Another Mind-Bending Speaker Demo

French for 'High-Fidelity in Every Room'

Cabasse ran an impressive demo at our store

Cabasse Speaker Live Demo
Alexandre Paul, sales manager North America, Cabasse, demos the Cabasse Rialto active loudspeaker.

Sometimes we all need to stop thinking and sit down and listen.

Cabasse knows very well that some of you could be suspicious of its products. All-in-one lifestyle design, spherical enclosures, DSP... the French company is aware that many of you reading these phrases will turn the page, in a manner of speaking.
And let's be frank, many of us at Upscale can be like that too. We live for separates, external PSUs, monoblocks, and systems we can tweak and reconfigure to our heart's content.
However, Cabasse also knows that they need to sit the naysayers, unbelievers, and anti-lifestylers down just once to listen. And this is what they did with a bunch of us at the Upscale store when Alexandre Paul, the North American sales manager for Cabasse, dropped in to conduct a training session with a selection of products. We were sold. 

"High-End Sound Everywhere in the House"

Once you get yourself a great main system, you are cursed. It becomes impossible just to go online and buy the cheapest amp and speakers when you want music in other parts of your home. It becomes clear that the main reason so few people sit down and listen to music these days is not that they don't have time (binge-watching entire TV show seasons over a weekend is the norm) but because the sound of "normal" household speakers is often wanting.
This is why Jean-Michel Polit, global sales director, Cabasse, is proud that Cabasse systems bring audiophile-worthy sound with discreet ease to "other" rooms and main listening rooms. Cabasse products bring great, compelling sound into a home that will never deploy racks, components, or big speakers.
Joining the training session over video from France, Jean-Michel explained how Cabasse appeals to diverse types of listeners. But it's safe to say that all appreciate the long French heritage of the brand, knowing they are buying a tried and tested luxury good. It's also worth noting that Cabasse offers the most extensive range of models in this active speaker category, making it easy to find the ideal size and price. Finally, Cabasse's design and sonic innovations create an awe-inspiring sound that turns guests' heads.
Meanwhile, the more hardcore techies among us, says Jean-Michel, are drawn by the fully active designs with multiple power amps, the dialed-in custom DSP, and Cabasse's central skill, the coaxial driver with its exceptional imaging.
Cabasse Minorca MC40 Loudspeaker
The Cabasse Minorca MC40 is a passive speaker, and paired with the Cabasse Abyss streaming amplifier, it is elevated by custom DSP and sounds jaw-droppingly good.

The Free 10x Upgrade

Alexandre, visiting us from Cabasse's US HQ here in California, first set up the Cabasse Abyss amp and the Minorca MC40 three-way standmount speaker.

Apart from being a lot of fun to say aloud, the Cabasse Abyss is a 120 W (into 8 ohms) class-D stereo streaming amp with all of Cabasse's advanced custom DSP features. Just add speakers. (Note, it is not available just yet, but we will let you know as soon as it comes in.)

Alexandre played us the Minorca with the Abyss set to the flat DSP profile, and it was good, but when he switched to the custom Minorca profile, it was like an instant 10x cost multiplier. The sound seemed to leap off the speakers and fill the room but stayed clear, dynamic, and highly engaging. This was not a "disembodied head" artificial soundstage but one that felt real and accurately scaled.

Cabasse The Pearl Akoya: "A Great Solution for Music Lovers"

You know when an audio journalist ends a glowing review with the endorsement "Reader, I bought it"?

It may be a cliche, but definitely pay attention when somebody in the industry says that they actually parted with money to own a product for themselves. After all, we have access—often long-term—to high-end components, cables, and speakers. And if you work at Upscale, you can borrow nearly anything from the store (well, not the biggest speakers). Even remote staff are regularly sent products to try.

This is how Bill Rudolph, an Upscale sales associate in Oregon, has had the Cabasse The Pearl Akoya at his home, and yes, he is buying one for himself.

"It is a great solution for music lovers," he says of the Akoya. It's easy to set up, there are few wires, the app is stable and user-friendly, and it has a "huge soundstage, really fills the room."

To his surprise, Bill found that this speaker's portable aspect is "very intriguing." It comes with a high-quality padded carrying case, making it easy to take high-fidelity sound to the cabin, the family barbecue, or simply out onto the patio.

Bill found uses for the Akoya even without internet access. He played CDs, connected a phone via AirPlay, and even "hooked up a DVD player and watched a movie with just one speaker. Way better than the average TV speaker."

Cabasse has completely won over yet another Upscale employee. "I will be buying a single unit for long trips and background music at home," says Bill.

Does the spherical design not work for you? Consider the "Akoya in a bookshelf," the Cabasse Rialto. The more traditional enclosure brings a touch more bloom to the bass, which our resident Cabasse experts really like. In addition to regular app control, there is a touchscreen on the top of one speaker to access common controls.

Alexandre describes Cabasse's house sonics as a "lively, precise sound" that is "natural and straightforward." While Cabasse sometimes cautions that its presentation is quite dynamic, we never find it exaggerated or rushed sounding, as there is also always weight and harmonic richness.

Throughout the demo, Cabasse speakers grabbed the room's attention but also conveyed or retained the delicacy in recordings, whether the room decay of instruments or the texture, weight, and dynamics of even background instruments and voices.

The little Rialto (pictured in the first image next to Alexandre) stole the demo. All of us thought we had a clear idea of what this diminutive active speaker would sound like, and all of us were pleasantly surprised at just how much it filled the room with truly great sound. Respect!


The Pearl Akoya Powered Loudspeaker Cabasse Rialto Powered Speaker System
 Cabasse The Pearl Akoya Powered Wireless System Cabasse Rialto Powered Wireless System

We're Open on Saturdays

Upscale Audio Headphone Showroom

The Upscale Audio store at 2058 Wright Avenue in La Verne is open on Saturdays from 9 to 5. We will be running with a smaller crew, and there are a couple of important things to note:

1) As with all other days, you'll need to call ahead and set up an appointment for a specific demo. If you decide to drop by, you won't be turned away, but your auditions will be limited to our headphone station and—only if the rooms are free—whatever systems we already have set up.

2) The warehouse will be closed, so if you need to pick up something, please call ahead, and we'll ensure we bring it over by Friday. If you buy something while you're here, it might be cheaper to ship it! After all, shipping is free above $49, and you'll save a little on La Verne city tax. Unless you live in La Verne...

Please call 909.931.9686 to make a demo appointment.

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