shell. 

Before getting into details, let me say a few words about their creators. 

Although the fundamental acoustic and product design development phase was worked out initially by Miro Krajnc and Janez Mesarič, Igor is the founding father and mastermind behind the Ubiq Audio Model One speakers. He took immense effort to find the right combination of electronics, building materials and final design clues in creating and finalizing the speakers. Both sound performance and design were refined painstakingly by his efforts and in constant collaboration with both Miro and Janez. 

Janez Mesarič is a renowned independent industrial designer and founder of the Design Studio Mashoni which also takes care of Ubiq Audio’s visual identity. He works as a Brand Consultant and Creative Director and his work has been exhibited at numerous international exhibitions and featured in many major design publications and newspapers worldwide including Domus, Wallpaper, I.D. Magazine, Icon, etc. He has been recognized internationally and awarded with both the BIO19 award and I.D. design award.

Igor knew that in order to create the speakers he had envisioned he would have to consider making a completely original speaker from ground zero. With this aim he joined forces with Miro Krajnc, the loudspeaker expert and designer/owner of the SoulSonic speakers. Miro Krajnc’s profound knowledge and more than 25 years of extended R & D in the field of high-end speaker building proved to be a Godsend. He challenged himself painstakingly through every possible speaker concept, both theoretically and practically. Since these two men have quite similar views on sound reproduction, a common language was quickly found. Igor presented his vision and requirements to Miro who advised on the acoustic concept, driver selection and crossover development, but they worked closely throughout the entire development phase. 

The task of converting an electrical signal into an acoustic one is anything but trivial. Upon entering the loudspeaker, the signal is split (unless it is a single wide range driver equipped speaker) into two, three or more ways. The aim is to reproduce the complete musical content as well as possible and this, as evidence has shown, is an impossible task for a single driver trying to reproduce a sufficiently wide frequency range, properly balanced with enough dynamics and natural resolution; the end result is just too crippled to be reminiscent of a live event. More drivers are needed for a decent result, but then another question appears: Is a two-way speaker up to the task or do we need a three-way speaker? Since the whole musical spectrum is divided basically into low, mid and high frequencies, the latter seems an optimal solution but there are always some compromises involved. Still, with the experience of the live sound and using it as a reference, the priorities can be set quickly and this is exactly what the Ubiq Audio team did.


The first working prototypes were made 2 years ago. During that time, the Ubiq team made a concerted effort to refine and fine tune them. Igor Kante is a perfectionist and didn’t want to cut any corners. Just a peek at his den that spots a dedicated 85m2 listening room tells all. This man’s mindset operates on a completely different level. He created a real underground cave, where night and day-time research, testing and listening can happen.

Igor`s goal was clear. He wanted to produce speakers for the true music aficionados and music lovers. As Ubiq Audio needed no instant cashing-in from this project the guided R & D led to an end product standing on its own, with a design and sound performance above most similar dynamic speakers on the market. It was a quest for the perfect musical transducers that reflect music avidly, as close as possible to how it sounds in reality, and the Model One loudspeakers resulted in something different and unique…

Up to some level things can be measured, but everything cannot be done without the good old traditional listening process. As mentioned above, technically the speakers were ready two years ago to go into production. Yet, the rest of the time was spent on fine tuning and voicing speakers (with the great help of Miran Mesesnel) to a level that could ignite that homogeneous feeling of live musical energy that can be experienced live.

The Ubiq Audio Model One is based on the heritage of old school design principles and speaker building wisdom, but using the latest advancements in driver and enclosure materials. The Ubiq Audio team doesn’t believe in one driver, full range speakers; for them at least a three-way speaker is mandatory. 

Too often we hear about the so-called breakthroughs and industry innovation in high-end audio, but a quick glance and peak into, for example, the Avalon Acoustic loudspeakers` shapes, clearly reveals H.F. Olson inspired designs and direct inspiration. And the list goes on and on.

From the first idea sketch the Model One was planned to be an all-rounder loudspeaker that is musical and can provide the same level of audio reproduction across all musical genres. This was the first strict requirement! The second one was a seamless blending into any domestic environment with the highest norm of stylish aesthetics. 

Janez started from ground zero. Clean slate! It was his first speaker project and this proved to be a Godsend and a winning combination. The design outcome is fresh and unseen. He managed to translate his recognized expert industrial design language into a product that envisions both timeless elegance and contemporary statement. The horn eye, strings, decorative and protecting grill, Aluminum top and bottom, glossy side panels, textile back covering etc., the combination of all these radiates with a fresh, first seen design concept. Über refined frontals connect seamlessly with the glossy finished side panels, the mat textile back and aluminum top coverings, that are all hand brushed and diamond cut (inner top and bottom insert) on the outer side. This combination of two different finishes recalls the luxurious feeling of high end Swiss, hand -polished watches. It ensures quality and luxury. 

Igor has spent all of his life surrounded by Avantgarde Acoustic and Sonus Faber products, as a high-end Audio Dealer. He inherited his love for horn speakers from Avantgarde and the beauty of both. Anyone knowing Igor usually agrees with my comment. He’s a Slovenian Lord Byron whose love and passion for fine arts, clothes, music etc, resembles closely the immortal English soul’s Leif motif. With such a deep appreciative nature, he possesses the unique ability to recognize genuine artistic souls and unite them expertly under one roof.


What we witness in the current high-end audio speaker fashion are mostly extremes; speaker designs that favor strongly one or the other aspects of sound reproduction, while losing completely the sense for the musical wholeness and emotional content which are the "sine qua non" of the music itself. 

These are the very things that bothered Igor for years. Every time he got back from a fantastic Concert, his enthusiasm would be highly diminished by the inability of even the VERY expensive “high-end audio” speakers to convey power, drama and emotional content; the majority of them couldn’t provide a sound that would be even remotely reminiscent of the live events. He was sick and tired of the current “high tech” speaker offerings and began rediscovering the past: speakers of yore like the Acoustic Research, Altec Lansing, JBL, etc.

These speakers stem from another era when music reproduction was considered more important than “creative-visual-design-above-everything-else”. The things they have in common are a believable lower midrange/upper bass reproduction coupled to great micro and macro dynamics, but surely they weren`t exactly the last word in transparency. 

Igor knew that in order to get both, he would have to consider making a completely original speaker himself. And the journey began…

In line with the heritage of the Altec A7 and Acoustic Research Model 9 that join the east coast- west coast legendary approach, Igor`s second initial affection started there. When he acquired an Acoustic Research Model 9 I version, Igor`s imagination was lit up and moved him to create something new and different. 

“Acoustic Research were super speakers, but after 20 minutes of loud listening the experience was compromised by the driver compression effects. When you go to a Concert you’re affected by the real musical energy flow.” - Igor Kante.

Energy transfer was something the Ubiq Audio team pushed forward as the main building block and everything around this speaker project had to be subordinate to this particular quality. 

Consequently, design choices led to the implementation of many specific technologies and materials. Model One speakers are completely handmade with an abundance of natural materials being used. A complete wooden enclosure with the specific and guided resonating propensities helped with the creation of a life-like sound signature that enthralls the listener immediately. Many renowned and respected speaker manufacturers still use wood as the building material for a very strong reason and there was no second guessing in regard to the primal speakers’ material with the creation of Model One. 

Model One implements Okoume wood (Aucoumea klaineana) curved in one piece. The Okoume wood differs in thickness when being sourced, so the material for each speaker must be hand selected to match the exact thickness before making further production steps. 

