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Reviews

Art

 

I discovered the BonySound boxes through the brand's publications on Facebook, and I was able to see and hear them live at the AVM fair in Madrid - May 2018. I then had the chance to chat with his father, the engineer Maximino Tomás López, and appreciate that behind a design, let's say unique and apparently aesthetic, there are many ideas, many tests and a lot of science. Immediately I was struck by an unexpected sound. I confess that when I stand in front of an acoustic box equipped with Accuton ceramic German speakers -recognizable for their white color among other things-, I am on the defensive. My experience with these boxes is a bit the opposite of when the speakers use paper cones, with which I take for granted some warmth or a more natural timbre. I know it is a somewhat irrational prejudice, no doubt, but "there is something" in it because there was a time of certain proliferation of ceramic cones whose sound touched the analytical-too much. None of that seemed to me to appreciate in the BonySound, and they had to spend a few months until finally having them in my room and being able to judge them well.

 

BonySound

 

BonySound is the work as I said above an engineer, Maximino Tomás López, who has not been carried away by currents or fashions and has decided, with very clear ideas, to bring to reality their ideas about how a box has to be acoustics. As a musical instrument, an acoustic box must respond to certain structural requirements, and its response to vibrations and sound changes according to the tensions of its walls. Their boxes are made using only birch plywood about 15 mm thick: they cut dozens of plates that are assembled, and held together at a certain tension by several through rods with nuts at their ends to control that tension. The enclosures are composed-in addition to those pieces-of two main parts, the front that will hold the speakers, and the body or box itself. The final adjustment is made by hand, box by box, knowing the manufacturing tolerances and causing the tension by slightly distorting the structure to a pre-set point of equilibrium. Just as an instrument is "tuned" to a note, BonySound asserts that it seeks thus a controlled and rapid serious.

 

As for the use of Accuton, I confessed my mania to those ceramic speakers and my surprise at having decided to use them. Apparently discovered by chance, when they were evaluating different materials for their drivers: paper, carbon, fiber, metal ... and ceramics with these. They recognize that they need a particular setting, and good shooting, and the Symphony that I tested had three years of testing and development behind. But what they found most promising for their objectives, and once well adjusted offer a sonority, clean harmonics and excellent scene that they have not found with others. In addition soon they will offer as an option to move to the Accuton of the Diamond series, with even better properties.

 

The BonySound Symphony II that I tried -version Silver- mounted a tweeter of 1'2 inches of inverted ceramic cone, and a 7-inch mid-woofer also ceramic. The magnet of the tweeter is neodymium, something that is reserved in the mid-woofer for the Gold version of these boxes, as well as somewhat better components in the filter, since mine already had Mundorf CFC and Silver Supreme. They declare good sensitivity -89 dB, I would say that about 3 dB optimistic seen how I adjusted volumes in my equipment- and an impedance in principle "easy" -8 Ohm-, with a frequency response from 38 Hz thanks to the box with bass output -Front frontal, and extending up to 25 kHz. The price of the couple is 14,500 euros, or 17,100 euros for the Gold versions, to which of wanting to add the diamond tweeter would have to add another 3,700 euros. My boxes serve as "demo" and they did not have the covers with which they are sold - handmade leather, I had some cloth - and their feet, ViaBlue - normal cones in my case -.

 

Sight, touch ... heard!

 

I do not forget the sense of surprise when I saw images of the BonySound for the first time, nor that when I saw them live they seemed a little less strange or, say, baroque, but still "special". I had that memory when Maximino brought this couple home for the test, and that night came the big test of fire, when she came home: "Honey, have you seen the speakers in the living room that I'm going to try?" The answer was a mixture of amazement and admiration: they liked it! In fact it made me see how special they are, "an art object" literally affirmed. Seeing them made him want to touch them, to run their hands through the wood, through the brass inserts ... to touch them and experience them closely. From that moment I looked at the BonySound with different eyes, I admit it, because I must have less sensibility and I had not appreciated that artistic side of the boxes. After a few weeks already with them, the truth is that every time I see them I like them more, and I spent more time than usual making photos and reviewing them because I think they do not do them justice: you really have to see them and play them live. But let's talk about how they sound ...

 

I mentioned before that when I get in front of an acoustic box with the Accuton I get a bit defensive, and that my previous experience -slow and in a strange room- with these boxes was very different. I was able to confirm it right away in my own system: the BonySound do not sound aggressive at all nor are they "analytical", that is something that is clear from the first moments. As our readers remember, I tend to try practically everything in my two "environments" - living room and basement - but just as I gave up climbing the tremendous Legacy to the living room with its two 10-inch bass per band, the room seemed to me the perfect room to these Symphony II. Here we have a "two way" with a relatively compact box - I do not know how many liters it will have but not many with less than a meter high and thick walls - and front reflex, some attractive boxes in addition, which are intended to decorate an environment domestic and must operate without great room acoustic requirements.

