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|Suggested Retail Price:||$500|
|Description:||2 way standmount- concrete cabinets|
|Review by jonbee on July 30, 2012 at 11:35:31|
IP Address: 220.127.116.11
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for the Tyr
Rauna is a Swedish company which built several speaker models in the 1980s which featured good quality Seas drivers, crossovers using well regarded ERO (Vishay) 1822 metallized film caps, and most notably, cast concrete cabinets. Needless to say, they are very heavy, which made shipping very expensive and ultimately they left the US market.
The Tyr model is a 14" tall 2 way, with a 6.5 in. treated paper woofer and a 1" dome tweeter. It weighs about 31 lbs. Stereophile reviewed them very positively and had them on their recommended list in the mid '80s. Here at AA member Cut Throat has written very positively about them.
I've alway wantd to hear them, and have watched their used prices plummeting over time. They often sell on ebay for under $100 now, and when a local pair turned up on CL I picked them up cheaply.
I auditioned them in my office system, powered by a Magnum Dynalab receiver. I compared them directly to my $5000 retail Volent VL-2, which has been the primary speaker in that system for a couple of years.
Firing them up was a revelation. These are fast, detailed, with low coloration and very nice impact. The midrange balance and naturalness is spot on, and the overall presentation is well integrated and very well balanced overall. The have very clean, dynamic bass to around 50-55 hz. The modern speaker I've owned recently that sounded most like it is the Ascend Sierra 1. The Sierra goes a bit deeper in the bass (one of its' strong points) and is more laid back in the highs, but the balance and musical rightness with all types of music is similar.
Compared the the Volent, the level of fine detail and ambience is notably less, and it does not reach anywhere near as deep. The Seas tweeter is pretty nice sounding overall, by does not present high end info nearly as cleanly or as defined as the LCY ribbon in the VL-2.
The top end is slightly emphasized on the Tyrs, which is the main deviation from neutrality. They seem to like a lot of power to get them moving, but are quite punchy and dynamic when cranked.
I'm usually disappointed when I revisit vintage speakers, which often sound slow and colored, but not at all with these. They stand up very well against good modern speakers at the $1k price point, and because of their overall balance and musicality I prefer them to quite a few I've heard for much more $.
I often sell the subjects of my curiousity pretty quickly, but not these. For very few dollars they simply sound great, and I'll probably keep them around until some family member wants a pair of good speakers.
BTW, the foam "grill" covering is nearly always gone, which makes them look pretty funky, but 1/4" open cell foam can easily be cut to size, wrapped around and attached by gluing the "hook" side of velcro tape to back of the enclosure.
Anyone on the lookout for really good sound on the cheap should keep an eye out for these heavy little devils, or their quite rare floorstanding brethren.
|Product Weakness:||A bit of top end emphasis, very heavy. Ugly without the foam grills.|
|Product Strengths:||Fast, dynamic, low coloration. Well balanced and musical. Dirt cheap!|
|Amplifier:||Magnum Dynalab receiver|
|Preamplifier (or None if Integrated):||none|
|Sources (CDP/Turntable):||oppo dvd-> Aune DAC|
|Cables/Interconnects:||Zu libtec and mission|
|Music Used (Genre/Selections):||all kinds|
|Room Size (LxWxH):||16 x 12 x 8|
|Room Comments/Treatments:||room is a bit bright|
|Time Period/Length of Audition:||1 week|
|Type of Audition/Review:||Product Owner|
Jonbee, Mark Ormiston of Definitive Audio in Seattle told me about them years ago.
He called me up one day, to tell me Rauna had sent in a pair for evaluation, and they had them set up in the main soundroom. He said they made the side walls melt away with their outstanding imaging.
I never did hear them, before they sent the pair back. Nice to hear about them again!
The entire Rauna line was an excellent value before high shipping costs and poor exchange rates doomed it in the USA (the odd cosmetics probably didn't help either). If anything I liked the floor standers (Leira, Balder and Njord) better than the Tyr. I have seen some older Raunas where the white finish was failing and peeling off the concrete but that as well as the grill foam issue should be fixable. A pair in good condition at an attractive price is likely to be a very good buy.
a co-worker bought them from me before I got a chance to hear them! He liked them a lot.
My memories of the Njord are the faintest (I worked for a dealer that sold the line) but voicing was quite similar among all the models. As you went up the line you got deeper bass (although none of them moved huge amounts of air or had much output in the 20Hz to 40Hz octave), the ability to play louder and maybe a hair more clarity and detail. The dynamics you commented on were a strong point. As I recall I liked the Balder the best but the single woofer Leira was very close in performance.
...this was the first pair of speakers I covered for TAS, writing a comment on the review in about 1985.
I said something like, "Wow, another pair of small stand-mounted two-way speakers with no bass. What's the point?"
And they were kind of strange looking with their enclosures looking a little like light colored volcanic rock.
Actually they were ahead of their time with a rigid enclosure.
Glad you like them.
I've done a bit more checking on these. The original Tyr, which this review is about, used the Seas CA 17RCY paper cone woofer- a great driver that the Wilson Watt used before the 5. The crossovers were a series design (I have read the Wilsons were also).
The Tyr II went to a polypro cone, which according to the designer was a step backward. All of this, the ERO caps and the concrete cabinets were chosen to maximize dynamics. They got it very right. If you can find a pair, get them!
bought them based on J. Gordon Holt's gushing review in Stereophile. People would go running to the corners looking for the subwoofers. But the speakers would never cohere. IMHO very off-putting in the long term. I replaced them with Spica TC-50s and never looked back.
the Spicas have a bit better imaging, but are not as dynamic. They also have drivers that are more delicate and prone to failure. I think on balance I prefer the Tyrs. Hearing them on a modern high current amp such as the Simaudio amp that is in the M-D receiver is a real treat.
...pretty amazing, especially at their price.
Then I heard Celestion SL600s which were even more so.
Now, That was quite a speaker!
a pair of Dayton-Wright LCM-1s, a similar speaker that was smoother, and with more body. The Spica did have better imaging. I haven't seen any LCM-1s around for along time, but they are quite a nice little speaker also.
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