Perlisten S4b, D12s and SSLR‑HGB

Perlisten S4b, D12s and SSLR‑HGB

I received it fallacious once I first reviewed the Perlisten S4b stand-mount loudspeaker. I used to be not wholly fallacious, however in hindsight, I underplayed its bass efficiency. And, paradoxically, it took a subwoofer to indicate me how fallacious I used to be.

The title Perlisten is a portmanteau of ‘PERceptual LISTENing’, the corporate’s core consideration in designing and manufacturing its loudspeakers and subwoofers. The outcomes of this Perceptual Listening programme centres round making a loudspeaker that transcends the room wherein it’s taking part in. This is expounded to the DPC (directivity sample management) array, which within the S4b combines a 28mm beryllium dome tweeter sandwiched by a pair of 28mm ‘Textreme’ thin-ply carbon diaphragm (TPCD) midrange models, all in an acoustical lens waveguide. This is joined by a 180mm TPCD bass unit, with the woven thin-ply diaphragm stated to be virtually a 3rd lighter than carbon-fibre drivers of the identical diameter. These sit in a CNC-machined entrance baffle.

This sealed cupboard is cleverly internally braced permitting the mid-bass unit to be remoted from the mid-tweeter-mid array, and each facet of the cupboard – from the dish form of the glass-reinforced plastic waveguide to the position of the drivers within the cupboard – has been the topic of some intensive pc modelling.

Bring on the subwoofer

The D12s is Perlisten’s smallest subwoofer, with a 300mm carbon-fibre bass unit and an amplifier that may ship 1.5kW short-term energy. The sealed sub is managed by a 48-bit information tub DSP and 32-bit ARM M4 Cortex processor. It features a 2.4” LCD touchscreen and could be managed by Perlisten’s App. For residence cinema fans, two of them obtain THX Dominus specs.

Perlisten D12s

I’m used to energetic subs in audio programs working from high-level outputs from the loudspeaker terminals. However, within the case of the D12s, Perlisten solely has XLR and RCA inputs, requiring a spare preamplifier output. Even so, Perlisten has a prolonged and extremely technical argument to say why line-level is appropriate, and – in equity – it makes level.

Stand and ship

Perlisten’s distributor Karma AV additionally equipped a pair of devoted loudspeaker stands. These SSLR-HGB stands supply a slight back-tilt for the S4b, which provides a tiny diploma of time alignment. They are additionally, to make use of the technical phrases, ‘bloody heavy’! I don’t need to place an excessive amount of accent on the stands because it’s simple to fall into ‘the audio system solely work with X’ pigeon-holing. But they’re match and I’d suggest utilizing them if doable.

Harking again to the Issue 220 evaluate, Perlisten’s strategy to advertising and marketing and promotion is a uncommon oasis of sanity within the loopy world of high-end. There are not any parts made out of spun unicorn hair or hippogriff feathers. The know-how is predicated on science, not science fiction. No one has woken up with a loudspeaker design lodged of their dreamcatcher. This is a refreshing, no-frills manner of showcasing a product, primarily based on its efficiency alone. How novel!

It’s that honesty that led me down an inaccurate path. The loudspeakers begin their roll-off at round 100Hz, which ought to put them into ‘satellite tv for pc’ territory in a ‘satellite tv for pc/subwoofer’ system. And sure, the sound reinforcement from a subwoofer – particularly the D12s – makes quite a lot of sense. But it’s nowhere close to as important as I first thought. I solely actually shook off the outline in print once I turned on, after which turned off, the D12s. But that comes later.

However, attempting the complete Perlisten system with the sub and the stands was a kind of audio moments of epiphany.

I discussed within the final evaluate how the Perlisten is a bastion of fact in audio copy, however that’s value reiterating and shouting about loudly. Remember the time period ‘hi-fi’? It means ‘high-fidelity’; parts which have excessive constancy to the recorded sound. Somewhere down the road, we’ve settled for compromises, particularly within the loudspeaker. This is comprehensible; lowering distortion, and enhancing dispersion and flat in-room response, whereas sustaining dynamic vary and headroom in loudspeakers is tough. At finest, firms nail a couple of of those necessary elements on the expense of a number of of the others. The Perlisten system is the closest you will get to ticking all these bins with out throwing the price of a Mercedes S-Class on the venture.

‘Neutrality’ and ‘honesty’ in loudspeakers shouldn’t be one thing we hear typically; consequently, it may be dismissed as ‘boring’ or ‘sterile’ sounding. But 5 minutes in entrance of this Perlisten system paints a really totally different image. It’s uncannily like the actual deal. Voices have dimensionality and texture. Instruments have solidity and the complicated mixture of resonance and harmonic richness in stringed devices shines by way of. Basses have depth and ‘form’ to the notes (if you wish to know why bassists select particular varieties of electrical bass, the Perlisten bundle gives you the low-down on the low finish).

