Zellaton: The End of My Speaker Journey

RCanelas

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Dec 28, 2021
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Lisbon, Portugal
cinnamonaudio.com
If the cabinet is open at the back .
Isn't some bass energy lost ?Or is the bass just tighter Becaue of it ?
Obviously I have no idea ,but since it's the first time I've seen this design it's intriguing

It's a flavor of loading and attaining dispersion for cardioid behavior over a given band pass. I'm betting low mid-bass, high bass regions from the apparent dimensions. That's part of their appeal, they were made do play in a real room, and from Mike's impressions it shows!

Read up online, some information available about the technique, mostly from the pro-audio world.

Impressive @vinyl_mike , thanks for sharing.
 
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SlapEcho

Member
Dec 15, 2021
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It's a flavor of loading and attaining dispersion for cardioid behavior over a given band pass. I'm betting low mid-bass, high bass regions from the apparent dimensions. That's part of their appeal, they were made do play in a real room, and from Mike's impressions it shows!

Read up online, some information available about the technique, mostly from the pro-audio world.

Impressive @vinyl_mike , thanks for sharing.

May also be some form of aperiodic damping enclosure to lower speaker "Q" for given box size. Visually there does seem to be some open cell foam or some sort of air flow restrictive material on the backside.
 

RCanelas

Well-Known Member
Dec 28, 2021
159
359
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Lisbon, Portugal
cinnamonaudio.com
May also be some form of aperiodic damping enclosure to lower speaker "Q" for given box size. Visually there does seem to be some open cell foam or some sort of air flow restrictive material on the backside.

That also makes sense. I'm thrown by the amount of area dedicated to it (and the arrangement), but yeah.
 

SlapEcho

Member
Dec 15, 2021
64
69
23
This configuration reminds me of early Egglestonworks Andra model dual 6" midrange cabinet construction.

I would assume the surface area depends on how flow restrictive the material is with the more flow restrictive material requiring smaller venting area. There would also be associated costs with higher restrictive materials like localized unwanted chuffing noise and vibrations against the material fasteners.

Agreed though that the amount of surface area given is indeed a bit different.
 

vinyl_mike

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2012
18
99
918
how efficient are the Zellatons in real life? not much online to reference in terms of measurements. they really are beautiful.
In addition to the Goldmund amps, and the previously mentioned Tenor monoblocs, I also tried my small darTZeel NHB-108 stereo amp. An amazing amp but certainly not a powerhouse, yet it acquitted itself surprisingly well. Several experienced audiophiles heard the Statements with the darTZeel amp, and all were surprised at its ability to drive the Statements to rock'n'roll levels. Only a handful of times did its “eyes” flicker as the amp approached clipping. Downside? The ultimate low-end depth, slam, and visceral impact was missing, and it did not have the extension compared the large Tenors and certainly the Goldmunds. While the 108 works, I would assume that anyone with the Statements who love darTZeel would mate them with the NHB-468s to achieve the full potential of the speakers.
 
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bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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Don't even bother posting a video, it's not worth it. You are right, a video cannot do a great system justice.
What a liar
 
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itay123

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Mar 5, 2023
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what a beautiful setup!

Heard the zellaton plural evo & Stage Mainly.
I was quite impressed.

Many hours with a variety of amplifiers at my local distributor who is also a good friend, to whom I occasionally drop by for a cup of coffee, amps & combo such as: Absolar, PILIUM, Solution, MSB, Constellation and more...
The dynamic details and micro resolution sounds good as a signature, overall I enjoyed them very much With all the that variety I mentioned.
 
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gleeds

Industry Expert
May 29, 2018
773
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what a beautiful setup!

Heard the zellaton plural evo & Stage Mainly.
I was quite impressed.

Many hours with a variety of amplifiers at my local distributor who is also a good friend, to whom I occasionally drop by for a cup of coffee, amps & combo such as: Absolar, PILIUM, Solution, MSB, Constellation and more...
The dynamic details and micro resolution sounds good as a signature, overall I enjoyed them very much With all the that variety I mentioned.
Itay that must have been fun and free coffee too:) I suspect the Absolare integrated or hybrid amplifiers would make a great pairing. We have been enjoying our Plural Evo's with the WestminsterLab Rei's Class A monos. Simply a very refined loudspeaker with some nicely differentiated technology that should be on anybody's shortlist who is shopping for a speaker in the price range.
 

itay123

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Mar 5, 2023
169
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Itay that must have been fun and free coffee too:) I suspect the Absolare integrated or hybrid amplifiers would make a great pairing. We have been enjoying our Plural Evo's with the WestminsterLab Rei's Class A monos. Simply a very refined loudspeaker with some nicely differentiated technology that should be on anybody's shortlist who is shopping for a speaker in the price range.

