My Video Review:
The team behind Musician Audio is surely a proud one, as they are part of one of the fastest growing Hi-Fi brands coming from China. Three years ago, nobody knew about them, but that changed in a flash when their winged Pegasus R-2R ladder DAC released into the wild, that is still regarded as one of the most engaging and natural sounding DAC at its respective price point. In fact, it performed so good versus its close competition, that soon after Musician Audio decided increasing its price by a little. A year later their confidence grew higher, strengthening their numbers with a few more R-2R ladder DACs, from a super affordable fire breathing Draco up to a flagship liquid sounding Aquarius. Working as DAC only units, their ever-growing fan-base demanded dedicated preamplifiers and headphone amplifiers and that’s how their Monoceros and Andromeda came into this world. People started building stereo and headphone-based rigs around their Musician Audio gear, but old-school junkies like myself were still demanding for high-grade digital-to-digital converters that would squeeze the last drop of performance out of their DACs…and shortly after their Pisces, Leo and Phoenix DDCs were released into the wild. It wasn’t one of my goals, but I have tested almost all their devices and if you want to learn more about them, then please prepare a refreshment and search for the Musician keyword around here.
In a span of two years…from nobody, these guys turned into somebody that could dictate their own terms and follow their own path. With all that said, something was amiss from their portfolio…
Somewhere in the late 2000’s, I remember going to a friend and listening to a freshly acquired pair of Dynaudio Contour S1.4 in a beautiful rosewood finish put on upper-class electronics. I can’t explain you why they left such a profound impact on me, but twenty years later, I’m still talking about that experience as a revelatory one. The moment I saw the very first renders of the newest Musician Audio loudspeakers, my heart started pounding faster and my eyes opened larger, as I knew that I needed to listen to them, for so many reasons. For starters, if you inspect them eagle eyed, you can see a striking similarity with none other than…Dynaudio loudspeakers. Their tweeters look like Danes custom crafted brand-new Esotar/Esotec soft dome silk tweeters and their fairly large 6.5” polymer woofers are also unearthing a trip down the memory lane. Last but not least, just look at that gorgeous high-gloss polished cherry red finish! I can’t stress you enough how vivid these speakers are looking in real life. Musician Audio gave me the honors for a world-first written review for their brand-new stand-mounted passive loudspeakers that are going for $2000, calling them with a fitting Knight One name.
Build Quality & Looks
Musician wanted to offer a statement loudspeaker from which they can double down and offer cheaper alternatives down the road and that’s why these were crafted at the highest level, putting a lot of passion and a higher attention towards the smallest details. For example, the tweeters are attached to the body via six screws and if you look closer, the cabinet was perfectly cut around the screws - a very small detail that can be missed, but an important one for people like me. I’m not sure I can describe their look with just a few words, but they look uncommon and cool at the same time, especially the front baffle looks like a gemstone with perfectly cut corners. They aren’t offering multiple color options, this is the only one that uses 18 layers of piano lacquer treatment, atop a horse eye veneer – whatever that means. I don’t remember seeing such vivid looking speakers before, not even at the Munich High-End Show, which is literally the biggest show for stereo fanatics across the globe.
Their fit and finish is great and I’m pretty sure I didn’t get a _Cherry-Picked Super-Duper Reviewer Edition_™, as these are looking exactly as the renders I saw on their official webpage. They seem to use thick MDF boards and that was reflected in their abnormally heavy weight, that helps achieve a better rigidity and dampening. Although they might look small from online pictures, in reality these dwarfed most if not all stand-mount speakers I have tried before, with the exception of the KEF Reference 1 Meta, that were slightly taller and deeper. These are considerably weightier and bigger versus my former KEF LS50 Wireless and Buchardt S400 bookshelves and about as big as the Natural Sound NS17 and Sound of Eden Crescendo UNO.
Their speaker terminals were made from gold platted single-crystal copper for the best conductivity and performance. Usually, speaker makers are using lower-grade alloys (usually bronze or brass) that will lower their conductivity and negatively impact their performance, so they could still sell their higher-grade (read: higher-priced) speakers, but that’s not the case in here. As far as connectors and build quality go, I have nothing to complain.
