At the end of last month, Bert came over to our home to deliver and install the first Swing MkII loudspeaker system.
Before the Swing’s were installed, they needed to be carried to our apartment on the second floor. The Swings were packed in 2 huge plywood cases. Our first attempt to carry the cases upstairs failed. The solution was to take the Swings out of their cases and carry them individually upstairs. Astonishingly, this was quite easily done. Also, installation of the Swings in the listening room was fast and easy.
As part of the installation process, the Swings were set on their newly designed wooden sockets, and two heavy steel cylinder counterweights (15 kg each) were inserted into special holes in the bottom of each Swing. By using removable weights, the weight of the Swing enclosure is minimized, enabling easy transportation. The upper horns were already pre-installed. Installation of the lower horns needed some sensitivity in Bert’s hands but was finished in only a few minutes.
The Swings came in cherry veneer and with pearl shade painted horns. In the living room they look like light and friendly statures creating a “swinging” atmosphere. I assume that these vivid creatures would be fully compatible with Feng Shui living space ideals. Hard to believe that each Swing has a weight of 100 kg. As a modification to the Swing MKI, the shape of the lower horn was changed yielding optically harmonious profiles of the lower and upper horns. In addition, only one BD15 driver is used for the bass. The depth of the enclosures was increased so that the back of the upper horn driver is now fully covered by the enclosure.
Careful positioning of the Swings in the listening room was important for optimal sound reproduction because our listening room unfortunately is not well damped and has large reflecting window surfaces. As a preliminary setting, the Swings were moved away from the back wall, a listening distance of about 3,5 m was selected, and the horns were pointed to the listening position. The built-in bass amplifier was set to the upper (neutral) position.
Now, how do the Swings sound? In short, they are by far the best home speakers I ever heard in my life. During recent years, I experimented with different drive units from another manufacturer in different horns. I am happy that this period of compromise and unrealized desires is now over. The new Swing MKII system stands up as a ready-to-play and technically mature system, keeping its promises.
The new Swings deliver an overwhelmingly natural, spacious, fast, dynamic and coherent sound reproduction. Every record sounds differently, with its genuine emotions, but without euphemizing coloration. Because reproduction has utmost fidelity without distortion or tonal imbalance, it is possible to listen to music for hours without signs of annoyance or boredom. You can hear music at low loudness level and enjoy the tonal balance, details and character of an intimate performance. When you are certain that your house neighbors are gone, the system may fire cannons and cause your belly to vibrate without effort and distortion.
Bass reproduction can be abysmally deep or unobtrusive, depending on the record. When playing for example orchestral music from Wagner on a Sheffield direct disc record, bass reproduction can be extremely impulsive, never losing its attribution to the instruments in the virtual space of the concert hall. On the other hand, when playing a piano concerto from Rachmaninov on an old Decca record, one can indulge in bass-driven waves of highly emotional sound structures.
Despite excellent performance of the Swing MkII system, the state of audiophile Nirvana is not yet reached at our home. The reason is that for example Bert demonstrated that his CrazyA amplifier reproduces music far better than my tube amplifier, and that the Duelund loudspeaker cables significantly increase the liveliness of the music, compared to my PVC coated cables. Therefore, a few Audio components will probably be exchanged in the future, but the Swing MKII system will remain “the” reference system. The sound quality of the Swing system is close to perfect already, and no significant improvement can be expected during coming years.
I am eager to share the “Swing” experience with other enthusiasts.
If you are curious to listen to the Swing system in Germany, please feel free to contact me through firstname.lastname@example.org