Kralk Audio – BC-30 Mk2 & The PAW Bass Stands ! [English]
KRALK AUDIO BC-30 Black Cat MK2
Small in size big on sound. Made proudly in West Yorkshire, UK.
“Every pair hand built and matched for maximum performance and listening pleasure, the infinite baffle design delivers clean bass and excellent stereo imaging with a silky smooth top end.”
It’s hard to explain the inner tranquillity when you hear a beautiful voice playing along with strings. It still blows my mind how such harmony exists alongside wars and treachery in this world. “Everybody Needs Some Time On Their Own” seems so effortlessly singing away her entire existence into this one, and only single song. Her voice so captivating that it’s hard to keep my fingers on the keyboard rather than sit and listen to her soul’s exposure. Sandi who was 20 meters away said it had made her day. The deep complicating falsettos surge through the BC-30’s like they were made for each other; and if there’s a broken heart other than the one she is singing about, then it’s mine for having to leave my beautiful system and leave the area I was in.
The lyrics “Do you need some time on your own?” then lingered in my mind, past the early morning and into the mid-day. The sun was out by then. Despite the havoc at the office at Hiendnews.gr, I was quite complete with the tune swaying inside me over and over. At one point, closing my eyes brought back that light fingering of the notes on the guitar accompanied by the drifting vocals.
Until I couldn’t take it anymore.
Here at Prime Art Group Co. – Hiendnews.gr, we have several systems which we continuously break-in, test and use for various purposes: some for article reviews, quite a few for our recording studio on the premises. With that in mind, I decided to take my PC and get the Ayazi DAC with its 3R to play a few bars again. I wanted to hear the music mentioned above and started looking for the largest speakers we have available that I could hook up immediately.
This time, I found the Klipsch Horn free, a horn with the size and footprint of the Queen Elizabeth (the vessel). Paul Klipsch, the designer and owner of the company since the 1946, did change the world with it. Its existence brought on many more positives in the world of high-end. This man’s creation, this pioneer of speaker production would be a perfect choice to hear my music on.
I sat two meters away from a best friend’s Klipsch Horns signatures which he had left at the office, when he passed. Wish he could have heard the Kralk BC-30’s play against his horns when we first set them up to be “broken in”.The same YouTube reproduction as this morning started playing. Naturally you are wondering if I would compare the two speakers. But of course, I would! To be entirely honest, that was not why I was playing the same title. It was honestly because I wanted to hear the music again.
Within a few seconds I had forgotten about the speakers and the whole surroundings. I immersed myself into the bliss of the music. Then something happened. Within the first minute, I had to downsize the 2-meter-wide female vocals in my mind. I found myself lost in the middle of a 5-foot guitar as well. This brought me to the conclusion that bigger is not better, and instantly thought of asking others about it. They felt the same.After a few songs, I went back to the office crowd which was setting up a concert somewhere around the world, and decided to Kralk it out when I got home. “Kralking out” is a new phrasal verb in the office when we want to vegetate with only one song to choose from. Only one song allowed though. We had to keep it short or we would have ended up never working actually.The work finished and I drove home with some traffic, a parking ticket, which I blame mr. Demo Dravopoulos for, and a thirst for some time alone. Before even taking off my shoes and throwing my hat on the coat hanger like I normally do, (..and miss every time), I plugged in my PC and turned the volume up, to let the little gems warm up. I was curious if they could take me back to the wonder-land I was before.
Smiles made my facial nerves stretch. The guitar came in exactly how I recalled it from the morning and from the Klipsch Horns. I was swept away within seconds of the songs start. The only difference was that the vocals were higher on the scale than what I recalled this morning, and that seemed odd. I know very well (with scientific proof) that our ears work better during the first two hours of being awake. Rarely I noticed it so dramatically as I did now. Without further ado, I took my PC inside to system 2 which is a 300.000 euro set up – an MSB SELECT, the Vantage S from Audiosolutions, and an entire warehouse of Synergistic cables. This also included room enhancement, the XL atmosphere and the grounding block, black box and all the filters placed by the European dealer himself. The MSB mono blocks were also used in this ultimate system. This system is a reference system for tests being done for science, but that’s another story.
I connected my PC to the ultimate MSB DAC in the world and let it play. The vocal was still to be higher than that which was remembered very clearly this morning and on the Klipsch Horns. They were tonally as the Kralk was.
I then ran into the to other room, took the amazingly portable BC-30’s without the PAW bass stands and hooked them up, all the same other than the Audiosolution Vantage S speaker. (A cost of 38.000 I might add). I sat two and a half meters away from the speakers and played the same song, fully aware that I was about to hear a lot of garbage from YouTube rather than hear the depth I was yearning for.
To my dismay, I was correct, but valuable information was gathered as I noticed these little gems played so accurately, and so much beyond any expectation I could ever have, from a speaker of this size, let alone cost. I do not know what muse led him to these drivers, but one thing is for sure, he has done a hell of a job in picking them, building up this entire system as is. Not to mention the time and cost in making every speaker personally, by hand. It was and is honestly a pleasure to look at these speakers and then be blown away from what they can do. All someone has to do is listen to it to understand what I am talking about.
I then started to take notice of the shinny black mirror effect which showed in this listening room, the etched label and the BC-30 under the woofer, which in reality was the same circumference as the exterior housing of the tweeter. I realised I was getting more heart from these gems than anything I have heard at this size ever, I must emphasize the clarity, pure musical spirit, and smile effect you get from these speakers. If you think your mother cooked with love, then Alan cooks with cocaine in his blood, and, as it seems every track you play is a 3-minute high. Spectacular!
System 3. Music listening on specific tracks.