When knocking on their front baffle, the sound that bounced back felt muted, like knocking on hard wood and that makes me happy as the screws are bolted on a hard surface, that should stop nasty vibrations coming from pistonic movements of their drivers.
Apart from all this, Knight 1 are looking like traditional 2-way bookshelf loudspeakers that will absorb their own vibrations. Their XL-sized cabinets made a positive first impression, as usually speakers are sounding directly proportional to their size. Measuring 330 mm tall by 250 mm wide by 390 mm deep and weighting around ~12 kilos a piece, make sure you have the right speaker stands and surface area to accommodate them. They will hardly work in a desktop environment, but they just might if you put them on stands around your desk. Make sure you have at least half-a-meter behind them, for a clearer bottom end delivery.
Technology Inside Musician’s Knight 1
After trying a substantial number of stand-mounted loudspeakers, I came to a conclusion that 5” or smaller woofers should never be used when crafting proper HiFi loudspeakers, as these can’t get that low-end playful enough and they can’t move a decent amount of air either. That’s perfectly fine in a near-field setup, but in a proper listening space, you’ll want bigger woofers that would bring more air and fill the room with more music. Luckily, Musician team went with 6.5” woofers made out of polymer with a big-bore 12-cylinder engine behind them (read: extra-large magnet system) that should propel nicer dynamics. Musician is quoting a frequency response that can reach as low as 40 Hz, playing from 50 Hz and upwards without any kind of roll-off, which looks impressive on paper.
They used 28-core silk soft-dome tweeters that will deal with the treble region and if you look closer, you can see the copper cables that are connected to the voice coils. I’m glad that aluminum wasn’t used anywhere in the signal path, as copper voice coils will definitely sound better than aluminum – which literally have zero acoustic properties.
I can’t say much about their crossovers and I don’t want to damage their finish by dismounting their woofers, but I was informed that oversized hollow inductors were used for a deeper and fuller bass delivery. As I have mentioned before, gold-plated single-crystal copper was used at their binding posts and bi-wiring plates, which seems like the best material you can use that wouldn’t interfere the power flow, as metallic alloys would do.
Last but not least, they used high-density MDF boards that added a lot of weight and a higher weight is beneficial when dealing with vibrations coming from within its drivers and crossover circuits. Their uni-body case works as a shock absorber, reducing nasty resonance and improving their resolution and transparency.
What I slightly dislike about them is their low 4-Ohm impedance and 86-dB sensitivity that would leave a burden on your amplifiers. I tried them on several amplifiers ranging from $400 to $14.000 ones and sadly, they didn’t work that well with small and affordable Class-D amplifiers like those of SMSL and Topping. I don’t consider them hard to drive, but they will definitely benefit from beefier amplifiers that could provide a healthy dose of amperage.
Knight 1 were put on several setups, starting with entry-level electronics, moving all the way up to end-game ones and to my surprise, they scaled every single time. After swapping a few DACs, preamps, integrated and power amps, there was always a clear difference, already telling a lot about their resolving abilities.
I tried them on several DACs, but they sounded the best out of a Gustard R26 Discrete, Gold Note DS-10 Plus + PSU-10 Evo and Chord Dave, so I used these the most.
I tried a few preamps, integrated and power amps as well, starting with entry-level Class-D designs and finishing with top-tier Class-A/B ones, but most of my listening resumed at a Chord Ultima 3 Preamp driving a Chord Ultima 5 Power amp. Alright everybody, my ears are begging for some well-deserved music and I think it’s time to hit some eardrums!
I. Preliminary Sound Impressions
Two of my closest friends helped me with the unboxing, which will be writers around here in a near future. Due to a rear firing bass-reflex port, we brought them closer to our listening spot and sat down for a long listening session.
