All about the new Image Supreme Loudspeaker range
Chris Ball at Image Loudspeakers has always been a music enthusiast before worrying about the commercial aspects of what he does. In the last 6 months he’s been at his obsessive best, first with the Revelation – easily the best speaker he has designed and built. Having now sold a number of pairs in different settings We’re even more convinced than before that these are easily the best value large speakers out there short of NZ$ 10K. The Revelation is just the start – it sets the stage for a series of new, no compromise models from Image that have organically grown into the ‘Supreme Range’.
Archived page: January 2016
– The new speaker ranges from Monitor Audio offer great value, highly specialised speaker technology and a choice quality finishes
Above the Revelations there is a very special made-to-order model; the Paragon which features a number of further enhancements including Eichmann Binding posts and a significantly revised cabinet finished in high gloss black lacquer (NZ$ 12,000 including GST and delivery).
The genesis of the newest Image model - the Petite Performa2 - is detailed in our 2010 Update.
To match the abilities of the above three models in a cinema system we have the logical addition of the ‘Centre Stage’ (NZ$ 1,800 including GST and delivery) speaker which, naturally enough, delivers sparkling performance for the centre channel.
All these models plus Revelation form the Supreme Range. So Image will have two distinct ranges of speakers – the well established 400 Series which ranges from the compact 401 Monitor up through to the ever popular 414s with matched subwoofers and centre speaker options. The 400 series are the high value models – all built around Morels fantastic tweeter and bass driver combinations to deliver great sound and hand built quality at seriously competitive prices. They are great all-round speakers.
The Supreme range is more for those who want even more accuracy and detail from their speakers. By working with the very best drivers, Chris has markedly extended the performance with each model. Each design has been treated as a separate entity and there has been a lot of time devoted to fine tuning each.
What can you expect to hear with any of these new Image speakers?
The first thing you’ll notice is detail – there are things coming out of these speakers that you will not hear with others. Vocals are instruments are all clearer. Complex recordings are unravelled and lyrics suddenly make sense. Efficiency is noticeably higher. So even modest amplifier/source combinations suddenly sound much better. That said, the revealing nature of these speakers also mean that the differences between components are made all that more obvious.
Now let’s consider the finer points of high fidelity. Sound staging is a very real concept and reliant on detail to work. In order to make the most of the potential of the Supremes, you will want to give the speakers room to move and also take care with toe in. But attend to these details and you’ll be amply rewarded. Wide dispersion is a highly desirable quality – with the Images you’ll find the overall balance of sound changes very little as you move within a room – this is important since we may not be able to always sit in exactly the right spot to listen to music – The Images come very close to pulling off Shahinians unique party trick in this regard. The ability to reproduce dynamics is essential for any serious speaker – the high efficiency gives the supremes a head start in this regard and this is further enhanced by a lack of compression and high power handling when amplifiers really start to work. The concept of pace, rhythm and timing is directly tied to the design of the crossover. This is where Images development work has really paid dividends in keeping the music coherent even when split between 4 drivers in the case of the Revelations. Time and phase relationships are preserved which is simplistic terms means that there will be plenty of toe tapping and singing along with these speakers.
These qualities would mean little if any other aspect of the design were neglected. So the quality of cabinet finish (which directly deals with resonance), choice of internal wiring, provision for bi-wiring and floor spiking, all contribute further to the package.
We won’t pretend that other loudspeaker designers aren’t chasing these same goals. But Image combine a considerable level of experience (well over twenty years), with some of the best available parts (literally ‘cherry picking’ from the Morel, Seas and Peerless ranges. Even the polypropylene capacitors used in the crossovers have to be made for to order Image and are specific values that are not ‘standard’) and above all else maintain a firm grasp on sensible economics.
Image may be small in global terms but within New Zealand they have more speakers in more living rooms than all the NZ amplifiers made put together. Even more so than with electronics, the logic of New Zealand made with no import costs and flat distribution just makes sense. But more importantly, you can now look past obvious value for money and know with the Image Supreme range you are going to enjoy the very best in performance from your new speakers.
To match the performance possibilities of Image loudspeakers we have carefully selected a broad range of electronics to deliver the best combination of performance, features and price. What will drive your selection? If a fine balance of performance and value is to be maintained Audio Analogue offers highly regarded amplifiers. And for the ultimate in performance and power, New Zealand’s leading amplifier designer Pure Audio deliver seriously high end options for the most ambitious stereo systems.
Talk to us and we’ll help you find the perfect speakers for you.
So why choose to buy your Image speakers from Totally Wired?
Totally Wired are an independent, locally owned retail store. We therefore have no financial connection with any import agency. Hence, we have always been strong supporters of the worthy New Zealand manufacturers.
We have a real store and carry stock so you can come in and listen. Failing that we have many years of selling Image speakers and have the expertise to help you choose.
So, even if you are outside of Dunedin, its reassuring to deal with people that you know will answer the phone when you call and will be around next year. Plus, we will deliver to you for free.
And we make a worthwhile donation to the World Wide fund for Nature with every purchase over NZ$ 2,000.
Totally Wired Limited
The Terrace Houses
217 Stuart Street
NZ Toll Free