KingSound Prince III loudspeakers

24.09.2013..

A status symbol in the hi-fi of the '70s and '80s, nowadays the electrostatic speakers are not so common. For their dimensions? I do not think so. Of course, they are taller than other speakers are but they occupy less room. Maybe because they have to be placed far from the back wall, since the emission is dipolar. I mean, because they emit the sound also from behind. Not at all. In fact, almost all the loudspeakers have better performances whit lots of air around and when distant from the surrounding walls. So, because they need many watts to be driven? Today many power amps have a lot of power and even the new class-D amps can reach huge powers, mostly when required by low and ultralow loads, Achilles heel of the electrostatic. The low range, then? We will talk later about that...

 

Maybe more than one prejudice can condition the audio enthusiast. I want to say a thing, though. A couple of days ago, I listened - after several years - the LS3/5a speakers and, as happens every time, I gaped. I do not understand how some people prefer to complicate their life with improbable brands - from the sound point of view - and are not able to appreciate the magic of the small Brits. In a small room, like the room at our disposal in most modern flats, if you like voices, singer-songwriters, jazz, classical not symphonic music, I mean genres where is not required a huge push in the low range, a speaker like this one has no so many rivals. Nevertheless, many people snub it or do not listen to it.

 

Back to the loudspeakers I am reviewing, electrostatic of course: the KingSound Prince III that I hope you have the chance to listen to, in your interest if I may add. The manufacturer is a company from Hong Kong which, since 2002 has been investing all its resources on this typology of speakers. Here, in Italy, they are not very known. Import Audio, the company of Dario Dragoni, music teacher, musician and sound engineer for passion, started to import them three years ago since he has a strong passion for the electrostatic speakers too. In the States, on the contrary, they are very famous and well reviewed. At the CES 2013 in Las Vegas, they were playing in the KR Audio's booth, the one with the Kronzilla. VAC has made special power supplies for them. Great credentials, don't you think?

 

KingSound Limited, under the KingSound brand, exports in USA, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Italy. The design of the Prince III is original and based on the modularity. The panel surface, of about two square meters, is partitioned in many electrostatic interconnected "small squares". From here, two peculiarities arise. Since each small square has a kind of frame, the whole is more rigid than with just one big panel. Furthermore, there are less flexions and, consequently, a quicker response to solicitations. In case of damages or breakage, just a portion and not the entire panel has to be changed. To this end, the importer told me that in Italy there is a specialized service centre.

 

The loudspeaker shows two different areas: one wider dedicated to the mid-low frequencies and one narrow and long for the mid-high range. A separate device, a 8 kg small box whose dimensions are 22x24,5x13 cm, acts as a power supply and its step-up converter provides the bias voltage to the grids. According to the manual, the DC input is 11-15 volt/120 mA. There are no dangerous currents in the panels, therefore do not force your mother in law to lean her ear against them!

Aesthetically, these "speakers" could also be wives-proof: they are tall, but slender with the possibility of changing the front black cloth with the one of the rear grid so to adapt to the furniture. The two triangles that form the base of the speakers are very stylish and far from those ugly metal strips that are commonly used.

Technically speaking, the crossover frequency is 1.6 kHz, the frequency response goes from 48 Hz up to 26 kHz, the sensitivity is 83 dB, the impedance is 6 ohms which go down to a minimum of 0,6. Hence, KingSound suggests a minimum power of 100 watts and an optimal power of 150.

You have to take particular care in matching the amplification. I did not test them with the new NuForce IA18 integrated amp, 150 watt into 8 ohm and 335 watt into 2 ohm, but I had if I could. The Prince III are 177 cm tall, 54,5 cm wide and 8 cm deep. They weigh 21 kg circa and their panels do not suffer humidity thanks to a specific treatment of the surface.

 

The "plus", as the marketing men say, are two. Firstly: the covering of the membranes. Thanks to nanotechnologies, they have strong adhesive properties and use less energy to move the panels. Hence, you can get more rapid responses. Secondly, between the vibrating panels are some foils made of a particular cellular structure. They have been designed to obtain a uniform distribution of the conduction surface of the static electric field.

 

These aspects have consequences on the sound. I tested them in two configurations. Driven in biamplification by A.A.S., Apparecchiature Audio Scientifiche amps, another Dragoni's brand: 200 watt on the mid-low range and 50 watt on the high, or driven by two 130 watt Monrio monoblocks, you can immediately notice the response rate and the agility of emission. Thus, there are no "steps" between the panels dedicated to the mid-low and to the high range. Everything is fluid, natural.

 

One of the strong points of the Prince III is the image. A so tall panel can only give a big, well extended, uncompressed image. The directionality is not so pushed that you are obliged to stay in the middle of the famous listening triangle. Remarkable is the tonal balance and the voices are well reproduced. If properly driven the bass are present and this is not weird. If you listen to a mini speaker with an 8 watt amp and then with a 100 watt amp, the result is different. In the KingSound, the bass are not those of a disco, or of a huge subwoofer, but they are very enjoyable. They are perfect for classical music, but also Sting's bass was great, with its entire slam. Actually, I did not expect such a clean and precise bass. Ah, the prejudices!

 

I have not say everything, I know. Instead, I hope you are a bit curios. I think this is the aim of a review. Not using superlatives and hyperboles but addressing the reader towards a device that, for its characteristics, could satisfy his/her musical tastes. The KingSound Prince III could be the arrival point for a mature audiophile who can appreciate transparency, tonal balance, the possibility of "getting" inside the sound event and be more involved in music than with other typologies of loudspeakers. Alternatively, the starting point for a young audiophile who wants to make the first experiences in the world of the electrostatic speakers.

 

With the Prince III I have played Spirto gentil, from La Favorita by Donizetti in the interpretation by Franco Corelli. I had to think a lot before remembering other speakers that for 6,700.00 euro could make me feel the same. I remember just a couple: the Brit ESL 63, the American CLS, both electrostatic by the way, even if...of thirty years ago.

 

Official technical specifications

Frequency response: 48Hz-26KHz

Sensitivity: 83dB/1W/1m

Impedance: 6ohm

Amplifier minimum: 100W

DC input: 11-15V, 120mA, AC-DC supply included

Dimensions: 545x80x1733mm (WxHxD)

Weight: 21kg

 

Official Italian dealer: to Import Audio website

Official current price in Italy: 6,700.00 EUR

Associated equipment: to Ulisse Pisoni's system



 

On the right, our Electrostatic Agent, Ulisse Pisoni in person.
On the right, our Electrostatic Agent, Ulisse Pisoni in person.
by Ulisse Pisoni
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