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Aida Acoustics

Manufacturer: AIDA ACOUSTICS
Price (when reviewed): 20 000 PLN/pair

ul. Reymonta 9a
28-100 Busko-Zdrój | Polska


Provided for test by: AIDA ACOUSTICS

or years (starting with No. 64 in 2009; ed.) the September issue of the "High Fidelity" magazine has been devoted to products made in Poland. The idea is noble, since the “audio patriotism” is still scarce among the fans of a good sound in our country, as opposed to such countries as Germany, England or USA where domestic products are held in highl regard. So we try to change that writing about new products of well-known manufacturers, but also about brands that are just entering the market.

I learned about the existence of Aida Acoustics by accident while reading an online audio forum. I found there a positive feedback from a person who auditioned loudspeakers prepared by this, unknown to me, brand. Intrigued I visited the company's website, where, as it turned out, a positive surprise awaited me. Still not all Polish manufacturers, even those well-established ones, have quality websites. Aida Acoustics despite the fact that are still to succeed, already have a professional looking website. What's more, it is available in as much as six (!) languages, including such an exotic (at least for us) one as the Chinese.

As usually, I first checked the Products page. Have a look yourself – there are four great looking models. Two of them feature ceramic drivers, other two are high sensitivity, 2-way speakers with tweeters in horns and with paper woofers. Judging from photos, although these not always present the actual look of a product, they seemed beautifully crafted and finished, also featuring quite original shapes. A brand new company with a nice lineup from the start – that's impressive.

The smallest model, looking like a monitor integrated with a stand, weighs impressive 40 kilograms (!), same as the smaller, floor-standing high-efficiency model Thaisis, that I ultimately received for the test. The significant weight comes from the material the cabinets are made of which is partially solid wood, MDF and a steel base with spikes. The cabinets are beautifully finished with lacquer, which, combined with the leather covering the curved side walls gives each model a unique elegance. After all wood is a material with soul!

As Mr Mateusz and Marcin, the owners and designers of Aida Acoustics, told me during their visit, one of the basic assumptions they had in mind when designing their loudspeakers was to create not only products that deliver remarkable performance, but that bring to the table of an original, and elegant look. The idea for those original shapes came as a result of some compromise between acoustical requirements allowing them to achieve high sound quality with unique aesthetics that distinguishes Aida Acoustics products among many others (which is not to say that there are no other speakers of similar shape on the market – sure there are, although quite a few) due to the highest quality make&finish.

As it reads on the company's website:

The brand of Aida Acoustics is an expression of our over a decade passion in working with sound. Among the numerous audio equipment manufacturers, we emphasize our distinctiveness in streamlined shapes, which, apart from presenting crystal clear sound, will also show you every smallest of them.

Aida Acoustics uses multi-layer glued enclosures, with very complex geometry of partitions and internal stiffening. The measurable effect of this concept is extremely effective absorption of unwanted resonances and standing waves, which is of great importance for quality of reproduced sound.

Sound waves penetrating through traditional casing are strongly distorted and delayed with respect to waves radial through the speakers, and when they reach the listener, they destroy the reception of music. Uncompromising. The Aida Acoustics approach to enclosure construction provides extraction from transducers and components electronic maximum of their capabilities.

Choosing natural wood for front and rear panels certainly does not constitute a simpler choice for designers – it is a harder one. Both front and rear of Thaisis are made of two wooden boards glued together that have to carefully matched because of wood's grain. On the other hand owners of these speakers can be sure that they have one of the kind product – no two pairs will ever look identical. There are many customers who value unique products and so they will appreciate what Aida Acoustics has to offer.

Making the horn hosting tweeter is also a tedious task, as it consists of a number of layers that must perfectly fit together. Looking at this product you can clearly see that its creators are perfectionists. And although in my opinion these loudspeakers look really great, Mr. Mateusz and Marcin told me, they were still not 100% satisfied and they planned to use a different, even higher grade Italian leather for future batches. So as you can see for them even the finish of side, curved wall is very important. I am not a person paying particular attention to the aesthetics of audio products, but I have to admit that the appearance of Thaisis impressed me and made the listening sessions even more enjoyable.

