Orgue Audio Diatone Reference P-610 loudspeakers

25.06.2012..

Orgue Audio is an American company, from New York - although the production is in China – founded by a group of enthusiasts of the Diatone Mitsubishi one-way speakers. Afterwards it has broaden its horizons by making loudspeakers that are more complex. Very famous in Asia, but almost unknown in our country, the company has found in Rome the proper distributor for Italy. It is Open Space Lab, the former owners of Picasso Hi-Fi.

Orgue Audio logo

They manufacture almost exclusively loudspeakers with mid-high sensitivity. Fabio Carnicchia, one of the partners of the distribution company, told me that very soon will be available a line of high efficiency woofers and drivers for DIY-loudspeakers. I start by saying that the Orgue’s catalogue is beautiful. All the speakers are in polished solid wood. We are testing here a pair of Diatone Reference P-610.

 

In the catalogue are two models of loudspeakers, both mounting the one-way new/old driver: the Mini, with a smaller cabinet, and the Reference, object of our test, with a bigger one. For both models, there are available beautiful and adjustable stands in solid wood. You can choose two finishes just to adapt them to your furniture: the classic wood and the varnished black finish.

I had already listened to the old and glorious Mitsubishi driver in two occasions: the first one at the home of some DIYers friends of mine, the second, as I have been one of the few persons to listen to it inside the cabinet in Carbon Block of Audio Tekne. In both cases, I had a positive listening experience although not completely convincing. No offense taken if you like this driver and Audio Tekne, but despite their skills, it is common saying that too often the one-way types are lacking in the frequency extremes and unfortunately this is what I have noticed in most of the cases. I needed a supertweeter to widen the high range and to improve and increase the sensation of “air” around the speakers.

 

The speaker I am testing is brand new and made completely by Orgue itself. It traces out the features of the old P-610 trying to “modernize them”. It shows up, in effect, with the same look even if the suspension is in lambskin (and not in deerskin), and the magnet is in Alnico (Aluminium, Nickel & Cobalt). The result is a tangible “enlargement” of the audio spectrum, more distance between the frequency extremes, practically a wider frequency response detectable with your ears.

Most probably, Orgue Audio, in manufacturing these speakers, has strongly wanted to plug a gap.

The reflex sensitivity is 98 db, 95 without baffle but I think that the sensitivity is a couple of decibel lower.

 

In the packing case, besides the stands, there are two measured graphics of the impedance module e frequency response of the drivers that you can download.

 

Let us bring things to a head

To test the Orgue Reference P-610 I have used my tube preamp and my monotriode power amp with 2A3 tubes, both DIY. In addition, the modified Lector VFI 70L integrated amplifier, the Single Ended Pentriodino power amp with 1624 tubes made by Clinamen Audio of Stefano Buttafoco. I have also employed the Rogers Cadet III integrated amp, the Proceed CDD CD transport, the modified Proceed DAP DAC, the DIY tube phono preamp, the Micro Seiki BL 51 turntable with clamp, mat and other graphite accessories, Fidelity Research frt4 step-up with Denon DL103 cartridge modified by Torlai, mounted on Yamamoto ebony shell.

 

I have tested the loudspeakers after a run-in of one week. You need at least sixty hours, I would say. I have started with a tube pre amp and a 2A3 single-ended power amp. I have played Diana Krall’s CD Only Trust Your Heart, but something was wrong: a dark and not very airy sound. It was like having a thick curtain in front of the system. I suddenly realized that this was not the right amplification, so I changed the power amp with another 3 watts SET just to be sure that the first one was not broken. Eeh! Audiophile disturbs… Doubts confirmed. Even this last tube amp could not drive them properly. The sound was somehow empty and shrill. For sure, the Orgue need at least 7-8 watts. With the hybrid Lector VFI 70L integrated amp things were getting better. The balance among the ranges was more evident and the 35 watts definitely affected the outcome. The voices, mostly female, were very fine. The good thing of this small loudspeaker is the magic in giving back an enjoyable musical event. Whit a good interface, the Orgue Reference P-610 disappear from the room and make of the scene and of detail their best arm.

 

Rogers Cadet III

Now I kick start the Rogers Cadet III tube integrated amp. After some struggles in connecting the power cables, I switch it on and, like a kind of magic, this marriage works.

The most disarming thing of these new loudspeakers is that they perform in a great way. They do not make instruments and voices gigantic, but they give fullness to the soundstage, making it focussed and realistic in width and height. The feeling is like hearing a floorstanding speaker that sounds. An amazing thing for a 16 cm of diameter!

The micro contrast is at optimum levels, the high range is wide, so be careful in choosing your power cables in order to avoid any listening fatigue. Well, this time I do not feel the need of a supertweeter as a reinforcement.

The mid range is beautiful, clear and well defined. The male and female voices are not nasal. The musical instruments are reproduced with a sensation of credibility of rare beauty. I think these Orgue have a very neutral sound, with no colouration but clearly, for physical features, they are more structured towards the reproduction of the mid frequencies.

 

The music flows without compressions, with a lot of naturalness. I try to explain. When I speak of “tonal naturalness”, I am not always sure to be understood. In this case, the Orgue Reference P-610 come to help me. Therefore, I say:” listen to these loudspeakers and will understand what I mean”. In summary… naturalness, depth, brightness, absence of whatever dynamic compressions: these are the skills of the Orgue speakers. They make them listen to and you can stay hours and hours to devour music even at loud volumes without any listening fatigue. This time, my neighbour, instead of complaining, has knock to my door asking “what is this track?”.

 

I must say that the Orgue Reference P-610 together with the Rogers Cadet III, all tubed with Mullard, have given a very good performance, sometimes slightly old style on the mid-low range, but with a great and noticeable musicality.

