Audio Physic Caldera MK III
Replacement value: R400 000, This was a $28000 speaker!
It features the unique coaxial String Suspension Concept (SSC), a string-supported midrange/tweeter driver developed by Audio Physic
The coaxial drivers are the same 1″ Scan-Speak ring-radiator tweeter and 7″ Active Cone Damping (ACD) ceramic-coated aluminum-cone SEAS midrange
Despite its deceptively compact appearance, the Caldera stands almost 4′ tall and 20″ deep and weighs about 132 lbs.
The Caldera’s “push-push” side-firing low-frequency units comprise pairs of active 10.6″ ceramic-coated aluminum-cone Vifa woofers and 10.6″ Peerless Nomex-cone passive-radiators that feature what appear to be carbon-fiber dustcaps.
The Calderas possess an array of musical and engineering attributes that are simply beyond the grasp of most speakers in their price range. This system’s true to life spectral balance, low-level resolving power and harmonic integrity inspired hour after hour of listening enjoyment. As well, their ability to disappear as a source of sound in the listening room and layer front to back sound portraits is nothing short of stunning. The Calderas elegantly crafted cabinetry and segmented construction offer a rare combination of beauty and flexibility, making them an easy fit in virtually any décor or reasonably sized listening space.
Quibbles with the sound of the Calderas had to be dissected and were apparent only in direct comparison to their competition. The Talons and Ceramique 1.0’s reproduced music’s overtones and timbral signatures with palpable mass, and had slight advantages in the rhythm and scale departments. But these were notable only as parts of the whole, as the Calderas were capable of conveying the essence of music’s message in all dimensions.
Other than a few physical scars and an aversion to heavy boxes, what I’ve taken away from this experience is the unwavering truth that loudspeakers are still the number one sound shaper in a music system, and provide the life giving umbilical to musical involvement. In terms of completing this listener’s immersion into the heart and soul of music, I can’t recommend the Audio Physic Calderas highly enough.
1″ ring-radiator tweeter,
7″ ceramic-coated aluminum-cone upper midrange unit,
7″ ceramic-coated aluminum-cone lower midrange unit,
two 10.6″ ceramic-coated aluminum-cone woofers,
two 10.6″ Nomex-cone passive radiators.
Frequency range: 22Hz–40kHz.
Nominal impedance: 4 ohms.
Dimensions: 46.9″ (1200mm) H by 11.2″ (290mm) W by 19.5″ (500mm) D.
Weight: 132 lbs (60kg).
Price: $29,995–$33,495/pair, depending on finish.