Phonar Veritas m4 NEXT loudspeakers

02.04.2013..

The first thing that comes to my mind is that I am used to listen to big loudspeakers, so a small two-way speaker should be of easier listening and easy approach to its design...but in fact, it is not.

 

Let us phasing in, saying that Phonar Akustik GmbH is based in Tarp, Germany, a northern small town bordering Denmark. The company opened in 1976 as Scan Akustik. It has been running by Klaus Henningsen, an importer of loudspeakers first, then manufacturer under Phonar’s brand.

Today the Phonar Akustik GmbH is very appreciated worldwide, with 150 dealers only in Germany who collaborate with international dealers and an interesting catalogue that includes not only loudspeakers, but also DACs, turntables and amplifiers.

 

The Veritas m4 NEXT is a small and compact two-way speaker of the Veritas Line series, which comprises the Veritas p4 NEXT, a three-way floorstander, the p6, the central channel c4 and the subwoofer s8.

In the catalogue are also included the less expensive line, called Ethos, and the superior one called Credo Line.

The Veritas m4 NEXT - object of this review - is a monitor speaker. Already at a first look, it seems a product conceived and made to perform well.

The frontal baffle has been shaped, at tweeter level, with two facets in order to get less reflection on the cabinet and more dispersion on the horizontal axis of the driver, which deals with the high range of the spectrum. The cabinet, inclined of 5 degrees, has allowed the designer to correct the acoustic phase of the small speaker and to vary the asymmetric phase, guaranteeing a counter reaction of the standing waves inside the cabinet itself.

It is possible to screw the Veritas m4 NEXT to the stand or to use spike shoes so to have the decoupling with the surface below. Both solutions guarantee the total damping of the speaker.

The finish of the system is available in black, silver, black or white piano lacquer, cherry, and walnut to better match with the home furniture or wives' tastes, which have always to be taken into account since the "audiophile ladies" have the right to invade our space with their ears and nice presence.

 

Inside and components

Once opened these jewels, what stands out at a first look, is the crossover placed on the bottom of the cabinet and blocked by four Parker fasteners. Some plastic turrets lift the crossover so to isolate it from the base.

The components are Intertechnik and the capacitors Audyn. Hence, a very good quality likewise the internal wiring which is of the right length and section. The cabinet is in MDF, a material that makes the object stiff and dull to vibrations and avoids inner interferences. In the back, there is the bass-reflex via rear-firing port. The good rear connectors are suitable for bi-wiring and accept also cables with big sections.

What amazes me - and reminds the old manufacturing concepts - is the possibility of changing the tweeter setup and adapt it to several listening typologies.

Believe me, it is worth to listen and play with the Veritas m4 NEXT trying to find the best listening compromise.

 

Setup Veritas m4 NEXT

The adjustment is very simple and is made through a jumper that can be set in three different positions: zero, +1 e +2 dB. Depending on their positioning in the room, the tweeter will be brighter and with a more coherent image so that the instruments and the air around them will be better focused.

By the way, the tweeter is a Scan-Speak D2604 with a sensitivity of 93 dB for a great extension in the upper midrange, a very low resonance at 475 Hz and a great dispersion, both in the horizontal and vertical plane.

Ferrite magnet and anterior plastic flange, for a power of 100 watts, are coupled with a good Peerless midwoofer. The cast aluminium frame is perfectly shaped to avoid any turbulence.

A fine magnet shows up, sign of a great power handling and a worthy rise time. The dust cap is reversed and the midwoofer has been made following the method of the shorting rings that are short-circuit rings capable of reducing any distortion.

This Nomex midwoofer is called HDS, High Definition Series, for its particular make that boasts low distortions and an optimum power handling. Nothing is left to chance. Some measurements are: power 150 watts RMS/210 watts max, VCdia 1-1/4", Le 0,91 mH, impedance 8 ohms, Re 5.77 ohms, frequency response 48-4,700 Hz, Fs 48 Hz, SPL 89 dB 1W/1m, Vas 0,77 cu ft, Qms 1.96, Qes 0.44, Qts 0,36, Xmax 5,5 mm.

The impedance of 8 ohms reported in the manual has created a small embarrassment. Our measurements and a plate on the cabinet state only 4 ohms.

