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S300 MkII

Manufacturer: BUCHARDT-AUDIO ApS
Price (at the time of the test):
kr9,995.00 DKK/pair (ca. 5300 PLN)

Contact: 44C Skolegade
8600 Silkeborg | Denmark


The tested product was supplied by: BUCHARD-AUDIO

hen, in 2014, information was published that the Dynaudio company had been sold and one should expect changes in its offer, we all started wondering what development model the new owners would choose (more HERE [accessed: 16.03.2017]). Let me just add that the purchase was made by the Chinese GeorTek company. At the moment, it seems that there will soon be more lifestyle products, but also that the core of the offer (i.e. high-end, technologically advanced speakers) will remain unchanged. So, that would be a policy similar to the one adopted by the Chinese owners of other European speaker legends – KEF and Tannoy. However, the Dynaudio company that is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year (est. 1977) is undoubtedly going to change.

Perhaps as a some kind of a reaction to globalization and a shift towards the mass market in the audio industry, mostly when it comes to artistic design, ostentatiously conservative products are regaining their popularity – ones that belonged to the audio mainstream several years or a few decades ago. It seems that a good example of a firm which makes such products is the Danish Buchardt-Audio company. Established by Mads Buchardt, it has a seat in Silkeborg – a small town with just over 40,000 inhabitants. The town is “young” as it was granted municipal rights only in 1900, thanks to the earlier establishment of a paper factory that was closed in 2000. Today, the town is known for being the seat of the Jyske Bank, one of the largest banks in Denmark, as well as for the Riverboat jazz festival.

By coincidence, Silkeborg is located not far from Skanderborg – a small town with nearly 15,000 inhabitants, known to us as the seat of the abovementioned Dynaudio. I am making references to the two companies for two reasons. Firstly, they are Danish both when it comes to the place where they were registered and their spirit (a Scandinavian approach to the product). Secondly, they are both associated with Mr Kasper Raun, a former Dynaudio engineer, who designed the S300 MKII bookshelf speakers that we are presenting.


The S300 MkII model is the bigger one of two bookshelf speaker models offered by Buchardt-Audio. It is a development version of the earlier S300 model, with a completely redesigned crossover, thanks to which we get, as the manufacturer declares, “a completely new product, even though it looks the same as its older version.” And it does look totally classic. It is a cuboid made of MDF covered with natural veneer. The configuration of the speakers is equally conservative – it is a two-way design with a soft tweeter dome and a bass/midrange speaker with a membrane made of minerals doped polypropylene.

Apart from selecting high-quality drivers, the most effort was dedicated to the crossover, which constitutes the “heart” of every speaker. When we look at its photo, we notice that it has little in common with minimalist circuits preferred by many manufacturers. It is because it is a circuit with second order filters and, additionally, baffle step correction. Baffle step correction means easier load for the amplifier.

Measurements taken outside the main axis played an important role in the development of this design. Manufacturers usually focus on axis mesaruments, since characteristics obtained in this way in an anechoic chamber look impressive. However, a listening room has nothing in common with an anechoic chamber. On the contrary, it is part of a creation that we obtain thanks to an audio system. That is why in S300 MkII, designers were trying to gain equalized frequency response not only on but also off the main axis. As we can read in company materials, the tweeter response time was also corrected, without the need of moving it mechanically.

When we look at how the speakers are made, what components have been used in them and, above all, where they are manufactured, their price must seem at least “friendly”. 5000 PLN for a pair of SUCH speakers, even before we move on to listen to them, is really not much. It is possible thanks to the direct sales model adopted by Mr Mads Buchardt – the speakers are available in an online store, without intermediaries (distributors and stores). In the audio industry this is a risky method, as one of the most important things that we need to make a decision is a listening session in controlled conditions. However, based on the example of a few other companies, the model is viable when a few conditions are met. I wrote about the pros and cons of direct sales when I tested the USB REFERENCE I (Improved) cable of the Italian company Neutral Cable.


