Steve Marsh
Financial interests: click here
Analog Source: Nottingham Analogue Mentor turntable with 10” Ace Anna tonearm, Benz LP-S moving coil cartridge
Digital Source: CAL Audio Alpha transport, CAL Audio Delta DAC, Red Wine Audio Isabellina DAC [on loan], plus proprietary impedance matching device between transport and DAC (not a commercial product at this time)
Preamps: Doshi Alaap Purist Mk. II full-function tube preamp, Levinson 26S line stage, Klyne 7PX4 phono stage
Power Amp: Tron 211 SET amp with upgraded exotic-core interstage transformers (General Electric 211 power tubes, Western Electric 417A input tubes, Tung Sol black plate 5U4GB rectifiers)
Speakers: Bastanis Mandala open baffle speakers with Chrystal drivers and Gemini tweeters, Bastanis 18-inch open baffle powered subwoofers
Interconnect cables: Audio Magic The Natural (pre to amp), Bastanis entry level (transport to DAC), Decware Silver Reference (DAC to pre), long Radio Shack interconnects from pre to Dayton A500 subwoofer plate amps
Power cords: Bastanis Epilog II on Tron amp, industrial-sourced power cord on Doshi preamp, Dynamic Design AE15 Spirit on DAC [on loan]
Speaker Cables: Audio Magic The Natural
Equipment rack: Adona 6-shelf, low profile isolation rack
Power line conditioning: Triangle Art RA-6 power conditioner, Nordost Qv2 AC line harmonizers [on loan], Bastanis Afterburner power conditioner
Sundry accessories: High End Novum PMR Premium Resonator, set of four Stein Harmonizers with Stein Magic Stones, Entreq Silver Tellus grounding box with Atlantis grounding cable, Synergistic Research FEQ, Audio Magic Room Correction Bells, Audio Prism Ground Control, three Bybee Quantum Signal Purifiers, Audio Horizons Fuse in Tron amp, VPI 16.5 record cleaning machine
Room size: 22' long X 17' wide X 10' high, with eaves on front and back walls starting 40 inches up from floor
Review component retail pricing: $14,900/pr

The New York Audio Show 2015 introduced me to today's Bache Audio 002AB speakers. Two Brooklyn audio designers originally from Russia shared a room to show their speakers and electronics to the public for the first time. Greg Belman designs the Bache Audio speakers, Alex Chorine the Alexus Audio electronics. Several of their speaker models as well as some preamps and solid-state amps were either in use or on display. When I entered, Greg's 002AB were being driven by Alex's 833 SET amps. This was the top of the line in their room and I came away impressed by the gutsy full-bodied sound. It was an auspicious demo.

What also drew my interest was that the 002AB, like the Bastanis Mandala speakers I'd just reviewed, incorporate transistor amps for the bass which integrated with a high-efficiency widebander plus tweeter which can easily be driven by a SET or low-power tube or solid-state amp. I continue to explore viable options for SET amp lovers who want full-range speaker performance with minimal crossovers. This often leads me to ferret out designers who operate below the radar of the mainstream audio press.

Whilst the Bastanis are rated at 100dB sensitivity, the 002AB come in at 96dB, still plenty high to satisfy owners of most SET amps, particularly those using the typical 8 watts from 300B. In fact, Greg recommends powering his speakers (i.e. the widebander and tweeter) with amps between 8 and 100 watts per channel.

The 002AB are a four-way. There are two class D amps inside each cabinet powering a woofer and a subwoofer. The subwoofer (22-100Hz) is a 10-inch downfiring Vifa with neodymium motor. An 8-inch Dayton Audio RS225P-4 front-firing composite cone woofer takes over from 100-500Hz. The Tang Band widebander (the model W8-1772 with its whizzer removed by Greg) handles 500-8'000Hz. Above 8'000Hz out to 22'000Hz, an expensive rarely seen Fostex FT96 EX-2 horn-loaded super tweeter takes over. This tweeter retails for around $1'100/pr so I can see why it's not used much. On the back of the speaker are two rotary controls; one for setting the sub's output, the other for adjusting the crossover point between the 10" and 8" drivers anywhere between 50-150Hz.