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Stra To - Review   Stra To Overview   Lab Results

"Jack-of-all-trades" is the title of the magazine story and Stra to keeps its promise. Totally independent of application or type of amplifier the Stra to offers an adequate version: home cinema from 5.1 to 7.1, on speaker stands for stereo, with transistor or valve, slim floorstanding for large living rooms or space saving sub / satellite system - anything is possible. The listening test should finally prove whether this modular system is recommendable. .

First, I hooked up two satellites to my SAC system. As a rough evaluation I let Jimmy Page's acoustic guitar and Robert Plant's vocals follow Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven". There was not a hint of the admittedly feared exaggeration of upper mids. This would certainly feign great attention to detail, but would also become a nuisance after a short while. Nevertheless, even when the music material became somewhat more complex, the clarity was without any flaw. When the other band members joined in I didn't notice a strain on the small diaphragms.

Vocals and instruments remained at their initial spot and they didn't fuse to a concoction, even when I turned up the volume. Eric Burdon and Band tried the power handling with "Working Man", when the bass player during his solo started hammering the strings with his thumb. With his incredible speed he demonstrated to the cheering audience that a bass guitar is not necessarily a leisurely instrument.

Patricia Barber performed with the satellites placed on their subwoofers to ensure that the bass on "The Beat Goes On" had the required depth. Phase was at 150 degrees, the crossover frequency at 60 Hz and the limiter at 23 Hz. A bass boost was not necessary, to provide the releasing of the strings during the opening bass solo on "Use Me" with the required dynamics.

The Stra to was certainly not scared of classical music. Quite impressive were the beats of the kettledrum and the rumbling on "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", the strings were not strained and the brass kept their typical shine without even a hint of being brash. This was all the more astonishing since I had to criticise exactly the brashness of metal diaphragms in previous listening sessions. This explains my initial dislike for this type of diaphragm. After I had experienced now an airiness without nuisance, I had to revise my preconceived ideas and I have to admit that I wrongly blamed the material.

Jazz was something for my modified Dynavox valve amp, showing no lack of bass even without a sub. Monty Alexander's grand piano certainly gained considerably from the lively and open presentation of the speakers. The valve amp added the mellowness that causes the foot to bob up and down. The high frequencies were also without flaw when interpreting the different types of cymbals, proving that textile had been the right choice for the tweeter. Not only the live audience paid tribute to the elderly gentleman's performance by applauding justifiably.

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