My name is Mads Buchardt and I deal with music. I am a musician myself and I have a lot of knowledge of instruments and the recording studio – I had been working as a sales person in a music shop for seven years before I set up Buchardt Audio. Music is my passion.

I established Buchardt Audio to bring high-end sound to all people and to give up high-end prices. I am aware that I have had to sacrifice certain things to achieve this aim. However, using cheaper components was out of the question. The solution was the direct sales model – clients can buy our speakers via our website. Thanks to this they save some 60 – 70% of the amount they would have to spend in order to buy these speakers at a store.

The speakers were designed by Kasper Raun, a former Dynaudio engineer.

The speakers stood on Sonus Faber stands, placed on the Acoustic Revive SPU-4 stands. Under the brass stands, I placed the Acoustic Revive CP-4 insulators. The whole combination stood on the Acoustic Revive RST-38H speaker platforms. The S300 MkII speakers stood 195 cm away from each other (considering the closest edges) and 210 cm from the place where I listened to them. The distance between their rear panel to the wall was equal to 1 m – I obtained a spectacular amount of space in this way.

The sound source was the Acoustic Signature Storm MkII turntable with the Acoustic Signature TA-1000 arm and the Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC cartridge. Signal from the Soulution 710 power amplifier was sent by the Acoustic Revive SPC3.0 Triple-C cables. The speakers were compared to our “editorial” Harbeth M40.1 speakers and the bookshelf Gradient Five speakers.

Recordings used for the test (a sele- ction):

  • Archie Shepp, On Green Dolphin Street, Denon YX-7524-ND, „Denon PCM | Jazz in New York”, LP (1978)
  • Artur Rojek, Składam się z ciągłych powtórzeń, Kayax Production 072, 180 g LP (2014);
  • Brendan Perry, Ark, Cooking Vinyl/Vinyl 180 VIN180LP040, 2 x 180 g LP (2011)
  • Depeche Mode, Fragile Tension/Hole to Feed, Mute Records 12BONG42, 2 x 180 g, 12” maxi-SP LP (2009)
  • Diahann Carroll & The Duke Ellington Orchestra, A Tribute To Ethel Waters, Orinda Records ORC 400, „Digital Master Disc Recording”, Test Pressing LP (1978)
  • Mel Tormé, Oh, You Beautiful Doll, The Trumpets of Jericho - Silver Line 904333-980, 180 g LP (2000)
  • Nat “King” Cole, Just One Of Those Things, Capitol Records/S&P Records S&P-508, „Limited Edition: 0886”, 180 g LP (1957/2004)
  • Skalpel, Transit, PlugAudio PL02, 2 x 180 g LP (2014)
  • The Bassface Swing Trio, The Bassface Swing Trio plays Gershwin, Stockfisch SFR 357.8045.1, 180 g LP + SACD/CD (2007)
  • Yuri Tashiro Piano Trio, Aiji Arai & The Beat Sounds, Digital Explosion, EastWorld EWJ-80181, „Soundphile Series (Digital Recording)”, LP (1980)

Japanese issues available at

When we read that “the speakers are designed for medium-sized and large rooms – up to 60 m2” and then that “you do not need a separate subwoofer to support bass”, a red light turns on in our head. The smaller the columns advertised in this way, the more alert we become, as a lot of “big” bass is supposed to come from a small housing, i.e. bass without any control. I took both of the quotes from the Buchardt-Audio website. So, it gave me a lot of food for thought, even before I placed the S300 MkII speakers on stands. Perhaps it was not anxiety – in the end, they were designed by a person with undisputed knowledge and experience, but what matters is the assumption, idea – and it might have been like this.

As it turns out, there is nothing to be afraid of. However, one also becomes aware of the meaning of the abovementioned Internet quotes. The speakers produce very large sound that would also suit a lot of floorstanders from this price range and also more expensive ones. Recordings from albums that usually impress us with their volume and swing were also ravishing this time. It was a musical message with no place for “holes” or rarefied air, where everything was dense and strong.

