The multi-faceted diamond shape of the √Åstera was designed to provide a circular pattern of sound-wave emission from the loudspeaker, thus giving a close approximation to the theoretical ideal of point-source radiation. The benefits will be appreciated during listening as the loudspeakers themselves `disappear` from the musical scene, providing the listener with a sensation of great detail and realism within a solid and convincing soundstage.
The same multi-faceted shape is also found inside the cabinet. This gives very effective control of internal reflections, while the use of wood of different thickness for the structure helps to ensure that the cabinet is virtually resonance-free. The choice of drive units, crossovers, terminals and all ancillary components for the √Åstera project was made without compromise. Only the finest components from the very best makers were selected.
The loudspeaker drive units and crossovers used in Diapason loudspeakers are the result of advanced research, and each is tested and matched to closer than 1% tolerance to ensure best performance and stereo balance. The tweeter is a 29mm soft-dome unit with Hexadym magnet and double damping and ventilation. The woofer has a Nextel-treated paper cone with an injection moulded metal chassis.
The crossovers are hard wired throughout using Van den Hul oxygen-free copper and silver cable, a superior method which avoids the problems that can affect even the best printed circuit boards.
Excellent too is the dynamic impact and the ability of the loudspeaker to reproduce the micro-contrasts of instruments and voices within a complex musical scene without ever losing focus or coherence.
The 4/U stand consists of four metal support columns and side panels in real hardwood which together give a pleasing look and great rigidity. The height of the 4/U stands is 72cm, and adjustable spikes are provided . The stand can be placed on a hard floor surface, or on a carpet or rug.
180 mm paper cone Nextel coated
29 mm silk soft dome
Type‚Ä®rear-ported reflex speaker
Canaletto walnut solid wood
Weight per speaker:
Weight for stand:
(l x p x a) 260x442x380 mm
Dimensions speaker on stands:
(l x p x a) 280x442x1146 mm1146 mm
cloth cover grille
Slouching is bad for you, and we’re not talking about effect it has on your back. Languish in your chair while listening to these striking Diapasons and you won’t hear even half of the magic they can deliver.
Why? The Astera come with a dedicated pair of stands, and in many ways they’re a great match. The supports’ metal-and-wood mix works well with the standmounters’ chiselled looks. On a technical note, the wood is pretty good at damping the resonances inherent in an rigid metal structure, too.
Assume the positionOur issue is with the stands’ height. At 77cm (including spikes and top-plate studs), they raise the speakers too high for the average seat. That influences everything from tonal balance – far too dull ‚Äì to making the bass from the 18cm Nextel-coated paper-coned mid/bass units sound ill-defined and tubby.
It doesn’t help that these speakers are pretty fussy about positioning, sounding best pointing directly at the listener, and placed away from walls.
Minimise these issues by sitting high enough to keep the 29mm silk dome tweeters around ear height and taking plenty of time to optimise the Asteras’ position, and you’re in for a treat.