Not content, I have carried on my tests amplifying the loudspeakers with an Orgue integrated amp - the GE163 – mounting the 300B, not currently marketed: a juggernaut of at least 25 kg in its wooden crate. It needs a run-in too, so I have left it switched on for many hours. Only after that, I have tested their dynamics with Marcus Miller’s CD Live & More. I was thinking I had been too nasty with these Diatone… but I was wrong. The bass range was present and also well held down. Obviously, you do not have to expect the 60 Hz from speakers of 38 cm, but in a medium room, they go down enough. The tone setting of a modern tube integrated amp is catchable mostly in the orchestral passages where the music flows fluid and measured, with much more decision, without any stretching out in comparison with the mythic Rogers. In fact, although the watts power is quite the same, there is an increased dynamic push made by the 300B, with many thanks from the one-way Diatone speakers.

I usually listen to the music with my 2A3 monotriode, therefore to a neutral sound that has no colourations, no taste for ranges. I am not interesting if you prefer the 2A3 instead of the 300B and vice versa, but for me the 300B sounds less neutral. This listening test, however, makes me rethink about this tube, which, I must say, I like so much that I am thinking of getting an amp that adopt it.

 

Before playing Patricia Barber’s Cafe' Blues, I have changed several tubes to obtain the result I liked most. I have substituted a pair of Chinese (I think) ECC85 with the Philips Miniwatt. Then I have played with some pairs of 6SN7, but in the end, I have opted for the General Electric’s.

Same thing with the rectifier tube that I have changed with a “dome-shaped” 5U4G. The positive thing in changing the tubes has been that sense of sound liquidity, with the music passages tenderer and less sharp. The mid high range is very good and silvery, less open than before, more rounded and requiring more volume.

The voices are full bodied and without any compression. The depth of the image has increased and the outcome is very good.

One of my favourite CDs is Allan Taylor’s Colour to the Moon, outstandingly recorded by Stockfish. With pleasure, I notice that the emotional involvement is very high. A sound that is open, clear, full of microcontrast and that makes you rediscover the recording for the nth time.

 

Another test I have made has been decoupling the Orgue Reference from their stands using some graphite. I have obtained more precision in the collocation of the instruments and the executants. Besides, the depth of the image has increased. I have close my eyes and, while Ray Brown is playing My Name is Buddy, the strings of his guitar are in front of me, the banjos of the track J.Edgar are playing on the side outlining a wide virtual stage.

I think that the Orgue designers have done a good job considering the simple reflex port, practically a simple hole on the cabinet front and on the cross-over filter that…is missing! Well, actually, I miss the low frequencies if compared with my reference system, but I employ the 38 cm Altec 416-8A woofers and the comparison cannot undoubtedly be proposed.

What about faults? Are they the best speakers in the world? Perfection is not earthly and it is clear that you do not have to expect lots of dynamics. As I said before you could be disappointed. Of course, there is some dynamics but the 16cm cone does what it can, nothing more.

I consider the Orgue Reference P-610 as a loudspeaker good for all kind of music, with a blink to jazz and acoustic music.

 

A piece of advice: remove the coverage cloth, decouple them from the stands and lift them slightly up. They need a lot of space mostly on their sides. If you want more bass, you have to get them close to the back walls. The best configuration I have found has been, let us say, at 80 cm from the rear wall.

 

This speaker is not for everybody. It is an object for mature, crafty audiophiles who have been getting tired of testing. It is an object for the music and if you buy it for your second system, it will threaten to take the place, in the long run, of your main speakers. It is an object that you can insert both in entry level systems and in more esoteric ones.

The price is 2,990.00 euro, stands included. Not a low price but you have to consider that you will get a good performing object in rare wood, very well made and, last but not least, you will risk to stop buying loudspeakers and then selling them back. Well, for me it is a deal. But most of all, do you not consider amazing the fact that once you have them at home you are going to listen only to the music and not to the system?

Your wives will thank Orgue Audio!

 

 

Official technical specifications:

Frequency response: 38-20.000 Hz

Power: 12W, max 25W

Sensitivity: 98dB/W/m

Impedance: 8ohms

Dimensions: speakers 30x50x30 (WxHxD), stands 35x56-70x37 (Amin-Amax) adjustable

Official Italian dealer: to Diatone Orgue website

Official current price in Italy: 2.990,00 EUR stands included

Associated equipment: to Samuele Sforza’s system


 

DIRECTOR’S CUT | INQUIRY SUPPLEMENT

As all the designs that improve an original success, the details are the best thing in these Diatone speakers. Coil in copper 6N. Alnico magnet with a field of about 15.000 gauss for an improved sensitivity and a wider frequency response. External suspension in lambskin thicker no more than 0,5 mm.

 

All that just to start. The cone is in “hard-elastic” natural fibres. It can return quickly to the initial position without any mechanical distortion. The front side is 5 cm, in solid wood. The internal wiring is made by seven solid core wires, 0,8 cm thick, insulated with Teflon, and with a length of only 60 cm. The veining of the cone act as a mechanical crossover: the internal ring emits high frequencies, the external the lowest.

If compared to other historical wideband one-way speakers, the low frequencies are more extended and the acute extreme is…forgotten. I want to be more specific. Usually I do not feel the need of a supertweeter. Here it is the same. The acute is present but not annoying. Rather, it has a “papery” that I appreciate, because it makes these frequencies more acceptable and natural.

 

Who can be the buyer of the Diatone? First, they are jewels for refined palates. If you are enthralled by the parameters of the expressive coherence and tonal integrity, these are yours loudspeakers. With the due dynamic limits, they can give you a great feeling of presence and naturalness.

 

G.C.

 

 


 

 
by Samuele Sforza
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