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Description. This two-way stand mount has a very strong visual identity. The cabinet is supposed to evoke a violin from a cubist sort of perspective. On demand many finish options are available whilst my loaner pair came in the standard lacquered Rosewood with black trim. The speakers arrived in three small boxes and my first surprise was that I had to assemble the two stands like an Ikea delivery.
Assembly was very simple and took less time than any piece of furniture from the Swedish furniture chain would have. In terms of quality and despite my respect for Ikea, that's were all such comparisons ended. The stands bolt directly to the bottom of the monitors and sport an opening to clear the down-firing port. Once assembled the speaker/stand assembly moves about easily due to the stand’s geometry and low mass. This arrangement also provides for a more efficient grounding path of cabinet vibrations and of course makes for a more secure perch for the speaker. You can't accidentally bump it off.
The Lawrence Audio Violin bass-reflex 2-way combines two Aurum Cantus drivers, an 8-inch Carbon-fiber mid/woofer and a 5-inch long 'purified' aluminum ribbon tweeter with extension to 40kHz. Carbon drivers are said to exhibit true piston action with outstanding midbass response but also a characteristic twin peak region at their top working range (or almost one high-Q peak). These peaks are clearly audible in most such drivers to require two notch filters or a low crossover with very sharp 4th-order 24dB/octave electrical roll-off.
Perhaps Lawrence Liao was inspired a bit by Anthony Gallo's work on the Strada which combines two lightweight Carbon-fiber mid/woofers with a membrane tweeter sans electrical crossover or box. It's obviously difficult to envision the Violin without an enclosure but its heavily faceted form significantly combats internal standing waves and diffraction. In addition the polygonal shape makes for a narrow front baffle whilst being extremely rigid as a structure. The Violin then isn't too far removed from this Gallo design which compensates its main drivers' upper limit with a broad-dispersion quasi ribbon and very low cabinet involvement.
Unlike Anthony Gallo, Lawrence Liao relies on conventional electrical filters. His crossover sits at 2200Hz with a 2nd-order 12dB electrical slope for the mid/woofer low-pass and a 3rd-order 18dB high-pass equivalent for the ribbon tweeter. At that hinge point most Carbon-fiber related issues should be avoided since those usually occur between 3-5kHz. Lawrence Liao builds his crossovers with high-quality MKP capacitors, highly purified OFC inductors and metal-oxide film resistor. Due to a skillful merge of crossover and cabinet, the drivers’ sonic signature is significantly reduced.
I was not able to get precise measurements or much other information on the Violins but couldn't identify major linearity offsets with the Aurum Cantus G3i-130 tweeter at its lower reach either. Measurements provided by Aurum Cantus on their driver are quite excellent and the highest distortion peak is located below Liao's crossover frequency but I found no indication on amplitude. Obviously the choice of tweeter was determined by what for a ribbon is a low crossover point.
Despite its small size and thanks to its floor-firing port, the Violin delivers surprisingly deep articulate bass for a monitor. The damped custom stands are included and a vital part of the design. I first tried to use the spikes that came with the stands but enjoyed better results directly on my floor. These stands seem to be available in either 29 or 39cm heights which raises the tweeter to accommodate smaller rooms where one sits closer. The published frequency response is 35-28.000Hz ±3dB and sensitivity is a pretty friendly 90dB into 8Ω. Power handling is up to 200wpc to build in compatibility with a very wide range of amplification. Dimensions are 32x10x16" HxWxD. Total height on the 29cm stand is 44.5 inches. Net weight is 43lb each. Standard finishes are lacquered or natural cherry and rosewood, custom options by request for a surcharge.