The bass that I mentioned does not go as low as in larger speakers, but everything is so ordered that it gives an impression that it does. It has a warm tone and is not especially contoured, i.e. the attack is not strongly marked. This lowers the dynamics a little on the micro scale, as everything is smooth and liquid rather than rapid and active. Such sound reception is also shaped by the sweet and never too sharp treble. There is never too little of it, but there is also no doubt that nobody has intended to overexpose recordings, or to cut out the contours of musical instruments on the stage in front of us.

However, the Buchardt-Audio speakers are still far away from classic warm sound. Yes, we first perceive them as dense and warm, but only for a moment. Then, we formulate this concept in our head and adjust it to the stereotypes that we are used to. Stereotypes are like quick selection keys in a phone – they are the starting point which later needs to be supplemented with content. The content is related to the inner organization of the sound and a surprisingly big amount of information that we receive. However, since this is real information and not “details”, we do not realize that straight away.

It appears that the tested speakers are characterized by very high resolution. Both of the drivers used have their limitations, but these are not limitations typical for this price range. We get sound characterized by rich inner complexity without clear separation of planes, instruments, etc. We can hear nuances in sound, in sound engineering, tone changes, etc. Even with such inexpensive speakers, it was perfectly clear what impact the Harmonix TU-812MX analogue record clamp has on sound. This Million Maestro work of the applied arts costs over 12,000 PLN. It might seem that the improvement it provides will be possible to detect in very expensive systems, however… the S300 MkII speakers showed very clearly that sound was richer, deeper and darker with the clamp.

What the columns will not surprise us with is connected with the dynamics and building up the treble. It is rather calm (in a good sense of the word, but still calm) sound. The incredibly dynamic sounds of the drum pedal on the Yuri Tashiro Piano Trio, Aiji Arai & The Beat Sounds Digital Explosion album were a bit smoothened and not as surprising as with other speakers of the same size. The treble is very well differentiated and I had no doubt that when it comes to recordings from this album, the method of digital recording of the material (Sharp/Optonica) was worse than, for example, in the case of the Archie Shepp On Green Dolphin Street album (Denon). The low bass is not massive, either. In the end, these are small bookshelf speakers.


However, I do not want this to sound like an accusation. Considering the given price range, all the remaining aspects are excellent and these – just OK. Anyway, a feature of these columns that makes them worth our interest in the first place is the ability to create big sound with incredible swing. Albums such as Brendan Perry’s Ark will sound great with them. Jazz will be reproduced even better – please listen to what older recordings, such as the ones from Mel Tormé’s Oh, You Beautiful Doll and Nat “King” Cole’s Just One Of Those Things albums sound like, as well as completely new ones, such as The Bassface Swing Trio plays Gershwin recorded using the direct-to-disc system. It will be beautiful! RED Fingerprint.

The S300 MkII are two-way bookshelf speakers with a bass-reflex enclosure – the vent is placed on the rear panel. They have classic proportions and the following dimensions: 370 x 190 x 330 mm (h x w x d). Each unit weighs 10 kg. The housing is made of thick MDF panels and covered with natural veneer. We are testing a version with walnut veneer finish, but a black and a white version are also available (lacquer). The first one is the most expensive.

The speakers have quite a large volume, obtained thanks to their considerable depth. The SB265TC AC-C0004 tweeter has a soft dome of a 26 mm diameter and a magnesium front. It was manufactured by the SB Acoustics company in Indonesia. It is characterized by, among others, the use of copper-clad aluminium wire in the coil and silver connectors. Bass and midrange are reproduced by the 170 mm SB17FMC35-4 driver manufactured by the same company. It has a very robust, aluminium-cast basket and a membrane made of minerals doped polypropylene. The colour of the upper suspension is similar to colours used in the 1970s – i.e. it is grey rather than black. When we touch it, it appears it is made of highly resilient rubber.

Drivers manufactured by the company are designed by Ulrik Schmidt who had been responsible for drivers from the Revelator and Illuminator series produced by the Danish Scan-Speak company. In 2006, Mr Schmidt, together with his colleague from Vify, engineer Frank Nielsen, left Scan-Speak to join the newly created SB Acoustics. It was established by the Danish manufacturer Danesian Audio that is responsible for design and its Indonesian partner Sinar Baja Electric that manufactures drivers in its factory.