While I can’t speak for my friends, a few things stood out immediately for me. For starters, these are way clearer and way more transparent sounding to my anticipation level. I already covered plenty of loudspeakers around the ~$2K mark and while most of them used silk dome tweeters, Knight One swung its sword a little faster, delivering deeper cuts, sounding more technical, cleaner and more detailed. While I really enjoyed the sound of Natural Sound NS17 and Buchardt S400, both aren’t known to be focusing on the smallest nuances happening behind your tracks. I like the naturalness of the NS17, I like their soothing and relaxed sounding signature and the sound bouncing off my walls with the S400, but neither can be described as hyper detailed. Usually, soft dome tweeters are unable to extend the treble past a certain point, especially those made out of silk which can be found in most loudspeakers, but the ones sitting inside Knight 1 never lacked treble information. On the contrary! In the very first hours these exhibited a somewhat grumpy treble delivery, it was clear to me that I was experiencing a transparent sound that wasn’t limiting the signal coming from my power amplifiers. I found them clean and resolving, so much so that after switching back to my $14.000 KEF Reference 3 standfloor speakers, I didn’t feel a massive gain in terms of resolution. Sure enough, the KEFs were a little crisper and clearer all around, but certainly not ~7 times clearer as their price might suggest.
The second thought that hit me, was how balanced these sounded in terms of frequency response, with the exception of a slight treble itch, which went missing after about ~50 hours of music playback. I’ve got a perfect balance of bass energy, midrange purity and treble extension, without calling them dark or bright sounding. Prior to my listening tests, I thought that I would hear a slight treble roll-off, a warm midrange that would melt my heart and a powerful mid-bass delivery that would lack a lil’ bit of sub-bass extension. While the last part was true, these were never rolling-off the treble and the midrange didn’t overlap the rest of the frequency response. Apart from a gentle sub-bass roll-off…everything else felt in perfect harmony. These are indeed trying to get out of the way, without trying to color the sound as my former loudspeakers were doing.
The third idea that popped into my mind is that these weren’t just airy sounding…these were incredibly open and wide sounding, especially for their size. Sure enough, my Reference 3 were moving more air, especially in the lowest octaves, but I kid you not, Knight 1 weren’t that far off when it came to imaging, depth and scale. The sound stage itself didn’t feel weird as Buchardt S400 sounded in the first days, as the depth felt natural and…real, as if I’m listening to these speakers for a few months now. They just sounded familiar from the very first listen. These were adding lots of fresh air even with less than perfect recordings, which shamefully are the biggest majority of my tunes. My old blues and jazz collection sounded fantastic, I was toe tapping and smiling and I was definitely in the mood for a little bit more. These can get a little out of place when busy passages are getting to play, but with smooth and relaxing musical genres, these were absolutely fantastic.
Last but not least, I found them engaging and dynamic, as their mid-bass felt authentic and powerful enough, considering I’m describing the sound of stand-mounted speakers. Dynamics weren’t up there with the best I tried, but I found them punchier sounding than the Buchardts and more or less the same with NS17. Punchy bass lines were rendered perfectly, but you’ll definitely need a beefier amplifier for that to happen. Having a lower sensitivity of 86 dB and a 4 Ohm impedance, prepare your tesla coils, as these will be sucking the life out of your amplifiers in no time. I recently upgraded my rig to a Chord Ultima 5 power amp and my usual listening spot was sitting at around ~40% versus ~35% on my speakers for a similar sound pressure level and that shouldn’t surprise anyone, at a single woofer will work harder (versus two ones) for a similar volume level.
II. System Matching & Power Requirements
We are talking about resolving and highly accurate loudspeakers that won’t highlight any particular region. These are far from being clinical or unforgiving, but a careful system matching is still mandatory for the best results. While I no longer have the Benchmark AHB2 and Topping LA90 anymore and I can’t backup my words with listening tests, I wouldn’t pair them with ultra-linear and ultra-detailed amplifiers like these. I would use natural sounding ones, that could further improve their tonality and better control their low-end delivery. I wouldn’t pair them with mellow or slow sounding amplifiers and I wouldn’t put them on vintage amplifiers either.
I wouldn’t put them on low-powered push-pull amplifiers and I would avoid affordable Class-D amplifiers that weight less than a pair of interconnect cables. I have several entry-level integrated amplifiers which I use mostly for movie watching and these didn’t make them sing. A Topping MX5 and a SMSL DA9 didn’t do them justice and while neither were shifting their tonal balance, I didn’t find them dynamic or punchy enough and these were far from airy or holographic sounding. Amps like these will limit their low-end, but something that can push a higher amperage in 4 Ohms will definitely sound better.
