These was the second largest speaker under the Ultima lineup and stood just slightly smaller than the Ultima Salons. Which ever one you choose ultimately comes down to the size of your room. The Studio with its slightly smaller statue and five drivers (versus seven in the Salon) is the easier model to “fit” into any medium or large size rooms. It may not have the explosive bottom end of the Salons but in most application will prove to be more then sufficient (at least in our opinion). Frequency response on the studio is 31 Hz to 20 KHz whilst the Salon extends down to 25 Hz. The five drivers found on the Studio are one 1″ aluminum dome tweeter on the front, one 0.75″ cloth dome tweeter that fires out from the back, one 5.25″ titanium dome midwoofer and two 8″ mica-carbon woofers. The Salons have three 8″ woofers, a 6.5″ midbass transducer, a smaller 4″ titanium midwoofer and the same tweeter setups. Since the Studio has the lesser number of drivers, it stands 7″ shorter at 44″ with a width of 13″ and a depth of 19″. Firing up the Studios are one of the more pleasurable thing to do in hifidom. Feed it with a top notch source unit and amplification and the reference standard sound quality from these speakers just oozes out from them. They have so much control over the music, you can just sense the confidence that was designed and built in to them. Bass was tight, deep and well controlled. The mids was rich and forward sounding which projected the imaging just slightly forward from the speakers. The highs had a lot of detail and depth (because it has a rear firing tweeter, speakers should ideally sit 2-3 feet out from the back wall) which gave the overall soundstage a clean and precise laid out. In contrast with a pair of Wilson Audio WATT/Puppy 7, the Studio was equal if not better (in our opinion) but factor the cost of ownership and the amount of money saved (which you could put into a pair of top end speaker cables) and its pretty apparent which one we will take home.
The Studio and Salon have always been one of our favorite speakers since its launch and still is even in the face of new competition. For its asking price now, it is almost unbeatable value. Cosmetically, the speakers look really good. Minor scuff marks and nicks here and there which are very age appropriate for a used speaker. On one speaker, there is this “yellowing” on the top edge of the silver side panel (due to sun?). Other speaker is fine. Due to their weight (about 170 lbs each) and size, they will have to ship freight. Local pickup from our store can be arranged.