Zellaton Reference MkII
Klassik 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 and the Reference MkII is the second offering in this exalted range.
There are many reasons why the ZELLATON Reference MkII sounds the way it does and it is important to note that these bespoke speakers have been over 90 years in the making and are the result of an obsessive, uncompromising spirit in design & manufacture. There is literally no other loudspeaker brand in the world with this level of heritage and attention to detail in the manufacturing process. Each Reference MkII loudspeaker is a collectable, heirloom quality, artisan crafted piece of high-end audio exotica.
The drivers used in the Klassik series are extremely costly and take a very long time to manufacture. The manufacturing process is elaborate and requires utmost precision and skill. For example, the diaphragms are baked for two to three weeks with precise timing. Even after each production phase is completed, there is a high rejection rate as the specific requirements for these drivers is at a standard which even utilising the most modern manufacturing methods, is difficult to achieve. 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 Klassik drivers use an aluminium layer less than the thickness of a human hair—and selected for being the most neutral material in their tests—on the surface of the diaphragms. The aluminium layer also assists in maintaining the shape of the foam while being baked. Every speaker manufacturer tries to ensure that their driver diaphragms are as lightweight and stiff as possible but ZELLATON are on another level all together.
Another somewhat unconventional aspect of the Reference MkII’s design is the 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. 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 Reference MkII are finished in the finest quality lacquered piano finish ever used on a speaker. 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.
The Reference MkII cabinet is made of a complex sandwich design that incorporates many different layers of materials that result in an unbelievably inert cabinet. You can tell that the know how to create this level of enclosure has taken generations of development to get to this level. Coupled with serious internal bracing, cabinet vibrations are virtually non-existent. ZELLATON uses a special Laser Doppler vibrometer to measure the speaker’s vibrations down to the square centimetre. ZELLATON eschews conventional philosophy of spiking speakers and prefers instead to use coupling in concert with energy draining.
The ZELLATON Reference MkII breaks new ground in bringing you closer to the feeling of pure unadulterated sound. There’s an incredible purity, a reach-out-and-touch-you transparency and remarkable timbral realism through music’s entire range. It also expresses nuanced detail along with the structured, propulsive, macro-dynamic architectural elements of music. There’s presence and three-dimensionality with instruments, voices and spatial cues appearing more fully fleshed out. It is uncoloured, coherent and pure, particularly in the critical midrange where they have a rare ability to convey music that simply sounds like the real thing. All veils are removed between you and the performer.
How does it compare to the Stage, the smaller model in ZELLATON’s Klassik series? The sound is very similar, with the exception that the reference MKII has a greater sense of scale, projects a larger soundstage in all directions, has a greater sense of effortlessness and has a lower frequency extension. It also has significantly greater bass ‘heft’ and would suit a larger listening room.
The Reference MkII has a totally seamless integration of its three drivers and is often compared to full-range electrostatics in this regard, with reviewers and owners alike commenting on it’s unbelievable speed and detail. It reproduces live performances with incredible immediacy, presence, and transparency – fully communicating the excitement. Its stunning clarity helps one understand the words being sung and feel the instruments being played. It makes you feel like you are sitting in the best seat in the house. Vocals are grain-free and palpable and you experience the illusion of live performers in your listening room. Beyond the audiophile descriptions, the Reference MKII can do what many high-end speakers fail to do – engage your emotions & convey the artist’s emotional intentions….and it has this ability in spades.
The ZELLATON Klassik loudspeakers are a truly special experience and in many ways in a class of their own. For those lucky enough hear the Reference MkII, they are a memorable, visceral experience. Those blessed souls that have an opportunity to own them describe them as breathtaking and transcendent. Want to hear what is possible when you develop a loudspeaker philosophy & technology for over 90 years? The ZELLATON Reference MkII.
We expect hi-fi’s to sound at least a little like hi-fi’s. It is what they are, after all—and hell, we’re looking right at them. In spite of this, at its best the Zellaton Reference MkII makes you forget where the sound is coming from.
|Type||3-Way Floor Standing Speaker System|
|Frequency Response||22 Hz – 40 kHz|
|Drive Units||1 x 40 mm (1.6″) full-cone tweeter
1 x 180 mm (7″) full-cone mid woofer
3 x 220 mm (9″) full-cone woofer
|Dimensions||131cm (H) x 45cm (W) x 71cm (D)
52″ (H) x 18″ (W) x 28” (D)
|Weight (Net)||135 kg (297 lbs)|