A Cyrus 8² Integrated with DAC, Atlas Hyper 3.5 cables, the Ideon 3R USB Re-driver, (Re-plotter Re-generate) (USB cleaner as I call it) connected with Musichi software suite.
Liberian Girl from Michael Jackson is tight and neat, punchy with a thrill that only Michael could do. The photographer at the office brought the B&W 603, from 1989, his first speaker when he was a kid, and he placed the speakers on the stands without the PAW not connected of course. The sound although larger, was half the music. The sound was so far behind the times that the 29 years not only showed but cried for someone to stop the music. Despite that, the sound of the company despite the 3 decades still held well if you didn’t have the Kralk next to them to compare. The photographer and owner of the 603’s mentioned, was not proud that he had just spent a small fortune on fixing them up, instead of buying the BC-30’s with the PAW stands from the start. I don’t blame him.
Paganini was next up with a Deutsch Grammaphone, Concerto number one. The AAD recording was evidently not the best there could be, but the violins did get my blood flowing faster, it was refined, supple and harsh when needed to be. A very honest reproduction indeed, despite what was mentioned before above the recording. The Cyrus is a great match, and to finish things off we are about to put the power conditioner from the same company and hear the speakers with the Cyrus’s full capability.
So, with the Q20 now on from Cyrus, I played the same track. The immediacy from the silver cables from TelluriumQ which I have at home were shockingly more realistic. The attack from the violins brighter and harder with poise rather than just a reproduction. I see that the quality of the drivers in the BC 30’s are much higher quality than I imagined. The tonal imagining was so vividly direct that it was like listening to another piece. All from having cleaner electricity. The fact though remained that the Kralk could reproduce even higher quality with this 3.300 euro setup.
Michael Jackson with Liberian girl was not as life changing though as much as the classical. Plush obviously when played with bulbs, but the solid state amp was jaw dropping, despite the size of these speakers! How is it physically possible? Ambiance and soul was simply mouth-watering. Blissful even. I, nor can anyone who visits my home or after this test, the office believes the sound coming from this speaker.
The Cyrus Audio 8(2) integrated/DAC and power supply was delivering very adequate dB levels for anyone to be happy with, proving that the BC 30’s were actually much easier to drive than thought. The Cyrus is 80 Watt, class AB, without the external power supply. What an integrated amp / digital converter combination !
I could honestly swear with my hand on my heart that if you are not a hard-core listener to classical, then the Cyrus with the Kralk Audio give birth to a new generation of high end at a remarkable low price. When we added the Cyrus regulator intelligent power supply, it was as if the speaker had just added a 6” woofer. We tested our theory and found that everyone in the office who came, believed the Klipsch horns were playing and not the KRALK! As a matter of fact, when we told them, no one believed it until they saw that there were no wires connected to the famously large Horn. Marry Mena, Isotek, I was made for loving you, was so immediate, lifelike, and plugged into our cerebellum that it was scary. We stopped the song with Demo, (guru of Hiendnews.gr), and were looking at ourselves as if we had seen a ghost. Seriously, that was how much the sound impressed us. The speakers felt like they were 8 inches each, with such spaciousness, that I can promise Alan Clark, that he has not heard his speaker so well. This synergy was found by total luck since we had it at the office, (but I know from taking it home that it plays with anything you give it). More proof that the vocals from the Kralk bc-30’s and the PAW stands were on par with the Klipsch horns was the fact that Mena, was tonally, as much as 7 people there that night could swear to be exactly the same as the Klipsch Horns. We could actually feel the density difference with the intelligent power supply put in, which shows the speaker is literally the strongest link in the system, and if powered well, even with such low-cost equipment, you can hear wonders.. We sat and listened to music from the recipe we had just created and brought out a few glasses and some Johnny Black to enjoy the evening (We all did take taxi’s home of course).
We left the office that night past 12 pm.
…and The PAW!
What about the PAW’s? What is a paw other than what we know of from our pets’ feet? The PAW (Passive Audio Woofer) stand. Naturally, what else would it mean?
The first “wow” factor with these PAW stands is that you have something I had never seen before on any stand. A pair of speaker connectors! It becomes a bi-wire setup allowing you to define your bass through the same woofer put into the BC-30, but in an enclosure much larger and fit for bass. I thought to myself, Alan is a genius. Inside is a 12htz to 200htz crossover intuitively placed.Again, I must reiterate, you would not expect to hear the bass which you do when you see such a small speaker, and to be honest, when we were breaking it in at the office, we were amazed at how it played despite the totally absurd set up it was in for the first 45 days. How can you expect any speaker to play in a room of 140 sqm? Not only was it totally off the wall where it was, but in a proper room (as I have them in my home now), without, machines, and a ton of other equipment literally sitting around it. I had expected it sound better, but not 200% better.We expected so much from Alan, and we got so much more. Something that never happens it seems in our world enough. I have now dubbed him the Rega of Speakers!
There is no excuse for anyone to say that they cannot afford a system which satisfied 99% of those who passed by, and who continuously listen to our now beloved speaker set up. Soon to be fitted into its own room I might add. Everyone in any space, yes, even big ones, can finally have what Shakespeare always wanted. If music is food for love. Play on. Well, the BC-30’s can help be a muse to everyone when limited in any way but need music in their life.
Absolutely highest score from everyone here at Prime Art Group Co., the musicians, the reviewers at hiendnews.gr and from 99% of the people who heard this until now. A must audition speaker. No matter if you have the best already. You have to listen to this.
Soon in Greek Market. Stay tuned with Kralk Audio UK.
Also… a very-very friendly and seductive low-budget line of speakers – check out: