Franco Serbiln Accordo stand mtg 2w speakers w/ custom stand

FS 01 SB ACCORDO
NZ$ 10,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
Franko Serblin

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

New

Franco Serblin quote:

I have always loved small speakers, for their discreet presence, for their suitability in less critical environments, for the “magic” which they often are able to create in music reproduction. With "Accordo", I followed design patterns that are particularly dear to me. A sound, a voice capable of reaching the depths of the soul... 

Mono & Srereo Ultra High-End Audio comment:

This is the latest and as fresh as it gets. Franco told over the telephone conversation, that this speaker will be  something really unique. We all know, that he's not in the need of funds and all he's creating in past few years is simply driven by passion of this master artisan.

I covered and conduct first review of Franco Serblin Ktema loudspeakers and it seems I could get my hands first on official review samples when they're ready. Thanks to I... again.

For those who know Franco Serblin past works, you already know, that he prefer small two way speakers. With Accordo we can expect a revival of the same emotions, that enchanted so many audiophiles with his original Sonus Faber creations. All this and beyond he says. Yes, Accordo will need only 20W and up to be driven, so this will include many tube and pure A class solid state amps. This opens up so much to speculate in a good way. Franco is known for his use of few watt's amplifiers and he loves acoustical music. If you loved his pass creations, I'm more than sure, that you would like to get an audition.

Franco doesn't follow Sonus Faber, but it's actually vice versa . If you know the high-end industry and have seen Sonus Faber Futura or Evolution models, you know what I'm talking about. They took more than inspiration from Ktema with the inclusion of chrome and few other things. Anyhow, it's the matter of...

You might know or not, but Franco's son in law Massimo (CEO of Yter Cables), who used to work at Sonus Faber directly on building speakers helps directly with building the Ktema's. That's why there can be only 10 pair produced per month. Does this make you want them even more :)?

I'm glad, that work of artisan is extended in that way. Yes, Franco can get his hands on the best wood and use best craftsmanship in Italy (and he does),  but it's great to know that finalization is made in-house.

Franco Serblin's Accordo loudspeakers will be really special to hear and I'm all excited to hear and review them soon.

Sangtao's Accordo comment:

The Italian artist Franco Serblin speaker announced a new version Accordo speakers with unique features like nobody else.

The former founder and head of its reputation Sonus Faber from 1983 to 2005, Franco has now moved to the speakers of hisr own. He's been playing hi-end speakers impressed by him as speaker, not because of money, all his products are simply passionate sound of a virtuoso.

Franco Serblin likes traditional speakers 2 speakers, so the new version Accordo is no exception. According to Franco, the launch of the new 20w Accordo speakers will be good news for the believer in playing Class A amplifier and a low power amplifier tube.

Inheriting the tweeter and speaker mesh on the classic yarn from floor Ktema renowned speakers plus bass mids Scanspeak, Accordo promises to satisfy the most picky acoustic handset. In addition, speakers Accordo also be made from the best wood and to the talented hands from Italy, including the Franco. More importantly, the entire process is are completly processed internally instead of renting them out.

DESIGN

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

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

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

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

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

Amplification:

These speakers have been designed to be as transparent and dynamic as possible. In order to successfully achieve this objective I have used a unique woofer with a long-stroke diaphragm and low resistance in bass-reflex application, designed to offer the best impulse response. Although the Accordo can be driven by any amplifier, we recommend driving them with amplifiers with low output impedance and middle power output (40/70 W into 8 Ω and 80/150 W into 4 Ω). Too much power may result in too long woofer cone travel and consequently deterioration of signal quality.

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

Features

Specifications

Reviews

Testimonials

Videos

Features

Geometry: 2 way compact speaker

Cabinet: Super-rigid, arch-shaped Solid wood structure Aluminuim-Magnesium decoupling in order to obtain optimum resonance control, shielding against emi and improved impulse response.Hancrafted by master artisans.

Stand: Expecially designed to encase the crossover network. Best solution to avoid internal and external interferences.

Tweeter: 29mm silk-dome by Ragnar Lian, one of the greatest masters of transducer designer. A well recognised project since 30 years.

Mid-woofer: Leggendary, custom made, 150mm sliced paper cone, optimized for the best control cone breackups. Symmetrical drive motor system.

Crossover: Minimalist approach, low order, phase coherent, finalized to achieve precise soundstaging, focus and depht of image. Selected premium parts, polypropilene capacitors, non inductive resistors, air core inductors

Specifications

Frequency Response: 40Hz-33KHz, in room 
Nominal impedance: 4 ohm 
Sensitivity: 87dB/1W/1m 
Minimum power amplifier: 20W/channel
Maximum power amplifier: approx 70W/channel (depending on amp quaity, this could be higher) 
Speaker dimensions: 36x19x36cm (HWD) 
Stand height: 74cm 
Weight unpacked: 16Kg speakers + 16Kg stands 
          packed: 20Kg speakers + 20Kg stands 
Finishes: Solid walnut - Metal parts of chrome and aluminium
                NEW - High Gloss Grey - Metal parts of chrome and aluminium

       

Reviews

late Masterwork
Neil Gader - TAS

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

Expanded review:
Franco Serblin, who died in March 2013, is remembered as the founder, creative force, and papa behind Italy’s Sonus faber. I remember him for his incisive and curious mind, and the Italian ease with which he draped a cashmere sweater over his shoulders. Serblin’s earliest Sonus faber creations were compact loudspeakers like the Minima, Parva, and the famed Extrema. Growing ever more confident, he soon added the sophisticated Homage Series jewels—the Guarneri in 1993, Amati in 1998, and Stradivari in 2005—to the Sf crown. In each, he pursued a rare balance of beauty, design, and romantic musicality. When he withdrew from Sf a few years ago, many in the industry (including me) thought that he was too young and energetic for real “retirement.” Sure enough, Serblin’s creative juices were still flowing, and by late 2010, after four years of development, production began on two new models, the Ktema floorstander and Accordo stand-mount, which I will consider here. The speakers are produced under license to Laboratorium, owned by Franco’s son-in-law, Masssimilano Favella.
 