The same can be said about the front end, as I wouldn’t use ultra-linear DACs and I would never put them on an affordable ESS-Sabre DACs that might push the treble in the opposite direction to where I want it to be. If possible, use a DAC followed by an active preamp and power amp or go with a beefy integrated amplifier. While Knight 1 aren’t sounding as creamy and meaty as Dynaudio Contour S1.4 were, these were demanding the power intake that old Dynaudio’s are notorious for.
Besides the usual Chord Dave > Ultima 3 Pre > Ultima 5 Power, there was another unit in my stable which worked incredibly well as a streamer, DAC and preamp and that my friends was the Gold Note DS-10 Plus powered by a dedicated PSU-10 EVO power supply. The tonal balance started tilting towards warmth and naturalness, putting more meat on the bone while strengthening the vocal cords of soloists, wiping clean remaining traces of brightness that I was getting in the first ~50 hours of play. No matter what I was doing, Knight 1 were adjusting their sound accordingly, reminding that I’m dealing with resolving speakers that will change their sound depending on your gear. Please make sure to offer them a little bit more power for better dynamic swings.
III. Soundstage & Depth
I remember looking at each other with funny faces and asking ourselves the same question: how can they sound so spacious, from such a small enclosure? While the downstream equipment will leave a huge impact on the final outcome, I can’t deny their well-spread and airy sound with top-notch recordings. I engaged The Firebird Suite from the Minnesota Orchestra Showcase (Qobuz / Tidal) and the very first second sent a massive sound wave towards my listening spot. The sound didn’t hit me frontally and these weren’t focusing on a single spot. The so-called sweet spot felt bigger and somewhat wider. I could easily move around the couch; I could even use the second couch and the sound wouldn’t break up into one million pieces. The sweet spot wasn’t a huge concern, as no matter where I was located, I got enough resolution/information and more importantly, the spatial cues were still well-defined and precise. My loudspeakers have a similar skill-set and are never bolting me to a single spot on my couch and I can say the same about the Knight 1. This track didn’t sound bigger than life and the sounds weren’t coming from behind the walls of the living room, but these were still mighty impressive in this department. Their imaging felt precise and I could easily focus on anything happening around the room with the exception of that ethereal bottom-end, that was hardly there with my electronica tunes.
Perhaps the most interesting part is that the sound wasn’t coming from an imaginary space in front of the drivers. Closing my eyes, I would bet that a pair of mid-sized stand-floor speakers were sitting in front of me. The final outcome wasn’t a congested or up-front sound and that’s one of the biggest highlights of the Knight 1.
When I moved to old blues that have extreme stereo effects, I felt that less information was sitting in front of me. These will be changing immediately depending on your tunes and electronics, but no matter what you do, these won’t sound bi-dimensional.
When I Heard It Through the Grapevine by Bill Frisell (Qobuz / Tidal) started playing, we swallowed our tongues as an eerie silence settled over the room. The sound was grand and perfectly arranged, as the sounds were coming from every corner of the room, sans behind our backs. The smallest intricacies remained intact, like gently tapping bass guitar’s body or plucking the strings. String vibrations felt real and palpable, teleporting Bill into my room and putting a chair for him in the middle. The sound staging capabilities were good, but the depth and pin point location of the notes were top-notch, providing an impressive imagining along the way.
IV. Transient Response
Knight 1 weren’t aggressive, nor clinical sounding as Sound Of Eden Crescendo UNO might sound on the wrong equipment. While UNO can be slightly faster thanks to stiff ceramic drivers, Knight 1 felt livelier and more expressive by comparison. When Journey Into 1358 by Eloy (Qobuz / Tidal) started playing, at the 1 minute and 11 second mark, it felt like I was riding a wild mustang across the stary night. Knight 1 felt natural in their presentation and these weren’t even trying hard. Everything felt impactful and right from the get go. Crescendo UNO impressed me with a nimble pace and super-fast decay of the notes, while Musician’s Knight 1 impressed with a life-like tempo, putting a mild accent of mid-bass delivery. In simpler words, Knight 1 were more impactful and emotionally engaging, where Crescendo UNO were faster, but lighter weight to a point of being ethereal. Knight 1 won’t outperform my reference loudspeakers, but they will easily outgun and outplay my former Buchardt S400 and KEF LS50. There isn’t a single doubt in my mind that at this size, you can’t get more impactful sounding speakers.