Making the enclosure from Okoume wood is very expensive (three times the price of typical birch wood) and very complex to make. Using some special tooling the four layers of Okoume wood must be joined and pressed together to achieve the required curvature. Only a few speaker manufacturers bend the plywood into a curved shape like this. The Bowers & Wilkins Diamond series are among the few and we all know their hefty price tag.

The Model One comes in three standard colour options of enclosure – black, pearl white or natural Slovenian walnut veneer, all with different aluminium top cover options. But Model One is not limited only to these options – every customer can choose any colour based on their choice.

With the choices of finishes the Model One can stand on its own in the ultra-modern minimalistic home, blend seamlessly with the existing domestic furniture, or compliment any listening space with its stand out aura. 


The Ubiq Audio Model One speakers have no parallel side walls which could cause strong internal reflections. The utmost importance was not pinpointed only to the overall design and cabinet acoustic properties, but also to thoughtful selection of the drivers, crossover parts, speaker binding posts, etc. 

To ensure robustness, a compression driver was chosen from the professional sector (instead of the usual dome tweeter). This unit, besides being robust, is also highly transparent in sound character, but a waveguide (horn) had to be developed for it.

The waveguide horn was calculated by Marko Rajh according to the design proposal set by Miro Krajnc. Marko is Igor’s friend and colleague from the mid-80s, when they were studying at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Ljubljana.

With the waveguide horn design the original plan was to combine the visually stand-out recogniseable “eye” design with great sound performance. The horn was calculated with the primal goal to achieve great efficiency, proper loading, the least possible distortion and controlled dispersion. These qualities assist the larger than usual mid-range unit with its light, feather-like airiness, which always operates practically below the level of audible saturation. 

The mid-range enclosure with a pyramid shape was designed to complement the 8” cone mid-range (neodymium equipped magnet) with pleated suspension. Generally, all the drivers being used in the high-end audio industry use rubber, but this driver suspension consists of textile as was as a rule done it the past. This is costlier for a reason…

The mid-range driver comes from a highly acclaimed Italian company, which has standardized and robotized production. This ensures perfect measurements and minimum tolerances. 

Over dimensioned voice coils on all drivers ensure nearly non-destructible performance. Both paper cone drivers were chosen based on their sound performance. Additionally, the mid-range driver is coated with a special oil coming from a legendary old recipe of Italian origin used in the traditional, artisanal instrument making. 

The Model One crossover parts are connected completely via point-to-point wiring and use Mundorf foil inductors. All capacitors and internal wiring (silver plated copper) come from Jantzen. 

The Ubiq team wanted to differentiate on all points and this is further shown with the selection of damping materials. For dealing with internal resonances and micro vibrations they used eco natural sheep wool with a Certificate and the highest quality damping bitumen plates sourced directly from the high-end car industry. 

As the Model One has a sealed enclosure, it needed high quality matrix screws to ensure longevity and stable performance and absence of unwanted resonances. Removing the grill and the protecting front plate reveals high quality, shiny screws used for this very reason. All screws and nuts are from Wurth, Germany. You really don’t see this very often as these cost money compared to the brand-less ones used widely. 

Ubiq chose the WBT 703 copper binding posts. I really like the quality handling and grip of these. Being in the role of a reviewer, constant changing of cables surely is not the all expected fun but the WBT 703 are designed really cleverly. The Soundcare Superspikes feet took the role of leveling and stability.

The last, but not least, important thing…before the Model One ships out, all the drivers are broken-in for fifty hours and the crossover is fed constantly by pink noise before being inserted inside the speaker hub. 


Here are few of The Model One loudspeaker highlights. These speakers were built primarily to provide the following qualities:
- Natural tone and harmonic structure which gives believability to the sound of instruments and voices
- With the above comes a sense of weight/authority/drama that is simply missing in the majority of current speaker designs
- Excellent micro and macro dynamic responsiveness that breathes life into music
- Hugely reduced compression effects that enable high sound pressure levels (the Model One uses oversized voice coils)
- Excellent transparency and resolution at all listening levels
- Rhythmic upper bass capabilities and good extension in the low bass
- Naturally sized holographic images of instruments and voices instead of the pinpoint miniaturization 
- Optimized for playing in rooms from 25 to 100m2
- The recommended close to the back wall positioning ensures high reproduction quality in most domestic and listening environments
- The mid-range and tweeter can be adjusted +- 1dB (˙the knobs are on the lower part of the front baffle, underneath the front grille)

It’s important to highlight that the Model One speakers are pair to pair identical. This takes enormous time and cost, yet the requested price is actually a bargain. It was Igor`s goal from the start to create speakers that would be something special, musical and different, but still within the reach of many people. 

The Model One represents the real industry standard and shows how products wanting to identify themselves with the high-end label should be designed and executed. 

Of course, these are not even nearly all the qualities the UBIQ Audio team achieved with their Model One speaker but they should give you a taste of what these speakers are all about. 


In Concert business circles the notion of great sound hasn’t changed much throughout the years. Of course, the public address systems are getting better and better each year, but concert venues, due to their size (and corresponding wavelengths), do not suffer from the biggest problem the majority of audiophiles are confronted with when trying to recreate the concert sound atmosphere in their homes; the lack of authority in the most densely packed musical spectrum - the lower mid-range/upper bass region.

In the high-end audio business on the other hand, the notion of great sound has changed a lot over the years. If a live music event is all about power, drama and emotion, then its domestic “counterpart” is, as far as one can see/hear, all about (statistical) information and sound localization. I am well aware that this sounds sarcastic but, sadly, it seems to be true.

The fundamentally important concept of the lower mid-range/upper bass weight/authority/body is mostly ignored, misunderstood or even completely forgotten. The prevailing trends dictate weird loudspeaker forms which encourage designs that laugh in the face of acoustic demands. Of course, visually fresh designs are always welcome, but the order of priorities has changed, resulting in interesting visual sculptures that look impressive but sound anything but impressive - at least to the experienced listeners that are familiar with the live sound.


The Ubiq Audio Model One speaker offers an uncontrived, exceptional musical illusion that is imperturbable in a way that lets you forget about technicalities and simply immerse yourself into listening to the music. 

The way the musical waves interact with the listener enables the instant connection with the musical message. The grand audio illusion created by the Model One loudspeakers allows for an impressive level of soundstage constructional anchor points. This unexpected sound density helps with the translation of harmonic decays and delays, ensuring a lucid insight of a genuine live music feeling. 

Music is essentially energy and as such it must affect the listener with the full scale. When we’re talking about high-end speakers in the true meaning of the word, the listener needs to be touched with the real life, emotional energy impact. Only this abundance of energetic transfer provides the recreation of the grandest illusion of a live event and this is where the Model One mastery shows it in a stand out character - Boldly and proudly. 

With its impressive sound performance that embraces the music reproduction clearly and easily in a highly transparent way, the Model One sways in a chameleon nature, acting as a time machine that from song to song teleports you to any musical era. 

The Model One speakers are among the few products that are bringing back the faith into the high-end audio industry regarding performance, design and value. They are a labor of love and encapsulate the lifelong passion and experience of all three contributing individuals harmonically: Igor, Janez and Miro. 

Many times we are being told about the specific sound being on a reference level but, when we experience it, we realize that what we actually hear is mostly a distorted sound of tiny drivers being mounted in tiny enclosures that cannot really carry the energy needed for the unaltered ultimate sound reproduction. People mistake the sudden harsh peaks (distortions) through high and mid-range drivers for the factual reality and even find them pleasant. This illusion is accepted widely not only by seasoned audiophiles, but also by many distinguished reviewers from our industry. 

