THE Show Newport 2012 • TABlog

by Marc Mickelson | June 3, 2012

One of the opportunities that a show affords is hearing gear that other TAB writers have covered and comparing their impressions with my own. Both Chris Thomas and Roy Gregory have been generous in their praise of the Lindemann BL-10 speakers ($11,000/pair including stands), a pair of which Lindemann's US distributor, Jonathan Josephs of One World Audio, set up in Newport along with a full suite of the company's electronics.

These are truly minimonitors -- not much larger than a big shoebox. However, a rap on the side reveals a cabinet that's dense and essentially inert, indications that its multi-layer construction -- 3/8" layers of Finnish birch plywood surrounding 1/8" of cork -- is effective. But the sound of contemporary two-way speakers relies on the way in which the drivers blend -- or don't -- and create a tapestry throughout the range the speakers cover. Here the BL-10s are exceptional. Their speed and openness could be the first hints of leanness, but here they're combined with tonality that's neither light nor heavy with color and an endearing delicacy. The bass makes up for what it lacks in ultimate depth with tautness and impact, extending the speakers' speed down to its lowest reaches.

Small speakers are generally the best choice for use at trade shows because of the lesser demands they make on the hotel rooms in which they are used. The Lindemann BL-10s went so far beyond simply not perturbing the room that they easily outperformed many larger speakers used in identical rooms all over the show. Put another way, Chris and Roy got it right.

But all of the credit shouldn't go to the speakers. The electronics, also from Lindemann, contributed to a system-wide approach. On top is the 825 DAC/digital player ($12,500), in the middle is the 830S preamp ($12,500), and on the bottom is the 855 stereo amp ($16,000).

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