Co-owners and designers

MAREK DYBA: Since Aida Acoustics is rather new, unknown company, why don't you tell our Readers about how it all started? How long have you been building loudspeakers and why them and not some other audio components?
MATEUSZ BAŁABAŃSKI, MARCIN NIEDŹWIEDZKI: Yes, it's true that we are a young company but with a great potential. We built our first products over 3 years ago. Instead of focusing on sales, we decided that we would refine the make&finish, improve all the elements that we were not fully satisfied with, expand our lineup with more models and most importantly we would do a lot of listening. To create our speakers we have used all our experience gained over a period of 15 years. Our passion for audio was combined with solid knowledge, usage of CNC technology and woodworking skills that combined allowed us to create products we could finally offer to the customers. We always understood that loudspeakers are not only about excellent sound, but that they are also an important visual element of a room they are placed in, one that person listening to music looks at for hours.

Why did you choose wood for your cabinets? It surely makes your life (production) more difficult.
The wood is a beautiful, natural material that has its own character and “soul”. It undergoes a tedious, time-consuming processing, varnishing and polishing but ultimately allows us to offer our customers products that are unique in many ways. Most of the loudspeakers one can find on the market today are finished with veneers, and that is why we wanted to create speakers that would stand out, even if it meant a much more difficult production process for us.

How does the inside of the cabinet look like and how do you make these beautiful tweeter horns?
The cabinets are made of glued together MDF layers. These are layers of differentiated baffle geometry with numerous reinforcements, resulting in effective absorption of the unwanted resonances and standing waves.
The front of the cabinet along with the horn, whose geometry has been precisely calculated and matched to the driver we use, is actually single element. The technology we developed is a complex multi-stage process. The most important are wood selection, graining, and CNC machining.

Your lineup today includes four models two of which are high-efficiency ones, and two others featured ceramic drivers that are surely much more difficult to drive. So I should actually divide my question into two - firstly, why high-efficiency speakers? Are you fans of tube amplifiers? Secondly, why do you use ceramic drivers? – application of these prove usually quite challenging, it would be easier for you to use more “traditional” drivers.
Thaisis and Nabucco models are high-sensitivity speakers that are characterized by high dynamics and more live-like performance. We tried to create all-round loudspeakers that could be paired with both, low power tube amplifiers and solid-state ones. The ceramic drivers, on the other hand, offer very good, clean sound and that was our goal. Tuning and design cabinets for them is much more complicated than with traditional drivers. Advanced measurements and smart engineering solutions helped us achieve our goal.

What kind of music do you listen yourselves? This probably determines, at least partially, the sonic character of your products.
We listen mostly to jazz , classical music, baroque, instrumental, vocal and some rock too.

How does voicing of your speakers look like? What is more important – measurements of listening impressions?
We have worked out our own method and it is based partially on engineering approach as well as on more audiophile one. But if you want to us to point out which part is more important, I'd say listening sessions, these dictate the final sound of our loudspeakers. But we do use advanced measurement techniques, because these simplify our work offering consistent, tangible results. In this way, we create a neutral starting point for the fine-tuning.

Can you tell us anything about your future plans?
We strive to continually improve the process of building our loudspeakers. We have many ideas and new concepts that we will implement in next models. We are building a new listening room – as soon as we'll finish it we will be able to present our speakers in comfortable conditions to everybody who wants to listen to them. We would also like to encourage those who would like to listen to our loudspeakers in their own rooms to contact us because, at least in some cases, we should be able to visit them and bring the required model with us. Our goal is to offer our products also abroad so we would like to take this opportunity and invite potential distributors to contact us too.

Recording used during the test (a sele- ction):