From Muddy Waters` enormous vocal thunder strike and lighting fast guitar playing to the finest opera or orchestral music, across the ethane music, to the rock and electronic music, the Model One holds the integrity firmly and steadily. These are the speakers that are designed to play loudly at crazy volumes without breaking down; still, another big virtue is the low level micro and macro level of operation. The music is enjoyable and impactful even at moderate listening levels. 

As a fresh wind breeze of change the Ubiq Audio Model One brings a feather-like lightness, which sways the energy beyond what typical loudspeakers are able to and works more in the domain of horn speakers, but without their usual hubris’s. The compression tweeter in combination with paper cone drivers ensures a one-of-a-kind experience that must be heard to be appreciated. 


Without the music being the main focus of any speaker initial design, how could there be a viable result? These days we’re witnessing a high-end audio industry being swamped with loudspeakers designed straight from computers. Many of these never actually went through the listening test phase. Usually they’re driven by sinus waves before hitting the stores for the last check up and that’s about it. It is senseless to expect musically sounding loudspeakers to come from such a “creative” environment. 

A full scale, fully potent blues record worthy of the best audiophile and musical remarks? Muddy Waters` Folk Singer is a legendary classic which carries immense power and bursting emotional energy unheard with most blues acoustic albums. The Interplay between musicians (including the then quite young Buddy Guy) is hands on captivating and blood boiling. Dynamic bursts and “mojo” mood potency, becomes revealed to the full scale only with selective fine-tuned and balanced high-end audio systems. As much as many are trying to bring a bit more havoc. 

Sam Cooke’s Night Beat was released in August 1963 by RCA Victor and it`s Sam’s twelfth album. Why is it so special? This recording shows how good great music can sound when recorded and produced in the right way. It also reveals a lot about the potency of any speaker. Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen and Lost and Looking’ reveals quickly any misfit and hubris. For judging the vocals, this album for sure offers a great reference. The Model One swayed the energy in a feather-like, effortless stream and Sam`s vocal was rendered with all the needed vibrancy. 

Klipsch Tape Project: The Joe Holland Quartet represents a real gem that encapsulates the era’s purity and directness. With this album many loudspeakers simply collapse, especially when they’re “called” to transmit the energetically empowered drum crescendos and drumming in Holland’s Holiday Drum Solo. For a speaker of this size the Model One reacts more in the fashion of larger horn speakers than typical boxed ones. The sense of the space, speed and transience empowers the Holland`s impact in an impressive way and with an energy of a different kind. 

Everyone seems to avoid like the plague writing in high-end audio reviews about the music of bands like the legendary Australian AC/DC. I guess it must be for good objective reasons! Most speakers simply cannot handle the correct grip and impact of guitars and portray them properly. That’s why there are not many speakers being advertised as all-rounders. And especially with rock & roll there is no easy way to escape the laws of physics. To create a sufficiently realistic illusion an 8” mid-range driver (paper) is mandatory. I would even say 12”, to be on the safe side. 

The songs Hells Bells and Back In Black from the AC/DC legendary album Back In Black are what seem two very “simple” songs to reproduce. But try them with different speakers and you’ll know instantly at what level the speakers perform. 

Many times I have heard remarks about how rock & roll and classical music have little in common when it comes to high-quality reproduction. This is pure nonsense. Speakers that cannot handle jazz, blues or rock and roll guitar with power will never be able to handle the energy burst of classical music. 

The Model One has an intrinsic ability to “move the air” that comes dangerously close to the larger horn speakers or even PA systems in creating near concert sound pressure levels. The Model One is an energetic performer that will handle the classical rock music at respectful SPLs and has more than enough mojo to ignite foot tapping sublimely. 

Vlatko Stefanovski & Miroslav Tadić`s `Treta Majka` is another frequently played record and among a few of my all-time favorite albums. Along with Ry Cooder`s Paris Texas and Meeting By The River, these three albums share something very similar, yet they are still very different. Treta Majka takes the mystical potency of Macedonian Folk music to a completely new level. The interplay between Stefanovski and Tadić is heavenly and their “odd” time signature playing of syncopated rhythms is one of a kind. I know this album by heart and know how it should sound. When Theodosi Spasov joins in with his Kaval (Bulgarian flute) in “Ne si go prodavaj Koljoˇ” the magnitude of emotional impact reaches its highest peak. Now, suddenly, the air surrounding the Kaval creates an ethereal atmosphere with majestic scale. Treta Majka is recorded very well and it will play great on many systems. Experiencing it at its full creates a unique, small scale musical universe of complex sound bites. The forming of guitar tones, micro delays and reverberation, need a really well balanced system and speakers that are capable of maintaining the sonic shape of this music. The Model One proved again that it possesses the potency and ability not only to create a harmonically rich presentation, but also a dynamically diverse reproduction. The Model One speakers were tuned sensitively and the songs from Treta Majka are a great way to engage them in a lucid audio illusion. 

Michael Franks` Blue Pacific and Abandoned Garden is not solely representative of his creational peak. Still, they both, in their own way, manage to paint instantly Michael`s sophisticated pop/jazz lyrical fusion. Mr. Franks may not be widely known but he’s highly respected among jazz lovers around the world. Blue Pacific was recorded with the same techniques used for Donald Fagen`s legendary albums and it’s a great record to test any loudspeakers. I’ve seen a few Japanese companies that were using this album at the shows, which to me was a great surprise and I was really happy to see Michael being played as he’s one of my favorite artists. The Blue Pacific`s unique lightness and directness is experienced easily with a well-balanced system and even more importantly with the right set of speakers. Then the complete album artistry of production, record quality and performing enliven a seamless musical journey. The Model One’s ability to transmit this album’s message is exemplary for a dynamic speaker and these loudspeakers would make a great tool for recording engineers with their ability of natural sonic portrayal. 

Abandoned Garden on the other hand brings another emotional charge. While Blue Pacific is filled positively with a summer, seaside atmosphere, the Abandoned Garden carries the sad, melancholic energy of loss and everlasting appreciation. Michael dedicated this album to his mentor and friend Antonio Carlos Jobim. Yes, this is where Mr. Franks’ Bossa-nova DNA came from. 

With such stellar musicians as Carla Bley and Steve Swallow being involved in the creation of this album, some more dedicated listening was called for. This Must be Paradise is the opening song of the album that hides its sublime complexity expertly. After a minute, when the deep bass kicks in, I knew instantly how to judge the dedicated speakers under the test. With other speakers the bass is either lost, wobbly or it goes very deep and needs an amp that is able to control the woofers. The Model One presented a very focused and igniting bass. The bass extension and power can get better with the Ubiq Audio`s dedicated subwoofer (below 35Hz), but for normal listening rooms the Model One can handle the bass on a very high quality and SPL level. The whole album is full of great songs but the “Hourglassˇ” is for sure another very interesting song that helps in judging the loudspeaker`s performance. Here the strong bass creates a havoc of forced, focused energy that you can feel in your guts when being played at sufficiently high SPLs. The Model One again managed to produce a bass that was both involving and musical, as well on the level expected from much more expensive speakers! 

There are many classical albums that I use as a reference in terms of sound quality as well as for their artistic value. With classical music there is no second guessing and no half way of doing things. Any serious speaker wanted to be called high-end needs to be able to shift the dynamic graduations of music from pianissimo to fortissimo at the proper scale. No setbacks here!

