Information on Descartes II

Loudspeaker Description
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If realistic performance, three-dimensionality, dynamics, precision and high efficiency are required from a loudspeaker, then the excellent Descartes II should be mentioned. Due to a subwoofer amplifier the speaker's bass may be adjusted according to the room conditions. All these abilities caused Klang+Ton to nickname the Descartes II jack-of-all-trades.
  Descartes II im Test bei K+T 2/2006

Review result by Klang+Ton 2/2006: "Jack-of-all-trades"

Measuring results
..."The tweeter showed nothing but textbook results. Linear frequency response, hardly any distortion, quick diaphragm excursion - everything was impeccable. As a unit the loudspeaker then showed what it is capable of. The bass kink is just a matter of adjustment. Whatever you prefer, low, crisp, soft or loud bass is just one notch on the control. Midrange is remarkably linear and, therefore, without any coloration. The slight ditch at 2 kHz is intentional, covering the small rise below angle. Most speakers that size are prone to show this phenomenon. At the end the tweeter runs again totally linear, at a somewhat higher volume, but that results in a crisp, open and powerful performance. Below angle, the total curve remains remarkably linear, even at an extreme angle of 60 degrees the loudspeaker just plays a notch softer. The waterfall spectrum behaves in the true sense of the word, as if gravitation was pulling down the lines, quietening down in all areas. The relatively hard diaphragms and the excellent tweeter co-operate extremely well. Harmonic distortion is also quite low over the entire frequency range, there is just a slight rise at 2 kHz, but hardly exceeds 1% even at 95 dB. Due to bass filtering the Descartes II is totally uncritical of amplifiers. Although the impedance drops - due to the high pass filter - below 4 Ohm at 95 Hz, but rises again below this value. As a result, even smaller amps should have a problem driving this speaker.

Sound review
First, we needed to adjust the subwoofer modules. Initially, we set volume and crossover frequency to 12 o'clock and checked the settings with well known songs. We found that the best setting for our listening room was 2 o'clock for both parameters. In your listening environment this might be completely different. You may use the same procedure to get to the required result, just don't apply our result to your listening room. Now came the moment of truth. A test CD with a variety of songs immediately showed the Descartes II's excellent attention to detail. The bass knew how to reproduce everything, from fast and tight to rich and powerful. Sure, the bass characteristics may be adjusted to the individual's liking. We agreed, however, to find and use a set-up that was to be as neutral as possible. The bass behaved accordingly. Nothing was added to and nothing was taken away from the source. Especially drums were reproduced as a uniform and integrated whole, with power coming from below and precision from above. Both, female and male vocals were neutral and without any coloration in all ranges. Despite the tweeter's fabric instead of metal diaphragm, the sound was rich in detail, crisp and well balanced. Three-dimensionality was natural and never strained. Both, small jazz combos and large live concerts were reproduced equally well. Different volume settings also didn't cause any problems. We noticed only a slight compression at extremely high, bloodcurdling volumes. However, this volume is not realistic, unless one is hard of hearing or sitting three rooms away. After we had tried out really everything, we came to the conclusion that Strassacker's Descartes II is not just a solution for a critical listening environment, but a universal, extremely precise and powerful floorstanding speaker for all types of music. The speaker's flexibility is an added bonus."

Loudspeaker Description
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