SCANSONIC S9

MJ13.03.2019

Floorstanding loudspeakers

Scansonic is a part of Danish Dantax Radio group, side by side with Raidho and recently acquired GamuT speakers. While its siblings are rather high-endish, the Scansonic represents opposite polarity - an affordable consumer brand. The S9 floorstanders are slim towers that were built with Scandinavian pristine look and only one goal in mind: to entertain.

Function and form

80%
Ease of use
42%
Sound
75%
Appearance

Scansonic designers decided to make lifestyle speakers that would blend with modern décor and made them very thin. Even with the integrated plinth the 93cm tall S9s are wiggling and one does not need to try hard to knock them over. Therefore – if I am an owner – bolting the plinths to something more massive like 5mm steel sheet would be the first thing to do.

All drivers are based on Kevlar-reinforced cellulose cones, the tweeter has a fabric dome. The bass is supported by a rear-firing bassreflex port. Surprisingly the Scansonic S9s can be bi-wired. These are budget speakers and their fit and finish correspond with it.

Bass management

Weight
52
Slam
48
Articulation
46

No matter how generic the S9 may look my jaw literally dropped when I listened to Sade on them (Love Deluxe, No Ordinary Love, Epic). If the speakers were behind a curtain I would swear that there were much bigger speakers. The Sade’s voice was smooth and resolved, guitars were nicely delineated in the mix and with no shrill, and the pulsating bass line was really heavy, with chest-punching quality. I loved it.

Acoustic double-bass was not bad either. I could savour both resonant strings and fullness of the instrument’s body. Also voices had enough chestiness through the Scansonic S9s with almost no coloration and good control. Really nothing to complain about. I admit I did not expect anything like this.

Clarity & delicacy

Detail
61
Air
43
Transparency
45

Scansonic S9s are not as expressive as recently reviewed STX Electrino 250, they are more relaxed and sweeter, they do not miss a single detail, however. The fabric dome tweeter is a bit hotter (as it is in Raidho designs) and the listener gets abundance of details and textures (as it is in Raidho designs). For a speaker that cheap it is a very fine achievement.

Tonal accuracy

Timbre
50
Dynamics
47
Temporal resolution
46

Despite its courageous bass output the S9 is a small speaker so it can’t play too loud and I would not recommend it to large rooms. Still, subtle orchestral colours – like the ones in Saint-Saens’ Dance Macabre (Charles Dutoit and Kuyng Wha Chung, Decca) – were calibrated with ease and I could enjoy the sweet violin, robust fanfares and agile transients of castanets. Another big surprise here.

Spatial resolution

Holography
41
Soundstage width
40
Soundstage depth
42

The imaging is good although the soundstage is modest. Also it is unusual to have the tweeters half a meter lower than a listener’s ears. Thus the music does not have necessary vertical dimension, though it is possible to sit further in the room to compensate for it with wall and ceiling reflections.

In my opinion the Scansonic S9 is an excellent and affordable solution for modern interiors where unobtrusive visual presence of speakers is a must and where reflectivity of smooth surfaces will help the S9s sound big. Yes, they are voiced a bit euphonically, yet they are superbly clean and energetic to win you over. And they can play classical music which is not standard in this price category.

Price as reviewed:17 000,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Horizon Trading Prague, Praha, +420 222 715 959

Associated components

  • Sources: Luxman D-05u
  • Amplifiers: Luxman L-505uX Mark II
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Telos Audio Black Reference
  • Loudspeakers: STX Electrino, Dynavoice DF-5, Indiana Line Tesi 561
  • Power conditioning: Supra loom

Gallery

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