We are a small business specialising in DIY home audio speakers, full range speaker kits, speaker cabinet flat packs and custom speaker design. We are the official UK/EU Markaudio full range speaker driver distributor. We can supply range of loud speaker kits using these Markaudio point source speaker drivers, along side the other speaker components we retail like Jordan, Cube, Neutrik, Hypex and more traditional multi way speaker kits. We also offer our own line of amplifiers that offer a high performance to cost ratio.
As speaker cabinet builders, we are particularly pleased to be able to offer some of the best DIY speakers available, using the best loudspeaker drive units, as an alternative to commercial speakers and electronics that genuinely compete on sound quality at a fraction of the cost, whilst maintaining the manufacture of these products in the United Kingdom wherever possible.
“The single-driver performance is certainly rather different from the far more widespread ‘speakers with bass’ approach. After the last couple of months experience I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not only entirely valid, but actually a superior approach…” Paul Messenger
Alpair 7 MS- Gold/Grey (pair) (£125.00 taxes shown in cart)
I've been listening to these for a few days now and am really impressed. They're currently in 11 litre vented 'CGR slim' cabinets designed for the 7.3 that I knocked up out of some offcuts of MDF and 18mm chipboard that I had in the shed (they'll get a more attractive home now that I know what I'm doing with a circular saw!). I didn't have super high expectations of these drivers because of their size (they are tiny) and their relative price, but their sounds is full and rich and with most music I'm finding that I enjoy them more than my IPL M4's (these are 7 litre, 2 way sealed cabinets). I was listening to Prince's remastered sign of the times album today and had to double check that I hadn't inadvertently left my subwoofer on because the bass response just seemed too rich for these tiny drivers (sub was indeed off). They are really shining with jazz, soul, rock and rap music. I'm still finding them a little harsh with more folky stuff, Dylan's 'Highway 61..' for example was a touch screechy, but I'm hoping they'll smooth out with a few more miles on the clock. I'll also experiment with more damping, it's pretty minimal at the moment.
Overall, a fantastic set of drivers, far exceeding my expectations and whetting my appetite to try more Alpairs and cabinet designs.
MA-01 Flexible amplifier (From: £566.02 taxes shown in cart)
Stefan was a pleasure to work with and the MA-01 exceeded my expectations. Build quality, fit and finish, sound quality and feature set are what you would expect from an amplifier costing 2-3x more. He completed the build ahead of schedule and shipped to the US with no problems. Strongly recommended!
SA-01 Stereo Power amplifier (£540.00 – £735.00 taxes shown in cart)
I believe I am the proud owner of amp number 0001. After taking loads of advice and after some false starts, I now have a wonderful amplifier to drive an 18 driver line array, some near field monitors, and in time much else in a small home studio. And wow - they meet all my expectations and much more. Silent, cool, powerful, accurate, and it brings out sounds within the music I've not heard before. Could not be happier with the amp. But best of all is all the superb advice and support you get from Stefan - this is priceless.
Tozzi One self assembly speakers (£90.00 taxes shown in cart)
My brother turned me on to Mark Audio and full range speaker systems so I could not resist these little buggers. Top quality is all I can really say. Assembly is a bit tricky but can be easily done. Be sure and use the right sized phillips bit on the corner screws. I used the CHN-50s and love the pure vocals, cymbals and guitars. The conical shape of the speaker face adds to the effect of a larger speaker. I can only say Tozzi One's are simply astounding. Especially at this price!
Wow! Just received 2 off CHR 120 in Grey, the build quality is very high! I've been playing around with loud speaker cabinet design for 25 years and I've never ever purchased 2 drivers who's T&S parameters have been measured to within 1% off the published datasheet values! I thought I'd never see this, short off having access to the pick of 1000's of units (which has never happened). This used to frustrate me as an Engineer. Well I'm not frustrated any more!