The crossover is mounted on a printed circuit board attached to the bottom of the housing. One can almost only see polypropylene Bennic capacitors and air coils in it. There are a lot of components, as baffle step correction is used here. The drivers are connected using not very thick copper braid with caps. Signal is transmitted to a pair of gold-plated speaker clamps. The bass-reflex vent is located above – the pipe is made of sized paper. We get grilles together with the speakers – they have a round shape and cover only individual drivers.

A perfect edition of a classic product.

Specifications (according to manufacturer):

Operating principle: 2-way, bass-reflex
Impedance: 4 Ω
Sensitivity: 88 dB
Frequency response: 33 – 30,000 Hz (+/- 3 dB)
Crossover: 2nd order, baffle step corrected
Power recommendation: 40 – 200 W
Dimensions (h x w x d): 370 x 190 x 330 mm Weight: 10 kg/unit.



- Turntable: AVID HIFI Acutus SP [Custom Version]
- Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory KANSUI, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory SHILABE, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory ZERO (mono) | Denon DL-103SA, review HERE
- Phono stage: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC, review HERE

- Compact Disc Player: Ancient Audio AIR V-edition, review HERE

- Line Preamplifier: Polaris III [Custom Version] + AC Regenerator, regular version review (in Polish) HERE
- Power amplifier: Soulution 710
- Integrated Amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE

- Stand mount Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic, review HERE
- Stands for Harbeths: Acoustic Revive Custom Series Loudspeaker Stands
- Real-Sound Processor: SPEC RSP-101/GL
- Integrated Amplifier/Headphone amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
- Headphones: HIFIMAN HE-6, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-300, review HERE | Sennheiser HD800 | AKG K701, review (in Polish) HERE | Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, version 600 - reviews (in Polish): HERE, HERE, HERE
- Headphone Stands: Klutz Design CanCans (x 3), review (in Polish) HERE
- Headphone Cables: Entreq Konstantin 2010/Sennheiser HD800/HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE

- Portable Player: HIFIMAN HM-801
- USB Cables: Acoustic Revive USB-1.0SP (1 m) | Acoustic Revive USB-5.0PL (5 m), review HERE
- LAN Cables: Acoustic Revive LAN-1.0 PA (kable ) | RLI-1 (filtry), review HERE
- Router: Liksys WAG320N
- NAS: Synology DS410j/8 TB
System I
- Interconnects: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, review HERE | preamplifier-power amplifier: Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo, review HERE
- Loudspeaker Cables: Tara Labs Omega Onyx, review (in Polish) HERE
System II
- Interconnects: Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0PA | XLR-1.0PA II
- Loudspeaker Cables: Acoustic Revive SPC-PA

System I
- Power Cables: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300, all system, review HERE
- Power Distributor: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate, review HERE
- Power Line: power cable Oyaide Tunami Nigo (6m); wall sockets 3 x Furutech FT-SWS (R)
System II
- Power Cables: Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version, review (in Polish) HERE | Oyaide GPX-R (x 4 ), review HERE
- Power Distributor: Oyaide MTS-4e, review HERE
- Stolik: SolidBase IV Custom, read HERE/all system
- Anti-vibration Platforms: Acoustic Revive RAF-48H, review HERE/digital sources | Pro Audio Bono [Custom Version]/headphone amplifier/integrated amplifier, review HERE | Acoustic Revive RST-38H/loudspeakers under review/stands for loudspeakers under review
- Anti-vibration Feets: Franc Audio Accessories Ceramic Disc/ CD Player/Ayon Polaris II Power Supply /products under review, review HERE | Finite Elemente CeraPuc/ products under review, review HERE | Audio Replas OPT-30HG-SC/PL HR Quartz, review HERE
- Anti-vibration accsories: Audio Replas CNS-7000SZ/power cable, review HERE
- Quartz Isolators: Acoustic Revive RIQ-5010/CP-4

- FM Radio: Tivoli Audio Model One