MANGER Zerobox 109IIe

PW18.02.2010

Stand mount monitors

Imagine a stone that is thrown into still water in a pond – can you see the concentric waves travelling evenly in circles outwards from the centre? This is the best visualisation of what the MSW (the Manger sound transducer) does. Without any doubts, the ´tweeter´is the most attractive and the eye-catching element of the Zerobox. Though it looks like a tweeter this transducer is able to cover frequencies from around 80Hz to 35kHz which brings the Manger´s design close to the point sound source.

Funkce a forma

80%
Ergonomie
63%
Zvuk
86%
Zpracování

Of course, the excitation of the MSW´s membrane is not caused by a thrown stone; there are two 70mm coils in series, electrically connected in parallel. By synchronised movements of the coils in the air gap and the magnetic field the rising opposing forces are mutually cancelled out and the coil system can move only in accordance with a music signal. This layout gives the MSW transducer extremely fast response time, low distortion and its unique sonic properties.

Though the MSW is 21cm in diameter (19cm reserved for the active surface of its diaphragm) it is only 2,2cm in height. Unlike standard cone membranes that has to be as stiff as possible thanks to its piston-like movements the flat MSW membrane is made of a flexible sandwich that vibrates only in its own axis. The concentric waves move from the middle of the mebrane just like the waves on a pond that has been excited by a stone.

The MDF cabinets of the Zeroboxes are remarkable – they are designed in curvaceous (trapezoidal) shape and they are closed, that is no bassreflex port is to be found here. The Zeroboxes do not pretend they came to shake your room with thundering lows: purpose of their design is to convey music uncluttered, clear and authentic.

Both the shape and cabinet´s interior with braces and floating damping panels successfully fight standing waves and dimensions of their miniature front plate prevent most reflections. This is also something hardly manageable with full scale enclosures.

High quality bi-wiring terminals are mounted directly into the MDF, there is no room for plastic in there and, as a consequence, there is no room for resonances either. This is what I call a puristic design and I love it. With the sensitivity of 88dB (and impedance of 4 ohm) they are not particularly demanding towards an amplifier either.

Nízké frekvence

Váha
48
Výbušnost
56
Artikulace
51

If you want to apply for a job position in Manger I recommend to take the one of a woofer in the Zeroboxes. Not that the woofer is not working – it starts from 50Hz (this is what specifications say; when measuring the Zeroboxes with test CDs there was a solid bass output already at around 46Hz, which sufficed to fullfil my listening room with realistic bass guitar tones. The reason why you should apply for the position of the Zerobox´s woofer is that it fully works only up to 80Hz. Above this limit its function is only supportive up to 140Hz where it is crossed-over. And if you do not apply don´t worry – the place is already taken anyway by a 20cm custom-made ScanSpeak.

Despite the absence of the lower and the lowest bass I still liked the depth the Zeroboxes reached: this is not the bass of an earthshaking or penetrating quality, however, it is taut and informative, dry rather than juicy, and fast rather than slow or bloated. The bass guitar from Cannibal Song (Ministry, The Mind is A Terrible Thing to Taste) was pleasantly rich, incisive and threatening.

Čistota rozlišení

Detail
76
Vzduch
61
Transparentnost
65

Apart from a very clear soundstage layout (the spatial accuracy is a definite strength of the Zerobox) the Manger had an exceptional sense for pace and rhythm – the response of the broadband transducer was lightning fast which highly contributed to a general coherence of reproduced musical events and an absolute clarity of the images. As a secondary result, it comes as no surprise that instruments rich in initial transient information (like drums or plucked strings of a harp) are portrayed without smearing or excessive blur – a listening session with the Zerobox 109IIe becomes an endless joy and relaxation.

Tonální věrnost

Témbr
48
Dynamika
60
Časování
63

Amazing Grace (Aretha Franklin) album is a pure gospel album – actually it is a live recording of a church service, which I find very unique but not surprising considering AF´s roots. The Amazing Grace is not an audiophile record but it is very authentic and its authenticity was conveyed without any stress by the Manger Zerobox109IIe. Human hearing is supersensitive to tonal imbalances of speech and singing and the CD like this can reveal promptly that something is not in a perfect order. I tried hard to find an imperfection with the Zeroboxes but there was none. I even spent one afternoon comparing the Manger to the WATT/Puppies 8 on this recording and the only conclusion I could draw was that I slightly preferred the Manger to the Wilson Audio (of course, your brain has to filter out the bottom octaves). From about 200Hz up the Zerobox 109IIe exhibited more ease, it was more natural and seamless and convincingly pure and transparent. Through the Puppies I was receiving more detail, more air, more saturation and more precision, however, they were overly ´audiophile´in this respect and reminded me with their presence.

Prostorovost

Trojrozměrnost
56
Šířka scény
70
Hloubka scény
66

There is one element in the mix that must not be underrated: the Zerobox 109IIe require careful positioning. Perhaps thanks to its closed design the loudpeakers do not suffer when pushed more towards walls, however you have to be pay attention to their toe-in and to the height you sit at (which will be changing with your distance from the speakers). To my ears the broadband transducers seemed to be quite directional and therefore a sweet spot is quite limited.
Most of the time I listened to the Zeroboxes in a near-field set up where they were able to throw impressively precise and organized soundstage with realistic dimensions and their radiation characteristics was not far from an ideal one-point source.

Cena v době recenze:130 000,- Kč

Doporučení prodejci

Audiostudio s.r.o., Olomouc, tel. +420 608 752 475

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