AQ Passion Orca

MJ23.02.2020

Stand mount monitors

The Passion Orca is an improved version of the Acoustique Quality’s flagship stand-mounted speaker. Alike any other top model the Orca received meticulous attention to detail with only one exception: it was not designed as a cost-no-object speaker, instead it focused on ‘the best in class’ goal. To my mind the Orca occupies the most vital segment of the high end audio, the one that is still affordable yet it is already pretty exclusive. Beyond this point, for rather compact monitors, there is the real audio wilderness where sane pricing points cease to exist.

Funkce a forma

93%
Ergonomie
84%
Zvuk
90%
Zpracování

The Passion Orca is a 2-way speaker with a rear-firing reflex port. All drivers are from Scan-Speak’s Illuminator range that is one of the finest available. The Illuminator provenance is given away by the typical pointed pole cap of the 1” ring dome tweeter that features semi-toroid diaphragm, symmetrical motor drive with 6 neodymium magnets, and a thick aluminum faceplate. The 6” midbass aluminum cone is designed to allow for long pistonic excursions without trading off its linear behavior. The Orca provides amplifier-friendly nominal parameters, be it above the average 89dB sensitivity or 8 ohm impedance. I used two radically different amps during the listening sessions and none of the amplifiers had a slightest issue in driving the pair of Orcas.

Internally the Passion Orca is wired with solid-core AudioQuest conductors (!), the crossover assembly is mounted onto a milled antiresonant polyethylene slab, electronic parts are bolted and glued, and the connections are D2D hand soldered. I wish all manufacturers put such care to their products. The good thing with the AQ Passion Orca is that all these small perfections join into exquisite sound performance.

Nízké frekvence

Váha
64
Výbušnost
60
Artikulace
72

It is becoming a cliché to write that a compact monitor does not miss the extension of the full range speakers but I have to write it yet again. The lower point for the Passion Orca is -4dB at 30Hz and this is completely satisfying for anything but piano or organ music. Steve Ray Vaughan´s bass in Missing You was as complete as I use to hear through the best speakers – it had the balanced combination of the attack, round and thick fundamental, and natural decay, without any signs of smear or timing errors. This attests to the well behaving enclosure with not less well integrated bassreflex port.

Čistota rozlišení

Detail
95
Vzduch
88
Transparentnost
85

The Orca is a very detailed pair of speakers. It illuminates everything on a recording, be it instrumental lines, vocals, spatial clues, or just hiss that got onto the track during the transfer from tapes. The Orca does not try and serve analogue warmth or softness, even from vinyl, neither it is on the cold side. After while you’ll find the Orca’s sparkling cleaness outstanding and start to listen to your favorite music pieces as if they were freshly remastered. The downside of such a resolving power is that it will ask for only the best electronics and recordings – anything lesser encoded in a track’s data results into the truth that may be bitter for some.

Tonální věrnost

Témbr
69
Dynamika
79
Časování
89

The cabinets of the Passion Orca is a puzzle of thick MDF trapezoids and triangles to make sure that it is as inert as possible. This is further facilitated by loading the cabinets at strategic points by steel pellets. Despite the cabinets are not heavy they are very rigid and – in consequence – they do not color the sound.

I was delighted with the bi-wireable terminals, yet, perhaps in the next generation Orca, the terminals could be a part of the stand’s plinth. Today the most speaker cables are really heavy and the pull force on the terminals one meter above floor is rather high.

Prostorovost

Trojrozměrnost
82
Šířka scény
81
Hloubka scény
83

I auditioned the Passion Orca in different rooms, some were well over 50sqm. The speakers have power enough to rock at high listening volumes, yet if you want to savor both precision and weight of the bass I would recommend to pair the Orca with one or two dedicated subwoofers. I would recommend a sub even in a smaller room – not for the extension of bass but for added spatiality and the aura that makes the deep tones more alive.

Without the subwoofer and in a ´control room´ set up when the room is almost eliminated from the listening equation, the Passion Orca exhibit like a very precise listening instrument, a sort of headphone experience outside your head. The tonality and imaging is top notch and the pristine clarity let you hear every nuance. This is one of the few passive speakers that I would not mind using for studio work, it is that good.

P.S. The price shown includes dedicated stands that will be indispensable for two reasons. One, they enhance the design of the Orca and give the speaker a ‘levitating’ appearance. Two, the latter actually comes true as strong magnets in the Orca’s and the stand’s base force the cabinet float on the stand.

Cena v době recenze:180 000,- Kč

Doporučení prodejci

AQ s.r.o., Červenka, tel. +420 585 342 232

Připojené komponenty

  • Sources: Arcam SACD CDS50, Lindemann Limetree 3 Network player
  • Amplifiers: Arcam C48 preamplifiier, Arcam P48 power amplifier, KR Audio Kronzilla VA680i
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: AudioQuest Earth and Water, AudioQuest Firebird, AudioQuest Redwood
  • Power conditioning: AudioQuest Niagara 5000, AudioQuest NRG 1000, AudioQuest Hurricane, AudioQuest Thunder

Galerie

AQ Passion Orca

The Passion Orca is an improved version of the Acoustique Quality’s flagship stand-mounted speaker. Alike any other top model the Orca received meticulous attention to detail with only one exception: it was not designed as a ...

Doporučení prodejci

AQ s.r.o., Červenka, tel. +420 585 342 232

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