Back from a Demo - to the real world , HeHe


Jul 21, 2005
Leeds, , United King
Demo'd several amps today.

Sugden a21a

Sugden a21SE

Sugden Masterclass

Unison Research S6


Sugden Bijou

Graaf 50

Speakers used for demo - Art Emotions signature series

Brief listen - Art impression 2 , Stilleto

Will post a review soon,been a long day today.



God you must have ears like a second rower. Get some ice on them and then start typing:p



whats the odds on him choosing a sugden 4 different ones



I wonder if the old lug holes are ringing.

Hope your internal organs have recovered by now.




Wammer Plus
Sep 20, 2005
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes

Hope you found the trip across the pennines not too painful

From your kit list I expect it was to see Lees favourite salesman the magical Dave Speirs at Practical Hi-fi + at Warrington.

You must have been in heaven with that lot to choose from. How Emotional for you :lmao:

Reviews of it all please :dude:




Jul 21, 2005
Leeds, , United King
Sorry about the delay with this - but here it is.

The demo itself was done at practical hi-fi in warrington. My thanks to Dave Spiers.

Source - Linn Genki CD player (carried my own)

Cables - Standard leads as supplied with kits

Speakers used - Art Emotions Signature series

Demo Room - about 16 by 20 feet filled on all sides with various other kit and loudspeakers, ceiling height about 11 feet.

Listening position about 8 feet at apex of an equilateral triangle with speakers toed in to listening position at about 25 degrees.

CD's used - I used predominantly 2 CD's only, Alison Krauss - new favourite and Thelonius monk jazz instrumental.

These were chosen primarily because it is music I love but also because they encompass the areas of female vocal testing, spatialisation and soundstage assessment which I find convenient with jazz instrumentals and guitar solos in jazz that strike low bass.

Before I started I was introduced to the Emotions and told in no uncertain terms how much they were loved by the team at practical. I was made aware that they were the best loudspeakers anyone had ever listened to at the price range and was appraised briefly on their construction and the ART philosophy.

They look like they do in the pictures seen here and are no taller than your average floorstander. They are wider perhaps by 5 inches. The construction is true and solid and the finish very good (grades above this are excellent and astounding).

These too were in maple and I can understand why some may think they look unfinished/unveneered when seen as in a picture. They are boxy looking and the 10 inch driver is the most striking feature visually. They look like they mean business but have a slightly retro touch overall.

They are 90.5 db sensitivity and were percieved by all who listened thus far as very fast, true and capable of diving real deep into music.The design is a standard 2 way and the quality of crossover am told is second to none. I nodded knowingly but I have to say it was not love at first sight.

We started with the sugden a21a, a pure class A amp and trully a flagship model as nearly 20 years of history will tell you.

I have heard this sound before and was immediately reassured . The sound was clear, honest and very detailed. Female vocals were open and unrestrained. The sound was not clinical, it was natural and I felt immediately that this was the special being in the house.Soundstage very very deep.I did not spend much time with this - Didn't have to.

Tried the Sugden a21se next. I have reviewed this before on this forum and it was all I said it was . It is the formers bigger brother but and this is a significant but, I noticed that there was a slight rounding off to the nuances in the music.That said the overall presentation was far more punchier and I got the impression these could drive most loudspeakers easily .Somebody has been playing around with the a21a and produced this - I'm not sure I like this as much now.

It was now the turn of the masterclass integrated from sugden. A weighty offering indeed but a pre-amp stage similar to the a21se.

This resembled the a21a in character very much - In fact it could be difficult to tell the two apart if you played them on sensitive speakers. I tried a short burst of Mahler (the a21a reveals its short comings with this recording quite consistently) and the masterclass handled this effortlessly. A21a on steroids .The masterclass is even deeper in soundstage,has better attack and feels to be a bit lean (athletic rather than malnourished). This particular quality alone can be described as a bit Naim-like.

It reminded me a little bit of solid state amp design rather than the smooth valve-like sound sugden is known for. The effect of this quality I must say is very subtley felt and not entirely undesirable with many listeners. To me however this was a negative.

Tried the Unison Research S6 next. Clinical sound, punchy and incisive. Good.

Not involving and as a result also a bit tiring to listen. I discounted this straight away.

Wife saw the pathos classic mk11 and wanted a listen so this went on next.

Poor starter and then WOW it took off. I know things take a bit of time to warm up but this did something after 10 mins and a further 10 mins later the gates opened.

Indescribable - I say this cause it does all the things that the a21a does ,deepest soundstage, punchy and taut unlike the sugden, great detail and fluid, Sounds valve-like and does not lack drive at all but it does this in a completely different way to the sugdens. It is a new sound and presentation requiring the same adjectives but completely different nevertheless. There is one gripe though - it is not warm. It is not like pouring Irish cream into a glass - it is more the swirl of red wine rather than the slosh and tinkle of champagne with the S6 . I so-oo wanted it to be Irish cream.

Next the brief listen to the Graaf 50 run on the Art impressions 2. Disappointed - to say the least. Looks good though. I may be totally mistaken here as the listening environment for these was poor. Even then I felt that if I was looking for something in that price range - the graaf might not make the short list.

Next came the sugden bijou run with Art stillettos in the same environment as the graaf. Pure silk , mothers milk and nectar of the gods. The perfect marriage between loudspeaker and amps. Ella fitzgerald was in the room. A truly emotional moment.

The simplicity, slickness, style , sopistication and honesty was astounding.

Those that have this and wish to upgrade - buy whatever else you like but keep these somewhere in the home anyway.

So what to buy ?

The a21a and the Pathos do the job for me in very different ways and are both very welcome in my home.

The bijou and the stilleto's are mouthwateringly inviting, but if you remember I only wanted to buy an amp.

So why have I not said anything about The Emotions ?

Thats the point really - didn't know they existed. Not many speakers can do that.

Is the Emotion flawless then?


This is what I gleaned at the end. The strength in the emotions lie with its tweeters.

The mid - high end with these speakers is as good as the best horns I have heard and that is saying a lot.

The bass goes low, very low easily but you can begin to see the inklings of a very subtle flabbiness in the bass with jazz trumpet and tuba. The bass does not disappear or feel omnipresent. In some strange contorted way it feels directional.

This is a minor gripe but if I was in the market at this price range for a loudspeaker that is unique ,I am sure I would spend many a sleepless night scratching my head with a short list that would certainly include the Emotions with only a few others most of which will be high end horns.

If Mr Art wanted to frame a picture of his best achievement for posteriety would it be the emotions? or would it be the impressions 2 ?

Neither - it would be the stillettos - unique and simple as the sun and the sea and the sand.

Good session I felt - enjoyed myself and made some decisions . Felt unpressured and welcome . My best demo with any dealer thus far.

Thanks to the guys and especially Dave at Practical.



Quality review Kiang,glad they treated you well.




I am going to have to try the high heals now,you swine.

Bijou not bad for £1300. Pity Dave didn't stick it with the Emotions bit sounds like you had a busy enough day already.




Jul 20, 2005
Nowhere, West Europe
Duke of Steepletone
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Kiang wrote:

Before I started I was introduced to the Emotions and told in no uncertain terms how much they were loved by the team at practical. I was made aware that they were the best loudspeakers anyone had ever listened to at the price range ...
Interesting! The ART emotion legend grows...

I wonder if they will be reviewed by a magazine soon?



The Swedish Chef wrote:

nice write, thanks for the effort, i'll read again once sober:shock::dude:
crikey chef you are turning into a real swede, most are ragging alcoholics here

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