When I went a little louder to a point of over-driving them, I didn’t feel their bass output distorted or all over the place. Their heavyweight cabinet works as dampening material, as no matter how hard I pushed them over their limits, that didn’t make them aggressive or uncontrolled. The only things these won’t manage very well are crowded passages of modern tunes. Put several musicians in the same room and let them bang &crash and Knight 1 will lose their breath, merging a few sounds for a less impressive imaging, but that’s normal behavior, considering we are dealing with two-way loudspeakers that play all ‘bout that bass and midrange with a single 6.5” woofer.
The last tune I wanted to hear on them was Turkish Nights by Infected Mushroom (Qobuz / Tidal) which can pose a problem for a few stand-mounted speakers. There was less sub-bass energy versus my own pair of speakers…but their mid-bass felt full-bodied and quite punchy. This tune isn’t crowded or upfront and that worked to their advantage, rendering that mid-bass energy with utmost accuracy. While these didn’t sound lightning fast, they didn’t lose a beat and most importantly, they set the mood and conveyed the energy of this track as if I switched back to my Reference 3. Considering their size and price, these are currently sitting in my top five most engaging sounding stand-mounted speakers I tried up to this point
V. Detail Retrieval
Simply put, Knight 1 were the most detailed and the most transparent sounding speakers that carry silk soft dome tweeters. When people are searching for top-notch resolving abilities and are asking for my opinion, I would recommend speakers with metallic or ceramic tweeters, with ribbon, air-motion-transformer or electrostatic ones. Speakers like these will be sniffing the last bits of information and bring them forward, while silk, paper or polymer-based tweeters were made to convey the naturalness and the full beauty of the music, while gently slashing remaining traces of glare and listening fatigue.
To my amazement, Knight 1 weren’t rolling off treble information and these weren’t trying to beatify or sweeten my music. I found them clearer and more detailed to anything I’ve tried in this price category and I feel that these will pose a problem for pricier loudspeakers like KEF Reference 1 Meta, that I reviewed not too long ago.
With something like Comes Love by Frau Contra Bass (Qobuz / Tidal), music was reduced to bare minimum. The intimate harmony of Katharina with the sonorous double bass created a highly differentiated, but minimalist vocal jazz at its finest. The whole album sounded unreal, where a quiet trumpet, a rough bass clarinet and an enigmatic choir will encircle your listening spot in no time. This album captured the will of musicians to improvise, as the whole thing felt like a controlled experiment. This duo sounded so natural and so clean, that I wouldn’t change a thing.
I was impressed the most when Studio 105 (live) by Mayra Andrade (Qobuz / Tidal) started playing. This is an amazingly well recorded live album and I like this version a lot more to its studio counterpart. Starting with the first track, it was obvious that I’m dealing with a dynamic range monster. Everything felt crystal clear and defined, with massive empty spaces in between the notes, everything felt playful, yet natural at the same time. It’s an album that shouldn’t be missed and you should definitely give it a try. Knight 1 were made for tracks (and albums) like these, where a few instruments are scattered around, with a soloist and backing vocals sitting in the middle. This is not a very demanding album, but a very clean sounding one, that will push your speakers to their limits and as much as I have tried, Knight 1 never disappointed.
Here’s the thing, if I wouldn’t engage my head-crushing electronica tracks, then I wouldn’t notice right away that something is missing below a certain point. Double bass notes were deep and these were hitting my chest with enough force. Bass guitars felt zingy and real, having a pleasing vibration along the way and my usual prog-rock tunes felt awe-inducing as I know them to be. The mid-bass felt strong and defined and it came in waves when called for, there were multiple layers of it, already suggesting a high-quality type of bass.