  • AC/DC, Live, EPIC E2 90553, LP
  • Alan Silvestri, Predator, soundtrack, Intrada MAF 7118 , CD/FLAC
  • Arne Domnerus, Antiphone blues, Proprius PRCD 7744, CD/FLAC
  • Cannonball Adderley, Somethin' else, Classic Records BST 1595-45, LP
  • Coleman Hawkins, The Hawk Flies High, Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-290, LP
  • Isao Suzuki, Blow up, Three Blind Mice, B000682FAE, CD FLAC
  • John Coltrane, Blue train, Blue Note TOJJ-6505 (BN-1577), LP
  • John McLaughlin Trio, Que alegria, Verve B00000478E, CD
  • Keith Jarrett, The Köln Concert, ECM 1064/65 ST, LP
  • Leszek Możdżer, Kaczmarek by Możdżer, Universal Music 273 643-7, CD/FLAC
  • Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington, The Complete Session. Deluxe Edition, Roulette Jazz 7243 5 24547 2 2 (i 3), CD/FLAC
  • Mahler, Symphony no. 1, EMI Classical/Hi-Q Records HIQSXR35, Supercuts XRCD24
  • McCoy Tyner, Solo: Live from San Francisco, Half Note Records B002F3BPSQ, CD/FLAC
  • Michał Wróblewski Trio, City album, Ellite Records, CD/FLAC
  • Miles Davis, Sketches of Spain, Columbia PC8271, LP
  • Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro, dyr. Teodor Currentzis, MusicAeterna Orchestra, Sony Classical B00GK8P1EG, LP
  • Pavarotti, The 50 greatest tracks, Decca 478 5944, CD/FLAC
  • Renaud Garcia-Fons, Oriental bass, Enja B000005CD8, CD/FLAC
  • The Ray Brown Trio, Summer Wind, Concord Jazz CCD-4426, CD/FLAC

Japanese issues available at

Aida Acoustics has been offering their products to the customers for a few years now. Until now, however, the word about their speakers spread only via word of mouth – satisfied customers shared their feedback with their friends and so on. Operation in this way also meant working in slightly different reality, where each pair of speakers cold be custom made, adjusted to particular customer's needs. From the client's point of view, this was the ideal solution, because instead of standard models, they could not only order speakers with front and rear baffles made of a specific type of wood, but also the pair could be voiced to match their expectations and / or their room.

For the manufacturer, it is not the simplest way to conduct their business as it requires investing more time and effort than it would with a standard product, but also, I think, it guarantees a much greater percentage of fully satisfied customers. Since now the company wants to find new customers, no longer only in our country, such approach will no longer be possible, they have to offer standard models (I mean with a “standard” voicing, because all the rest is already standard). So at the moment they are considering adding some sort of adjustment for treble and maybe for midrange so that a user can, to some extent, adjust the sound to his own room and / or taste. The reviewed pair did not include this option yet.

The gentlemen during their visit emphasized that because of the horn these loudspeakers are strongly directional, so finding optimal placement in the room is of particular importance. One of them admitted that he himself when using Thaisis in his room he liked their sound with almost no toe-in. I used his advice and starting my listening session having both speakers firing straight ahead. As it turned out it was not the best setup in my room, as the sound lacked proper coherence. After some experimenting that included a “standard” positioning with speakers firing directly at my ears (that didn't work as they sounded too bright to my ears) I finally find the optimal one.

The optimal position was with speaker slightly toed-in – in this position they delivered a coherent, precise soundstaging and imaging, although the tonal balanced was set a bit higher, than I'm used to with my own Ubiq Audio Model One Duelund Edition. If you have a chance to test these speakers in your room take as much time as necessary to find this one optimal positioning. This is a hard, time-consuming work (each speaker weighs 40 kg!) but it is worth it.

The next step was finding optimal amplifier for these speakers. I had a few handy, including the fantastic Phasemation CA-1000 + MA1000 tube set (preamplifier + monaural amplifiers, review in Polish), a new Hybrid Triode Integrated Amplifier by Thöress and my own modified (by Tom Willis himself) Art Audio Symphony II, which is a 300B SET. After trying all of them I decided to use the last one for this test as it turned out to be the best partner for Thaisis (at least from my perspective). Even if the other two objectively offer even better performance, Symphony II offered the warmest (although not too warm at all) and the most dense sound of them all which in my opinion best suited the reviewed speakers. Its 8W output was also enough to drive them and offer a proper control and definition of the sound.

As I said before, Thaisis have a tonal balance set slightly higher than my Ubiqs. During the visit one of the designers confirmed that despite the big woofer and bass-reflex design it was not their goal to offer a speaker with thunderous bass. And it does not actually go as low as with my speakers and it does not have that much slam either. It is fast, taut and well defined, though. I had to get used to it, as it sounded different from my Model One but from the very beginning, when listening to Ron Carter's double bass I appreciated how well each strings was defined, or how god the differentiation was.

