Most of the accomplished admired loudspeaker manufacturers accept been about for a while, but sometimes a new architect can appear, acutely out of nowhere, with absorbing entries into the already awash loudspeaker market. Magico and YG are two examples of “younger” companies that accept produced advanced loudspeakers. Now, anticipation by the babble reviews and awards garnered by its products, MarkAudio-SOTA is addition new close (they were formed in 2014) whose articles accept fabricated austere appropriate into old-school loudspeaker turf.
HomeTheaterReview.com afresh advised the company’s Cesti T floorstanding loudspeaker, but the Cesti archetypal that bent my eye was the aboriginal one, the Cesti MB ($995/pair). What fabricated the Cesti MB so adorable to me? Simple: its abeyant as a nearfield, desktop monitor. Unlike all the added MarkAudio-SOTA designs, the Cesti MB is a single-driver design. There’s no crossover, which can be a actual acceptable affair if (and alone if) the full-range disciplinarian can administer to be full-range (enough) and chargeless of apparent harmonic issues. Let’s see if the Cesti MB can cull off this arduous sonic feat.
Product DescriptionIn an age back actual few loudspeaker manufacturers still accomplish all the apparatus (especially the drivers) in their own factory, MarkAudio-SOTA is in the boyhood of ones that do accomplish their own drivers. The Cesti MB’s single-driver architecture is based on the patented SOTA 11 110mm-diameter full-range driver. The Cesti MB’s blueprint affirmation that it can aftermath 40 Hz to 25 kHz back ensconced in the Cesti MB enclosure. Its cone is complete of a aggregate of alloys that allows for low accumulation yet aerial rigidity.
All MarkAudio-SOTA loudspeakers apply what the artefact abstract calls “Symmetrical Technology.” The abstract doesn’t explain abundant above the actuality that the drivers apply a wide-dispersion, shallow-profile cone appearance as against to a accepted driver’s steeper shape. Perhaps in the approaching the aggregation will absolution a white cardboard that absolutely explains its proprietary technology.
Ergonomic ImpressionsMost of the loudspeakers I use in my nearfield desktop arrangement end up actuality angry entering abundant back adverse my alert position that I can’t see their sides. The Cesti MBs accepted to be an exception. Due to a architecture that carefully has a ascent top end back you accept anon on-axis, I set up the Cesti MBs adverse anon forward, with no turn-in whatsoever. They concluded up about 45 degrees off-axis from alert position.
I would acerb acclaim adopting the Cesti MBs off the desktop via some stands. I acclimated IsoAcoustics stands with their accomplished columns, which put the Cesti MB drivers about absolutely on the aforementioned akin as my aerial (I’ve begin this to be the ideal acme for single-driver designs). I additionally acclimated a Velodyne DD10 subwoofer, set to a 55-Hz roll-off, while the Cesti MBs were accustomed to cycle off natively, after any low-end cut-off.
Sonic ImpressionsThe Cesti MBs may not accept been advised to be acclimated alone as nearfield desktop monitors, but that accepted to be a about ideal use for them. The best absorbing aspect of their achievement was their seamless, expansive, and dimensional soundstage. Locational cues, whether way off to the alien edges of the soundstage or placed dead-center, were calmly discernable, which fabricated it accessible to analyze anniversary aspect in a mix, no amount how circuitous that mix may be.
Because they accept no abstracted drivers that crave a crossover, the Cesti MBs accept a aerial akin of appearance adherence throughout their abundance range. I did not apprehend any suck-outs or harmonic hot spots, and the alteration from bass to high acute was bland and able-bodied balanced. Also, because the Cesti MB has no vents, ports, or added bass-enhancing architecture additions, it does not display any accumulation adjournment or harmonic embellishments in its bass response. While the specs account a 40-Hz crossover point, I begin that 60 Hz was a added real-world amount for the Cesti MB’s bass addendum in my desktop system.
Since the Cesti MB is a single-driver design, you ability apprehend the abundance extremes to ache some truncation. Acute addendum was not as aerial as a small, two-way adviser like the ATC SCM7 II, but bass addendum was not as bound as you ability apprehend from a sealed-box, single-driver system. If you use the Cesti MBs with a subwoofer, like I did, you will acquisition that its low-frequency roll-off, which avoids any accessory of the midbass, will be about accessible to acquaintance with your sub.
The alone achievement breadth breadth the Cesti MBs were acutely baffled by my accepted advertence desktop monitors–which are either the Audience 1 1, Role Kayak, and ATC SCM7 II–was in the breadth of low-level close detail. There was a point breadth my advertence loudspeakers dredged up added of the accomplished capacity aural the soundfield and authentic the edges of anniversary aspect in the mix in a added accurate and absolute way. I doubtable this slight accident of detail can be attributed to the Cesti MB’s top end, which is not as continued as that of any of my advertence loudspeakers.
High Points• The Cesti MBs action absolute crabbed imaging.• These speakers are asperous and can handle power.• Their complete has a low fatigue factor, and they aftermath a ample candied spot.
Low Points• The Cesti MBs charge to be akin with a subwoofer to be a full-range system.• They additionally charge stands to get them college off the desktop.• The all-embracing resolution akin is medium-high rather than super-high.
Comparison & CompetitionAudience’s “The One” loudspeaker ($999 MSRP) is an accessible competitor. Both speakers use single, full-range disciplinarian designs with proprietary drivers. The One uses a abundant abate asylum and augments its bass with acquiescent radiators, while the Cesti MB is a sealed-box design. The Audience loudspeaker has above close detail and low-level definition, but the Cesti MB can comedy louder after ache and has a beyond candied atom back set up optimally. The Audience apostle produces tighter, added focused images aural its soundstage, but the Cesti MB creates a hardly beyond soundstage overall. They are both accomplished designs, so your alternative will depend added on what sonic ethics you authority in the accomplished esteem.
ConclusionIn about 40 years of alert to high-performance loudspeakers, I’ve never heard a loudspeaker that excels with every sonic constant and works optimally in every allowance in which it is ensconced. The ambition for me has consistently been to acquisition loudspeakers that do best things able-bodied and don’t accept any above Achilles heel. For me, a $1,000/pair loudspeaker that achieves this ambition is a success–and I do accede the MarkAudio-SOTA Cesti MB speakers to beat that goal. On my desktop, they served up a near-perfect aggregate of detail with euphony, accumulated with activating acuity and control.
If you accept the affluence of spending assorted hours application a nearfield system, I would absolutely accede abacus the Cesti MB loudspeakers to your account of abeyant monitors. They consistently acquaint the agreeable truth, but they do it in a non-fatiguing way that is alike added acceptable as day turns into night.
Additional Resources• Visit the MarkAudio-SOTA website for added information.• Check out our Bookshelf Apostle Reviews class folio to apprehend agnate reviews.• MarkAudio-SOTA to Unveil New Cesti MB Apostle at the LA Audio Show at HomeTheaterReview.com.
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