Toscanini might be considered as the most ardent conductor of all times. Some even considered him a dictator because of his edgy relationships with the orchestra staff. As with all things this is arguable, but one thing is for sure: In his live performances he could bring such a tour de force and convey the score at the grandest scale of dynamic expression. Toscanini changed the way I’m experiencing, understanding and appreciating classical music. His recordings also managed to create a certain mindset of imprinted impressions. They’re my anchor points of reference in classical music for critical listening. He also helped me to understand and perceive classical orchestral music as a whole. This was very evident with his late radio performances in which the reverb is practically absent. This acoustical situation creates the unique transfer of the musical energy as a harmonic whole. In order to convey this giant harmonic “bubble" the loudspeakers must be capable of creating a diverse, harmonic completeness. The Model One`s intrinsic ability to reproduce the transients minutely and handle the instant energetic bursts, gives them a grand musical empowerment which results in an impressive micro and macro dynamic shading even at low listening levels.

Samuel Barber`s Adagio for Strings always evokes pathos and cathartic feeling. This is among few classical compositions that evoke an intriguing emotional response instantly. This phenomenon was even researched scientifically and the results showed an impressive level of body dopamine release during the pleasurable listening of this composition. There are quite a few interpretations of Adagio for Strings and they all share a common inherited potency but, interestingly, the level of affection and emotional charge depends intriguingly on the system`s ability to transmit the energy as harmonically correctly as possible. As with the Robert Koda Takumi K-10, this is the second time I’ve witnessed this unique harmonic correctness in practice that correlates with the musical energy and message in such a sublime and pure way. There may be many other factors at work in creating such an experience. 


The Ubiq Model One speakers are not your typical dynamic floor-standers; they are a completely new breed, connecting the past and the future. Their full-bodied sound, which is coupled to their awesome resolution and transparency abilities, makes for an incredible musical sounding combination that brings pure joy to the listening sessions, and this is something that is dearly missing from the majority of high-end audio speaker designs. Mostly, we get transparency without substance/authority, but rarely do we get both. Their intrinsic “time machine” ability to shift minutely from one musical era to another while maintaining and preserving the SOUL of musical performances is both highly captivating and also mind-blowing. 

Nothing was random in the development of the Ubiq Audio Model One speakers and the end result speaks for itself. They are among the most convincing dynamic speakers on the market, packed in a form and size that is pleasing to the eye and easy to set up. I love it when the power and energy of the music are unimpeded and the Model One doesn’t hold energetic momentum at any point.

The Ubiq Audio Model One may not be the best dynamic loudspeaker on the planet, but they are among the best, if not the best all-rounder dynamic speakers on the market that I’ve experienced so far. 

And for everyone wanting to add an extra touch of sublimity, there is the Ubiq Audio SUB ONE subwoofer. It adds the lower octave extension elegantly and elevates the system performance even more. This of course depends on the room size and the level/amount of the bass the listener wants to experience. For most rooms and listeners the Model One will bring a lasting listening satisfaction as it is. The Subwoofer operates from 16Hz to 35Hz and plays only the lowest octave. It is adjustable in gain, crossover frequency and goes up to 60Hz. 

Igor Kante believes in the traditional system approach like, for example, the legendary high-end audio manufacturer Linn is still following. And to show the full speaker potential the Ubiq Audio team designed their own integrated amplifier to ensure the ultimate system synergy. In his room the combination of Antipodes streamer and cables show a meticulously balanced, high performance high-end audio system.

The upcoming Ubiq Audio hybrid integrated amplifier implements on board DAC and brings quite a few unique and revolutionary technical solutions. Igor Kante strongly believes in the importance of valves being implemented into the high-end audio system. For him no real harmonic correctness happens in the absence of the tubes. 

Only two tubes are used in their new hybrid integrated amplifier (BFA technology inside) and not in a typical fashion but in a new and innovative way, with input tube gain stage DC connected without any caps and coupling audio transformers in a signal path, without phase shift and frequency roll-off. More on that in the upcoming October review. I can assure you that in combination with the Ubiq Audio the Model One, these two are working seamlessly hand in hand and represent a sound performance in a league of their own. 

The Model One speakers show class and elegance boldly. They radiate the joy of listening and contemporary industrial art profoundly.

The Model One is a sculpture, a stand-alone piece of art that fits homogeneously into any living space, be it traditional or modern minimalistic.
They let you enter the endless universe of music in a virtual time traveling fashion, pulling the listener intimately close with the energy of each respective musical era.
I`ve rarely stumbled across such a complete first born company`s product. 

I’ve only come across such pure musical energy transfer lately with the Aries Cerat Symphonia Speakers, but they are a completely different size and type of speaker (upcoming story and review). The Model One are sealed box dynamic speakers, reasonably priced, very musical and with an energetic impact unheard so far at this size-price point and with luxurious lifestyle aesthetics, combining Bauhaus minimalistic practicality with the Italian timeless vibrancy. 

So, everything positive and without negative remarks? Well... the Model One won’t be everyone's cup of a tea. I’m afraid that for many listeners these speakers will sound too authoritative and energetic. Many audiophiles have accepted new imperious norms for what high-end audio reproduction should stand for. This means that the typical dry and skeletal presentation (read: ceramic equipped speakers) favored by many audiophiles or the extreme swishing highs and clinical dissection of the sound is not associated with the Model One. They’re also quite big in size and might take too much space in the living environment. All in all, not speakers for everyone, but those who can recognize their true potency will embrace them with both hands. 

High-End Audio is mostly a manly world with specific agendas and preferences. Interestingly and intriguingly, many people who are serious about the superior sound quality reproduction still see the elaborated horn speakers as the Holy Grail and the end of the road. For me the Model One encompasses and embraces so much of the best horn speakers` attributes that I can finally imagine they`re not indispensable any more, especially in averagely sized rooms. The Model One manages to sound extremely dynamic and brings a seamless, fluent and coherent unison of highs, mids and bass without the typical and instantly recognized set of problems (horn colorations and hardening of the sound) usually exposed by speakers from Avantgarde Acoustic, Cessaro, Accapela, etc.

This year’s Munich show was an interesting territory in which to explore, listen, comment and compare many different speakers. Living Voice Vox Olympian and Zellaton speakers for sure left lasting impressions. I dare to say that the Model One combines the best of the both worlds. The Ubiq team managed to unite the horn dynamic expressiveness and energy transfer, mixed to the open sounding nature of the Zellatons - in a reasonably small footprint and down-to-earth pricing. This is not a small achievement and not reacting about it would make me duplicitous and half-baked. I’ve promised to be more straightforward and critical in 2015. Those following me closely know that I’ve sharpened my “Excalibur” seriously this year but for many reasons my excitement is non reserved - in the case of the Ubiq Model One.

I have only given the Mono & Stereo Editor Choice award twice so far. Robert Koda`s Takumi K-10 pre-amplifier mesmerized me from the first insertion into my system. It was music nonstop and I’ve been practically intoxicated with its musical exchange ever since. The same thing happened with The Model One. Very similar potency entrapped me into the listening loop that left me with even less sleep. My wife rarely comments anything coming in and out of my den, probably too much of the constant changes. Yet, with Robert Koda K-10 and the Ubiq Audio Model One speakers, the same thing happened. She was very moved and asked me exactly the same thing, “You’re not returning them, right?”

Not much more to add… A Masterpiece for the people who appreciate the music for what it is and for what it can bring: Joy, happiness, relaxation and the embodiment of emotions. 

