In his review of the LARSEN MODEL 8 in The Absolute Sound, Robert E. Greene has this to say:
“Not to maintain artificial suspense, the Larsen 8s are, like their ancestors, speakers that produce an unusually natural sound, a sound that bears a surprising resemblance to concert music. But, again like their ancestors, they are quite different from ordinary speakers—by intention. So to appreciate them, one needs to think for a moment about certain fundamental matters of speakers in rooms.”
How The Model 8s Sound
Balance from the bottom up: For a relatively small speaker, there is a lot of bass extension. The manufacturer claims 23Hz in-room.
“Gnomus” from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition arranged for organ, recorded by Dorian, sounded impressive indeed, with startling impact to the bass attacks and a precise sense of the stopping of the bass sounds, as well. The speaker has very uniform response into the room, with the peaks and dips that typically arise in the sub-500Hz region with usual free-space floorstanders largely missing…
“…the speaker [has] a slightly pushed-back sound, as opposed to the forward sound that is unfortunately all too common in audio-land. The speaker is well compensated for wall placement—it is smoother against the wall than if one puts it out in the room.”
“This summary description of the tonal balance of the Model 8s omits, however, a crucial aspect. Namely, the tonal character of the sound is extremely consistent with respect to movement of the listener, and the room sound matches the direct sound very well. There is true consistency of the room sound with the direct sound, and the result is more than usually convincing in tonal terms. In concert music—or even instruments in your room—the sound does not change dramatically with small or even fairly large movements of the listener.”
“Large-scaled music, where the match between room sound and direct sound is a vital matter, especially illustrates the virtues of the Model 8s. Orchestras sound surprisingly like orchestras, with a transparency that goes not just down into the midrange but all the way down. If you wanted to write down the bass and cello parts of a symphonic composition from listening, these speakers would make it easy.”
“The Larsen Model 8 is to my mind a speaker that everyone seriously interested in audio ought to listen to and at as much length as possible, since one needs to adjust to its quite different approach to reproducing sound in rooms. There are things it does, and important things at that, that to my mind lie at the heart of actually sounding like live music.”
This speaker practically disappears into the room, both sonically and visually. This helps with the age old problem of the speakers taking over the room. This integrated speaker system will be a worthy anchor of a reference-level high-end audio system of the highest performance possible.
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