We played quite a bit with combinations,
each amplifier took them to a different way & place, with one refinement or another,
the Absolar are definitely special.
 
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PhP

Industry Expert
Nov 12, 2012
171
117
950
FRANCE
www.phpaudio.fr

Background

As a lifelong audiophile and part-time audio reviewer, I have been fortunate to own, review, and audition, many of the top high-end systems. To further my passion, I was fortunate to be able to build a dedicated listening room. With an Acoustic Sciences custom designed listening space, my only consideration was the sound, not visual aesthetics. The room was built using the ASC IsoWall System with Tube Traps to provide maximum flexibility and easy tuning for any future speaker. For addition room details: https://6moons.com/audioreviews/theroom/1.html


View attachment 120321

View attachment 120322


View attachment 120323

My speaker journey began with electrostatics, touching on many brands and technologies, then progressing deeply into the Wilson ecosystem, ending with the Alexandria X-2 Series 2. While not perfect by any means, when meticulously set up in a well-designed room, they provided me exceptional enjoyment. I believed that my lifelong speaker journey had ended. Boy, was I wrong.

Visiting the Munich audio show can be overwhelming in its size and scope. Fortunately, many of the ultra-high and systems are exhibited in adjacent large 20’ x 40’ atrium rooms. Although their construction and glass make them less than ideal, they are significantly larger than the typical hotel room, with space to add room treatments. The beauty of this layout allows the ability to compare some of the world’s finest systems side-by-side.

Generally, most systems were good, with some excellent. Then I came to the Zellaton room showcasing their Reference Speaker. I was immediately blown away. The room disappeared, the speakers disappeared, and Dean Martin materialized in a focused 3D space. Coherent, tonally correct, with jaw dropping realism. With the Zellaton sound as a new baseline, I went back to all the major rooms. In my opinion, none approached Zellaton. Six times over two days I visited the Zellaton room for extended listening. For my ears and my tastes, Zellaton was head-and-shoulders above the rest. This was the first speaker that was unequivocally and materially better than my Wilson Alexandria’s in every respect.

It is here at Munich that I met Gideon Schwartz, owner of Audio Arts, and the North American importer for Zellaton. We began ongoing discussions, and it became clear that Gideon is, first and foremost, passionate about the music – not just the technical specs. Over the years I have developed very specific listening objectives and have used these as a filter for my system development. I credit Gideon 's knowledge and experience in understanding my priorities and tailoring the installation and ancillary equipment to meet my goals.

Flash forward three years, through Covid and global supply chain issues, my new Zellaton Statements arrived. At 700 pounds each, it took a crew of eight and a skid loader to get them to the basement. Let me assure you, the wait was worth it.

View attachment 120324

View attachment 120325

The Statements


Visually stunning, like a beautiful and exquisite work of art. The mirror finish is the deepest, richest piano finish imaginable. The outrigger feet are finished to Rolls Royce standards. Their attention to detail is obsessive.

View attachment 120326

At 6 foot tall and 700 lbs. each, the Statements with their unique angles, are far less imposing than one might imagine. They utilize a complex cabinet, open in the rear, designed with multiple layers, and massively braced to minimize vibrations, verified by a Laser Doppler vibrometer.


View attachment 120327


Clearly, a major key to the Zellaton sound is their unique proprietary speakers. With almost 100 years of R&D, the drivers in the Statements and the other models in their Klassik line are handmade with multilayer foam and an aluminum coating thinner than a human hair. Baked for weeks, their inherent design eliminates phase shift and produces an ideal impulse response. With the foam composed most of air, the result is an extraordinarily lightweight and rigid driver with the tweeter diaphragm weighing only .18 grams. Each driver is manufactured using the same aluminum coated foam process, and together they integrate with a seamless “electrostatic-like” coherence. The effect is startling.

View attachment 120328

The Sound


The first impression is their remarkable “in the room” realism. Zellatons have an uncanny, and in my opinion, unmatched ability to present the convincing illusion of real performers in the room. You get the unmistakable feeling that there is less between you and the music. The resolution is detailed yet natural. With the right recording the performer appears and exists naturally in a realistic 3D space.

The music is not just presented, it flows naturally capturing its “soul.” Turn the lights down, close your eyes, and the performance just appears in the room. With the right music, the speakers disappear, the walls recede, and you are left with the musical event. The music is alive and exciting.

The design and uniformity of the individual drivers produces a purity that I have not heard since the early Quad ESL. For those of you who remember the Quad, imagine them scaling to a full range system, with unlimited dynamics, a fully integrated low-end capable of pressurizing a large listening room, while maintaining their remarkable transparency and liquidity.

