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Gauder Akustik

Manufacturer: GAUDER AKUSTIK

Price (in Poland): 69 400 PLN/pair
“High gloss” finish | diamond tweeter

Contact: Steinbeisstraße 24 – 26 | Renningen
Baden-Würtemberg 71272 | Deuschland


auder Akustik Vescova MkII is a new version of the loudspeaker that we were able to look at "High Fidelity" in April 2008 (No. 48, read HERE). These speakers belong to the Ceramic series, that includes also the larger three-way Cassiano MkII and the stand-mounted FRC MkII. The Ceramic is the middle series in this German manufacturer's range. As usually in such a case it has the best value for the money - it's not as expensive as the top Berlin series, but it's expensive enough to fit in some solution borrowed from the flagship line, which makes it significantly different from the less expensive series, Arcona.

At first glance, the second version of Vescova looks similar to MkI. These are 2,5-way floorstanding loudspeakers measuring 1060 x 210 x 410 mm (H x W x D) and weighing 26 kg (pc). They feature two identical 180mm Acuton ceramic drivers, with one of the filtered from the top at 130 Hz and working in a down-firing bass reflex cabinet. The second of the ceramic Acutons is located just below the dome tweeter and is not filtered from below. It works in a closed enclosure. The loudspeakers feature a lute-like shape and their cabinets are made of bent plywood. Vescova MkII, like other Gauder Akustik speakers, are made in Germany.

There are, however, differences between the old and new version. First, of course, is the new name of the company. The Isophon brand under which they were once sold was founded in 1929. Between 1997 and 2012 the company was called Isophon Acoustic Consulting GbR, and Mr. Roland Gauder was responsible for the designs. In 2013 he founded a company bearing his name, Gauder Akustik, and he took with him all the designs he created in Isophone, adding some new models to them. The next difference is the crossover point between the woofers – previously it was at 180 Hz, now is at 130 Hz, also moving the speaker terminals from the bottom to the rear, and some other upgrades.

An important change compared to the MkI is the option of using not only the Acuton's ceramic dome, but also a diamond dome, and we are testing the latter version. The price increases by almost 25,000 PLN, but the qualitative difference between these drivers is simply huge. One can also choose one of the available finishes. For this test distributor delivered a very nice, most expensive version, with high gloss lacquer.

The loudspeakers were brought by - as always reliable – guys representing RCM, the Polish distributor of the Gauder Akustik. During transport, they are packed in large boxes, so despite the fact that each of them weighs no more than 26 kg, when packaged, they weight much more. Along with the speakers they brought granite basis shaped after cabinets, which in the price list are called Flagstone and cost 2590 PLN (per pair). The speakers were place in exactly the same spots that my own Harbeth M40.1 usually occupy.

At the time of the test, the speakers stood on the granite bases provided with them and on their spikes. Under the front ones we placed small pads, the rear ones stood directly on the base. User can adjust the amount of bass by changing the setting of the jumper visible on the bottom. In my case, the best setting was the "neutral" one, ie 0 dB. The jumper supplied by the manufacturer is very nice and aesthetic. However, it is best to treat it as usual "company" jumpers, ie replace it. The Polish Gauder distributor brought for the tested pair jumpers made by themselves, made of copper, with silver BFA plugs, connected with a Furutech cable. I think in Poland customers will get them with speakers for free :)

Unlike usually, they were placed facing straight ahead, without any toe-in. As Wojtek (who you might know as an author of the TURNTABLE CALIBRATION – course for beginners, POLISH), said in the distributor's listening room, this setting gave the biggest and simply the best sound stage. Because in my room almost always speakers sound better when toed-in I tried both variants. This is the first time I decided that positioning without toe-in sounded better.

When setting up Gauders, one should also pay attention to the height of one's ears relative to the midrange/tweeter section (ie how high you sit). With the Vescova MkII one has to sit so that the ears are exactly between two upper drivers (tweeter and low- midrange). If one sits lower, the sound will be slightly nasal, with a slight emphasis on a part of midrange. When one sits down on the right height everything shall fall into place.