The two-way compact in a bass-reflex enclosure is where it began for Serblin, and the simplicity and purity of his designs were what ultimately put Sf on the map. Thus, Accordo is a return to familiar terrain—a Minima of sorts, but with the benefit of decades of experience.
 
From every angle the Accordo has the look of hand- craftsmanship, as well it should given its $12,000-a-pair price tag. The enclosure—one of the most striking and elegant I’ve seen, regardless of size—is an asymmetric design with inward-curving side panels and non-parallel surfaces (save for the bottom and top panels). The cabinet narrows precipitously to a short flare at the rear, a tiny chrome-encircled port dotting its angled back. The walnut side panels are inscribed with a series of short, deeply etched, V-shaped grooves that add to the impression of a limited- edition loudspeaker. Running horizontally along the top and bottom edges of the rigid, solid-wood enclosure are aluminium- magnesium inserts that decouple abutting wood elements to control resonances. Another such insert runs vertically up the rear panel.
 
Other flourishes (instantly reminiscent of the Sonus faber Guarneri Homage loudspeaker, also a small two-way reflex design from a couple of decades earlier) include heavy chrome fittings etched with Serblin’s signature, which support the familiar lute-string “grille.” Aficionados will note that some of the Accordo’s design cues are also strikingly similar to Sonus faber’s new Olympica Series, but I’ll leave it to others to speculate on just who inspired whom.
 
The drivers, thoroughly hot-rodded to Serblin’s specifications, include a 29mm silk-dome tweeter credited to Ragnar Lian of SEAS fame, and one of the great talents in transducer design. The mid/bass—a custom-made Scan-Speak 150mm paper cone with radial slices designed to control cone break-up—uses Serblin’s symmetrical drive motor system. The crossover is an example of Serblin’s trademark minimalist approach—a first- order, phase-coherent network optimised with select premium parts.
 
The graceful stands are standard equipment for the Accordo. Purpose-built, with a heavy chrome aluminium baseplate, a single black strut, and a top plate, each stand also houses the loudspeaker’s crossover network. Using an external crossover opens up the speaker cabinet’s interior, effectively increasing the usable volume and, crucially, avoiding driver-induced buffeting of delicate crossover parts. Neutrik speakON connectors link the crossover with the input in the stand of each Accordo. Finally, the Accordo’s unique shape (each speaker is a mirror image of the other) means that its front baffle is automatically toed-in a few degrees when the stand it is sitting on faces squarely into the room.
 
Accordo means “agreement” in Italian. Or harmony. It only takes a few bars of solo piano to understand why the speaker is so named. Accordo captures vividly the many moods a pianist can summon from this instrument. The electric brilliance of a presto upper-octave passage like the “Ballet of the Chicks in their Shells” in Evgeny Kissin’s performance of Pictures at an Exhibition, or the solemn and soothing weight of Bill Carrothers’ Civil War Diaries, or the resonant bloom and sustain from the final chord struck by multiple pianos at the close of the Beatles “A Day in the Life.”
 
While the sacrifices made to strike the appropriate balance in small speakers are often unmistakable, Serblin has so cannily blended tonal color, dynamic power, micro-dynamic detail, and lack of port coloration that the sense of compromise seems to all but vanish. The Accordo weaves an impeccably tailored curtain of sound, brimming with a wealth of ambient information, including height specifics and precisely focused, three-dimensional images.
 
Sonically, it emphasises the midrange with a hint of added lower-midrange warmth. It’s a balance that conveys a goodly amount of the flavor of the live event and underscores the dynamic vitality of instruments that play primarily in the lower mids—such as piano, cello, and some brass.
 
Being a two-way its overall balance is on the lighter side compared to big multi-ways—no major surprise here—but its mid and upper bass are more than sufficient in quantity and quality to enjoyably reproduce large-scale orchestral music or high-voltage pop or rock offerings. Response into the 50-60Hz range is easily achievable in a smaller room, and with room gain factored in further extension will be perceived. There’s a hint of a midbass rise that adds warmth and weight and expertly masks the lack of true deep bass, but the Accordo avoids the dreaded upper-bass bump that results in a one-note bottom end. So, while it may not throw its weight around like a Magico Q7 or Raidho C 4.1, the Accordo establishes enough of a low-frequency foundation to achieve a fully realised performance.
 
As I expected from a Franco Serblin effort, soundstage and imaging are excellent. Depth is particularly well rendered although I’m not sure it’s entirely honestly earned. The upper mids have a slight dip in energy that lays vocals back just a touch and deepens the curvature of an orchestra. It’s a flaw easily forgiven after a few minutes of listening but it doesn’t go unnoticed.
 
Equally significant are the openness and sense of scale the Accordo affords. Part of this may be attributable to the enclosure and part to the good off-axis dispersion of the drivers, specifically the sweet, oversized tweeter. Whatever the reasons, the Accordo disappears as a source, and images emerge unconstrained by box or driver, attaining credibly natural scale in the room. Vocalists like Tierney Sutton and Norah Jones have genuine physical presence, rather than being reduced to the size of tiny bobble-head dolls. The dynamic thrust and weight of deep-throated male vocalists, such as bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, aren’t served quite as well by the Accordo, but that’s an area where most compacts simply bump up against reality.
 
However, that tweeter fares well on everything. It makes you thankful for great analog LPs, like the Impex resissue of Hard Bop by the Jazz Messengers, which plays right into the hands of the Accordo. The transient speed, transparency, and air of the tweeter create an engagement that borders on the addictive. Try “Stanley’s Stiff Chickens” if you have any doubts how lively and spacious a monaural recording can sound.
 
Minimum recommended power for the Accordo is a modest 20 watts, but that’s not to say that it has a tiny appetite. Give the Accordo a little more rein in the form of an mbl C21 or Aragon 8008, and the thoroughbred bloodline begins to show. Incredibly responsive to amplification, dynamics become bolder at the macro extremes and more finely graduated at the lowest levels. Likewise, bass response is more defined in timbre. Amplifier power tightens up pitch, and resonances vanish.
 