Interestingly, the midrange driver is almost full range with a response from 100hz to 8k, covering the majority of the listening range. With no crossovers or phase issues, this undoubtedly contributes to seamless presentation and exquisite midrange realism.

Leading edges are fast, crisp, and clean, without the slightest edginess. The highs are extended and free of grain, with the tweeter extending to 40khz. Having lived with the somewhat “rougher” tweeter of the Alexandria's, the Zellatons took a little bit of an adjustment. With time it became clear to me that their purity and the lack of distortion actually delivers more high-end detail. What’s missing is any distortion or artificial brightness. For example, whether it is Blood, Sweat and Tears or Miles Davis, trumpets are extended, exciting, and quite real, leaving just the right, balance, and bite. Missing is any added edginess, detail, or artificial enhancement.

As with the highs, the bass is fully integrated and blends seamlessly. The low-end is fast, tight, and controlled, never calling attention to itself outside of the music. But with the right music it will knock your socks off. The opening notes of Donald Fagan’s Morph the Cat is absolutely stunning with its low-end and definition. Compared to the Wilsons, my first reaction was a slightly subdued bass. With further critical listening, it appears that the Wilson’s were activating a specific room mode. Zellaton’s bass while equally deep, is faster, far more integrated, and flows more naturally with the music.

Compared to the Zellatons, the Wilsons did not fully bloom at low levels or with intimate music. With seemingly limitless dynamic range the Zellatons scale effortlessly, with finesse and clarity at all volume levels. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Yo-Yo Ma cello suite or Led Zeppelin, each appear in the appropriate acoustic envelope. While some speakers expand the image size as the volume increases, resulting in twenty-foot-tall singers in your listening room – not so with the Zellatons. They seemingly always maintain correct proportions.

Room placement is flexible in that they can project a more laid-back far-field presentation, or to my tastes, a more immersive perspective with a deeper 3D holographic soundstage. Room positioning has a significant effect on the size and depth of their presentation.

Well, this ends my small introduction into the Zellaton world. However, at this exalted level, describing the sonics, and checking “audiophile boxes” does not begin to tell the full story.

High-end listening is very personal and individual. Different people have different tastes and goals. However, I can clearly state my priorities:

• Emotionally involvement- being pulled into the musical event.
• Holographic 3D immersion - “you are there” presentation.
• The speakers and room disappear.
• Musical purity as opposed to detail for detail’s sake.

With these as a filter, I can unequivocally say that the Zellatons hit it out of the park. For me, I have finally arrived at the end of my lifelong speaker journey.

View attachment 120329
View attachment 120331
Wonderfull system Mike !
GOLDMUND/TENOR/DARTZEEL are so different, I think one is better most of the time. I had TENOR haute puissance in the past, and we spoke about Walker product as set up, mainly cones and discs.
I used also discs for year, not now. They damp the sound in my experience, a bit too much, whatever the chassis is rigid (GOLDMUND, APURNA™...) or not (TENOR ...).
All the best,
Philippe
 
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gleeds

Industry Expert
May 29, 2018
773
1,260
235
KPC, I am pleased to say I have Pluro Evo's available for a demo here in Newport Beach. Emotions will be next. Please PM me and we can set up a look and listen.

how efficient are the Zellatons in real life? not much online to reference in terms of measurements. they really are beautiful.
Hi Keith. Actually fairly efficient. As an example, CJ uses them as their reference and in the example below powers them on their lowest powered amplifier, the 27a at 32 watts/channel. See photos below in their factory showroom.

Naturally, we run them with the Westminster Rei at 100 watts watts Class A and Gideon often provides them with the high power Goldmund amplifiers. It's nice when a speaker is compatible with a wide range of amplifiers with differing sonic signatures. We have found fast amplifiers with a transparent sonic signature best. I imagine the very simple circuit of the CH 27a works well due to the simplicity of the circuit vs. higher power KT-88 based amplifier with lots of tubes. Just a hunch though since we have yet to try our Zell's with tubes. I am hoping to try them with the Trafomatic Elysium SE monoblocks in 2024. Gideon has lots of experience with Jadis and I'm sure can add to the conversation.