Perlisten D12s

I’ve discovered that, for the most effective audio, highlighting the efficiency with musical examples appears churlish. It’s like singling out items of music when the gear reacts equally properly to the entire musical canon… because it ought to. The telling factor concerning the Perlisten efficiency is that the phrase ‘musicality’ by no means wants mentioning since you rapidly realise that component is baked into the efficiency, not the replay chain. In Perlisten’s world, if a loudspeaker is named out for its musicality in a single observe, it’d spotlight an error within the loudspeaker that manifests on different tracks.

Once once more, this feels like damning the Perlisten with faint reward, however the ear-opening efficiency of this loudspeaker is nothing to be faint about. It’s like direct coupling the studio to your ears!

Here’s the odd bit!

After a number of days of having fun with the full-blown Perlisten system, I turned the sub off, as a part of a loin-girding preparation for lifting over 40kg of subwoofer again into its field. And, as a result of the loudspeakers are so beguiling, I gave them a second hear. At that time, I realised I had painted myself right into a nook within the final evaluate. These usually are not satellites trying to find a sub, however terribly competent loudspeakers in their very own proper. At first, I assumed this odd; the bass was clear and exact and deeper than I anticipated, given these audio system start their roll-off at 100Hz. There was nothing lacking right here.

I turned the sub again on, and the reinforcement was quick, exact, and stable. It wasn’t as wanted as I assumed final time, nevertheless it was nice to be there for backup. The efficiency of the D12s is fantastic; it has the gutsy drive wanted to make cinematic soundtracks come alive and the dynamism and vitality it delivers in that setting is first-rate. But in a setting the place it’s simply there to softly coax somewhat extra backside finish out of the music, it has the subtlety and charm wanted to regulate that bass completely. It’s additionally a great match for the S4b. Even the speaker stands contributed to the efficiency of the loudspeakers. It’s all good.

Perlsiten S4b

Perhaps most necessary is the potential this speaker system affords these keen to take the subsequent steps in audio. Not solely is that this a particularly trustworthy and correct sounding loudspeaker, however Perlisten’s thought-about strategy to design – and particularly loudspeaker directivity – makes this speaker system a clean canvas for classy DSP room correction and remedy. I really feel room correction could be restricted by the idiosyncrasies of the loudspeaker and when these idiosyncrasies are held at bay, DSP can shine.

In fact, this loudspeaker has fewer idiosyncrasies than most, and consequently is a uncommon beasty in a crowded subject. The Perlisten S4b/D12s mixture’s qualities make it a great selection for extracting the utmost emotional buy in-room with or with out DSP, however certainly it might current an ideal accomplice for the likes of Trinnov and its glorious room evaluation and digital compensation, if that’s your bag.

Love the honesty

The Perlisten S4b is an superior speaker. When you add the subwoofer and stands, what was world-class abruptly strikes to a different degree. This is among the finest examples of these metropolitan loudspeaker programs we talk about right here at hi-fi+. This system squeezes a quart in a pint pot and sounds nice. If you assume there’s such a factor as ‘an excessive amount of honesty’ in audio, the Perlistens will present you exactly the place you might be fallacious, and also you’ll like it for that honesty.

Technical specs

S4b stand-mount loudspeaker

  • Type three-way acoustic suspension stand-mount loudspeaker
  • Drivers DPC Array (28mm beryllium dome tweeter with 2× 28mm textreme TPCD midrange), 180mm Textreme TPCD woofer
  • Sensitivity (2pi) 85dB @ 2.83v/1m
  • Impedance 4Ω nominal, 3.2Ω minimal
  • Frequency response 100Hz–20kHz ±1.5dB, 36Hz–37kHz -10dB
  • Typical in-room bass extension 30Hz
  • Finish Piano black, gloss white as commonplace, High Gloss Ebony, Natural Cherry, Natural Ebony, Natural Black Cherry accessible for an extra £1,520. Pantone colors on request
  • Dimensions (H×W×D) 42 × 24 × 18.5cm
  • Weight 11kg
  • Price from £7,600, $7,990 per pair


  • Dimensions (H×W×D) 51 × 37 × 47cm
  • Weight 17.5 kg every
  • Price £1,500, $2,750 pair

D12s subwoofer

  • Enclosure Sealed field, acoustic suspension subwoofer
  • Driver 300mm carbon fibre long-throw bass unit
  • Inputs XLR (×2), RCA (×2)
  • Amplifier energy 1.5kW
  • Display interface 2.4” LCD color touchscreen
  • Dimensions (H×W×D) 45 × 42 × 45cm
  • Weight 41kg
  • Price £4,000, $4,995




UK distributor

Karma AV


+44(0)1423 358846

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