Aurai Z215

Aurai Loudspeakers

$13,100.00
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Aurai Z215

Aurai Z Series Loudspeakers With Stands

Reviews

z215 

Aurai Audio of France

Aurai Audio is a passion project of Alain Pratali. His ideas and work have been followed closely by Srajan Ebaen over the years, and that is where I began following him as well. Aurai is a small French boutique manufacturer with unique ideas. Using magnets to control high frequency output instead of capacitors in the signal path is but one idea Alain implements in his speaker "recipes". I think of Alain as a master chef, and his loudspeakers are slow food of ultra high quality ingredients combined to produce a memorable experience for the senses. They produce a very limited amount of speakers per year. This keeps quality high and ensures their value will hold.

Highlights

  • High efficiency (96dB)
  • Proprietary dipole horn high frequency driver
  • 215mm Supravox paper cone driver
  • Tapered quarter wave tube bass alignment
  • Open baffle sound
  • Superb construction - Birch ply cabinetry
  • Premium Crossover parts
  • Holographic disappearing act
  • Incredible midrange and HF performance

Reviews

The Z Series loudspeakers from Aurai are the latest design from Alian Pratali's passion project. They continue to use what works so well in Aurai's Classic Series, but add to their performance in some very unique ways. The Z Series loudspeakers share the same low mass, custom tuned HF driver in a machined Delrin horn that earned Aurai so much praise.  Like the Classic Series, the Z Series are constructed out of 24mm thick Finnish Birch plywood instead of MDF. This offers greater stiffness and control over resonances than MDF. The Smaller enclosure and "open back" nature of the Z215 is also more resistant to the colorations of a wood box. Last, they share the same high quality wiring, binding posts and internal components as the award winning Classic Series.

"First impressions? "What an incredible tweeter!"...This was one hellaciously fast and responsive HF unit. It dug deep into the finest upper harmonics...This unknown French tweeter was superior to the far heavier but famous Mundorf AMT in our regular monitors. It was superior to the inverted ceramid Accuton dome in our Albedo Aptica Two-way towers. It most reminded me of a Raal ribbon, albeit with a higher energy density and more color...I thought this dome tweeter to be second only to Michael Borreson's high-tech, ultra-costly ribbon which I'd heard in this room the year prior..." - Srajan, Sixmoons

Where the Z Series differs from the Classic is the use of a Supravox 215mm full range driver tuned to be used as a midrange that covers 80hz to 3500hz. The Supravox is loaded in what is called a TQWT, or Tapered Quarter Wave Tube that is open at the back of the enclosure. This is also why the enclosure on the Z215 is so deep. The TQWT gives the Z215 a boxless, open baffle type sound that covers the full range of the human voice. There are also gains in efficiency made with the Supravox driver. 

z215 tqwt
Aurai's TQWT, or Tapered Quarter Wave Tube (where the black screen is).

The Z Series horn loaded high frequency driver sits atop the enclosure rather than mounted on the front baffle. It is fully exposed so as to minimize diffraction effects. There is also a dipole option for the HF driver that puts two of them back to back. The dipole option creates a more full range dipole effect, and a more spacious presentation overall.

The Z215

Drivers:

  • Time-aligned proprietary polymer dome in ellipsoidal horn developed by Alain Pratali
  • 215mm Supravox

The Z215 is designed to be mounted on the included stands and run with a high quality subwoofer. It has all of the advantages of a monitor: A small box and front baffle profile that is more impervious to coloration, diffraction effects results in a better "disappearing act". This is a good start, add to that proper time alignment of the drivers, Ultra high quality parts in the signal path and again the open back of the enclosure not forcing energy back on to the woofer cone.

This speaker was chosen for our showroom because we already have a fantastic pair of open baffle, servo controlled subwoofer towers that blend harmoniously with the Z15, match the speed of the monitor, and load the room identically. This setup also allows the Z15 to run at a full 96dB efficiency, whereas the Lieutenant runs at 93dB so that the supplied woofer is not drowned out by the efficiency of the main drivers. We also chose this speaker because it is a stand mounted monitor design with a very small sonic profile. It tends to "disappear" a little more. Additionally and practically, the Z215 is lighter and costs less to import from France.

Shipping

The Z215 ships directly from France in a single "bomb proof" crate. The cost of shipping typically runs $1000.

Finishes

Specialty finishes are available upon request. The standard finishes are satin cherry wood rosewood veneers. 

 "...It brings us full circle to my earlier comments about next-level resolution. Compared to our usual transducers which include Audio Physic Codex and German Physiks HRS-120, Lieutenant dug down deeper into a tone's harmonic layers. This wasn't about so-called 'big-tone'a la 6SN7 triodes. That's fatter thus slower and darker. Lieutenant was trim and muscular but with that inside-out harmonic radiance a bit like charisma. This was a quick sound which still managed to do a heavy tractor's tilling job. It turns soil to get parts not usually exposed up to the surface.Dark nutrient-rich earth sees the sunlight and darkness coexist. It's a lyrical way of describing a sound that was both fully developed and fast..." - Srajan, Sixmoons.com

Recommended Subwoofers

In general, 2-4 dipole servo or sealed box subwoofers are recommended. This is a fast, resolving speaker that deserves fast, resolving bass. Our highest recommendation goes to the GR Research Sealed Servo Subwoofer Kits. These require assembly, and they offer some of the best bass you will ever hear. A servo controlled sealed sub from Rythmik Audio will also fit the bill. Beyond that sealed box subwoofers from REL or SVS should be able to keep up with the Z215.

A Word on Amplification

With the relatively high efficiency of the Z series, one might be tempted to try low wattage tube amplifiers. Here's the thing. These speakers already possess a lot of warmth and richness in the midband. We found the best matching amplifiers to be high quality solid state amps. The Modwright KIH 225i was a great match, but you really don't need 225 watts in this case. The lower powered Exposure 3510 was glorious. And at 110 watts you aren't paying for wattage you will likely never use.  One could use a lower wattage Pass, or SimAudio amp as well and achieve great results. Bottom line, these speakers sound best with a high quality solid state amp.

Specifications

z215-1-m-tre.png

Frequency response at 1 meter

  • 285mm Driver Version
    • Frequency Response: 80Hz-20kHz
    • Sensitivity: 96dB
    • Dimensions 
      • Width: 12.25 inches
      • Height: 16.25 inches
      • Depth: 21.625 inches
    • Weight
      • 40lbs