Hart "Audio Gold" speakers
I had a pair of Hart Audio "Angel" speakers in the 27-foot lounge of my old house and, when I moved to a flat with a single living room, they proved to be too big. Disappointed to have to part with them, I looked for alternatives and auditioned Devialet Phantoms and B&W DM4s. They couldn’t compare with my brilliant Hart speakers and I was beginning to despair of ever finding something approaching their sound quality, when I went to a HiFi Exhibition in Leamington Spa and there was David Hart with his latest small speaker design.
The Hart Audio "Angel" speakers that I was replacing were prototypes based around Tannoy 12” dual-concentric full rage units, with, as I understood it, modifications by Eddie Jordan, supplemented with a Max Townshend Super Tweeter. They were imposing speakers and were fine in a large 27-foot lounge but, having moved to a relatively small flat, I needed something less dominating but sounding as good. I needed to support vinyl, which I now use exclusively, well almost.
The rest of my set up, which I retained from house to flat, is an Avid Acutus (quite old) with SME Series V arm and Ortofon Cadenza Bronze cartridge, Rogue Audio phono, Hart Audio Cullinan battery-powered amplifier and Witch Hat Audio speaker cable. For this review, I also played downloaded and streamed tracks from Apple Music.
The new, smaller speakers have a lower profile and take up less floor space.
The customised cabinet and matching stand colour, which I was able to choose from a range of colours and wood finishes, merges beautifully with the surroundings. Each of the four cabinets, two positioned vertically on each stand, have an unusual construction. There is a forward-facing 8-inch Tannoy speaker in each of them and eleven rear-facing small speakers. I don’t profess to understand the reasoning behind this, but the result is an amazing sound full of detail that compares very favourably with much larger units and is far superior to many of them.
There are two knobs on each speaker which set the cut in frequency for the bass unit and its strength. I tried various settings, and it may be possible to optimise them according to the music. For me, however, the optimum setting is a s 12 o’clock for each knob. The bass units contain a power amplifier each, and consequently you need to make sure that the whole of your system is properly earthed.
Now the important part — How do they sound? Comments from people who had heard my Hart Angels rated them as even better. I retained the Townshend super tweeters because I had become used to the enhanced detail that they gave at high-frequencies with the old speakers. Overall, after listening to a wide range of music on them - including classical, rock, pop folk and jazz, I have come to the conclusion that you need to consider these speakers holistically. They present a wall of sound, and they present the sound neutrally. There is no obvious coloration. They are not box-like and you can hear a tremendous amount of detail in the music at both high and at low volumes.
In conclusion, if you want great sound and you don’t have a great deal of space for speakers, have a listen to these - you’ll be glad that you did.
Suggested choice of veneers