Acapella Audio Arts: Sphäron Excalibur

31.05.2019 // Dirk Sommer

Three years ago, while visiting Acapella’s showroom in Duisburg, I experienced that a Poseydon could bring you closer to the dynamics of a concert event than even the most demanding hi-fi enthusiast could have ever dreamed of. And, the acoustic transducer currently being there in demonstration, is intended to narrow the gap between reality and illusion even more. And you can listen to it by yourself!

In the meantime, a lot has happened at Acapella Audio Arts: Besides Hermann Winters and Alfred Rudolph, also his sons Robert and Richard are now part of the team, while the legal structure of the company has changed accordingly. Richard Rudolph has now been involved in research and production for well over ten years and with the current Sphäron Excalibur he has played a decisive role in the further development of Acapella's top model. Understandably, these systems are only built to order, incorporating the latest insights from the constant quest for a continuously improving performance. In contrast to the early Sphäron models, the current system does not require a bass horn acoustically coupling to the room anymore. While for the earlier solution a horn area of twelve square meters was indispensable, the current model shows up with modular, more than head-high bass columns. Each of the four modules following the vented enclosure principle, features an 18-inch driver.

Diese Basisbreite reicht bei dem erkennbaren Abstand zum Hörplatz völlig aus, um eine völlig glaubwürdige Illusion eines Solokünstlers, eines Wall Of Sound von einer Rockband oder eines Konzertsaals samt Symphonieorchester zu erzeugen
Diese Basisbreite reicht bei dem erkennbaren Abstand zum Hörplatz völlig aus, um eine völlig glaubwürdige Illusion eines Solokünstlers, eines Wall Of Sound von einer Rockband oder eines Konzertsaals samt Symphonieorchester zu erzeugen

The system also includes Acapella’s proprietary mono power amplifiers, derived from their integrated amplifier LaMusika and their three-phase powered stereo power amplifier. However, there is "only" one mono block per channel, integrated in the speaker cabinet on a suspended base. The assignment of the frequencies to the woofer modules, the low-midrange and high-midrange horns as well as to the ion tweeter is effected by a passive crossover. When asked about the power rating of the power amplifier, Hermann Winters answers – almost as expected – in the classic manner very much known from Rolls Royce: perfectly adequate. Technical questions he simply considers to be inappropriate: They don’t reveal anything about the sonic properties and the musicality of this exceptional speaker system. Whereas he willingly quenches the thirst for knowledge related to the system’s weight, although, before it comes to transport, this question can’t clearly be answered: A Sphäron isn’t something you simply lift onto a balance. The estimated weight ranges between 650 and 750 kilograms per side.

A direct comparison between the Sphäron and the Poseydon, which impressed me so positively on my last visit, won’t be realizable, as the Acapella team dismantled it to make room in the generously dimensioned listening room for the new things to come. But, a snappy comparison certainly would not do the Sphäron Excalibur justice. Already the first track, a song by Nils Lofgren, with which Richard Rudolph starts the audition, unveils: it’s instantly powerful and impressive, but also bigger than live. However, I don’t know if it was because Richard Rudolph minimally reduced the volume or if I, as usual, had closed my eyes for focused listening: Suddenly the proportions snap in. While the imaginary stage charms with its spaciousness, the enormously differentiated instruments and voices perform in an absolutely harmonious and dimensionally lifelike manner, letting you indulge fully relaxed in a wealth of information. Already this first song – being up to now unknown to me and technically not necessarily an audiophile masterpiece – gives rise to my worst fears: If I do not stop being captivated by the Sphäron Excalibur right now, I will never be able to listen to music through my own system as satisfied as before.

  • The second STATEMENT in High Fidelity

    At the first presentation of the two joint awards of High and last November during the Audio Video Show in Warsaw, the giving of the awards was exactly as Wojtek Pacula and I had imagined. The second time a pandemic intervened. In Warsaw we had – as reported – invited Johann Graham, Alex Brady and Robert Hay to a nice restaurant in the evening after a day at the trade fair, we spent…
  • Das zweite STATEMENT in High Fidelity

    Bei der ersten Verleihung der beiden gemeinsamen Auszeichnungen von und im letzten November während der Audio Video Show in Warschau hatte sich die Übergabe der Awards genau so gestaltet, wie Wojtek Pacula und ich uns das vorgestellt hatten. Beim zweiten Mal kam uns eine Pandemie dazwischen. In Warschau hatten wir – wie berichtet – Johann Graham, Alex Brady und Robert Hay am Abend eines Messetages in ein nettes Restaurant eingeladen, dort angenehme Stunden…
  • STATEMENT In High Fidelity – die zweite

    Wenn wir in normalen Zeiten lebten, hätte ich während der High End meinen Freund und Kollegen Wojtek Pacula getroffen und mit ihm anderntags in größerer Runde den gemeinsamen Award unserer Magazine an Gryphon und Melco überreicht. Wir lassen uns von den momentanen Widrigkeiten nicht abschrecken und werden die Übergabe nachholen – notfalls per Skype. Schon kurz nach der ersten Preisverleihung in Warschau waren wir übereingekommen, auch auf der wichtigsten Hifi-Show Deutschlands – wenn nicht international…
  • STATEMENT In High Fidelity – the second

    If we were living in normal times, I would have met my friend and colleague Wojtek Pacula during the High End and together with him I would have presented the joint award of our magazines to Gryphon and Melco in a larger group the next day. We are not deterred by the current adversities and will make up for the handover – if necessary via Skype. Shortly after the first award ceremony in Warsaw we…
  • STATEMENT in High Fidelity

    During the Audio Video Show in Warsaw High and awarded two prizes for the first time. Of course, they express above all our appreciation of the award winners and their award-winning products, but they also document the positive cooperation between the two online magazines over the years. My colleague Wojtek Pacula awarded Nordost's QPoint, a so-called resonance synchonizer, whose tonal effects convinced him. As you can see from his review, he also appreciates…
  • STATEMENT in High Fidelity

    Während der Audio Video Show in Warschau vergaben High und zum ersten Mal zwei Auszeichnungen. Die drücken natürlich vor allem unsere Wertschätzung der Preisträger respektive ihrer prämierten Produkte aus, dokumentieren aber auch die sich über Jahre hinweg positiv entwickelnde Kooperation der beiden Online-Magazine. Der Kollege Wojtek Pacula zeichnete Nordosts QPoint, einen sogenannten Resonanz Synchonizer, aus, dessen klanglichen Auswirkungen ihn überzeugten. Wie man seinem Test entnehmen kann, schätzt er aber auch den Mut der…

Wir nutzen Cookies auf unserer Website. Einige von ihnen sind essenziell für den Betrieb der Seite, während andere uns helfen, diese Website und die Nutzererfahrung zu verbessern (Tracking Cookies). Sie können selbst entscheiden, ob Sie die Cookies zulassen möchten. Bitte beachten Sie, dass bei einer Ablehnung womöglich nicht mehr alle Funktionalitäten der Seite zur Verfügung stehen.