I would expect a bit more wood behind those strings, but I preferred this version from those with too much wood resulting in overblown or dragged bass, which happens even during live performance worked by poor sound engineer. Other albums of geniuses of this instrument - Ray Brown or Renauld Garcia-Fons confirmed the first impression – there was proper speed, agility, I didn't even complain on the slightly shortened decay phase. Actually, the only moment when I actually missed the lowest bass was the Aqua Marine track from the Isao Suzuki Blow up album, where the bass goes incredibly deep. That was missing here, although it is a unique recording in this respect.

A similar impression accompanied me when listening to one of the Marcus Miller albums or even the Guardian Knot's. The bass guitars, leading all of Marcus's recordings and some tracks on the Guardian Knot album, did not go as far deep as they should, but the sound was taut, fast and really well differentiated – all that delivered by a 8W 300B SET driving Thaisis! This setup made such recordings sound like a slightly different but equally excellent interpretation of music that I knew almost by heart. Some blues albums by Muddy Waters and Stevie Ray Vaughan confirmed my observations - the key elements such as pace&rhythm were conveyed really well, the presentation had proper flow and feeling - in short, everything I needed to tap my toes and feet and simply enjoyed it a lot.

When it came to AC / DC music, where Thaisis clearly informed me of rather inferior sound quality of these recordings, I thought the presentation should have had some more “flash”, the sound of electric guitars should have been bit richer, although there was plenty of energy and a good drive. No complaints about dynamics or speed, but the sound was a bit "lighter" than with my Ubiqs. The distinctive vocal of Brian Johnson was presented on a very natural way – it sounded clear, expressive, energetic and engaging, just as it should have and Angus Young's fast solos were simply impressive. My Ubiqs are able to deliver a richer, denser and more powerful performance, but after all it is much more expensive, much bigger, three-way design.

The listening sessions had to include a series of classical and acoustic guitars recording - they did not have as big soundbox as double bass so I just knew that they would sound really good on Thaisis. I was right! They sounded remarkably well. I started with Rodrigo y Gabriela album that sounded extremely dynamic with tones of energy delivered by just two acoustic guitars. The performance of these two ex-heavy-metal musicians conveyed by Thaisis impressed the hell out of me – the speed, good separation, vibrancy, decay (when there was even time for it) and amazingly energetic performance made me feel (almost) like was back at the Warsaw concert.

I haven't been to San Francisco, but listening to the famous concert by Al di Meola, the late Paco de Lucia and John McLaughlin, I felt like I was there when it was recorded. The Aida Acoustics loudspeakers recreated the unique atmosphere of this concert with both musicians and the fans having equally fantastic time. On top, they added beautifully differentiated sound of each of the three guitars, nicely conveyed individual styles of each musician, and the whole presentation sounded very natural, smooth and engaging. I finished this listening session with flamenco recording by Paco Pena, where the guitars and flamenco dancers play equally important roles. Here Thaisis once again proved to be capable of delivering very fast, immediate attack, making every stomping on the wooden floor sound almost like a gunshot. On the other hand these very fast guitars sounded pure and simply true.

Thaisis are a pretty large speakers and the manufacturer suggests placing them wide apart in a room. In my case the distance between the speakers was barely over 2 m, and they were placed roughly 50cm from the wall behind them. Such placement resulted in a wide soundstage, wider than distance between speakers, but the depth of the soundstage was not that impressive. To be clear - it was not a flat, one-dimensional presentation. There were large, three-dimensional phantom images, there was a good layering of the stage, there was a lot of air around the instruments, and a nicely conveyed ambiance if the recording captured it. So the depth of the soundstage was good, just not remarkable.

Moving the speakers further away from the wall behind them proved that the depth of the soundstage was directly depended on this distance - the more space Aidas had around them, the deeper the stage got. In a "normal" room most people won't be able to place them far away from the wall, but it is clear that they should be spread wide and as far from walls and obstacles as it is feasible. However, if used in a "normal" room a reasonable distance from the wall behind them will be the key of good performance.

