It has taken me almost 1 year to write a report on these bass units. First of all I must thank Charlie for his patience and all these years of support in this endless madness of Hi Fi. Our history goes way back. By the time we got in touch (this time) it was a discussion about the LeCleac’h flare. Fast forward like 6 years... Quick summary of my speakers: AER MD3 drivers mounted on Azura Horns naturally cutting off at 204Hz married with the Basso bass units in 160 litre bass cabinets. The horns are driven with Yamamoto A-08s which give out a whopping 2W, the drivers are 106db alone and the front horn takes them to 110db or there about. The Basso bass units are currently driven with Restek Thorens which are 50W mosfets and Toshiba fets with FRAKO caps. Crossover is a kit from Borisaudio using LeCleach theory, no expense spared with Jensen PIO silver lead outs caps, 24 of them, SPU is all back gates - all resistors are RMG. Pre-amp is Supratek Cortese. My front end has many variations, heavily modified slate Lenco, Garrard 301, SP10 MK2 just to name my main current players. Digital - which I don’t take too seriously as I am a vinyl freak. Carts - too many to name here which includes my own modified version of the Denon 103R (MIDAS).
Before I bought the Basso from Charlie, I had the Klipsch K33-E which were known as a good bass driver and were used in the La Scala bass units. When the Basso arrived, I noticed the difference, the weight of the frames, the weight of the speaker – you could feel the quality immediately! After several emails between Charlie and myself he calculated that I could produce 30Hz bass with 160 litres in my living room. That was sufficient for my requirements.
I have a transparent system, the horns are not shy and many who have electrostatics claim they have the best transparency only to be shocked what these horns can do - not perfect, but refined and dynamic and really hit like you are there. Micro dynamics are almost unmatched. So when I was told that the Basso would improve the clarity of my system, I was puzzled. Charlie explained the need for extremely clean bass. Can it get better? Well, yes! When I installed the Basso I noticed improvement in all registers, everything had cleaned up, not only bass but also the mid range and possibly even the treble. It sounds crazy but it demonstrates how a bass unit not only rolls over, but can colour your system. Charlie informed me that the speaker will improve in 150 to 200 hrs. but will only break in after 1000 hrs. Unreal.
So one year later on, what can I hear? Bass does go down to 30Hz because this is what I can hear from the test CD I have. The lower level registers are clean, picking up everything. It has allowed me to even fine tune my turntable to reduce further any unwanted lower motor noise I could pick up with my front end. The Basso kicks bass like I have never heard, only the very best 15 inch bass units can compare, these are like TADs, possibly the B&W drivers or you can go for the legendary Altecs, but I have never heard texture like these. What I mean by texture, listen to Witches brew RCA Living Stereo Danse Macabre, you will hear even at the beginning the roll of big drums at the back... the background is clear and dark and pickup the music scores being moved, shuffling, the lot. If you have the CD - the Reference Recording Mephisto version, the recording is more modern date - make sure you bolt down everything as when the drum rolls and are hit, its like canons going off! Elgar Pomp and Circumstance - Marches 1 1956 EMI recording, the drums go so low, you can feel the waves. On Moonight Serenade with Ray Brown & L.Almeida track 1, Ray Brown can be heard giving you the full texture of his double bass, unreal, you can hear the big man grunt as he gets to grip towards the end of the track pushing with all his might!
Never mind other bass from other pieces of music, the pick up is quiet spectacular yet it does not colour the upper registers. I urge anyone who is serious not only in bass, but serious in clarity and reproduction to consider this driver.