This is the first time I’ve been assigned a product review so proximate to the designer’s death. Although Franco Serblin’s passing looms large, his legacy emerges even larger. The more time I spent with the Accordo the more I came away with the impression that this was a man who had discovered another artistic level within his own creative limits. I came to believe the Accordo is not just Serblin’s epitaph; it’s a fitting celebration of a passion pursued and a life well lived. 
 
a cross between the old ‘ballsy’ Sonus Faber and the sweet and lovely detailed Sonus Faber designs, taking the best from both.
High-End Audio HiFi & Stereo - Hifier @ CES 2012

The Accordo speakers sound quite full, and I was surprised, when I got up close to take photos, that these were playing and not the Ktema. Neli didn’t believe me so she had to walk to the front too... compared to the old Sonus Faber Electa and Extrema (we’ve lived with both), these give one more a feeling of full-range satisfaction. 

I visited this room twice, the second time with Neli.

Franco Serblin was speaker designer at Sonus Faber and is now designing his own line speakers, Ktema and Accordo.

The Ktema speakers sounded good, but I could not decide, in the time I had there, if it was the old Sonus Faber ’sweetness with balls’ sound, the later Sonus Faber ’sweet and polite’ sound, or something new. So I wanted to get back there. This was about 10am on the 2nd day.

When we did get back there, the last hour or so on the last day, it was mostly empty... which gave me a long time to listen - this time to the Franco Serblin ACCORDO monitor speakers. 

The Accordo speakers sound quite full, and I was surprised, when I got up close to take photos, that these were playing and not the Ktema. Neli didn’t believe me so she had to walk to the front too... compared to the old Sonus Faber Electa and Extrema (we’ve lived with both), these give one more a feeling of full-range satisfaction. 

Albert Porter wandered in and when I asked him what he thought of these, I think he was surprised that it was the monitors playing too ....

The Air Tight sound does have somewhat dull-sounding harmonics - but the monoblocks drove the speakers well, and the harmonics were even top to bottom and in good proportion to each other. And the tonality was close-enough to real that any differences did not bother me - and I am pretty sensitive to atonal sound, though I do not have ‘perfect pitch’ or anything. When we ended up in the Robert Lighton / Audio Note room, the harmonic colors were certainly more vivid - like the difference between, say, colors on a day when it is very humid and a day where the sun is bright with no humidity (I was going to say the different between the color of flowers on a cloudy day versus a sunny day - but think that is a little too stark. It is somewhere in-between these two lousy metaphors).

I think these speakers, now, are a cross between the old ‘ballsy’ Sonus Faber and the sweet and lovely detailed Sonus Faber designs, taking the best from both. I think these walk the middle line of having a good deal of pep but at the same time being more linear and well-behaved. Some a good amount of resolution, but not really focusing on it as intensely as, say, the Guarneri is. 

I thought one of the more interesting characteristics was the good separation [better than either Sonus Faber], which requires good midi-dynamics, which starts putting these speakers closer to Avalon speakers - but perhaps easier to drive that those, which are typically a little difficult, esp. in the bass (but then again, the Amati, at least originally, was also quite reticent in the bass as well)

That said, I would love to be able to hear these on an amp that is more likely to be used with these guys..... I can say that this was the best I have heard Air Tight sound.

as a avid music lover I could happily live with them on daily basis for good. They’re musical machines, an art child of Franco and wooden jewels to be cherished when invited into any living space.
Matej Isak Mono and Stereo Ultra High End audio magazine

Franco Serblin needs no introduction. He’s a synonym not only for Italian speaker design, but also as for one the finest speaker artisans of modern days. His impact is not strictly limited to the boundaries of audio, but extend to interior design, architecture etc. This is a man with a broader view. Just take a quick Google search about his past and current creations and you’ll get the deeper picture his impact into the environmental spaces of domestic, work and public living landscapes.

Franco Serblin Accordos are his second objects of audio art endeavor in his late sole artistic venture. It’s hard to say, that Franco didn’t follow any guidelines from contemporary speaker building. After all magnesium, aluminum, chrome in combination with wood are not exactly classical materials. When talking trends standards do not forget who first introduce string front baffle cover and how whole industry copied it. The same happened with use of shinny chrome and polished aluminum. Just recall how quickly after Mr. Serblin revealed the shinny parts on the Ktema, Sonus Faber announced Amati Futura and Guarneri Evolution with the silver add-ons. Small world. Isn’t it?

Franco Serblin Accordo test - review exclusive world first Legend, Artisan and object of art - Accordo 

Art of love

Many know Franco for his famous Stradivari loudspeakers, a true works of art. Being shaped as a two lutes jointed in mirror like design they represent one of the most beautiful speakers ever built.

Those who know and followed Franco’s work closely over the years learned by heart, that he always preferred small monitor speakers. Just remember Snell’s, Sonus Faber Extrema, Electa Amators, original Guarneri and Minimas.

Unpacking 

After his highly rewarded Ktema stand mount speakers, his next artistic fruit is a two way monitor speaker called Accordo, that translates as musical arrangement or musical chord. The whole design concept of Accordo translate very good as a complete harmonically captured object.

Past and present

I’m not sole in my feelings, that Sonus Faber lost a lot when Mr. Serblin left the company. They shifted to some other, new and so-called modern classical direction. As if they wanted to keep up with the worlds rushing’s in last decade and I’m not sure, that is right path for both world and audio. We might say, that people and tastes changes and I can agree, but this better ad hoc. Sonus Faber Amati Futura and Guarneri Evolution are a new breed of Sonus Faber direction. While their appearance is striking and Sonus Faber still holds the unrivaled titule for the best speakers finishes in industry, they sonic character have changed to what it become a kind of an contemporary high-end standard; dynamics, resolution, high-tech etc. These are all good attributes when used correctly, but as with the shift of modern DAC’s sound things are going towards high-res audio universe, that I cannot stand being in for a longer exposure of both time and music. I guess, this connected with the time we’re living at presently. Everything is becoming so fast, at once, fast-forward, dynamic, multiplexing etc. We’re at rush to some fictional end point in this quest of speed and is only killing our emotions and deprive us of being as human as we supposed to be. Nowhere slow, but as hyper fast rate stress is becoming number one enemy of ours.

Franco Serblin's art of trade signed  

Do I want to be a part of that race more then I have to be? No! Music and enjoyment of music should be relaxing, healing, lifelike and as a real musical event, holistic and harmonically evoking.

