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26
Sep

And Now for Something Completely Different: Aurelia’s Cerica

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Walk into my listening room and you'll see something that resembles a Hong Kong hi-fi shop -- there's equipment everywhere. What's more, the sheer amount of it, particularly loudspeakers, seems to be growing by the week, if not by the day. This week I already blogged about the arrival of Magico S5 and Polymer Audio Research MKS speakers, and now I'm going to add the Aurelia Cericas to that list.

But unlike the Magicos or the PARs, the tale of the arrival of the Cericas has true international flair. Russian-born Anna Popova, who now lives in Liechtenstein and operates a distribution company out of Switzerland called Conceptas, brought the Aurelia loudspeakers into Canada for Montreal's Salon Son & Image show last spring. Aurelia, which she distributes, is based in Finland. But despite covering SSI, I had no idea that the speakers were still in Canada until I was in Munich, Germany, for High End 2013. It was there that I talked to Aurelia's founder, Antti Louhivaara, who was showing his speakers with Anna's company. I then decided to review the Cericas, and I learned that a pair was still in Montreal, which is just two hours from my home.

Aurelia Cerica

The Cericas, which retail for €4300 per pair in Europe including stands (the North American retail prices have yet to be established), arrived promptly from Montreal, and the first thing that popped to mind after I got them set up was the title of Monty Python's 1971 film And Now for Something Completely Different. (Most people my age and older will likely remember it, while youngsters, such as our own Hans Wetzel, might not even know this classic exists.) Quite simply, I've never seen anything quite like the Cerica, which has two woofers that are placed above and below three -- yes, three! -- tweeters situated in a complex waveguide. Too crazy to work? Some might think so, but Antti, who was the lead designer at Amphion until 2006 and an expert in waveguide design, sees it as the logical progression of his previous work. So far I can tell you this: performance-wise, the speakers do some remarkable things, so he might really be on to something with this unique configuration. But that's all I can tell you until I listen to them more and the review comes out.

So there you have it: three new speakers that have arrived in my home that I've blogged about in a week. Would you be surprised to learn that something quite special is scheduled to arrive next week? Is it another pair of loudspeakers? Something else? Please check back after Wednesday to find out what it is.

Doug Schneider
Publisher, The SoundStage! Network

 

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Guest Wednesday, 20 September 2017

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