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Positive Feedback ISSUE 48
march/april 2010


Sneak Preview of Lansche Plasma 4.1 Loudspeakers from Germany
by Robert H. Levi


I am excited to report to you about the March 21st Audio Event in Atlanta produced by the Audio Video Club of Atlanta and The Signal Collection featuring the legendary cable designer Chris Sommovigo. There, 50 audiophiles were treated to the sounds of the first plasma speaker I have ever heard. The German made Lansche 4.1 Speakers feature a plasma driver from about 2000Hz to over 100KHZ, a special proprietary mid range driver, and a side firing subwoofer that is self powered… all in a magnificent wood cabinet fit for a king! It was very musical and even sounding and will run on just about any amplifier as it’s 99dB efficient! The Lansche 4.1s sell for $53,000.

Featured in the system were the EERA DL2 CD player and the Bel Canto E S300iu integrated. The interconnects and speaker cables were the Stereolab top of the line designs and the digital cables were the new Black Cat Coquette cables… all designed by Chris Sommovigo at the Signal Collection in Atlanta. What wonderful sound…some of the best I’ve ever heard under show conditions. No one seemed to be breathing as we listened enraptured to the ultra open soundstage and colorless neutral sound.

Then Chris’s beautiful and talented wife, Mayu, played a violin concert for us to enjoy and simultaneously tape! She is a member of the Atlanta Symphony and played pieces by Bach, Kreisler, and more. What fun! It was professionally taped by two different companies in attendance with top gear. One group taped in 24/96 with omni mics, the other in 24/176.4 with cardioid mics. We immediately played back the concert directly from the digital recorders on the Lansches.

Was it live or recorded? I can tell you this: using the cardioid setup at 24/96, it was very close to perfect. The omnis provided so much air that it sounded less real than what I heard from the ideal listening position. Sampling was not as key here and that surprised me.

The speaker’s plasma driver is self contained and lasts 8000 hours. It will be exchanged for a new driver at a modest fee when no longer functioning. It uses just plain air in the room to fire up and puts out very little heat. It is totally encapsulated and only the front of the plasma glow is seen. It is just plain amazing to see and hear. This is most sophisticated and a truly refined product. If I had a quibble, it would be the modified horn loading of the driver. I think I heard a bit of cupping, but maybe not. Overall, it was hard to hear anything but refined, elegant, stunningly detailed music. Plus, the recorded performance was breathtaking with the Lansches.

These are truly full range speakers and an easy load. Wish I had my E.A.R. 890 amplifier in the system. I think this would have been heavenly!

Take a look at the website and try to find a dealer to hear the Lansches. The openness of the plasma driver, on first impression, equals the diamond drivers in my Marten Birds. The Lansches are something really new and exciting. I will be most interested in seeing what the acceptance factor of audiophiles may be. Like my reference speakers, not much to dislike with the Lansches. Congratulations to the Audio Video Club of Atlanta for having such a sterling audio event!

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