To not being totally pessimistic and pressing too hard on Sonus Faber I do have to admit, that new Sonus Faber Elipsa Red differs. This is perhaps one of the best looking speakers, that are voiced differently and even priced within “affordable” range. I’m falling for their appearance on each rande and dejav vu with them. 

Accordo

Franco Serblin Accordo might be considered light feathered when compared to some other two-way monitor speakers. Even with their gorgeous stands they’re still not heavy to move when their need to be adjusted within the room. Weight shouldn’t be all that important… It’s all in the construction; know how and at the end in the sound that should matter the most. Your affection to Accordo’s might vary. With their unique arch shaped enclosures they’re breathing with different aura, but for me this is one of the best looking small monitor speakers. Their elegance, the Italian playful lines, integration of mirror brushed aluminum and chrome. Everything feels so refined. Accordo’s acts as a true Barons with their appearance, elegance and noble heritage. There is nothing casual about them. For their appreciation you’ll have to move out of labeling and go all art passionate, even Tuscany feeling like. There is certainly no mistake about, which brain hemisphere is in the work here.

Ready for music in a tuned Mono & Stereo demo room 

Since their shape needs a certain positioning, there is no swapping in installation. Both left and right speakers have their own exact positioning and placement. This gives Accordo’s a certain fixed role and helps in imaging and with their disappearing in a room. Two things striken me at once when they played first notes through my amplification; their disappearance in the space and natural sound. Ktema’s character or the absent of it re-entered into my memory. With both Ktema and Accordo Serblin managed to voice both speakers very lifelike and close to the real sense of music.

Drivers

Legendary Ragnar Lion 29 mm soft dome tweeter was heavily modified specially according to Franco specification and 150 mm woofer comes from Scan-Speak Revelator series. This combination works well under the well guided rules of amplification, but let me elaborate on this later on.

Positioning

My demo room is threated with many acoustical add on’s. From Advance Acoustics, etc. and I managed to refined reflections, delay, bass and whole balance of the sound to the level where the character of speaker is shown very quickly. Bass can be very controlled and direct if positioned right within my demo-listening room. Accordo’s demands a bit more care and pin pointing in their positioning. I would strongly recommend more or less a triangle placement as classical golden rule for small monitor setup. In this way you’re experience the direct flow and impact of the music as sudden as it should be. It’s also much easier to keep bass tight, fast and controlled with keeping the overall balance of the sound in right proportions so to speak. 

Natural/Neutral

I’m not sure that all people understood the Franco’s intention and design philosophy of both Ktema and now Accordo under review. This speaker comes from a man who deeply loves and appreciates acoustic music, small ensembles, violins, opera etc. Accordo need to be seen, heard and taken as such. This doesn’t mean, that it wont play other music, but it will excel and breathe life when connected with the music of natural spaces, instruments and voices. All this is closely connected with the required amplification. As with past Sonus Fabers, people often complained at how low Serblin rated minimal power needed to drive his speakers. As a past owner of quite few Sonus Faber speakers I know, how they can be driven with or without enormous power behind them. As with all things in this life things do come with a built in trade off. Franco always used mostly low powered tube amplifiers for his voicing and while designing the speakers. And as of now he’s having Einstein components as his chosen darlings. To understand the whole insight, design merits and goals of his passion I thought this short elaboration was needed at least to some extend. 

In action 

As you already know, Mr. Serblin is in no need for recognition or gaining funds. He’s a wealthy gentleman with artistic creational endeavor and vast heritage left behind him already. Understanding his art of sound reproduction opens up realms of Franco’s intimate musical and audio world.  I strongly advice you’re leave any precognitions and boxed rules outside the entrance. If people cannot tune into something as as Accordo, I would friendly advise them to step beside and work within their own labels. People draw conclusion so fast. If anybody is in the need and urge of judging things, he can at least do things as they’re supposed to be done. Find the right gear, that give life to the speaker. It’s like car testers would review formula one tires on domestic car for example. Nonsense. This is why High-End audio is having such a hard time becoming something else, then just a race of opinions. I try to see music reproduction and High-end as an art itself and as pure as the music is. But we’ll have to move our butts more then often to do the things in rigt way.  I surely hope for more people without precognitions and self apposed lazy boundaries. Those who need to be in their safe measured spaces should left emotional impacted creations as Accordo out of their way for the best of audio world. Isn’t this the same thing as happen with Ktema’s reviews? Not all understood this speaker. Perhaps some mileage is needed and the absence of quickly grown ego to appreciate this different audio art creation of natural music reproduction.

From my experiences with Accordo and Gryphon Atilla, Mactone MH-300B, Aaron xx and few other amplifiers on hand, that you have to choose the amplifier  wisely. Not to powerful and not to little. When driven with 400 watts of solid state Accordos seems to simply slump. Be careful with impedance as Accordos are rated at 4 Ω.

Now, given the right amplification and in the combination with small or medium sized room, Franco Serblin Accordos can sing their hearths out. In a larger room you’ll be hard pressed with application of acoustic treatments to achieve the right balance.

As I wrote in Franco Serblin Ktema reivew, Accordo is also very open and neutral sounding speaker. This sound might come as totally inverse to some of contemporary Sonus Faber hard core speaker owners, but Serblin’s small and larger speaker are very neutral and open sounding. I remember how shocking it was for me to move from my Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento speaker to Acoustic Preference Maestoso 2.0 speakers. This was an excursion in linearity. No matter how attached and emotional I was about Memento’s I had to admit the logical progression for my testing needs. I guess it might be the same with many of audiophiles contacting me and asking about next paragraph subject…

Franco Serblin vs Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution

These are two completely different speakers and yet in a way they’re both connected somehow. While Sonus Faber Guarneri Mementos are still in production Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution can be seen as logical successors of them. Something like a third generation Guarneri’s. Both speakers are remarkable sight candies and true eye catchers. Red violin on Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution is one of the kinds and finish alone is making it the most prominent looking speaker when it comes to the share quality and aesthetics of wood finish and lacquer. Now, if we take size of those two under the scope it’s obvious, that Guarneri Evolution will be a quick winner in reproduction of lover bass notes, octaves and their impact on music reproduction. Guarneri Memento’s had an enormous bass; way beyond their physical size and many people was always looking for hidden subwoofer. There was none. It’s the same with Evolution. Combination of great stand and speaker alone is working gratly in the service of bass. Guarneri Evolution will also performed much more friendly in larger listening environments then Accordos. No brainer here.

