TAP (Air Portugal) robbed me of the opportunity to hear the fantastic Rockport Lyra speakers at the High-End Show 2022 in Munich. And to this day, I have not yet recovered from that blow, nor have I got the money back for the plane ticket. A four billion euro bailout, and I am still waiting for TAP to refund me for the flight cancellation!
But Dr Miguel Carvalho of Ultimate Audio has prescribed a list of "medicines" to help me overcome acute audiophilia syndrome:
- Rockport Lyra
- Boulder 3060
- CH Precision L10
- Wadax Atlantis Reference DAC
- Wadax Atlantis Reference Streamer (world premiere)
- Perlisten Subwoofers
The Lyra demonstrated at Ultimate Audio was the same pair on active display in Munich in the CH Precision room. So, the listening session helped me overcome the loss symptom, not least because the UAE room has much better acoustics than the improvised (and glazed!) listening rooms at the MOC.
The Lyra is a "delyrious" loudspeaker, in a good way. It weighs 250 kilos, costs 250,000 euros and is not a "monster" like the Steinheim Ultimate - the dimensions are acceptable in any living home environment.
Lyra is beautiful, with round shapes and satin skin
It is built of aluminium, like a matryoshka: a box within a box (see video below), completely inert and insensitive to knocking with your knuckles. There is no hollow sound, absolutely nothing: zero resonance and vibration.
The gap between the inner and outer box is filled with an absorbent compound that makes the unit extremely stiff when dry. Rockport calls this technique DAMSTIF. And it is indeed damn stiff!
I realize now that I have abused writing adverbs, but this is the only way to describe the Lyra - "lyrically".
3 ½-way configuration
The Lyra is configured as a 3 ½ - way, where both midrange drivers work in unison at the bottom end of their range. As frequency increases, the dedicated low-frequency midrange begins its rolloff at approximately 500 Hz, while the wideband midrange continues up in frequency to meet the waveguide-mounted beryllium tweeter. The first octave extension is delivered via two custom designed and built 10" carbon fiber/sandwich composite woofers per channel, according to Rockport Technologies.
The Lyra sounds solid, powerful, and fast, with a spectacular response. The clarity, high resolution, absence of distortion and micro and macro dynamics allow us to hear from the smallest details to the most violent drum transients.
The soundstage is evenly lit, and it is easy to pick out each individual musician whose position remains stable and differentiated throughout each piece of music.
Tones, timbres and colours are neutral. Bass is tight and intense, articulate and well defined. It could be a bit more extended, but given the internal volume, that would be a significant challenge to the laws of physics.
The Perlisten subwoofers brought back the missing extension (and expansion). Still, the bass lost some definition: the Lyra is so transparent from top to bottom that anything added is immediately recognisable as extraneous to the project.
Phase-rotating the subwoofers to 180° improved definition at the expense of some extension and expansion. However, few speakers of this size can move this much air without a subwoofer.
There are even fewer speakers this size with this kind of power. It's a beautiful and athletic speaker, muscular and powerful - unfortunately only within reach of the, er, rich. But you pay nothing to listen to it at your leisure.
All in all, a superlative sound system in terms of quality and price (total: 750 thousand euros!).
I made a video (see below) that hopefully illustrates my words. Play it in 4K, wear headphones, or connect it to a sound system with good bass reproduction.
Starting next week, this system will be presented at the UAE branch in Porto. But there are still "tickets" available for this weekend in Lisbon. Depending on where you live, you should not miss it either in Lisbon or Porto.