........ Matej Isak
More and more was this test for me a pleasure. The Model One plays without stress with tremendously precise timing.
WOLFGANG KEMPER (Polish translation)
REVIEW SUMMARY (Polish/English translation) - What makes the Ubiq Audio Model One music so extraordinary?
Your closed, homogenous sound in any type of music
Their three-dimensional, stable display with unprecedented spatial depth
The feeling of absolute time accuracy.
The tonal balance remains silent at such very high Lautsterken equal
The sense of rhythm is transmitted to the receiver and it is believed fußwippend part to the action to take
The Model One sounds extremely exciting, because it offers details in color and transparency so that you want to listen properly
Never hard to absolute, but serves as access to the music on a silver platter.
It sounds nice without even beautiful in the slightest. The warm character never thickens anything
Inspiring fine dynamics, as if weightless
Striking tones paired with fine spun yarns for the spatial representationRestrained volumes are their absolute strength. I do not know any speaker, regardless of the price that goes along there. That means you can perfectly listen to music with it, where else picks up the headphones

There are also an above-average processing and the use of valuable materials. It does not matter whether these are visible from the outside or inside, like the crossover or the housing costs are provided solely for the musical experience. The long development time and the intelligent choice of materials demonstrates that the makers know when Ubiq audio very well what they are doing. This loudspeaker we waited - only we did not know it.

EXTENDED REVIEW (Polish/English translation) - In Slovenia's capital established a new brand, wants to combine the high musical standard with an attractive design and a moderate price: Ubiq Audio. The three makers are of course music enthusiasts with plenty of experience in HiFi. Their debut is the speaker Model One, who stirs up in the shortest possible time, not only in Europe but worldwide sensation.

Presented the offer good and more expensive speakers in the German trade still does not? Connoisseurs of the market would have to actually groan in view of oversupply. Nevertheless, clever and creative new developers and their creations should be perceived. Too bad it would be, would something Promising lost just because there are already plenty of standard goods. Is Ubiq audios Model One so special? Jörg Klein, owner of distribution listening pleasure for audiophiles, one of the people who can bring their emotional enthusiasm for an audio component with a reasonable point of view of marketing in line. Most recently, Dirk Sommer has here discussed the Caas Audio Elysian amplifier from the same sales and left unmentioned that also belongs a little courage to devote himself to an entirely new manufacturer. The brand image, I think, plays for most of us HiFi friends when purchasing an appliance does matter. Because we want to see also ensures the long-term stability and the Service. Jörg Klein knows of course about this aspect and respected very probably the backdrop of a new, ambitious company. So who is Ubiq Audio, who is behind it and what you have plans? Most important is the question: How good is the product, and thus the prospects for the future?

Eventually Jörg Klein read about Ubiq Audio and her debut Model One. He took phone to contact with Igor edge, which represents the company outwardly. This initial contact was very reassuring. Igor edge has 30 years experience in sales of high-end audio and is as it were the spiritual father of Ubiq audio project. During his long professional involvement with the HiFi unpleasant realisation grew in him that the relationship between quality and price primarily increasingly drifts in quality hi-fi components apart. Often he could not find in their sound characteristics the price for expensive speakers. Due to its long and successful sales work knows Igor edge a lot of people in the industry. Thus, he did not jump into the deep end, when he decided, along with two confidants something new, namely, to call Ubiq audio to life. The two partners are called Janez Mesarić and Miro Krajnc. Both connoisseurs and experts in their field.

Janez Mesarić is a successful Slovenian industrial designer and creative work for an international clientele. He was awarded the BIO19 Award and the ID Design Award. In various magazines he published and his works can be seen in many exhibitions worldwide. Miro Krajnc is an expert in the development of loudspeakers and owner of Soul Sonic. His in-depth knowledge of 25 years of research and development is an ideal prerequisite for technically sound concepts and the implementation of jointly developed by the two partners ideas.

The bearing condition in the development is the common sonic ideal of three creatives. In this respect, they are of the same spirit children and were able to develop to an end several years her debut in many listening sessions. Protagonist in the trio is Igor edge, in which more than 80 square meters of the listening room, the Model One got its finishing touches. But it took up the three almost two years after the speaker was technically mature basically. The final details could be because it was agreed, optimise just about listening, and indeed over and over again. Apparently Ubiq audio, unlike established manufacturers usual, free from time and financial pressure. This advantage in the development enjoy very few product designers.

Looks like me the first time on the Model One Ubiq Audio website, can be close at first glance an association with Piega which conquer with its successful, high-style aluminium design buyers heart. Relationship marks the front cladding coated with black fabric, elastic bands, which are stretched vertically in front of the also black acoustic fabric of Model One. Both the top plate and the bottom plate of the column speaker are from five-millimetre-thick aluminium, which is the upper side brushed and black anodised. Optically profiled on two plates, the silver shiny polished edge the triangular plan, which is strongly rounded behind. Left and right shape wooden cheeks made of natural wood, or in black or white lacquered appearance. My test model 850i shines in a wine-coloured special paint á la BMW. This special pleasure will cost 595 euros extra per couple. For the same amount, other RAL would have to paint, depending on the purchaser's choice and desire. Especially the black standard version for 12500 euros Paarpreis seems optically very consistent with the shape of the speaker and the selected by Janez Mesarić design elements. The rear part of our 118 centimetres high triangle-column forms a large fabric-lashing that has nothing to hide, but the optical design is used. Only a small, twice eight centimetres long, vertical air gap behind the midrange is concealed from the substance. The opening serves to optimise for working in a separate chamber from the bass midrange pressure conditions. Purpose is not a rearward sound radiation.

Below the ground-level aluminium plate forms a two centimetre thick, recessed inward base a shadow gap to two centimetres thick base also. These elements are discreetly from plain black lacquered wood. The base is, viewed from below, the view of the screw of the ground free and lets the mobile Soundcare® Super Spikes recognize. Floor-friendly speaker stands on these three rigid surfaces. So the 42-kilogram Model One is solid coupled to any surface. The housing of the Model One looks processed excellently. For example, the removable textile rubber strings Front anything but fixed simplistic. As two massive aluminium profiles are hooked by one centimetre thickness by means of two long metal pins in the front top and bottom. Visually, close the round extending retaining profiles perfectly to the aluminium panels of the housing. Here you have not saved: Such a dignified solution is rather unusual, but is expected to delight the heart of every owner. Or let's say: the inquisitive listener who is interested in finding out what is hidden behind the front panel. After removing the rubber strings behind without the black fabric subtly related coverage, only the view of the tweeter is free. And as the Model One the uninformed viewer appears at first glance as a one-way concept. However, three paths leading to the goal. Two other chassis complement the 38-millimeter ring radiator, the, couples with a horn attachment, called the waveguide to the air volume of the space. The efficiency of the tweeter is probably significantly higher than that for the Model One of Ubiq Audio designated 88 decibels. So may be assumed that by means of an elaborately constructed three-way filter network three chassis in the levels to be perfected with each other. Unfortunately, the crossover neither I nor our photographers without use of force is available. However, the information researched indicate hochertige, partly Tailored components. These are wired directly to each other. Used foil resistors from Mundorf capacitors and Jantzen, who also supplies the silver-coated copper wire of the internal wiring.