1680044325873041606.jpg
 

gleeds

Industry Expert
May 29, 2018
773
1,260
235
how efficient are the Zellatons in real life? not much online to reference in terms of measurements. they really are beautiful.
Keith, next time you are back in CA I'll be happy to arrange a look and listen to the Pluro Evo's which should be on your short list when it's time to consider Stenheim's. For the here and now enjoy your system in your lovely new home. I'm glad the Fyne's now have more room to breath! Who knows, perhaps the Fyne's will beat all comers:)
 
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vinyl_mike

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2012
18
99
918

Background

As a lifelong audiophile and part-time audio reviewer, I have been fortunate to own, review, and audition, many of the top high-end systems. To further my passion, I was fortunate to be able to build a dedicated listening room. With an Acoustic Sciences custom designed listening space, my only consideration was the sound, not visual aesthetics. The room was built using the ASC IsoWall System with Tube Traps to provide maximum flexibility and easy tuning for any future speaker. For addition room details: https://6moons.com/audioreviews/theroom/1.html


View attachment 120321

View attachment 120322


View attachment 120323

My speaker journey began with electrostatics, touching on many brands and technologies, then progressing deeply into the Wilson ecosystem, ending with the Alexandria X-2 Series 2. While not perfect by any means, when meticulously set up in a well-designed room, they provided me exceptional enjoyment. I believed that my lifelong speaker journey had ended. Boy, was I wrong.

Visiting the Munich audio show can be overwhelming in its size and scope. Fortunately, many of the ultra-high and systems are exhibited in adjacent large 20’ x 40’ atrium rooms. Although their construction and glass make them less than ideal, they are significantly larger than the typical hotel room, with space to add room treatments. The beauty of this layout allows the ability to compare some of the world’s finest systems side-by-side.

Generally, most systems were good, with some excellent. Then I came to the Zellaton room showcasing their Reference Speaker. I was immediately blown away. The room disappeared, the speakers disappeared, and Dean Martin materialized in a focused 3D space. Coherent, tonally correct, with jaw dropping realism. With the Zellaton sound as a new baseline, I went back to all the major rooms. In my opinion, none approached Zellaton. Six times over two days I visited the Zellaton room for extended listening. For my ears and my tastes, Zellaton was head-and-shoulders above the rest. This was the first speaker that was unequivocally and materially better than my Wilson Alexandria’s in every respect.

It is here at Munich that I met Gideon Schwartz, owner of Audio Arts, and the North American importer for Zellaton. We began ongoing discussions, and it became clear that Gideon is, first and foremost, passionate about the music – not just the technical specs. Over the years I have developed very specific listening objectives and have used these as a filter for my system development. I credit Gideon 's knowledge and experience in understanding my priorities and tailoring the installation and ancillary equipment to meet my goals.

Flash forward three years, through Covid and global supply chain issues, my new Zellaton Statements arrived. At 700 pounds each, it took a crew of eight and a skid loader to get them to the basement. Let me assure you, the wait was worth it.

View attachment 120324

View attachment 120325

The Statements


Visually stunning, like a beautiful and exquisite work of art. The mirror finish is the deepest, richest piano finish imaginable. The outrigger feet are finished to Rolls Royce standards. Their attention to detail is obsessive.

View attachment 120326

At 6 foot tall and 700 lbs. each, the Statements with their unique angles, are far less imposing than one might imagine. They utilize a complex cabinet, open in the rear, designed with multiple layers, and massively braced to minimize vibrations, verified by a Laser Doppler vibrometer.


View attachment 120327


Clearly, a major key to the Zellaton sound is their unique proprietary speakers. With almost 100 years of R&D, the drivers in the Statements and the other models in their Klassik line are handmade with multilayer foam and an aluminum coating thinner than a human hair. Baked for weeks, their inherent design eliminates phase shift and produces an ideal impulse response. With the foam composed most of air, the result is an extraordinarily lightweight and rigid driver with the tweeter diaphragm weighing only .18 grams. Each driver is manufactured using the same aluminum coated foam process, and together they integrate with a seamless “electrostatic-like” coherence. The effect is startling.

View attachment 120328

The Sound


The first impression is their remarkable “in the room” realism. Zellatons have an uncanny, and in my opinion, unmatched ability to present the convincing illusion of real performers in the room. You get the unmistakable feeling that there is less between you and the music. The resolution is detailed yet natural. With the right recording the performer appears and exists naturally in a realistic 3D space.

The music is not just presented, it flows naturally capturing its “soul.” Turn the lights down, close your eyes, and the performance just appears in the room. With the right music, the speakers disappear, the walls recede, and you are left with the musical event. The music is alive and exciting.

The design and uniformity of the individual drivers produces a purity that I have not heard since the early Quad ESL. For those of you who remember the Quad, imagine them scaling to a full range system, with unlimited dynamics, a fully integrated low-end capable of pressurizing a large listening room, while maintaining their remarkable transparency and liquidity.