 

I will start, then, for that aspect: the Bony Symphony really are not critical in terms of placement, nor do they embarrass the room. I tried to have them more or less close to the listening point -and more or less away from the back wall-, oriented directly-recommended-or something open, more or less separated from each other ... and there was never a very noticeable change in the sound appreciated in terms of frequency distribution, coherence or scene. As I liked most was actually pointing directly to each ear, the same distance from these and without leaving too much space with the back wall in my room that implies anyway a good meter from the front. As for the serious, then I will insist on it but these boxes surprised me by having a serious extended - lower down in the room than those declared 38 Hz - but with a very linear descent ... almost seemed closed boxes. In other words, in summary, they are very friendly with a normal domestic environment.

 

Regarding their demands with the electronics, being "friendly" bell boxes did not seem like daggers in terms of sources or cables. But they do appreciate a firm amplification say behind: those 89 dB and 8 Ohm declared may be a bit tricky, but the "recommended power" of 120 to 170 W already gives better clues. I started my tests with my valve integrated -they are 60 W of four EL34 in Class A per channel- and that's when I appreciated that sound pulling warm: this amplifier is very neutral and would not have disguised another character. But I missed a little more body, of flesh in the bones, something that with some EL34 is rare ... Just a few hours ago they had left me, and I was beginning to think if I was wrong to give up that they also left me the subwoofer that BonySound has to match with them -and with those that are almost always tested-. I was liking what I was listening to, but I was still missing something: a few days took me to try other things, with better results, and confirming that these boxes appreciate a powerful amplification behind. With valves they can work well, but I would have to try more things and perhaps rooms smaller than my almost 30 square meters.

 

Refine and optimize

 

With the pair of stages Hypex Ncore of 400 W the thing changed radically. The middle and high part did not lose that human but precise touch that was seducing me with the valves, but from below a surprising extension appeared, even below 30 Hz, and some impact when the music had it. Similar result obtained with an integrated that will be a classic -Denon PMA-2000-, again with transistors and claw: at the cost of losing some transparency, the sound maintained a good coherence in all records and you could spend hours listening to the combination. The icing arrived when it appeared at home, for a next test, a Swiss amplifier that combines claw and sweetness: the darTZeel LHC-208 that also has DAC and integrated network player.

 

That was the pair with which I completed this test because, although the other combinations -with transistors or Class D- worked very well, the darTZeel is at a higher level and these boxes know how to take advantage of it. In addition to the aforementioned "friendly" sound in general, the BonySound Symphony would highlight the transparency they have and the precision with which they reproduce the sound scene. A scene that appears very broad, well outside the physical location of the boxes, and deep, also beyond where the back wall is. The transparency allows us to appreciate inflections in the voices, details in treble, how the sound of a triangle or cymbal is lost ... you really feel that the boxes "illuminate" that scene. The ability of these boxes to descend to almost subsonic frequencies is surprising: in my living room the thing is somewhat cheating because there is a powerful 35 Hz room mode that "artificially" stretches down the length of any box-or turns it into a problem if there is a spike there, but for that to happen the box must be able to radiate some energy at that frequency.

 

Be that as it may, listening to them the Bony Symphony reproduced with joy and clarity the underground frequencies of Ludovico Einaudi or Madonna, even the famous kettledrum of the "Hotel California" of the Eagles was as present as when I have my 802D, which is a lot to say (!). There was some impact, earthquake effect, in comparison, but in return there was a cleanliness and speed higher: the themes with double bass players along with a voice -Silvia Pérez Cruz or Martirio for example- were delicious, you can follow the hand and fingers on the bassist's strings as if you had it in front and did not have amplification -that, live, sometimes exaggerates-. I'll talk more about the integrated amplifier darTZeel "small" when I play, I promise soon, but the combination of its sound pulling warm and fluid, with the precision and transparency of the BonySound, and a touch of filler in bass, was a further accompaniment that perfect for the Christmas weeks. The New Year's Concert never sounded so good!

 

conclusion

 

I was shocked by the look of the Bony Sound boxes when I discovered them, and I was surprised by their sound when I started listening to them. His aesthetic, of great inspiration in Spanish art and architecture, certainly draws attention and you learn to appreciate it, even to want it: in any case they offer different finishes, for example with less metal inserts. The boxes I had had an extraordinary job, I do not even want to think about the hours it will take all that and although the price is not low ... my mother, it really makes you want to touch them and see them up close. But above all it has convinced me how some speakers that I had for too analytical give to offer a fantastic, exciting, pleasant sound. And, yes, also analytical, but not in the pejorative sense of the term, but because of its ability to transport us to the scene of the recording. I do not know if they will be the best "two tracks" I've heard, maybe they are, but they are safe among the best, with an incredibly linear bass slope, without ups and downs. If that subwoofer of yours is in this line, you really should form a formidable set with them, but for moderate or medium size rooms these boxes deserve our recommendation. You have to see them live and above all listen to them.

 

Highlights

 

+ The warmest sound we've heard from Accuton ceramic speakers

 

+ Natural timbre, but a transparency that lets the character of electronics pass

 

+ Very precise sound scene and of remarkable depth

 

+ Unique aesthetic with handmade finishes: they are works of art

 

- May require the optional subwoofer-own- to have more impact on serious

01-2019: Symphony II Hifilive Magazine by Josep Armengol

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