For the first time ever, I got to listen to Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut at an audio show—on vinyl, no less. It impressed me that Gediminas Gaidelis, owner and engineer of AudioSolutions, had this LP buried in among the usual audiophile bumfluffery. Why more exhibitors don’t use this album in demos is beyond me.
I was listening to the company’s M2 floorstander from its Figaro line, which is roughly in the middle of its product range. AudioSolutions was formed 12 years ago in Lithuania by Gaidelis. SoundStage! has reviewed two of the company’s products. Doug Schneider suggested we drop by the AudioSolutions room, as he had a feeling I’d be impressed.
Impressed I was. To start off, the M2 is a most sophisticated-looking speaker. Dressed in satin black with silver accents and a metalized brass strip running down the side, the M2 looked low-key, slick, and businesslike.
The M2 is packed with clever engineering. From speaking to Gaidelis, I surmised that there’s no magic in here, just good, well-thought-out design. The M2 is fitted with SB Acoustics cone drivers: two 160mm (6.5″) bass drivers and a 133mm (5.25″) midrange. Highs are handled by a Tymphany 19mm (0.75″) tweeter. There’s no ferrofluid to slow the tweeter down, Gaidelis told me. It’s crossed over from the midrange using variable slopes at a high 4000Hz, to keep all crossover components outside the range where our ears are most sensitive.
The cabinet is made up of two layers of MDF—essentially a box within a box. The inside layer is a thin MDF shell with some flex. Then there’s a polyurethane damping layer, which is wrapped in a dense, heavy outer shell. Gaidelis told me that this is one of the most important elements of the speaker’s design. A proper crossover, wide-bandwidth midrange, solid engineering, and competent design are what this speaker is all about.
This was a really fun listening session. I started with “Get Your Filthy Hands off My Desert” from The Final Cut, and that rocket just flew past my head. As the little echoey sound effect at the end of the track drifted away and “The Fletcher Memorial Home” ramped up, I reveled in the fantastic bite and amazing depth of that hallmark immersive Floyd sound.
Flipping through their records, I saw Morphine’s Cure for Pain, and Gaidelis threw it on the extremely cool BennyAudio Immersion II turntable for me. It’s not hard to make Cure for Pain sound good, as it’s well recorded, and that thick baritone sax works so well with Dana Colley’s rumbly tenor voice. But here, it sounded massive. There was a clear delineation in space between Colley’s baritone sax and the twangy bass guitar, whose frequencies often overlap. The crossover between the bass and midrange drivers was utterly seamless. Well done!
Via the M2s, Dana Colley’s voice had a purity combined with juicy depth and texture that really stood out. I know, I know, I’ve raved about many systems over the last few days, but here was a speaker whose sound smacked me right in the head, yet it doesn’t cost a boatload of money.
For €8500 per pair, the M2 strikes me as one heck of a bargain. It’s eminently listenable, with outstanding bass; smooth, extended highs; and a rich, expressive midrange. This speaker is a contender for the best-integrated sound I’ve heard at this show so far. There are still more rooms to visit and more systems to audition, but I’m not going to go back and edit this opinion. I think this speaker is a real winner.
Of course, the backing band didn’t suck. A chunky pair of Vitus Audio amps, Vitus preamp and phono stage, and that super-cool Immersion II turntable (I have to look into this BennyAudio brand) undoubtedly showed the AudioSolutions M2 at its best.
Senior Editor, SoundStage!