 

In my listening room, I have placed the Veritas m4 NEXT on metallic stands (70 cm H), with spike shoes, one meter and a half from the side walls and two meters from the back wall. I have connected them to my system: DIY Ramm signal cables, MIT Shotgun Matrix 12 power cables, Krell KSA 250 power amp alternated with McIntosh 2205 and EAM Labs PA.2600, DIY KT88 tube amp and DIY 211 dual mono amplifiers, C38 McIntosh preamp, Carver C11 + DIY Schiavon tube preamp and DIY tube buffer as line stage, Sony 559ES and XA20ES CD player with fixed laser head: amazing transport; unfortunately Sony is not making anymore these amazing machines.

 

I start energetically with Tom Principato, Guitar Gumbo, a blues album issued in 2005 and very dynamic. The Veritas m4 NEXT swallow power and give it back with disarming sweetness and coherence. Properly refined on the upper extreme, after some tests, I have chosen the tweeter attenuation at zero dB, even though with old recordings +1dB is better. Tom's guitar is smooth and lucid, maybe too dry if compared with my reference system. The beating on the drum is enough violent to shake my room. Also pumping the volume at very high levels the speakers are always pleasant to listen.

 

With its 87 db, it cannot be considered a super efficient speaker, so it needs good amplifications with lots of current but, first of all, a good chain, since the Scan-Speak is a very revelatory.

 

The last Patricia Barber's masterpiece, Smash. Her fine, low voice is given back by the Veritas m4 NEXT in all the low octaves. Barber's piano has the right proportions although slightly smaller than with my reference: do not forget that it is a monitor but the performance is not so far from reality, sign of a good interface between the two drivers.

The Veritas m4 NEXT can reproduce with realism and fulfilment the strong pressure on the keyboard and the light harmonic tinkling of the hammers, Barber's foot beating incessantly on the floor and the pedal blow.

In fact, the timbric resolution is unexpectedly worthwhile.

Considering the low efficiency and the bass reflex loading, I was expecting an exasperate bass: instead, it seemed a sealed enclosure with a restrained bass so that the sound message is more intelligible, sometimes less fulfilling if you love telluric basses, but for that you may need bigger speakers.

You have got me: the Veritas m4 NEXT can reproduce the music very well, but they need lots of good current.

 

With the classic Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz, the dynamics is stratospheric with an even larger soundstage. There are all the fundamentals in bassoons and violins with the violin strings vibrating while touched by the bow. No yielding in the Veritas m4 NEXT. With the bass drum, at a higher volume, there is a hint of hardening. A challenge for the tweeters with the bass of this recording.


Ludus Danielis, Fonè label, an album perfectly recorded with a unique depth and transparency. The Veritas m4 NEXT give back the sound like a Van Gogh painting, with a neutral texture, like the pastel colours, changed in brown. A great way to come into the hi-fi world from the main door.

 

Pink Floyd, David Sylvian, Dire Straits… etc, etc. I made my test for hours and I have also tried some streaming music with high resolution recordings. The Veritas m4 NEXT can manage all kind of music.

 

In conclusion, I suggest you a listening test with these speakers and also a possible purchase considering their price. You never regret your choice for their strong musicality. You just need musical sources of quality and muscular amplifications to capitalize on the Phonar’s skills.

 

Phonar Akustik, with the Veritas m4 NEXT, you have really stroke us for manufacturing quality, good choice of the components, great sound level. If we add the German manufacture (not Oriental) the price seems a miracle to me.

Hasta luego Phonar, maybe to test the superior models of the line.

 

 

Official technical specifications

Power: 90/125Watts

Efficiency: 87dB 1W/1m

Frequency range: 40-27.000Hz

Crossover Frequency: 2.300Hz

Impedance: 8Ω

Tweeter: 27 mm

Deep-/Midrange: 160mm

Dimensions: 200x300x280mm (WxHxD)

Weight: 11kg

Construction: 2 ways

Official Italian dealer: to Phonar.it website

Official current price in Italy:

Available finish and price per pair:

Finish: black or silver, 898.00 EUR

Black or white piano lacquer, cherry, walnut: 998.00 EUR

Associated equipment: to Mauro "OutliNero" Simolo's system

 
by Mauro Simolo
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