ISOPHON in “High Fidelity”
  • TEST: Isophon BERLINA RC7 - loudspeakers
  • TEST: Isophon VESCOVA - loudspeakers

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

    • Alan Parsons Project, Eye in the Sky, Arista Records AL9599, LP (1982) w: The Alan Parsons Project, The Complete Audio Guide to Alan Parsons Project, Arista Records SP 140, Box: 8 x LP (1982)
    • Archie Shepp, On Green Dolphin Street, Denon YX-7524-ND, „Denon PCM | Jazz in New York”, Japan LP (1978)
    • Brendan Perry, Ark, Cooking Vinyl/Vinyl 180 VIN180LP040, 2 x 180 g (2011)
    • Count Basie & Tony Bennett, Basie/Bennett, Roulette/Classic Records SR 25 072, „45 rpm series”, 4 x one side pressing, 180 g LP
    • Depeche Mode, Spirit, Columbia 411651, 2 x 180 g LP (2017)
    • Julie London, Julie is her name. Vol. 1, Liberty Records LPR 3006, LP (1955)
    • Miles Davis & Milt Jackson, Miles Davis All Star Sextet/Quintet, Prestige/Victor Musical Industries SMJ-6530, Japan LP (1956/1976)
    • Niemen, Terra Deflorata, VeriTon SXV 1001, LP (1989)
    • Paul O’Brien & Uli Kringler Trio, Stockfisch Studio Session 2009, Stockfisch SFR 357.8010.1, 45 RPM, 180 g LP
    • SBB, Hofors 1975, GAD Records GAD LP 008, „Limited Edition Clear Wax”, 180 g LP (2016)
    • Sonny Clark Trio, Sonny Clark Trio, Time Records/Teichiku Records ULS-1801-V, „Time Original Collection”, Japan LP (1960/?)

    Japanese issues available at

    I could not help but to write about it in the beginning: the sound we get with the Vescova MkII speakers is in many ways similar to the earliest open baffle loudspeaker designs with horn tweeters. Playing record after record I felt as though the eight decades that had passed were only a short interlude, and only now we are "re-discovering" a similar type of presentation. But it is not the same sound, that's not the point - in some respects, Gauders are at the opposite end of the spectrum from products from the 1930s and 40s. Speaking of open baffles and horns I meant a general idea for sound presentation.

    If I understand it correctly, it is supposed to be an absolutely coherent presentation, both internally, between small elements and externally, ie with interrelated big assumptions. The point is that these speakers sound like a single transducer set in a large room and working with this room closely. What's more, when it comes to tonality they sound in an absolutely aligned way. And there is also this great holography – the Vescova MkII should be able to easily convince any fan of small monitors that large speakers can provide very good imaging too.

    It all happens at the same time, everything is intertwined and even if I am forced to distinguish the different aspects of this play, it is an artificial division. The tonality of the tested loudspeakers is – forgive me for that - warm. It's not artificially warmed up, it is about how resolving it is which might be interpreted as a warm sound.

    That's another case I'm familiar with of a tall, well-thought-out design that go in that direction offering rather dark sound, at least if one compares them to “standard” models, not to mention horn ones. And it does not really matter what transducers are used, or what kind of enclosure, because what matters is their class and talent and knowledge of designers. I think they are getting more and more familiarized with inherent features of drivers they work with and they understand them better.

    I can not explain this in any other way than with self-awareness - Vescova MkII in terms of tonal shaping sound in a very similar way to diametrically different constructions like YG Acoustics Carmel 2 (metal drivers, ultra-rigid aluminum enclosure) and Harbeth M40.1 (plastic and material drivers, wooden, tuned cabinets). These German boxes perfectly penetrate the recording, differentiate it both in the “general picture” and inside, within each of them.

    It is, in a sense, a warm performance but perfectly differentiated, resolving. Although these are large vented designs, they do not deliver monotonous, large bass. Yes, it's a bit rounded up and warmed up, but just because it's in line with the whole idea for this model. Bass is very well extended, it is fleshy and impressive. I have tried different jumper settings at the bottom of the cabinet and ultimately decided for the initial one, ie the "0 dB" position. By increasing the amount of bass we pump it up a little, but it does not go any deeper. It is not the lowest bass that I heard from a loudspeaker of this size, but there is nothing to complain about either. When listening to any album, everything is just accurate, I've never looked for a missing octave, because it was never missing, and even if it seemed so to me, it wasn't really true.

    I stayed longer with the bass performance, because it plays its role very accurately. It is not a “separate being” within presentation, nor does it steal it. At first, it might seem that the loudspeakers are focus on a mid-band, as once open baffle speakers did, and later monitors from Great Britain. It lasts until we realize that monitors do not have a chance to deliver such a full, dense midrange, they can not build such a large volume of sound unless they are supported at the bottom of the band. This is how the woofer in the Vescova MkII works - it relieves the bottom of the two-speaker system above, allowing it to breathe.

    I realized how good all these elements work together, how organized they are when I listened to Czesław Niemen's Terra Deflorata. This recording is based on the extraordinary saturation of the midrange, that is also very selective, although it is easy to miss that element in all that warmth and density. Gauders excelled at these two things and the treble quality was also above average. The way they are voiced resembles a live sound. There is weight and "body". The impact of the cymbal is not just a click, because of a strong leading edge and proper saturation of the sound. And the resolution of this sub-range is unusual.