This review is a long time coming I guess as my Frugelhorn Mk3's were ordered back in the tail end of 2018. The move to these full-range horns has been largely attributable to a 25 year or so journey through the world of hi-end audio. Long story short my ears/brain are very sensitive to phase and crossover distortion and this niggle has not been cured by throwing money at the problem.....it has needed a rethink of the engineering of the reproduction path. When I first engaged with Stefan he guided me through the choices and decision points regarding horns in general and this specific design - he is very engaging and knowledgeable, given my room size (W:5m x L:6m x H:4m) it was felt that the Frugelhorn Mk3 cabinets would be a good match and would work close to the room boundary. The chosen driver choice was a pair of MarkAudio Alpair 7 MS drivers which were very new at the time, however I was also able to purchase a pair of MarkAudio MOAP 7's, these being in stock and very rare in the UK. All was delivered, Stefan having made up the cabinets to compensate for a delay in having the CNC woodwork available. The cabinets being subsequently finished with 2 coats of Osmo wax, this being easy to apply and has proved to be very durable. Internal wiring was from Duelund and red copper binding posts from CMC. Why the long time to post a review? Well to be honest I've been lost in the music. Initially the Alpair 7 MS drivers were installed and run in over 100 hours. I was very impressed by the immediacy of the soundfield....palpable and incredibly detailed, but not in an overtly "HiFi" way, familiar albums took on a new life...as close friends again. I guess you know when your music system is working well is when you can leave Fleetwood Mac: Rumours on repeat all day and still really enjoy it. This wasn't the end of the journey with the Fruglehorns - I swapped out the drivers for the MOAP 7's and dilligently did about 300hrs of running in........wasn't exactly a hardship as they sounded pretty good straight out the box. They have now been in place for over 12 months and have taken the Fruglehorns to another level - the sound is more refined and detailed , imaging is "bigger" yet more focused and somehow has made some difficult recordings become much more listenable. I don't understand the tech but I do know good sound reproduction when I hear it and this current combination has shocked a number of experienced music enthusiasts who have visited (armed with silver discs...remember them??), some of whom are clasical musicians. In wrapping up this review I can commend Stefan for his advice and support, the apparent simplicity of the speaker design/construction (this simplicity belies the complexity of the horn calculations and compensations for room effects, etc) but center stage has to be the final outcome....an incredible set of speakers which continue to be a delight to own and keep my musical attention captivated for hours on end most days regardless of whether I'm listening to Bach in HiRez or 1930's blues in glorious mono!!...and pretty much anything in between!
Frugel-Horn Lite DIY speaker kit (From: £170.00 taxes shown in cart)
This was my first proper speaker build, found Stefan’s YouTube videos explaining the build very useful so decided to take the plunge with the Frugelhorn Lite collected the kit and had a nice chat with Stefan, managed to complete the build in a couple of days without any real difficulty, thanks again to Stefan for sending out the proper binding posts by return post as I’d bought ones that were too short. I left the drivers running in at low volume over the build time so they were a little loosened up prior to going in the cabs. Once installed my initial impressions are very positive, I think the cabinets design is a match made in heaven with the Alpair 5.3 drivers, openness and clarity across the Audio band is superb and there’s a surprising amount of bass depth and punch coupled with excellent transient speed, as they stand I have to class them in the excellent category, if they improve further with more break in hours they will be superlative, to say I’m very happy with them would be an understatement, these simply must be heard.
The Alpair 10 series went fantastic drivers but the Pluvia 11 yet outpass them in their ability to handle loud bass. Used in wave guide loaded speakers, they are just perfectly handling both dimension of the played music (sound AND vibration) without any distortion AND without any need of passive crossovers OR even active equalization. Those babies outpass any paper cone loaded fullrange drivers I owned before !
