Gear reviews

Pelonis – Model 42 speakers

Today, I had the time to finally write something about those Pelonis 42 speakers. I heard them first at Musikmesse Frankfurt (thanks to David Bryce, Wavedistribution) and had the chance to test a pair and meet Chris Pelonis. Nice guy, perfectionist (he was constantly tuning the speaker position in his private rehearsal space at the hotel).

While I never heard about mr. Pelonis before, after some research, he seems to be the “tripple whopper of acoustics.. the king size menu of acoustics” (yeah, I was at a huuge burger chain yesterday, eating fatty food. sorry bout that). Skywalkersound, Future disc.. all designed and built by Chris and his Team.

What’s in the package?
For about 999 US$ retail, you get a pair of Pelonis 42 speakers and a digital amplifier to connect the speakers. The amp has XLR inputs and runs seperate outputs for the left and right/sub and tweeter area via wire connections, banana jacks.┬áThe amp features an on/off switch and is 1 RU high/19″.

Problems & Technicalities
While setting up those I dreamed about beer, a nice beach and holidays. After 5 minutes the dream was over and the speakers connected.
The speaker housing is relativ light-weight but doesn’t vibrate that much. Good job. The housing reminds me of those cheap RFT (cheap in terms of todays price) speakers, the ones found in German broadcast stations in the 60’s. They had about the same shape. The speaker-cone/tweeter is coming from Tannoy.

Sound
Fascinating how close the speakers reminded me about Tannoy (800series), not just by the look. Concerning the frequency response, it’s very even, goes deep down there, where the dragons & monsters are and has a crazy sharp frequency-area reproduction.
What does that mean? If I would describe sound visually, you could use different colored pens and draw first the bass at the bottom of the page, on top of that the lower mids, on top of that the midrange, then the lower highend and the upper highend.. every frequency divided by a thin “line”. Incredible. Seems to be this absolute phase thing with the driver and the tweeter.

The imaging was always fun listening to, on Tannoy speakers, so it is on the Pelonis. Left/Right panning, reverbs, it’s all there and you really know where it belongs. (try the song from “Destiny’s child – say my name” and you know what I mean).

The impuls-response is quite good. I think besides the speaker itself, it has something to do with the amplifier design (Class D or digital, which allows fast raise times).

So is this the ultimate “praise him” speaker? No it’s not. It’s still a small speaker, means you don’t buy the holy grail of speakers with this one. It seems, Chris Pelonis just made the maximum effort to make them sound right. You can imagine, that the speakers ends at 50/60 Hz (sorry, didn’t test it so far properly) just because you can’t beat physics (altough, some manufactureres like Focal and Bose can… at least in their marketing efforts). Chris is offering a sub to complement those speakers. Something I could not wrap my head around is the highend. I really need speakers to reveal the creeking/noisy/fuzzy topend on guitars and there a like, because I mostly mix metal and hard rock. I want to hear the uglyness up there, so I can take it out. These speakers do not reveal that. They sound a lil bit hifi in the highend, which is a good thing to check balances (instruments fighting each other.. or not) but not for eq-ing problem stuff.

One thing that I have to test more is the digital EQ which is built in the amplifier part of the system. You can connect the amp via USB and correct the frequency reproduction of the amp with an EQ. Maybe a bit more at 5khz would be an idea. I will report back as soon as I had time to test this.

One remarkable thing is the midrange. I usually use the NS-10 just for that but the Pelonis worked well (maybe because they are so even in sound?) to balance the midrange and make stuff sounding really in your face.

Conclusion
Buy them if you are in need of a small pair of speakers. Do not expect an auratone or NS-10 sounds. You get the whole “sound-stage” with those speakers. You can crawl trough the lowend, get rid of honky sounding snares (because you can hear what’s going on), you could make the singer and all the fx sound right but you need to use another pair to get the highend right, if you have music which is very pro-active up there.

Very good speakers Chris! Congratulation.

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