Now when it comes to the sound Accordo holds its pace. As already written. I’m no fan on the late sound and voicing of Sonus Faber. Especially about Amati Futura and Guarneri Evolution. This is sound, that took the strange root and it’s hard to pin it down into the impressive realms. Some things remained as with older Sonus Faber speakers. There is still a certain bump in frequencies although it’s less obvious, that in the previous series. On top of that, there is this wicked open character, that is voiced to be used in combination of modern amplifiers. What does this mean exactly? Take a Vitus RI-100 for example. This is the so-called new breed of integrated amplifiers, which fits the bill of contemporary design of speakers (DAC’s etc) that I’m raving about. We have an ultra open high-res character that needs to be driven with closed sounding amp. Now take any of those components regardless being speaker or amplifier and mix it with a good neutral component. Sonic disaster. No wonders how many people are frustrated with the sound of their system regardless of price. And no wonder how many mails I’m having under a strict confidentiality about system matching.

Let us also forget for a minute about gorgeous wood finish of Evolution’s. When taken their appearance as whole both Amati Futura and Guarneri Evolution looks bulky and strangely proportioned. I’ve seen all of them many times in the same room and it’s hard not to give credits to Serblin for Ktema and Accordo design. With both speakers he managed to carve a fluid and pleasing objects of the art. They’re both a shining ray with unique esthetic aura of complexion, harmony and wholeness. Amati Futura and Guarneri Evolution seems like unfinished and refined at their last stage of design. Their proportions struggle with each other. Just take a classical Guarneri Memento and compare. Memento’s were and still are poetry in motion.

Guarneri Evolution might be the dynamic slacker, but Accordo is much more neutral and natural sounding. My conclusions were the same with Ktema and Amati Futura. Instantly I can hear the basic difference in voicing and sound of those two. Everything is just prolonged with Guarneri Evolution and Accordo. Do note, the price difference between Evolution and Accordo. People will likely want to associate and compare Accordos with Sonus Faber Auditor M line, but then again Accordos are around 6.500 which in half way down from Guarneri Evolution and another half way down to Auditor M. You’ll have to draw the line. Mine was to finish the red line…

Just in the right angle 

Accordos are very open and they disappear in the room like no monitor speakers I heard so far. Perhaps a part of this might come as psychological imprint of their arch like shape. Anyhow, placebo and imprints disappear after some time and their physical absence while listening was still strong and circled boldly red with marker in my listening notes.  I guess they’re for different set of ears then Guarneri Evolution’s. It’s hard to give any labels and I’m trying really hard not to fall in any of audio guru resemblance. Then again expression have to be written and I dare to conclude, that Accordos are made for uninterrupted enjoyment of acoustical music. They’re refined instruments for those seeking an intimate exchange of emotions between performers in real spaces with real instruments and listener.

Do take a time and listen to Evolution and Accordo. As they say, different strokes for different folks. I’m in no shame, confirming my strong affection for Accordo’s.

Conclusion

Franco Serblin Accordos are his second objects of audio art endeavor in his late sole artistic venture. It’s hard to say, that Franco didn’t follow any guidelines from contemporary speaker building. After all magnesium, aluminum, chrome in combination with wood are not exactly classical materials. When talking trends standards do not forget who first introduce string front baffle cover and how whole industry copied it. The same happened with use of shinny chrome and polished aluminum. Just recall how quickly after Mr. Serblin revealed the shinny parts on the Ktema, Sonus Faber announced Amati Futura and Guarneri Evolution with the silver add-ons. Small world. Isn’t it?

As a reviewer I couldn’t only relay on Franco Serblin Accordo as my instrument, given their size and some of the restraints regarding room space, but as a avid music lover I could happily live with them on daily basis for good. They’re musical machines, an art child of Franco and wooden jewels to be cherished when invited into any living space.

The speakers look out of this world, that is completely unlike anything we are familiar with.
Wojciech Pacuła

Well-positioned, well toed-in and driven, Franco Serblin’s speakers offer something that their designer probably had in mind, writing in the manual: "Perhaps it is not enough anymore when music reproduction is credible and realistic; through the performer the music must [now] connect the soul of the listener with transcendent reality.”

But the higher midrange and treble play an important role in Mr. Serblin’s new speakers and it is here that the sound character largely rests.

And that character is very, very, very clean and smooth. This could be heard even next to the Guarnieris and the Electas at Janusz. It is the kind of sound where there is no more “details” or “aspects”, as it offers something more; it offers rendering of the musical instrument. Its body is not deep and well-enhanced, these speakers do not draw the scene far back, but it has great texture and clarity.

They are speakers with fantastically developed microdynamics. Along with great clarity and sound textures we get a kind of smooth silk before us, with instruments and vocals painted on. It’s tour de force, where we “get” these details after the fact, .....I think that they are best suited for tracks featuring guitar – acoustic or classical – vocals, small ensembles. The double bass is usually shown well,.... the bass is incredibly fast, smooth and “free”, that is, we can hear the instrument rather than “bass”, if you know what I mean. 

The speakers vanish right before our nose. For once, optically, due to their unusual shape but also because Mr. Serblin’s speakers can reproduce the sound in such unlikely places that their “disappearing” is their least merit. ...a very clean sound, very clean, consistent and above-average diameter of the soundstage. In small areas, with matching amplifier will create a heart touching spectacle., I appreciate what Mr. Serblin achieved with them.

As we read in company materials, the latest speakers designed by Franco Serblin, Sonus Faber founder and director (between 1983-2005), in their form allude to their designer’s sources of fascination – mini-monitors. Although they have much in common with the Ktêmas that we have reviewed. They resemble the latter in their curved side and front panels, and the engineering technology.

The new speakers from Mr. Serblin are two-way designs permanently attached to their dedicated stands encasing the crossovers. The cabinets are made of hard wood, decoupled with aluminum-magnesium components to obtain resonance control. They use two drivers - a new to the market, 29-mm soft dome tweeter, designed by Ragnar Lion, and the already known, but highly modified 150-mm Scan-Speak mid-woofer from the highest Revelator series. Its sliced paper cone features characteristic slices – going from the middle coil to the outer suspension.