Ok, here goes, it’s a taken a couple of weeks or more but I’m at last putting pen to paper! I’ve not turned them off so I might get distracted by this live Jazz at the Pawnshop session with Arne Domnerus! Hmm… nice…
This quick review is really for those who might be contemplating the Alpair 11 MS as a direct replacement for the Pluvia 11 in a Pensil kit. First of all the swapping of drive units went fine, the Alpair is shorter than the Pluvia and Stefan advises the fact that the magnet isn’t resting against the internal bracing like the Pluvia isn’t a problem. The centre of gravity is further forward and its lighter as well, plus the frame/basket is a sturdier material than the Pluvia - which is a welcome change for ham fisted screwdriver wielders like me. I just can’t get those screws in straight!
I didn’t listen at all for around the recommended 10 hours, I actually left them playing overnight but had to have the volume quite low so as not to disturb the neighbours, so I don’t think they actually did much loosening up at all. In the morning I turned them up to normal listening levels and spent most of the day in another room occasionally passing through for a listen.
First impressions were that these are very different sounding drivers, very even is the best way to describe the hardly run in sound I heard in my room. There was some colouration, I could clearly hear that, which is when I reasoned the nights gentle warm-up hadn’t done very much at all really. So I left them alone at normal listening levels all morning and probably most of the next day as well. I can’t exactly remember when they came on song now, but no longer than 24 hours all told as they went off at night and when I was watching TV in the same room. I did try hard not to listen as I wanted to loosen up the drivers and not get myself accustomed to a new sound as part of the process.
Anyway, you always know that its time to listen to a new component when you walk through the room to make a cup of coffee and get drawn into what’s playing. I was actually using a really unimpressive sounding Roots box set playlist I made for this very purpose, great reggae and ska etc but often pretty rough and ready recordings - loads of bass to get speakers loosened up though!
Even with this uneven material they were sounding pretty good so I set my ‘hi-fi test’ playlist going. First thing I noticed having a proper listen was that lovely evenness. In my system and room the Pluvia’s have a tendency to pin me to the back wall with certain harsh and hard recordings, they take no prisoners! These Alpair’s were quite different, yes the highs were there, little ticks and snicks as stick hit snare or a string was plucked - but I could actually turn up the volume and not have to leave the room.
Don’t misunderstand, the Pluvia’s aren’t violently harsh, but its almost as though in my room they had a slight dip just before that hard edge some recordings have, then a peak, which made the hard metallic nature of some sounds stand out more than they should. The Alpair’s on the other hand didn’t highlight that brightness, they sort of joined it up with everything else in a uniform way, if that makes any kind of sense. So when turned up everything was louder, with no discernible edginess. If the recording was crap it just sounded average, but entirely listenable. I think these drivers are just really even and easy for the brain to decode.
The colouration has now completely gone (after about 30+ hours I suppose, so hardly any time for a speaker to warm up at all) the bass has gained a fuller sound, more mid bass than before but that’s still dropping as I listen - and they go lovely and deep like the Pluvia’s, maybe even a tad deeper. Subtlety is now apparent so I’m hearing lots more in familiar recordings, this means you just want to throw more at them to see what they can do and how they handle it - hence the long wait for a review!
And did I mention how fast they were, really fast! I was always told, and believed myself, that you need an active speaker to get these sort of dynamics. Well that’s simply not so, even in the big Pensil enclosure they are amazingly quick. Percussion hits hard and sounds like a real slap on real skin, sudden changes in volume are accurately delivered. Say in the way Diana Krall‘s piano suddenly lifts off as she changes direction mid-riff and stamps on the loud pedal at the same time, that really made me sit up and take notice. A much under estimated jazz pianist (well she does get a bit smaltzy at times I agree), on her first album she really let’s fly - ‘in the room’ is all I can say really (I wish!).
So, I’m chuffed. That young Fenlon chap does push the technical boundaries somewhat, and I can vouch for the effectiveness of the spiderless design, and the slightly forward shoulder on the edge of the cone. Everything comes together to create a more believable soundstage, and even in my quite modest system (Roon NUC>Raspberry Pi 4 endpoint USB>Chord Mojo>Heed Obelisk Si) instruments and voices are sounding very real indeed!
So for a quick Pensil 11 upgrade these Alpairs are a no brainer really, now clear off and leave me to listen...
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