Preview: The Chesky C-1 Loudspeaker

 

Henry Wilkenson

14 April 2003

Almost twenty years ago, David and Norman Chesky created Chesky Records. Simply put, their intention was to create records that were sonically superior to anything available at the time. Their initial efforts resulted in a critically acclaimed series of re-issues. Soon after, the company began releasing recordings of both new and established artists. Their unwavering dedication to the highest recording standards earned them many international awards, including two Grammies. Today, Chesky recordings are synonymous with high-end sound. Now the brothers Chesky have turned their attention to loudspeaker design, and the result is the Chesky C-1 loudspeaker.

The C-1 is the result of a collaborative effort. To quote the product literature: "The musicians and engineers of Chesky Records worked closely with skilled designers to create and evaluate several new approaches in accurate and emotionally satisfying music reproduction." The C-1 is a 2½ way isobaric design utilizing extremely high quality drivers and the best high-voltage polypropylene capacitors, precision film and foil bypass caps in the crossover. This speaker meets the designer's goal of high quality. As you know, a speaker is more than the sum of its parts; how it performs is what counts.

Recently, I had an all-too-brief opportunity to listen to the C-1s at the Chesky corporate offices, in Mid-Town Manhattan. While the listening room was far from ideal, I was quite impressed with the sound these rather small floor-standers produced. The mid-range was clean and open without any hint of edge or hardness. The treble was extended, as was the very top. While the bass was quite full, the combination of the room anomalies and the 25 watt 47 Labs amplifier that was providing the power resulted in a somewhat loose bottom. But the overall sound of the speakers under these circumstances gave me a good indication of what the result would be with more appropriate ancillary equipment.

These speakers will easily fit into almost any décor. With their high gloss black finish they are strikingly handsome. But here's the best part: the C-1s are available directly from Chesky for only $3,995. I didn't find this out until after I heard them. The price came as a surprise, since I had anticipated that they would cost at least one-third more. Also, you have thirty days to audition them before making a decision on buy them. Try getting that kind of deal from your average high-end speaker designer.

I know, you've heard this before: "If you are looking for a speaker in this price range …" In this case, I would advise you to audition the C-1s even if you were looking for a speaker at twice their price. These speakers are truly a sonic bargain.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Luminous Audio