When I moved to electronica tunes, I felt that something wasn’t touching a nerve, sub-bass notes were no longer lingering around the corners. There was less oomph and rumble and you’ll be hard pressed hearing things below 40 Hz. The roll-off is definitely there, but it’s not a massive one as it usually happens with mid-sized monitors that have 5” or smaller woofers. Musician Audio tried counterbalancing the sub-bass deficit by boosting the mid-bass, which carries a bit more energy than the rest of the frequency response. Considering their weight and size, I think they struck a nice balance between the sub and mid-bass. While they won’t charm you with bass quantity, they will impress with their bass quality instead. On the right setup, mid-bass felt punchy and alive, but also clean and distortion free. There’s a substantial jump in low-end quantity & quality to my former stand-mounted speakers, with the exception of KEF Reference 1 Meta ($10.000).
When Bass Drops by Nenad Vasilic (Qobuz / Tidal) started playing, I could feel every string’s vibration being clean and defined. I felt a higher pressure in the room, as bass notes were gently filling the gaps all around. According to a MiniDSP EARS system, this track covers the entire mid-bass region without touching the sub-bass and that was a clear explanation why everything felt so weighty and deep reaching.
While I can’t describe their midrange as incredibly sweet, warm or full-bodied, they were much closer to that versus a pair of Sound of Eden Crescendo UNO, KEF Reference 1 Meta and Buchardt S400. The only stand-mounted speakers that had a nicer midrange definition at my place were the Natural Sound NS17, which sounded like mother nature itself, thanks to their massive wooden woofers and silk dome tweeters. Knight 1 were slowly approaching that kind of sound, also trying to mimic the old Dynaudio sound that still haunts me to this day. These felt well-balanced, without trying to stand out with anything in particular, but you can certainly tune them to your liking. If you want more soul and emotions then nothing does it better than a push-pull all-tube amplifier. If you want them technical and musical sounding at the same time, then a hybrid amp or a full Class-A solid state amp will fit right it and if you need all the cleanliness you can muster, nothing does is better than a perfect measuring amplifier like Topping LA90 or Benchmark AHB2.
In tandem with a full Chord Electronics stack, I’ve got the last word in terms of detail retrieval and a full-bodied sound that would never limit dynamics or run out of breath. When Ai Du by Ali Farka Toure (Qobuz / Tidal) started playing, I felt sitting in between two worlds. On one hand it completely relaxed my mind, thanks to a soothing and pure midrange delivery, on the other hand, punchy dynamics were keeping my eyes wide opened, gently nodding my head and feeling every single beat. This wasn’t only a very relaxing track, but an incredibly dynamic one as well, touching higher peaks once in a while. Violin and mandolin players were challenging each other at the end of this track, accompanied by an electric guitar that added logs of fire. For me this is the most important part of the frequency response and as a whole, the midrange performance felt just fine, never lacking in intensity, weight or definition.
Probably the biggest standout and the biggest surprise was hearing them play treble intensive tracks. Their treble can be described with just a single word and that would be: perfect. Since I’m still describing the sound of a soft-dome silk tweeter, you can forget about anything that has to do with brightness, glare or listening fatigue. There is nothing of that in here, even if black metal is your thing. These will stand their ground and will never deliver a higher treble energy than what’s truly needed to portray the full beauty of cimbalom, bells and cymbals. The huge surprise was their treble extension and impressive resolution, which are usually reserved for ceramic or metallic drivers. There is more happening in this region compared to bookshelf speakers that I have mentioned several times by now (with the exception of Reference 1 Meta), that it feels like listening to a higher-class set of speakers. I can start my day with relaxing blues and finish it with aggressive technical stuff. If I can understand the meaning behind that album, then I will come back, find myself and listen to it for tens or hundreds of times. When you listen to all and everything, a tonal balance is crucial, making everything stand out without overdoing it too much. For me, Musician Knight 1 worked as an experienced mastering engineer, always trying to bring forward as much information as possible, without highlighting a particular region too much. There was a perfect balance in between the bass, midrange and treble and that’s one of the biggest compliments I can give to a pair of stand-mounted speakers. A job well-done indeed!
I’m living for experiences like these and for things that are doing the unexpected, learning a few things along the way. These were so…different to what I was expecting, that I didn’t know how to react at first, but in time I started appreciating their strengths and weaknesses, but in all honesty, there is very little to complain about them. In my case, these didn’t perform like a pair of loudspeakers costing $2000, but like a pricier set. You can easily compare them with speakers costing two or even three times more and these will still not let their guard down. You can even compare them with a set of KEF Reference 1, which were marginally better on a few things and more or less the same on others.
