Roger Federer isn’t the one Swiss maestro serving up aces; Lake Zurich-based Piega has additionally launched the Ace speaker sequence, its most reasonably priced aluminium vary to this point. The Piega Ace 30 bookshelf audio system now we have on evaluate listed here are joined by their Ace 50 floorstander and Ace Middle siblings, collectively comprising the Swiss model’s most compact speaker line but.
The Aces change the miniature TMicro fashions that, after we reviewed the bookshelf TMicro 40 AMT, we concluded had been “elegant compact audio system that make explicit sense in case you don’t have numerous area”. So, do the Ace 30 serve the identical function?
‘Compact’ is a time period we regularly use to explain the crop of smaller-than-average standmounters geared toward these quick on area or with a want for discreet designs, however the Ace 30 are actually tiny.
Now the smallest speaker within the Piega portfolio, they’ve curved cupboards simply 14cm huge and 16cm deep, with the baffles measuring the scale of a giant postcard.
Piega Ace 30 tech specs
Driver 1x 120mm MDS
Tweeter 1x AMT-1
Dimensions (hwd) 22 x 14 x 16cm
Piega is most notable for specialising in ribbon tweeters, together with its folded ribbon designs (‘Piega’ means ‘fold’ in Italian), nevertheless it additionally champions aluminium cupboards over wood ones.
For the Ace vary, Piega has specifically developed braced aluminium cupboards, optimising them for the 12cm MDS mid/bass drivers and, in fact, that famed ribbon tweeter. Within the Ace 30, it’s an AMT-1 Air Movement Transformer design, as discovered within the TMicro vary and pushed by a neodymium motor meeting.
For the Ace aesthetic, Piega has as soon as once more leaned on Swiss designer Stephan Hürlemann. Smooth and minimalist of their pure aluminium, anodised black or high-gloss white finishes, the Ace 30 are as unassuming visually as they’re by way of dimension, with no seen seams, angles or fixings.
In contrast with equally priced audio system, such because the KEF LS50 Meta and Triangle Borea BR08, the Ace 30 might look a bit of purposeful, however they’re excellent for many who don’t desire their stereo audio system to face out of their lounge.
The Ace 30 aren’t completely unfussy in that, whereas they do sound weighty sufficient to sit down out right into a room with out sounding unsatisfactorily skinny, their efficiency clearly advantages from a rear wall backing.
Right here, a couple of metres other than each other, they produce a powerful breadth of sound that belies their dimension – and that sound is obvious, stable and refined, fed initially by our reference Burmester 088/911 Mk3 pre/energy mixture after which the extra modest, worth applicable Naim Nait XS 3 built-in amplifier.
It isn’t lengthy into Future Islands’ The Moon Is Blue that the Piegas get to indicate off their even stability and respectable organisation as they cleanly current the jangly instrumentation beneath the vocal. Trebly synths slice by the combination, there’s a stable dealing with of the drumbeat, and loads of element comes by in between, with the Piegas not notably biased to at least one a part of the frequency vary.
You shouldn’t count on audio system of this dimension, nor the drivers inside them, to provide floor-shaking bass or stamp absolute authority on a monitor, however the Piegas are removed from bass mild, and the low frequencies they dig up are pleasantly snappy and agile. The backbeat in Macklemore’s Marmalade is exact and chopping, using beneath piano keys which might be duly dulcet and an insightful, crisp vocal that captures the rapper’s deliberate model.
This can be a sprightly, playful monitor, however the Ace 30 don’t actually play alongside, missing the chew and dynamic punch to actually throw themselves into the efficiency. Equally, St Vincent’s Quick Gradual Disco is an uptempo, invigorating pop quantity however, by the Piegas, it lacks pizzazz. It’s as if the audio system are holding again and we are able to’t assist however really feel upset by their lack of vitality and dynamism.
The Ace 30 additionally fall quick the place dynamic expression is anxious. It could be grossly unfair to say they’re utterly bereft of dynamic scrutiny, however their capacity right here is a way beneath what the category leaders are able to at this worth level. The a lot bigger however equally priced KEF LS50 Meta, for instance, have the dimensions and depth to higher open up a monitor, the dynamic variation to maintain issues fascinating and, crucially, the liveliness to throw itself right into a rhythm.
With Antony and the Johnsons’ You Are My Sister, the Piegas don’t have the transparency to comply with her lilts and pitch adjustments as expertly because the KEFs do. The LS50 Meta are the far more musical screens, delivering the instrumentation with an appropriate skip of their step.
Piega’s newest bookshelf audio system are aces by identify, however not by nature. To their credit score, the Ace 30 are neat and can match conveniently and discreetly in a room, filling it with a sound that’s clear, lush and finessed. However whereas they provide a scale and solidity past what you’d count on, they lack the musicality to actually interact. We might count on extra from audio system at this worth, no matter their dimension.
- Sound 3
- Compatibility 4
- Construct 4
Learn our information to the best bookshelf speakers
Learn our KEF LS50 Meta review
Learn our Triangle Borea BR08 review