Tweeter and midrange are from the professional field of music reproduction. Each of the three chassis comes from a different manufacturer as much know-how and market overview has a development team also once have to make the chassis identify voices and to combine them. The Model One was planned from scratch all specially and newly researched and developed. They had plenty of time, probably money and especially the goal of creating something new that would be difficult to find so currently and at this price point might not. Because the musical coordination should be different from what appears to be sound fashion today. Transparency, through drawing, space, detail are desirable attributes of good hi-fi components. In modern speakers, this often goes hand in hand with a certain frigidity unfortunately the overall sound. Igor edge remembered when he began the Ubiq audio project. At the sound of past greats such as Altec Lansing or Acoustic Research He picked up the sound of such recognised speaker legends of the past in a way, as a reference to the tonal matching his new offspring. I could empathise, when I took the Model One in my apartment in operation. The sound brought back memories of the warm sound of the seventies and eighties. I really am not suggesting the sound of that time in having to ear. But the long-term memory tells me that there is a tonal relationship to the then prevalent in my environment speakers from Leak, Janszen, Sony (active), Acustic Research LST or Infinity and my own three-bladed Magneplanar tympani. Spatial transparency and full color fine detail as we know it today also pretty affordable speakers, it was at that time only for a lot of money. Since a lot has changed for the better in all these years. The outstanding Infinity Reference RS 1, which stood in for stately 150000 D-Mark in the price list and a well-heeled friend of mine to be able to call his own, at that time was the measure of all things. They unified tone with warmth, space and holographic analytics. However, this also necessitated a corresponding space and a hell elaborate front-end. Now this Infinitys were visually cars with their four man-sized enclosures.

Since the Ubiq Audio Model One is comparatively petite with 118 centimetres in size. In reality, it is indeed in the living room some conspicuous proportioned than I had expected from the pictures mentioned in the introduction. The design capacity of Janez Mesarić but gives it a high property value. She is by no means hidden. Like all manufactured for demanding listener speakers it needs a bit of attention in the preparation. I have clearly angled towards the listening position. You must not be free in space, but may quietly feel the wall in the back. Then the sound space opened with great plumper depth.

The flashy tweeter is combined with a hard suspended 20 centimetres cone drivers with wave corrugation of Italian manufacturers for the midrange. It is coated with a special oil that is said to have its origins in the Italian instrument. The basket of this chassis is embedded directly beneath the Hochtonkorbes into the baffle. Much further down, specifically with 23 centimetres concave distance of 30-he is placed woofer. This ground-level arrangement allows an increase in the lower Tieftonlagen so that the Model One, depending on room conditions can work quite linear, ideally to 25 Hertz down instead of 40 Hertz nominal specified in an anechoic chamber. The woofer operates in a closed housing. All three drivers have oversized voice coils that ensure a sovereign superior drive. Recently, I have had to experience the anger of a friend, the newly acquired a pair of high-quality speakers. At least one hundred hours break time, he would have to wait until the new boxes so sounded as he had met her. That's a hell of a long ordeal. Since, however comes with Ubiq Audio on joy. For the three chassis are imported factory fifty hours targeted. The crossover is loaded with pink noise, and prepared so that the Model One musiziert expected out of the box for their proud owners. This is exemplary.

Large acoustic meaning always the case. Here was padded. Very rarely are found elaborate designs and then always for considerable sums. The material of our Model One is Okoume wood that is cut from a single piece. This uniform wood with fairly low hardness is designed in four layers so that the housing receives different strengths inside. Is insulated by layers of bitumen, as you can find in the auto industry use, combined with natural, ecological lamb's wool. The Ubiq Audio i: st high quality finish: For example, all stem bolts and nuts from the German manufacturer Würth, high quality and certainly not cheap. In the not too distant future this first speaker of Ubiq audio still a minor and two higher-priced models are to be set aside.

It was the goal of Igor edge and Miro Krajnc, the Model One next to a non-sterile, rather to a warm trending sound a certain Live to implant character. That's them unmistakably succeeded. It is downright phenomenal, with which heartedness and dynamics the Model One goes to work. Grob Dynamic knows no problems and the fine dynamic she plays with a striking light-footedness on. Amazingly, the behavior is at moderate levels. I liked it in the range of low volume or something more or less like even better than when she was fucked really loud. Thanks to the sophisticated interplay of the three chassis, the Model One at any loudness level a range tonal into the foreground or resets. The sound is always balanced across the spectrum and homogeneous. So listening is far more pleasant than usual at quieter levels and especially with more musical content accompanied. Even the Stones do not have to be heard throughout the house. Nevertheless, the aggressiveness of their homes remains not on the track. On the contrary, the fine structures, leveled the striking scale at high volume a bit, make up filigree and clearly ordered in space. The backing vocals out a clear and bodily plasticity as rarely as clearly heard. My wife wondered why I hear so little music in the last days. She has simply not noticed in their reading room. Responsible for the ability of the Model One, already really everything to offer at comparatively very small volume, the oversized drive the chassis with the huge voice coil and the caring for tonal consistency filter network are likely to be. This trait of Ubiq Audio debutant is remarkable and I know of no other speaker who is able to afford it at this level. The Model One is enormous socially compatible with this wonderful property.

More and more was this test for me a pleasure. The Model One plays without stress with tremendously precise timing. My current favorite source that is now financially reinvigorated Streaming Portal Qobuz, I strained over my MacMini all genres, compared enjoyed and had fun. What are the possible concerns I had initially formulated regarding newcomers? Forget Sie's! Just as the Model One comes, it is no alternative. In the early days I heard the Model One with my QED Genesis Silver Spiral loudspeaker cable. Just out of interest to see what changes, I swapped it for a pair of Shunyata Research Andromeda, usually provide the in the fundamental range of slimming down. Voluminous sounding boxes indicates this is often to the advantage of others from tipping into shrillness. Although our Ubiq Audio responded with a slightly less pronounced Warm sound, but retained all its traits and abilities at.

What they do retain is the sense of body, purpose and, in a very real sense, musical power that came from those older designs. But here it’s coupled to up-to-the-minute sensibilities when it comes to neutrality and musical insight.
Roy Gregory

REVIEW SUMMARY: you want big and you want powerful, you want musical and subtle, you want solid and muscular, but you also want articulate and intimate. For so long these goals have been contradictory, but the Ubiq Model One takes a huge step sideways from current developmental thinking and instigates a dramatic shortcut along the way. The designers would argue that it rewrites the rules. I’d put it differently, suggesting instead that it acts to remind us of what’s really important and maybe, what we’re missing in a lot of modern speaker systems. This is a speaker that performs for you rather than at you, that engages rather than interrogates, that rewrites the accepted balance of performance virtues, refusing to sacrifice everything to the god of resolution. Treading a carefully judged line between musical coherence, tonal neutrality, dynamic range and bandwidth, the Ubiq Model Ones have an uncanny ability to re-create the shape and sense of the recorded event, refocusing attention on the music itself rather than its reproduction. Seeing into the musical performance is all well and good, but what these speakers point out in no uncertain terms is that first you need the performance itself

EXTENDED REVIEW: The shift from hi-fi to high-end audio has been accompanied by a number of other evolutions. The audio system has plummeted down the list of household priority purchases. It has stopped being the center of social attention, all too often relegated to the role of aural wallpaper. It has (for the most part) become smaller, more discrete and far more convenience-orientated. At the same time, genuine bandwidth seems to have become the exclusive preserve of seriously expensive systems, with relatively few remotely affordable speakers (and even fewer mainstream ones) sporting anything close to an 8" bass driver. Instead, the fashion for tall, slim enclosures sporting multiple sub-5" drivers produced a generation of loudspeakers as short on bass authority as they are on visual impact.

How priorities have changed! Back in the day, budget speakers were virtually all 8" two-ways -- like the Acoustic Research AR-18 or KEF Coda II, Mission 700 or Heybrook HB1 -- all scattered around the £100/pair price point. Just above them rested products like the Acoustic Research AR-48, a 10" three-way at around £250 a pair, while the £380/pair Heybrook HB3 sported a similar but rather more refined driver lineup. Step up to the £500/pair price point and there were some seriously heavy-duty options on offer.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I’m well aware that too much bass can be a whole lot worse than too little and that the inexorable drift toward smaller and better-behaved cabinets has produced better-behaved speaker systems. But look at the highly regarded budget speakers out there these days and its clear that, as refined as they very definitely are, under the paired pressures of price and technology, bandwidth has pretty much dropped off of their agenda. Which brings me to the nub of the problem: for all their poise and manners, detail and refinement, it’s hard to ignore the fact that somehow budget systems simply aren’t as much fun as they used to be -- and that has a lot to do with bass quality and quantity.