The most impressive part about them is that…nothing is really missing. They offered an impressive resolution and transparency, a fast-paced transient response, a deep and well-spread soundstage and lastly - a well-balanced frequency response, without drops or rises. Sure enough, there is less sub-bass presence below 40 Hz, but I didn’t expect them to render such information in the first place. The only things you might dislike about them are their low sensitivity and impedance and maybe their shape and color. Apart from that, this is a fantastic set of loudspeakers, this is High-End Audio at an affordable price and this is a product that I can recommend left and right without feeling guilty about it. You can have great sonics at low prices and Musician’s Knight 1 are the living proofs to that, deserving my absolute highest, Gold Award!
Congratulations to the team and I’m looking forward to their next speakers and who knows…maybe there’s a headphone already in the works too?
Musician Audio Knight 1 were kindly provided by Aoshida Audio and these can be purchased from their web-store by following this link. These are going for $2000 which includes worldwide shipping to your front door and for that price…these are an absolute steal and I mean it! In case you are getting a pair, come back and leave a comment below, I’m curious to know how they are performing in your setup.
- Massive, weighty and solid looking
- Their high-gloss piano lacquer finish is a head-turner, but it might put off a few potential buyers
- The most impressive tonal balance I have experienced at this price point - everything played in perfect harmony
- High conductivity speaker terminals & bi-amping plates
- Great imaging and depth, plus you’re getting one of the biggest stages a stand-mounted speaker can provide
- Clean, transparent and extremely detailed!
- Great mid-bass rendition that never lacked dynamics
- Real, palpable and weighty midrange delivery, as opposed to thin or dry
- The nicest treble extension I’ve heard from a speaker of this price. Expect the unexpected, especially when it comes to treble
- Fast paced and impactful sounding, dynamics are jumpy and alive with the right electronics
- Rich and full-bodied, good timbre
- A super-high value
- No speaker grills can be found in the package, if you are having kids running around the house, that can become a serious problem
- Not the easiest to drive. At an impedance of 4 Ohms and sensitivity of 86 dB, they do like some power, some Diesel Power
- There aren’t extra color options
- DACs: Chord Electronics DAVE, Gustard R26 Discrete, Gold Note DS-10 Plus & PSU-10 EVO, SMSL SU-10, EverSolo DAC-Z8
- DAPs: FiiO M17, M11 Plus ESS, Shanling M7, M6 Ultra, Hiby RS2
- Streamers: Zidoo Alpha Neo, Shanling EM7
- Headphone Amps: Trafomatic Primavera, Trafomatic Head 2, Enleum AMP-23R, Ferrum OOR + Hypsos, Flux Lab Acoustics Volot, Burson Audio Soloist 3X GT, Topping A90 Discrete
- Preamps: Chord Electronics Ultima 3 Pre
- Integrated Amps: Enleum AMP-23R, Topping MX5, SMSL DA9, SMSL A300
- Power Amps: Chord Electronics Ultima 5, Burson Timekeeper 3X GT (x2)
- Loudspeakers: Musician Knight 1, KEF Reference 3, Sound Of Eden Crescendo UNO, Natural Sound NS17
- IEMs: FiiO FH9, FH7S, FA9, Meze Rai Penta, LittleDot Cu KIS, Kinera Skuld, 7Hz Timeless & others
- Full-sized headphones: Hifiman Susvara, HE1000SE, Audeze LCD-5, LCD-4, Sennheiser HD800S, Erzetich Phobos V2021, Erzetich Mania, Kennerton Rognir planar, Vali, Apos Caspian, Sendy Peacock, Apollo, HarmonicDyne Poseidon & others
- Interconnects: QED Reference (x2), Topping TCX1 (x4)
- USB Cables: Supra USB Excalibur (x2), Chord C-USB, Matrix Hi-Fi USB
- HDMI Cables: Supra 8K HDMI 2.1 (x2)
- Speaker cables: Kimber PR8, Audioquest Type4
- Power Cables: Isotek EVO3 Premier (x3), iFi Audio SupaNova (x2)
- Balanced Isolation Power Conditioners: PLiXiR Elite BAC1500 (stereo setup), Elite BAC400 (headphone setup)