With the recordings made in small clubs, the soundstage seemed very natural - there is simple not that much space behind musicians in such places nor big distances between them. The reviewed speakers played recordings with artificially created (using out-of-phase sounds) spatial effects surprisingly well. The sounds, for example on Roger Waters' disc, appeared almost everywhere, not just in front of me but also next to me, and they were so realistic that they made my head spin involuntarily. The sound was not bound to speaker but those did not quite disappear from the room either. However, I suspect that the insufficient size of my room was to blame not the Thaisis themselves.


It is always a great pleasure to share my impressions of the products prepared by some new Polish brands, especially when they prove that it is possible in our country to manufacture high quality products. In the case of Aida Acoustics, it is clear from the first glance that these are products that were not rushed to the market, that their makers took care of all aspects of their products before offering them to customers. What's more – from the start they offer four refined, well-thought-through models. The designers obviously love challenges - they chose natural wood, whose beauty many shall appreciate, the leather adding elegance to the speakers, original shape, and for two of four models the picked ceramic drivers that are very difficult to apply. Even the boxes the loudspeakers are delivered in are not only solid but also good looking. What is important, all the choices the designers made with the single goal in mind – the ultimate performance. These speakers not only look great but also sound fabulous!

Their sound can be described as fast, dynamic, precise, yet smooth and coherent. Those who prefer music with the lowest bass notes may not be completely satisfied, because the Thaisis do not go very deep. On the other hand, it does go deep enough to properly play most of the music. Most people will quickly appreciate how compact, taut, fast, well defined the bass is, how pure, airy, open and resonant the treble is, and how well the smooth, colorful midrange complements both band's extremes.

When properly set up Thaisis deliver very consistent, resolving, informative and vivid performance that keeps the listener interested, engaged all the time. Such a combination of refinement with real fun does not happen so often. And I achieved all this with 8 W 300B SET! The choice of an amplifier will be important - it should be a classy, sophisticated, but rather warm, rich sounding one that will complement these speakers best.

When you find such a good match, Thaisis will repay you with countless beautiful moments spent with both acoustic and electric music, during loud, dynamic sessions but also during quiet, evening sets. All is left for me to do is to congratulate Aida Acoustics for their great debut. I look forward to a chance of listening to more models, hopefully at least as good as Thaisis or maybe even better sounding ones.

Aida Acoustics Thaisis is a mid-size, two-way floor-standing loudspeaker in a bass-reflex cabinet. Just like the other models of this new Polish brand, they impress with their form and make&finish quality. They feature oval-shaped cabinets. The front and rear baffles are made of solid exotic wood finished with high-gloss lacquer. Both these panels consist of two boards with perfectly matching graining so that they look like solid pieces of wood.

A small bass-reflex port is located at the bottom of the front baffle. Above there is a 12-inch woofer with a paper diaphragm and a high-performance tweeter working in a wooden horn. Single, quality speaker terminals are placed in the notch at the bottom of the rear wall. The curved side walls are finished with black leather. I have not found any reason to complain about its quality, but the manufacturer will use even higher grade Italian leather for the next batches. Each cabinet is mounted on massive steel base featuring four adjustable spikes.

The cabinets are made of MDF on CNC machines. The photos of the inside reveal that only small amount of damping material is used, as the complex shape of the inner surface of the cabinets does a significant part of this job. Making these cabinets is a complex, time-consuming work but according to the designers the final effect is worth it.

Crossovers feature high quality components: air coils, oil capacitors and Duelund resistors. The crossover frequency is 1700 Hz. Thaisis are high-sensitivity loudspeakers – you won't find an actual number in the specification but a maximum SPL of 116 dB instead (Mr. Mateusz informed me that the efficiency is about 94 dB). For users of tube amplifiers, especially low-power ones, another key parameter is the impedance (or impedance curve). In this case nominal impedance is 8 Ω, and according to the manufacturer it never drops below 6.9 Ω – so these are very amplifier-friendly speakers. The test with 8W 300B SET confirmed that Thaisis is a perfect partner for such amplifiers.

Specifications (according to manufacturer)

Nominal impedance: 8Ω
Minimal impedance: 6.9Ω
Recommended amplifier: > 8W
Frequency range (-6 dB): 39-20000Hz
Crossover frequency: 1700Hz
Subwoofer filter: 2nd. order
Tweeter filter: 3rd. order
Max SPL: 116dB
Dimensions (W x D x H): 420 x 400 x 1050mm
Weight: 40kg/pc.