Another result of the move toward smaller drivers is a general reduction in volume levels and power handling -- a double-edged sword, meaning that if you crank up the volume looking for that missing excitement, then your speakers will let you know all about their discomfort (if you are lucky) or simply let go (if you aren’t). Such accidents can be viewed as audio rites of passage, but the trouble these days is that the small-is-beautiful fashion isn’t restricted to entry-level components and speakers. There are some seriously pricey products out there that you really wouldn’t want to let the kids loose with, even if they aren’t having a party.

And that’s kind of the problem. Too much audio equipment and as a result too many audio systems have lost the va-va-voom factor. When your friend, neighbor or father-in-law gasps "How much?" with that look of undisguised incredulity, you really do want to be able to respond, "Yeah, well get a load of this!" as you advance the volume control well beyond the sound barrier. Because, just as you don’t need to explain the physical impact of sub-five-second 0-60 performance, bigger, louder and cleaner than you’ve ever heard before tells its own story. And as much as I love the KEF LS50, that’s one place it’s simply not going.

Thankfully, the times they are a-changin’ and there are signs thatbig may once more become beautiful, as manufacturers realize that an increasingly niche clientele actually do rank performance over looks and domestic impact. I could point to speakers from Monitor Audio and the KEF R series as cases in point, but instead I’m going to move further up the price range to embrace a speaker that is as singular as it is schizophrenic. When it comes to the Ubiq Audio Model One, I simply can’t decide whether it’s obdurately retro or right on the cutting edge of fashion, a domestic speaker on steroids or a PA speaker with a few social graces. What it definitely isis big, loud and proud.

At first glance, the Model One seems to fit right into the current crop of loudspeaker trends. Its price pitches it right alongside the Focal Sopra 2, the Wilson Sabrina and the Vienna Acoustics Liszt -- prime contenders in what is fast becoming the hottest price point in the speaker market. Upright and bluff with a curved grille and boat back giving it an almost triangular footprint, the Model One stands close to four feet tall. It is 16 1/2" wide and 14 1/2" deep, the baffle built from solid Okoume wood, with the one-piece, curved-wall enclosure cold-molded from four sheets of the same sustainable hardwood. The top and bottom faces are laminated with aluminum plates, the whole cabinet standing on a spaced plinth that also embodies the three Soundcare Super Spikes that act as the speaker’s feet. These captive cup-and-cone devices are used in place of conventional spikes, providing flat, floor-safe footers but eliminating the ability to level the speaker. The baffle is wrapped in black fabric, which along with the elasticized "string" grille does a great job of hiding the drivers from view -- which is an interesting design decision, because that’s where the Ubiq Model One is distinctly different.

That driver lineup is what gives the Model One its quasi-pro feel. A 1 1/2" compression driver is horn-loaded and mated to an 8" paper-cone midrange driver. This 8" unit is sourced from Italy, uses a pleated-fabric surround and a coating derived from the lacquers used in the production of musical instruments. It also enjoys its own separate internal volume: a truncated pyramid braced against the rear spine of the main enclosure. More unusually still, the 12" paper-cone bass unit is positioned near the bottom of the sealed enclosure, way farther from the midrange driver than you’d normally expect. That and the overall system sensitivity -- a low-ish 88dB, especially given the size of the cabinet -- are what give the game away. The Ubiq Model One is all about bandwidth. Throw in the compression tweeter, large-diameter paper drivers and 200-watt continuous power rating and it’s a fair bet that overall level and dynamic range are not far behind. This is a speaker that makes no bones about being big (even if it is really rather pretty), goes deep and simply begs to be played loud. Ubiq claim -- and experience certainly suggests -- an in-room response that reaches down to a -3dB point at (or below) 30Hz, which is particularly impressive at the €12,500/pair asking price.

Look a little deeper into the ingredients that go to make up the Model Ones and the surprises come thick and fast. Keeping one eye on the price tag and the other on the bandwidth, closer examination makes you realize that Ubiq Audio aren’t just offering a new performance paradigm but remarkable material value for the money. It’s not just that the cold-molded cabinet (although that’s a technology normally restricted to the likes of major manufacturers such as B&W), the internal complexity, fit, finish, design and parts quality are all first-rate, from the use of an established industrial designer (Janez Mesaric) and a highly respected speaker engineer (Miro Krajnc of Soul Sonic Speakers) to the combination of Jantzen capacitors and Mundorf inductors in the hardwired crossover and carefully selected WBT binding posts on the back. The grilles, consisting of cast endplates and elastic strings that peg securely into the baffle, are very Sonus faber, another of Igor’s long-term associations. The end result is elegant and beautifully finished, avoiding many of the audio industry’s stylistic clichés for a fresh, pleasing appearance. The choice of natural wood, black or white piano-lacquer finishes offers dramatically different visual vocabularies -- one traditional, the others clean and modern.

The end result is a speaker that looks and sounds unapologetically big and bold, with a real sense of presence, natural scale and acoustic perspective. Harmonics are neither rich nor bloated but impressively subtle and correct, allowing voices and instruments both tonal individuality and readily identifiable characters. This combination of natural body and weight in turn translates into a convincing sense of musical shape, momentum and involvement, this last being perhaps the key ingredient, the goal for the whole design. If that’s the case, then it has succeeded handsomely.

But the real question remains: is this speaker both loud and capable of making its owner proud? As always, the backstory here lies in the details of the setup. Give the Model Ones enough power (I used the Audio Research Reference 150 SE, the Naim NAP-300DR and the Arcam FMJ A49 amps, all to excellent effect) and they’ll go loud and stay loud with a wonderful lack of strain or compression. Indeed, like a lot of sub-90dB-sensitivity designs, they actually need to cross a certain threshold before they really wake up. If late-night, low-level listening sessions are your thing, then there are other speakers that I’d look at. It’s not that the Ubiqs won’t play quietly; it’s more that while playing quietly they don’t deliver, and you don’t engage with, their full range of musical strengths.

At the other end of the spectrum, the challenge is to bring coherence and integration together with impressive levels and dynamics. That’s down to positioning: you’ll need to work with the distance to the front and side walls if you want all of the available bottom end -- and want it to keep up with the quick dynamic agility of the midband. You’ll also need to be really careful with toe-in (a taped center line on the top of the speaker will help here) if you want to avoid cuppy, hollow colorations in the upper mids and treble. Given the three flat feet and manageable 93-pound weight of each speaker, that’s all surprisingly straightforward.

What is less easy is achieving the correct rake angle (baffle tilt). For all the Model One's prodigious bandwidth, scale and presence, no matter how I tried I couldn’t get the sound to come alive, to step away from the speakers and start to breath convincingly. That is, until I started to play with the tilt of the speaker, something that required the trial-and-error insertion of shims of different depth below the plinth. I ended up with a 12mm "up stand" behind the rear of the speaker, resulting in a significant forward tilt of 2 1/2 degrees. Wham! Suddenly the sound stepped away from the speakers, the dynamic range and impact freed up and the music started to drive the room, rather than sounding sat on and contained.