Mr. Serblin dedicated particularly long time to phase optimization of the drivers – starting with the crossover, most likely of the first order, through damping the bass-reflex to finish off with the cabinet shape. And the fact that bass-reflex is not directed to the rear but into the space between the drivers is not coincidental either. Listening sessions fully confirmed this particular aspect of sound reproduction. Additionally, woofer application is such that the bass is very clean, fast; it resembles a sealed enclosure.

The speakers look out of this world, that is completely unlike anything we are familiar with. And while rubber "strings" in place of the front grills are a direct reference to Franco Serblin’s older designs, and the large, chrome-plated stand bases resemble the cabinets of both the Ktêmas and the new Sonus Faber designs, the combination of all these elements is absolutely innovative. 

The speakers were designed by a person who has truly gifted hands, who knows a lot about monitors, the speaker design that he loves above all others. 

After many long attempts in my system, the speakers require very careful and deliberate placement in the listening room, definite toe-in, a short distance from the rear wall and the listener, and also – this is most important, because it discredits all claims that the Accordos are ideal with tubes – a very powerful amplifier, preferably a little warm.

When it comes to placement, the Italian speakers should not be further away from the listener than about 2 meters. What happens above that distance is that the sound’s tangibility drops dramatically as does connection with events before us. I think that the Accordos can be spaced as wide as the distance from the listener do their “base” line (the line connecting them), or even wider. What is very important is their toe-in. In the manual you can see a drawing in which the speakers’ axes are directed at the listener’s ears. The model logo seems to suggest something similar (Serblin created separate logos for the Ktêmas and the Accordos). But there is also a note that “if you prefer a lower tweeter intensity you can change the direction of the front baffle so as to create the “point of intersection” outside the listener.” After many experiments with speakers’ distance and their toe-in I can say that if we want to get the right tonal balance, if we want to control their quite strong treble, the axes point of intersection IN FRONT OF the listener is not optional, but MANDATORY. 

The Accordo with power at speaker terminals

I was able to carry out all these things and each one is equally important. But if I had to point out something that is fundamental, it would be the choice of amplifier. As I said before – the Accordos sound shrill and inconsistent with everything that cannot output true 80-100 W, and preferably more. The point is that the amplifier has to be a true current source, i.e. to be capable of stably doubling its power output while reducing the load impedance by half – down to 2 Ω. Otherwise we will get “rubbish”.

Well-positioned, well toed-in and driven, Franco Serblin’s speakers offer something that their designer probably had in mind, writing in the manual: "Perhaps it is not enough anymore when music reproduction is credible and realistic; through the performer the music must [now] connect the soul of the listener with transcendent reality.”

As I said, the speakers do not have strong bass. That is, they sound well, but over around 100 Hz. This means that we get not very large spatial sound images, and the sound volume is not high. It is therefore important not to sit too far from the speakers and not to place them too far from the rear wall. This distinguishes the Accordos e.g. from the Electa Amator, which next to them sound like large floorstanders. Literally. Even if slightly coloured at the bottom, a little contoured. The midrange of the speakers under review is not warm or saturated, in which it differs again from the ultra-smooth and rather warm Guarnieri Homage. 

But the higher midrange and treble play an important role in Mr. Serblin’s new speakers and it is here that the sound character largely rests.

And that character is very, very, very clean and smooth. This could be heard even next to the Guarnieris and the Electas at Janusz. It is the kind of sound where there is no more “details” or “aspects”, as it offers something more; it offers rendering of the musical instrument. Its body is not deep and well-enhanced, these speakers do not draw the scene far back, but it has great texture and clarity.

They are speakers with fantastically developed microdynamics. Along with great clarity and sound textures we get a kind of smooth silk before us, with instruments and vocals painted on. It’s tour de force, where we “get” these details after the fact, separating them from music after listening. 

Oh yes – vocals. Light bass, with roll-off relatively high, very quickly imposes the kind of music we can comfortably and with pleasure listen to with these speakers. The approach in which audio equipment, most often the speakers, are chosen for a particular type of music is regarded to be erroneous. But we cannot dispose of this concept in its entirety. As Srajan Ebaen said when he visited me, and it is hard to disagree with him, our audio systems are usually set up in such a way that they best reproduce the music that we like the most. They are thus a reflection of their owners’ musical preferences. Even if they think that their systems are “universal”.

And in case of the Accordos matching them with our own expectations is especially important. I think that they are best suited for tracks featuring guitar – acoustic or classical – vocals, small ensembles. The double bass is usually shown well, but rather with older recordings, where its depth was limited by the recording equipment - such as the albums Chet Baker Chet Baker Sings and Plays from 1955 or Joe Pass’s For Django from 1964. Moving to Paul McCartney’s latest album Kisses On The Bottom we can clearly hear that double bass recorded with close mic placement and beefed-up in the studio is not shown very well; it is thinned. As I say, the idea is that the musical material was not specifically deep in bass. Because Beatles’ albums such as Revolver sounded great; they had beautifully arranged scene, great dynamics, especially micro-dynamics, and sounded very consistently. For the bass is incredibly fast, smooth and “free”, that is, we can hear the instrument rather than “bass”, if you know what I mean. 

What is additionally very important in this case is the sound stage and spatial reproduction. This is Mr. Serblin’s apple of the eye and he puts a lot of emphasis on it in the manual, saying: “Precise, but over-refined reproduction of music, if it is not combined with 3-D, articulate, spacious, lively soundstage will dampen listener’s enthusiasm”. Yes, both the size and the shape of the Accordos clearly imply what they are about – and I can confirm that in addition to the fast impulse response it is the scene.

The speakers vanish right before our nose. For once, optically, due to their unusual shape but also because Mr. Serblin’s speakers can reproduce the sound in such unlikely places that their “disappearing” is their least merit. All good speakers disappear in a reasonably made up room. One of the first reactions that I hear from my guests who listen to my Harbeths, with their cupboard-like proportions, is their amazement at the fact that they cannot “hear” them; that the speakers completely disappear. For me this is normal. But I don’t think I have ever heard at my home anything like what the Accordos can do.

