RDacoustic are based in the Czech Republic and we first came across the mat High End Munich where their Evolution loudspeakers were being powered by KR Audio amplifiers being fed by a 440 Audio turntable…all Czech brands. The Evolution loudspeakers are a single driver design using a backloaded horn and cost from €9990.
The Evolutions are an imposing back loaded horn loudspeaker standing 180 cm high, weigh 75Kg a piece and come in a variety of real wood finishes, embellished on the front baffle with artificial leather; again the customer can choose the colour. Evolution is a single driver loudspeaker with no crossover and you can choose between Voxativ, Lowther, Enviee and a few other 8” drivers. Our review pair came with what I think is the pick of the crop, the Voxativ and the Oris 500 front horn, which is designed to boost frequencies above 500Hz by 3dB. Oddly the speaker terminals were on the side of the cabinet near the driver and when I questioned this I was told this was to keep the internal cable lengths as short as possible but again customers could choose to have them placed on the back. Prices start from €9990 with the driver type being the deciding factor. Fit and finish is lovely and despite these being imposing we loved them in the room.
The first thing to be played was the wonderful Souvenance album by Anouar Brahem…go out and buy it! The first thing that grabs your attention with these speakers is the amount of detail that is being conveyed. With little details in the background of the recording becoming that little bit more evident. Piano is fast and believable in an organic sense, which is something that not all loudspeakers are able to manage. Plucked strings have weight and again there is a ‘realness’ to the sound. As the music rises and new instruments come to the fore there is a sense of scale added to proceedings, but the RD Acoustic Evolution speakers don’t get ruffled or unnerved and simply get on with it. This album appears to be very simple and with little going on but it is actually quite complex in its structure and where the Volya Bouquet loudspeakers we reviewed recently were massively analytical, what we have here is, and I hate to use the word again, is an organic feel to the music and with this kind of music quite effortless.
Gil Scott Heron and Brian Jackson’s classic album “Winter In America” has the tune that many will be familiar with, The Bottle, on it and it is a tune that gets hammered (excuse the pun) in this house. It starts off with the musicians giggling and the sense of the room it is recorded in comes across really well with the reverb of Heron’s “Uno, Dos…” having the required presence and believability. Again not all loudspeakers manage to do this. Tambourine cuts through the mix really nicely and the frantic bassline is easy to follow and fast – in the stop start sense of the word. Little flourishes on the flute again cut through the mix really nicely and words that come to mind are natural and organic. Detail in the mids and tops is mightily impressive and I put this down to the effect of the Oris 500 front horn, something I would consider a vital purchase. Whilst there is colouration of course (something folk who love the speed and immediacy of single driver designs just, I believe, learn to live with) you are left feeling like you are listening to the music as a whole and not dissecting it into its component parts.
Up to now I’ve played pretty straight forward and undemanding music through the Evolutions, Heron’s voice through them is pretty addictive it has to be said, but it’s time to get the test tracks out. These are tracks I know inside out and back to front but are also tunes that can be somewhat challenging for loudspeakers…torture tracks if you like.
First up is Deep Purple’s live version of Smoke On The Water from Made In Japan and this is used primarily for the bassline. With the RDacoustic’s Evolution speakers the guitar and hi-hats at the start of the tune are absolutely stunning in their believability but the growling bassline is missing the impact that we are used to using our Avantgarde Duo XDs. Don’t get me wrong, bass is there but it is not going as deep as I am used to. The guitar solo on the other hand is presented as realistically as I’ve heard on any speaker at any price. Compromises are inevitable with any speaker design and here, whilst you have stunning mid and top detail, the bass department is compromised a little – this is something you will either be able to live with or not.
Hardfloor’s Once Again Back is another tune used primarily to check out how a loudspeaker copes with extreme bass and again the RDacoustics don’t go down deep but there is just so much detail, speed and insight into the mix everywhere else that you could forgive them.
Neil Young’s Heart Of Gold is sublime when played on these and again it is the amount of detail these speakers give you that impresses most. Snare hits are tight, guitar stops ans starts superbly and Youngs voice is projected into the room with reality and micro-detail that makes for a very believable performance indeed.
Induologue’s Day By Day is a record I often reach for to get a sense of how a speaker presents a the space a recording is made in and the Evolutions do not disappoint at all. What is really impressive with these speakers and on this recording is the whispered nursery rhyme over the main mix at the start and the detail that it is presented with. This is as good as I’ve heard at any price…again. Contrabass doesn’t go deep but it is pretty believable and natural sounding and the more I listen to this recording the more enamoured I become of this speaker’s ability to make you feel you are listening to real musicians playing in real space before you…the vocal is truly stunning!
Single driver loudspeakers live or die by the quality of their drivers and to my mind the Voxativ units used in these speakers are perhaps the best available, though you could save yourself a bob or two and, as mentioned add Lowthers or another brand. I’ve heard these very speakers with the Lowthers and my advice is to save a little harder and get the Voxativs from the get go. I also see the Oris 500 front horn as being an essential element of the speaker and much preferred the presentation with is on.
If you listen to mainly jazz or small scale classical music then you should seriously consider these speakers. They are stunning in the amount of detail and insight they afford the listener with this kind of music. Vocals are delivered in such an organic, natural, believable and realistic way that it is very easy to forgive the speakers shortcomings in the very lower registers.
Soundstaging has scale and depth and whilst these speakers certainly don’t disappear, you are presented with a wholly believable and realistic portrayal of the performance. Just play the DSD version of Jazz at the Pawn Shop on the Evolutions and you will understand immediately what I am batting on about…you really do feel like you are part of the audience.
Techno and hard rock fans may want to look elsewhere, but once you accept that you aren’t going to get trouser flapping basslines you get in a nigh club, you just fall into the music in a way that is hard to describe but very easy to fall in love with. If I wasn’t a bass junky, I put this down to years of Djing and playing in Dub reggae bands, I’d have these speakers in a heartbeat for the sheer wonderfulness of their mid band and the effortless way they bring the music to you.
AT A GLANCE
Build Quality: Very solid and well built
Sound Quality: Impeccable in the mid and top frequencies but don’t expect trouser flapping bass
Value For Money: You are getting a lot of speaker for your money here but save harder for the Voxativ drivers
Stunning Mid and top frequencies
Well built and impressive looking
Detailed, fast and organic presentation
Don’t do very low bass.