Interestingly, the midrange driver is almost full range with a response from 100hz to 8k, covering the majority of the listening range. With no crossovers or phase issues, this undoubtedly contributes to seamless presentation and exquisite midrange realism.

Leading edges are fast, crisp, and clean, without the slightest edginess. The highs are extended and free of grain, with the tweeter extending to 40khz. Having lived with the somewhat “rougher” tweeter of the Alexandria's, the Zellatons took a little bit of an adjustment. With time it became clear to me that their purity and the lack of distortion actually delivers more high-end detail. What’s missing is any distortion or artificial brightness. For example, whether it is Blood, Sweat and Tears or Miles Davis, trumpets are extended, exciting, and quite real, leaving just the right, balance, and bite. Missing is any added edginess, detail, or artificial enhancement.

As with the highs, the bass is fully integrated and blends seamlessly. The low-end is fast, tight, and controlled, never calling attention to itself outside of the music. But with the right music it will knock your socks off. The opening notes of Donald Fagan’s Morph the Cat is absolutely stunning with its low-end and definition. Compared to the Wilsons, my first reaction was a slightly subdued bass. With further critical listening, it appears that the Wilson’s were activating a specific room mode. Zellaton’s bass while equally deep, is faster, far more integrated, and flows more naturally with the music.

Compared to the Zellatons, the Wilsons did not fully bloom at low levels or with intimate music. With seemingly limitless dynamic range the Zellatons scale effortlessly, with finesse and clarity at all volume levels. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Yo-Yo Ma cello suite or Led Zeppelin, each appear in the appropriate acoustic envelope. While some speakers expand the image size as the volume increases, resulting in twenty-foot-tall singers in your listening room – not so with the Zellatons. They seemingly always maintain correct proportions.

Room placement is flexible in that they can project a more laid-back far-field presentation, or to my tastes, a more immersive perspective with a deeper 3D holographic soundstage. Room positioning has a significant effect on the size and depth of their presentation.

Well, this ends my small introduction into the Zellaton world. However, at this exalted level, describing the sonics, and checking “audiophile boxes” does not begin to tell the full story.

High-end listening is very personal and individual. Different people have different tastes and goals. However, I can clearly state my priorities:

• Emotionally involvement- being pulled into the musical event.
• Holographic 3D immersion - “you are there” presentation.
• The speakers and room disappear.
• Musical purity as opposed to detail for detail’s sake.

With these as a filter, I can unequivocally say that the Zellatons hit it out of the park. For me, I have finally arrived at the end of my lifelong speaker journey.

View attachment 120329
View attachment 120331
This weekend I am “unveiling” the Zellaton system with a local audiophile group. Gideon and Myles will be here also. I suspect that we will have some good feedback on the Zellaton sound.

As I previously mentioned, part of the enjoyment of the hobby is meeting other passionate audiophiles and sharing divergent opinions. Therefore, if you are in the Mid-Atlantic area, reach out to me. I would be glad to arrange an upcoming visit.
 

ashandger

Well-Known Member
Jun 14, 2013
406
175
348
Enjoy the weekend Mike....would love to join but a bit far away!! Looks like Gideon won't be attending the launch of the new Reference Ultra in Netherlands this weekend.
 

vinyl_mike

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2012
18
99
918
Why is the Plural Evo drivers black and all the rest of the Zellaton speakers are silver color ?
They use different drivers ?
View attachment 121178
The Plural Evo speakers are not the same as the silver drivers in the KLASSIC line. The multilayer “silver” drivers are handmade - taking weeks to manufacture. Apparently, this manufacturing process is not scalable for high volume. Zellaton developed a new process maintaining the multi-layer design, but with a more automated process, allowing a lower price point.

This is my understanding. When Gideon weighs in on the thread, he can answer in detail.
 

itay123

Well-Known Member
Mar 5, 2023
169
259
65
Why is the Plural Evo drivers black and all the rest of the Zellaton speakers are silver color ?
They use different drivers ?
View attachment 121178

The Plural Evo speakers are not the same as the silver drivers in the KLASSIC line. The multilayer “silver” drivers are handmade - taking weeks to manufacture. Apparently, this manufacturing process is not scalable for high volume. Zellaton developed a new process maintaining the multi-layer design, but with a more automated process, allowing a lower price point.

This is my understanding. When Gideon weighs in on the thread, he can answer in detail.

Probably because of the following, they also sound completely different.
 

vinyl_mike

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2012
18
99
918
Probably because of the following, they also sound completely different.
This weekend, I'll get a read as to the Plural's overall sound compared to the Statements. Myles Astor, who owns the Plural Evos with Goldmund amps will be here.
 

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