Zellaton Plural Evo
Evo Series 3-Way Floor Standing Speaker
ZELLATON speakers are truly a bespoke speaker design beginning with their hand-made and individually tuned drivers, specially made to order Duelund capacitors and exquisitely finished cabinets. The Klassik speaker series is acknowledged as one of the most sonically accomplished loudspeakers available in the world. However, the drivers used in the Klassik series are extremely costly and take a very long time to manufacture. This, along with the high rejection rate, labour cost to create the hand built multi-layered cabinets, the extreme specification of the crossover networks, etc means that the Klassik series is immensely time consuming and expensive.
The Plural series was designed to deliver much of the ZELLATON fabled sonic performance in a loudspeaker that was more accessible in terms of production time and cost. By developing new drivers and changing the way the cabinets are built, ZELLATON were able to achieve this brief while still remaining faithful to the ZELLATON sound.
ZELLATON’s triple-layer full cone sandwich diaphragms are one of a kind and perhaps the most obvious feature that differentiates them from other loudspeaker manufacturers. The purpose of using a three-layer sandwich design is to reduce the sound of the material. The hardened foam consists of millions of various sized, small air bubbles. In fact, 80% of the foam is actually air and that gives the cones their desired lightness. Another benefit to this design is the reduction of distortion.
The manual tuning of the drivers is done in many steps until the frequency response is linearized as much as possible. Everything, down to the glues used, is tested. And there’s no substitute for the time needed to research and test. The ZELLATON development team learned a lot about materials science during the many years of transducer development for the Reference loudspeaker. Much of what was learned is incorporated into the Plural Evo, in particular weight, bracing and sandwiching. A 0.3mm polypropylene film over a hardened foam membrane over a special type of paper is used to construct triple sandwich cones in the Plural Evos, which provides a high level of damping and pistonic action.
The midrange driver in the Plural Evo is used as a ‘wide-bander’ and operates over a frequency range from roughly 90 to 7,500 Hz. Low octaves in the Plural Evos are handled by two 11-inch drivers. The woofer in the Plural Evos (unlike the Klassik Series) is open to the floor. This arrangement helps the speaker better integrate into smaller rooms and allows them to be placed closer to walls. Note that the speakers come “left” and “right” and should be placed so the vent at the bottom is placed to the inside, not outside of each speaker. Everything matters and Plural Evo owners are provided with two pair of rectangular foam pieces, one a little wider than the other, to help tune the speaker to the room. The narrower piece gives a more precise sound vs the wider piece that give a fuller sound. The Plural Evos use an in-house designed, propriety soft dome hemispherical tweeter design.
Another somewhat unconventional aspect of the Plural Evo’s design is the speaker crossover. There’s no tuning of the crossover to linearize the speaker. This is instead done with the drivers themselves which consequently eliminates phase shifting issues. After an extensive testing process, ZELLATON selected Duelund’s new proprietary CAST capacitors made at Duelund’s new factory. Full Cast, flat VSF capacitors are used with the tweeter and Duelund’s round, Full Cast, copper coils are used in the crossover for the midrange and bass drivers. Everything inside the speaker is connected with Duelund wiring and all internal connections are hardwired. Mundorf M-Connect Silver plated copper binding posts are used on the back of the speaker. These binding posts provide excellent grip when using cables terminated with a variety of spade lugs.
Cabinet fit and finish is nothing less than spectacular. The Plural Evos use the same fine quality lacquered piano finish of that used in Klassik Series save the more expensive speaker line uses more layers. Up to 20 coats of polyester paint are used of the cabinets. The cabinet design is seamless with no joins, seems, nuts or bolts in sight, a sculpture that anyone would be proud to place in their home.
Digging down a little deeper into the cabinet design reveals another type of sandwich. The Plural Evo cabinet is made of three different types and layers of wood to reduce the material’s sound. The woods are of different thicknesses and key positions in the cabinet are reinforced with metal plates. Internal reinforcements and bracing are asymmetrical throughout to reduce cabinet vibration to an absolute minimum. ZELLATON eschews conventional philosophy of spiking speakers and prefers instead to use coupling in concert with energy draining. The Plural Evos opted to use rounded feet on the bottom of the speaker in concert with discs reduce energy, which also happens to work better with carpeted floors.
How does all this effort translate to the sound? The first observation is that the speaker has perfect cohesiveness. The speaker sounds the same up and down the frequency spectrum and that quality doesn’t change as a function of volume. This is mostly due to the fact that the midrange driver is covering such a wide band and that the midrange driver & bass drivers are of identical design. Essential musical elements such as melody, harmony, dynamic accents, length of notes, etc are reproduced accurately and sound ‘whole’.
Then you will notice the Plural Evo’s stunning transparency which results from a reduction in driver and cabinet distortions/colorations and the ability of the speaker cabinet to stay quiet and allow the drivers to perform optimally. This transparency communicates cues such as hall acoustics and subtle timbral qualities that allows the listener to effortlessly discern the differences between similar instruments. The Plural Evo’s also have that elusive ability to present a performance in a way where you can discern what is going on in the back of the soundstage as easily as the front of the stage.
A growing number of high-end audio designers are paying closer attention to the integration of their speaker designs—particularly in the low frequencies—into the listening environment. The Plural Evos allows for the end user the tune the speaker to the room and achieve the proper balance between the music “breathing” vs. being over damped. Bass is portrayed with its transient speed, wild dynamic swings, explosiveness and slam – this speaker has real ‘jump factor’. Instruments pop up out of silence.
Sonically the Plural Evos are a true reference, exhibiting qualities that other speakers, even well above their price range cannot match. The combination of openness, transient bass attack, micro and macro-dynamics, seamlessness, treble purity, low coloration and transparency is impeccable and it all combines to feel natural. This is not a hi-fi sound in the traditional sense, it is beyond that. It is pure, natural, believable and totally emotionally engaging.
|Type||3-Way Floor Standing Speaker System|
|Frequency Response||23 Hz – 34 kHz|
|Drive Units||1 x 30 mm (1,1″) soft dome tweeter
1 x 180 mm (7″) full-cone mid woofer
2 x 280 mm (11″) full-cone woofer
|Dimensions||127cm (H) x 34cm (W) x 54cm (D)
50″ (H) x 13″ (W) x 21” (D)
|Weight (Net)||95 kg (209 lbs)|