By Lam Seng Fatt
This afternoon I had the chance to hear Frank Voon’s tall FV AB 2-Tower Subs with a matching pair of FV Monitor bookshelf speakers.
I knew the FV AB 2-Tower Subs would be tall — at 78 inches — but when I first saw them, I was still surprised by how tall they actually were. The designer Frank Voon, who is not exactly a short and slim person, looked small while standing beside the tower subs.
Essentially, the FV AB-2 Tower Sub comprises two separate woofers housed in two ported cabinets of different sizes locked together by metal plates and a slim wooden box at the rear which houses the crossovers and knobs.
The cavity between the two woofers is large enough for the famed LS3/5a and other small bookshelf speakers slightly bigger than the LS3/5a.
At the rear is a super tweeter whose loudness and polarity can be controlled. There is as a switch to disable the woofers so that you hear only the monitor speakers.
Frank Voon used a simple Marantz CD player playing music files via its front USB input and a 60-watter vintage Pioneer A-400 integrated amp to demo his tower subs and monitor speakers.
From the first song itself, I realised that the FV AB 2-Tower Subs and FV Monitor speakers could create a big, big and tall soundstage, which is something that I have noticed can be created readily by tall and slim speakers like the PMC Fenestrias, the Dynaudio Confidence and others, especially with the WMTMW configuration of drivers.
Images were a bit larger than normal and the sound was a bit forward. The most benefits were in the bass region — there are two woofers after all — and the bass went quite low. The improved bass gave the music much more body and meat and the resulting sound was rich and full.
Finally, Frank turned off the woofers so that only the bookshelf monitor speakers could be heard. To be expected, the soundstage was much smaller and the mid and low bass disappeared while the upper bass was diminished. The sound became thin but clarity, focus and imaging improved. The bookshelf speakers sounded like, well, small speakers — they are small, after all. It goes to show how extended bass can give meat to the ‘bones’ of music and make it sound fuller, richer and more muscular.
Unfortunately, the listening space was rather narrow and the listening position was too close to the speakers and I felt the speakers needed more space and a larger room to fully blossom. Due to the limitations of the listening space, the images were a bit indistinct and congested, but I could sense great potential in Frank Voon’s latest creations. Give them better sources and amplifiers and a well-treated large listening room and I am sure they will rock and roll you to sonic bliss.
Frank Voon is offering the FV AB-2 Tower Subs and FV Monitor bookshelf speakers at RM25,000 a pair. The normal price is RM35,000. If you already own a pair of LS3/5a or other small monitor speakers, the price will be adjusted downwards.
If you are keen to hear the speakers and tower sub, call Frank Voon at 012-2981011.