Why the difference? Partly down to integration of the drivers and the distance to and height of the listening seat -- which will vary in each room -- and partly down to that rapidly emerging but as yet unexplained phenomenon: the benefits of shifting the bass axis away from parallel with the floor. It’s a result that brings me to my single biggest practical criticism of the Model One: its failure to allow for angular adjustment and tuning of the speaker. Fortunately it’s an easy fix -- but it’s one that Ubiq Audio needs to implement urgently. Discussing this with the manufacturer, they assure me that not only do they have a solution in preparation but that it will be retrofittable to existing speakers. There is also an enforced change to the critical capacitor feeding the tweeter; however, as is often the way, the newly minted replacement has proved superior and again can be easily retrofitted to current speakers. (BOTH UPGRADES STANDARD ON SPEAKERS NOW)

The Model Ones might hint at PA technology and thinking, but there’s nothing (maximum sustainable SPLs aside) PA about their sound. In fact, they are remarkably audio PC, at least in terms of integration and linearity. They have the rich, vibrant tonality that so often comes with paper drivers and they’re not short of rhythmic and dynamic finesse either. There are few speakers at this price that delineate the bass, cellos and timps on the Manfred Honeck/Pittsburgh SO performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony SACD [Reference Recordings/Fresh FR-718] with such ease, a separation based on pitch and texture as well as the natural clarity of the stereo perspective that brooks none of the confusion that might stem from the split-violins/basses-right orchestral layout. Old war-horses like Tracy Chapman’s eponymous debut LP [Elektra 960 774-1] have all the immediacy, presence and communicative qualities that remind you just why it became a hi-fi standard, while it’s just as easy to separate the newbie singer-songwriter wheat (Birdy) from the chaff (pretty much all the rest).

Listening to the large, effortless sound generated by the Model Ones, it’s easy to remember just what made those systems (and records) we all recall from our misspent youth so captivating. But if the roots of the Ubiq approach are based firmly in the past, there’s no mistaking the Model Ones for a product of anything other than the here and now. For starters, while they might not possess the transparency and detail retrieval of current ultra-definition high-end darlings, their resolution, low coloration levels and the evenness of their top-to-bottom balance are worlds away from those spiritual forebears. What they do retain is the sense of body, purpose and, in a very real sense, musical power that came from those older designs. But here it’s coupled to up-to-the-minute sensibilities when it comes to neutrality and musical insight.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of all is that once you get that rake angle right, the compression driver and its horn loading integrate seamlessly, not just tonally but in terms of dynamics and energy too. Yet, that’s really the key to this speaker: coherent output of musical energy. It’s an agenda that starts to make perfect sense once you realize that Igor Kante, the driving force behind Ubiq Audio, is the longtime Slovenian distributor for Avantgarde Acoustics. Spend enough time listening to Trios and Basshorns and you’ll find most speakers, let alone most affordable speakers, lacking in bandwidth, dynamic range and musical energy. The Model One is a response to that conundrum, a speaker that aims for the bandwidth, high-SPL capabilities and lack of thermal compression that are so appealing in a system like the Trio, but in a package that is easier to accommodate and considerably easier to afford. Making that mixture work might have involved taking a leaf out of the history books, with more than a nod to the inspiration of speakers like the AR-9, but that nod is more in terms of recognizing their balance of virtues than any technological carryover.

Even by Neil Young’s prolific standards, the period of 1968 to 1972 was remarkable for not just the quantity but the sheer quality of his output. Four albums, including After the Gold Rush and Harvest,set the foundations for much of his subsequent career, making the first four-CD box in the budget-priced Official Release Series [Reprise 9362-494975] a huge bargain. Not only does it have excellent sound quality -- way superior to the original CD issues -- but it should only cost a little over $10! Listening to the set through the Model Ones, the system cleaves so directly to the sense and shape of each track and album that it becomes even easier to trace the developmental steps and phases, from the emerging, post-Buffalo Springfield solo voice on Neil Young, through the electric infused Everybody Knows This is Nowhere to the acoustic immediacy of After the Gold Rush and the tumultuous collision of all three (with the LSO thrown in for good measure) on Harvest.

What’s really impressive about the speakers’ performance is not just their ability to scale the huge range of different musical densities here, but to step seamlessly into the different rhythmic demands, Young’s often-measured tempi never being allowed to drag. So, when you reach Harvest, the steady beat of the opening drum figure is anchored, not ponderous; solid, not earthbound. The same instrument picks up the pace to drive the familiar and irresistible tempo that’s so crucial to "Heart of Gold." The solo acoustic recording of "The Needle and the Damage Done" captures the live event and venue with a spooky intimacy, while the burgeoning scale and complexity of "A Man Needs a Maid" and the fuzz licks of "Alabama" are sorted, deciphered and incorporated with disarming ease. It’s a musical tour de force that perfectly demonstrates just how the Model Ones serve the music and respect the recording, allowing it the space and substance to impress or seduce, be big or small (and transit effortlessly between the two) as required.

On that note, there’s arguably no better (or at least, no more familiar) example of the demands imposed by shifts in musical density than the Reference Recordings Rutter Requiem LP [Reference Recordings RR-57]. It’s a record that should be familiar from countless demonstrations, generally on the sort of huge systems that feature massive speakers that command six-figure price tags. Throwing the Ubiqs into that sort of company, especially driven by relatively modest electronics (at least in comparison), is instructive. No, they can’t match the reach-out-and-touch intimacy and all-enveloping acoustic space that the best of those systems create -- a soundstage that reaches forward and wraps around you. They could also use a little extra air and height, although I’d be loath to sacrifice their excellent articulation and integration to achieve it. But -- and it’s a very big but given the price difference -- what they do deliver is the sense of effortless body, coherent space and sheer scale that produce the majesty and beauty in this music. They do it without strain or hardening, harshness or congestion; the choir doesn’t take any sudden steps forward, the soloists aren’t spot-lit. Given the size of this speaker, it’s an incredibly impressive performance; given the price, it’s genuinely remarkable.

You want big and you want powerful, you want musical and subtle, you want solid and muscular, but you also want articulate and intimate. For so long these goals have been contradictory, but the Ubiq Model One takes a huge step sideways from current developmental thinking and instigates a dramatic shortcut along the way. The designers would argue that it rewrites the rules. I’d put it differently, suggesting instead that it acts to remind us of what’s really important and maybe, what we’re missing in a lot of modern speaker systems. This is a speaker that performs for you rather than at you, that engages rather than interrogates, that rewrites the accepted balance of performance virtues, refusing to sacrifice everything to the god of resolution. Treading a carefully judged line between musical coherence, tonal neutrality, dynamic range and bandwidth, the Ubiq Model Ones have an uncanny ability to re-create the shape and sense of the recorded event, refocusing attention on the music itself rather than its reproduction. Seeing into the musical performance is all well and good, but what these speakers point out in no uncertain terms is that first you need the performance itself


"I have only given the Mono & Stereo Editor Choice award twice so far. Robert Koda`s Takumi K-10 pre-amplifier mesmerised me from the first insertion into my system. It was music nonstop and I’ve been practically intoxicated with its musical exchange ever since. The same thing happened with The Model One. Very similar potency entrapped me into the listening loop that left me with even less sleep. My wife rarely comments anything coming in and out of my den, probably too much of the constant changes. Yet, with Robert Koda K-10 and the Ubiq Audio Model One speakers, the same thing happened. She was very moved and asked me exactly the same thing", “You’re not returning them, right?”

"Not much more to add… A Masterpiece for the people who appreciate the music for what it is and for what it can bring: Joy, happiness, relaxation and the embodiment of emotions". 

........Matej Isak (Mono & Stereo)