JH Note: Recently, I had the pleasure of listening to Teresonic’s flagship loudspeaker, the Ingenium Silver with Lowther DX4 drivers, at the home of Jack Roberts, accompanied by Mike Zivkovic, the leader of Teresonic’s design team and company CEO. Jack has quite an impressive system, including: Ingenium Silver loudspeakers with Lowther Silver DX4 drivers ($14,500); Shindo 301 Vinyl Playback System ($25,000); Auditorium 23 Homage T1 transformer ($5,000); Shindo Giscours preamplifier ($27,900), Wavac EC 300B amplifier ($29,000); Shindo interconnects ($1,000), Teresonic speaker cables ($1,500), and Audience aR6-T with Au24 power cord ($6,300) and Audience Au24 power cord amp & preamp ($4,400). Many of these components are unfamiliar to me, but the result was a first-rate sound rivaling some of the best systems I have heard. Below are my impressions from that listening session.
While some audiophiles swear by their single-driver Lowther loudspeakers as the ultimate sonic nirvana, it would be fair to say that these types of loudspeakers are not my cup of tea. Along with other single-driver horn speakers, no other class of loudspeaker has driven me out of rooms at CES and RMAF faster or with more velocity. For all their formidable sonic merits, I just can’t get past the upper midrange brightness or shout that I hear in many of them and their uneven tonal balance. In my experience, most have less extended and satisfying bass than my beloved (PK-restored) original Quads. When it comes to single-driver loudspeakers, my tastes are much more in the electrostatic camp with something like the SoundLab Ultimates, which are admittedly much more difficult to drive than any of the high-efficiency Lowther-based speaker systems.
But as many of you who have been at this game awhile will have already undoubtedly discovered, there are always exceptions to the rule and the Ingenium Silver from Teresonic is definitely one of them. Using some ingenious Helmholtz resonators in a transmission line design, the Teresonic team has eliminated any vestiges of upper-midrange colorations from the Lowther driver while generating extended, articulate, and dynamic bass. On recordings from Gary Karr on bowed string bass to pipe organs, the bass had richness and body without any bloat, and one could hear (and feel) the deep pedal tones on the organ.
Indeed, the Ingenium is the most natural and tonally balanced Lowther-based loudspeaker I have ever heard. The Lowther driver is allowed to perform optimally, letting its amazing single-driver coherence, lightning quick transient response, and breathtaking clarity shine through without obfuscation. The result is a loudspeaker that has an immediacy and transparency that are of reference quality. The window on the soundstage is so transparent that you feel like there’s nothing between you and the performers.
The tall, slender, yet beautiful enclosure has a lot to do with the Ingenium’s performance, and as Mike readily admits, has more in common with a musical instrument than an inert, acoustically dead cabinet. Perhaps that’s why the Ingenium sounds so life-like? Indeed, the Teresonic team is composed of musicians and music lovers who have very impressive engineering credentials. With this speaker system, you’ll hear gorgeous, natural timbres, and low-level details like you’d hear in a live performance. Voices and massed violins not only have immediacy but are beautifully reproduced without a hint of stridency. The music seems to ride on a cushion of air and pulls you in.
Without living with these speakers, it’s difficult to comment on their limitations with any assurance. In the Roberts system I found that the high end was not as extended or airy as one can hear with the best ribbon drivers, but that result is not necessarily attributable to the Ingeniums (it easily could have been due to something else in the system at play). Different models of Lowther drivers including the DX3, PM2A, PM6C, and PM2C are also supported by the Teresonics’ enclosure design and would invariably produce different sonic results from the DX4.
These speakers are so good that I'm already looking forward to hearing them in Mike's own system with different electronics and hope to report back on that session soon. What I can say with assurance is that these speakers are highly engaging, very musical and natural sounding, and can be mesmerizing. They are the best Lowther-based speaker system that I have heard and certainly among the top loudspeakers available.