It’s about their ability to show a continuous sound stage, a holographic image not only in the window between the speakers, but also far away to both sides. Although I know that some particular recordings were mixed using counterphase tricks, etc. It is just that the sound stage is wider than that indicated by the speakers’ placement. The scene depth is pretty good but not better than what I have with my Harbeths. The Italian speakers more accurately show the instruments, more precisely differentiate them among themselves; they better show even a slight shift to the left or right.

Conclusion

Looking at the new speakers from Franco Serblin you cannot remain indifferent... those who fully appreciated the speakers’ slender lines and delicate curves, the leather on the front baffle, etc. Likewise, I think, the sound.

To properly evaluate them and adapt them to our needs first we need to clearly say what the Accordos are NOT. They are not a successor to the Guarnieri Homage, or even the Electa Amator. Each older Franco’s speaker, in my opinion, sounds better; in various aspects, but still better. Franco Serblin’s speakers are NOT designed for large rooms, and even less so for low-powered amplifiers. If you need to pair them with a tube amp, it needs to be something like the Reference 150 or 210 from Audio Research. But they will perform better with a powerful solid-state amplifier, preferably slightly warm, like the ASR Emitter II, or the Burmester 082. The speakers will not play a more powerful symphony or even a large choir – they are small, they lack low bass and do not create large virtual sources.

Make up for it a very clean sound, very clean, consistent and above-average diameter of the soundstage. In small areas, with matching amplifier will create a heart touching spectacle., I appreciate what Mr. Serblin achieved with them.

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

REVIEW SUMMARY: Franco Serblin Accordo GreyFranco Serblin Accordo Grey is a mastery of high-end audio loudspeaker design. Everything feels refined and matured to the point where you don't look for the mistakes, but simply enjoy the musical happening. This should always be the ultimate challenge for any loudspeaker manufacturer, that claims his advancement or superiority. The artisans approach, that its expertly executed and noticeable on every step blends with all the musical material, but excel with live, acoustic music. In the times where we're taking so much things for granted Accordo Grey represent a gift from the legendary loudspeaker designer.

EXTENDED REVIEW: Franco Serblin Accordo Grey Stand-Mounted Speaker  Franco Serblin is the name we don't have to reveal in a dedicated elaboration. Franco Serblin's Accordo Grey speaker is another great product in his continued success. He's one of the most prominent names in high-end audio industry along with other legends. He not only shaped the most striking speakers throughout of his career, but changed the way people look at high-end audio. He made the high-end audio loudspeakers, like Accordo Grey reviewed here, appealing to people on such grand scale. This created a market on itself and invited to high performance audio many of those who would never make the leap or even consider it.

Franco Serblin managed to create quite some prominent loudspeakers through his career, which are still hankered about after all this years. After he retired from his company Sonus Faber many thought, that this was his final conclusion and retirement from high-end audio industry. Only after three years he returned in a grand way. This time with the company, that carried his full name as a statement. Both new speakers, the floor standing Ktema and small monitor Accordo Grey were one of its kind in its concept and appearance. People and industry was moved by his passionate creative output and right after revealing his two products, many companies try to implement some of his freshly brought ideas. Many tried and still trying, but so far no one has equally succeeded and, frankly, I strongly doubt that someone will be able to match the aura and beauty of both Ktema and Accordo. They are Franco's crown jewels and the pinnacle of his design language. These two are the landmarks enriched with two different stories and a mileage, which perhaps no one can compete with.

Franco Serblin Accordo Grey Rear CurveTo create a lifelike feeling of live acoustical instruments, there seems to not be a better building block material than wood. In some of its forms wood can help in recreating, that unmistakable feeling of natural resonate decay and delay. Each acoustical instrument has its own resonance frequency and in recreating them, wood seems to bring some of this inherited audio signature unmistakably great. Now how and to what extent one must use the different materials is the hardest thing to know. We've seen in past decade the raise of CAD and other programs, which simulate the speaker's enclosure and try to predict the sonic outcome. I won't argue about basic technical aspects, but we cannot blindly accept the complete sound prediction or signature of such simulation. I've read raving announcements of new technologies, materials and computer aided designs, yet when it came to hear this "ground breaking"  products in real life the results were not really all that promising. This shows that human sound perceiving gift and intuition towards music is precious. And ear is still among most important instruments when it comes to the final listening and fine tuning.

Accordo 
Franco Serblin Accordo Grey loudspeakers are a small monitors based on their size. With its stylish appearance they quickly catch your attention. The combination of mirror like polished aluminum and the Grey finish is striking. This further relate to each constructional part. Arched-like shape helps in positioning into the listening room and helps with fine tuning the bass. Accordo's are elegant objects that radiate their own character even prior to listening. Most importantly, when it comes to the music, they relate on the same upper echelon level as they appear aesthetically.

Sound
It is important that a loudspeaker radiates sound with a quest of its own to convey what you hear into the right words. The words and sentences must have a constructional feeling, that makes all the sense and one can draw a conclusions, which will help in understanding the product core. With Franco Serblin Accordo Grey speakers it was much easier as they possess the rare organic nature by default. This makes them very special and being able to deal with the only real reference for the music; the real unamplified acoustic recordings.

We came far with the modern production of the music with its bells and whistles, but the ultimate reference for any serious testing is still unaltered live music. Acoustical instruments and human vocals might seems like an easy task to reproduce to the most of the people. Trust me, they are not! What it seems to be the simplest goal, becomes a complex venture if one wants to achieve the ultimate performance. The complexity of natural tone is something that most of the audio designer were chasing for decades. Why some? It's not everyone's grand wish or urge to follow this route. Some of the audio designers and listeners prefer more contemporary approach to the sound. I'm not going to argue about right or wrong. Let us talk about preferred sound. While the ultra-dynamic resolution might give some of its own benefits I do prefer the tonal, timbral more lifelike sound that its closer to the real world experience. The nature of the music, and sound itself, have to do mostly more with emotional side of things around us rather than sole technical aspects. As I say often, we humans are emotional creatures.

It takes a man of passion and love of music to create something extraordinary. The passion and dedication is always finally implemented into the product. This translates to both aural and aesthetic impact. And when it comes to that, Franco Serblin was not only a true artisan, but a visionary, that could connect music to something bigger and better in its reproduction. He was able to evoke emotions and passion with his creations.

