These electromagnetic monsters arrived in Sea Cliff yesterday. Weighing over 300 lbs each, getting these speakers into the house required serious manpower (four to be exact). Why do these speakers weigh so much? Because they house a ton of magnets. Fittingly, the Leonardo speaker was designed by an Italian, Daniele Coen, who apparently wanted to build the heaviest ribbon speaker on the planet. He also desired a full-range, dipole, two-way planar speaker capable of plunging the deepest depths.
The speaker employs a push-pull design with magnets symmetrically placed on both sides of the diaphragm. Leonardo claims a 93 dB effective sensitivity. If you go to their website, a bold statement is made that one can “use low power single ended triode amplifiers with a full range planar speaker.” We first paired the speakers with the Audio Research REF-75 (75 watts per channel) and were impressed. Yet, my hunch is that these creatures crave more power, at least for the lower end, than an SET or lower wattage amp can provide. We shall see (and hear).
The speakers are beautiful and quite sleek in their sexy black finish. The Leonardo’s were brought to Sea Cliff via Buffer Ergmann and Laufer Teknik, who is the North American importer.
It took some time adjusting the speakers to the room, and I think we will be adjusting some more in the near future, but the sound we heard was exquisite. Staging, as with most planar speakers, was excellent once the speakers were dialed in, but what really shocked was the overall coherency and liquid bass (it was juicy).
The speakers cost $65,000 (quite a lot of coins) and come with custom made Stillpoints Ultra feet and sturdy flight cases. Check out some fuzzy pictures of the install and the speakers below (pictures do not do these speakers justice, the finish is downright luxurious).