    Despite such a fantastic high-resolution of treble, when we listen to vinyl records with jazz records from the 1950s, it's noteworthy that the pops&cracks, surface noise, and even noise from the tape, are somehow withdrawn by these loudspeakers. Despite the fact that the last thing I would say about these speakers is that their treble performance is rolled-off. I heard that again when listening to high-class speakers, and it seems that if these inherent elements of LP playback are presented clearly, become annoying, then there must be something with the playback system, and they really do not have to be something that irritates listener. With Vescova MkII the music was always put first, and the whole "technology" was somewhere in the back.

    All these goodies will cost you. After all, these are not the largest or the most expensive speakers available (although the tweeter could be used in any construction, whatever the price level). They also use specific techniques and technologies that are not transparent to the sound.

    The tonal balance is just outstanding. The fact that we are dealing with a few transducers will be heard not at the tonal level but rather at dynamic one. The upper bass, somewhere near the crossover point, has less energy than below this point. This limitation on energy level of which I am speaking, is manifested by the calming of the dynamics in the range of 120-200 Hz (that's not a measurement, just an estimation). That is why these speakers sounds in a majestic, distinguished way, in contrast to the horn speakers that give everything right away, immediately.

    The sound is not as palpable as presented by some other loudspeakers - such as Harbeth - but also with open baffles. It is full, dense, saturated, but is presented behind the line connecting the speakers, and the bodies of the instruments - though large, beautiful - have no clear beginning and end, they tend to "blur" with the acoustic environment. There is also a preference for direct sounds, slightly quenching the reverb, especially at the top of the band.


    The Vescova MkII with diamond tweeter is a dreamed loudspeaker for anyone who plays music from a turntable and hi-res files. They show a better world, not forgetting its disadvantages, but moving them back to the second plane. Their sound is full, saturated, warm, but they also perfectly differentiate recordings, especially in the midrange and treble area. They react a little nervously to the recordings with strong compression, like the latest Depeche Mode album Spirit. Then they tend to “compact” the sound in the midrange area, so it is slightly pushy. But that's an issue with some recordings not the loudspeakers.

    Besides, they should fit into any room and every good system with either solid-state or tube amplification, bringing serenity and fulfillment into owner's life. It's kind of a "ultimate speaker", if you're able to just let go of the chase for the unattainable.

    Vescova MkII is a floorstanding loudspeaker made by the German company Gauder Akustik. This is a 2.5-way, vented design. It features two Acuton drivers with a ceramic diaphragm working as bass and midrange woofers. A mesh is attached in front of the diaphragm, which secures an extremely rigid but very fragile membrane. Upper suspension is made of rubber. The lower driver works in a vented chamber and it works up to 130Hz. The other driver works in closed enclosure and is filtered only from the top, at 3200Hz. The tweeter (an inverted dome) can be either ceramic or diamond – for the test we received a version featuring the diamond tweeter.

    The crossover is the heart of every speaker set. Ceramic transducers are quite difficult in the application, because over 7kHz in low- midrange drivers there is a strong resonance that needs to be suppressed. Mr. Gauder has the answer based on his experience and mathematical model - he uses very steep, symmetrical filters of 50 dB per octave. That's something that fans of the 1st order crossovers (6dB / oct.) might be hard to accept.

    The crossover featuring component sourced from the Inter-Technik company is divided into two parts: one for tweeter and the other for low- midrange. The first consists of several components, including a polypropylene capacitor and an air coil; it was assembled using the point-to-point method. The second one is assembled on a PCB that was screwed to the side wall of the cabinet at the upper woofer level.

    The cabinet is made of bent plywood, finished with natural veneer. There are various versions available with matte or high-gloss lacquer finish. Each speaker features four feet that are screwed to the speakers base. Manufacturer provides user also with protective pads to be used under feet. However, one may, at an additional cost, purchase special feet ("Spike-extenders") to improve the stability of the speaker. These will also make Vescova MKII look even better. Very good quality, robust and easy-to-tighten WBT connectors are placed on the back of the speaker, on a narrow flat piece.

    Specifications (according to manufacturer):

    Principle: 2.5-way, bass-reflex
    Nominal impedance: 4Ω
    Maximum power handling: 340W
    Crossover points: 130/3200Hz
    Crossover type: 50 dB/oct., symmetric
    Dimensions (H x W x D): 1060 x 210 x 410mm
    Weight: 26kg/pc



    - 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