The Music 
How do you know when something's done properly? Simple! It'll relate and correlate with the things you cherish the most with ease. With Accordo Grey loudspeakers under the scope the music is becomes the media that translates to interaction between the performer and listener. I love my Kuzma Ltd Stabi S turntable as the analog front end. It's one of the cleverest and most stylish turntables money can buy. It holds the legendary spot in many countries, but in Japan it seems to have become a cult analog object. Why the highlight? As I feel those two products represent a lifelong strive for perfection in a special way. They both correlate with music in an intimate way.

I've just set the Stabi S to the 45rpm speed upon arrival of the Accordo Grey. This was a great opportunity to hear some of my favorite artist in the best way. Meeting By The River by Ry Cooder, released on Chad Kassem's Analog Production Acoustic Sounds label, is a truly remarkable album. One of my most cherishes music choices for both testing and enjoyment. Now you might heard the high-resolution version of this album, but let me assure you. What you'll going to experience with this two discs vinyl will left it behind by miles. This is a true analog recording and Kavi Alexander of Watter Lily records label was personally looking over the mastering process to ensure the outcome as he wanted. This recording will show what your system and especially loudspeakers are capable of. You might like the energetic and vivid guitars from another classic Folk Singer by Muddy Waters. It is truly a great and outstanding record, but with this vinyl LP version you'll double rethink the sense of real natural guitar overtones and dynamics. When it comes to the acoustical recording of the guitar, the tone is utmost important. Some speakers might clinically reconstruct the body and shape of the guitar in a flashy way, but they fail in bringing the naturally resonate tone of this instrument up to the level of being believable. One thing is simulating and other recreating. For the second one a real mastery is needed including gift and talent.

Franco Serblin Accordo Grey SpeakerIn my twenty some years of experiencing the vast models of speakers in widest prices range, there are really not all that much of a true winners. For the ultimate demand there have to be some of the "magic" recreated that ignite the passionate respond to the music. I've been through the different camps and schools of sound, but after all the years and mileage gained, for me the music mattes the most and it's in the first plan. And if the music is on the pedestal, then everything connected to its best reproduction have to be in line. Music has the power to create a special atmosphere where you forget the world's dealings and step into another dimension that goes beyond time and space. Certain high-end audio components are being able to ignite this illusion. This is where the real gift of dedicated designer shows. In the recreation of a happening the audio designer vision and musical DNA becomes a reality. That is how we all should perceive true high-end.

Franco Serblin Accordo Grey monitors could enable the potency of musical impact. These loudspeakers simply disappear in the room. Even with their small size, they are able to create the true drama of music that defies their size. Interestingly in most cases smaller monitor speakers loose a large portion or three dimensionality and character. But, here with the Accordo Grey speakers the energy was not being lost in translation. Another one of my 45rpm vinyl LPs being in constant rotation is Cannonball Adderley Know What I Mean? His saxophone playing is both provoking and sensual. The sense and feeling of his impact was again recreated with Accordo Grey on the level I would expect from much bigger speakers. This proves that Accordo Grey was design differently. Design to recapture the most important. With each great high-end audio component we receive the certain amount of anchor points, which helps our senses and brain in reshaping the certain musical event. Some of the designer got this right and you can both hear and feel it instantly. It either clicks or not. Franco Serblin Accordo Grey enables so much of the happening on its core level, that It immerse you into the music without rationalizing it. As it should be.

Conclusion 
Franco Serblin Accordo GreyFranco Serblin Accordo Grey is a mastery of high-end audio loudspeaker design. Everything feels refined and matured to the point where you don't look for the mistakes, but simply enjoy the musical happening. This should always be the ultimate challenge for any loudspeaker manufacturer, that claims his advancement or superiority. The artisans approach, that its expertly executed and noticeable on every step blends with all the musical material, but excel with live, acoustic music. In the times where we're taking so much things for granted Accordo Grey represent a gift from the legendary loudspeaker designer.

This is an embodiment of his genius that is carried on by his son-in-law Massimiliano. As I wrote before, there couldn't be a better person to keep the legacy of Franco Serblin alive. Everything with the Accordo Grey two-way monitor loudspeakers feels premium. From the packaging to manuals and the loudspeakers themselves, you'll be catered with refined execution of every little detail. And it goes the same with the music that Accordo Grey loudspeakers produce. All the little nuances are being posted in such grand way that you never question the Accordo Grey size, but embrace its emotional side. Like state-of-the-art mechanical watches carry on the time with its own authoritative pace, so do Accordo Grey loudspeakers with their lyrically portraits of the musical events. Boldly, and with the character, that resonates with the music. This is the finest aural art for musical reproduction... and a product for true connoisseurs. Highly recommended.
...........Matej Isaka

Specifications

Type: Two-way stand-mounted monitor speaker
Frequency Response: 40 Hz to 33 kHz
Nominal Impedance: 4 Ohms
Sensitivity: 87dB/W/m
Cabinet: Arch-shaped solid wood structure decoupled with alu-mag for resonance control. 
Tweeter: 29mm silk-dome by Ragnar Lian
Midrange/Woofer: Custom made 150mm sliced paper cone with symmetrical drive motor.
Crossover: Low-order, phase coherent using selected premium parts.
Minimum Amplifier Power Output: 20 Watt
Dimensions: 360 x 190 x 360 mm (HxWxD)
Stands Height: 740 mm
Weight: 35 lbs for speakers, 35 lbs for stands
Finish: Solid walnut, metal parts of chrome and aluminium.
Stand: Specially designed to encase the crossover network.
The floor-standing monitors of Franco Serblin offer one of the most balanced performances I have ever Experienced in any room. Actually, They are cleverly designed so That They Represent state-of-the-art of technological Possibilities
HIGH STYLE MAG - MJ (Czech)

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

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

Lights, speakers, action!

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

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

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

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

The 1.1 meters tall monitors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Casting and the scene

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

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

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

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

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

The hero Accord

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

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

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

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

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

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

The villain: amplifier

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Accord in Oppression

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

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

Sonic exhibition

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

Franco Serblin = inspirace

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

Testimonials

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

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

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

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

Cheers
DC

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