Acapella Audio Arts'
(Frequently Asked Questions)
Who is Acapella
Audio Arts is a company located in Germany dedicated to music
reproduction since 1978. They produced one of the (if not THE) first
horn speakers as well as the first, safe, working ion/plasma tweeter.
Their German website is
What finishes and
colors do Acapella speakers come in?
|The horns can
come in any color that can be found as a high-quality paint. The
colors usually used are the colors of Mercedes cars (blue, green, red,
and white). The speaker enclosures (boxes) can come layered with a
faux rosewood veneer, painted (usually black or white) or with a layer
of very high quality acrylic (black). There is an extra charge for the
acrylic finish on the enclosures, otherwise all options are
free-of-charge (but may cause some delay in delivery because Acapella
does not stock anything but components in the standard colors).
products in addition to speakers does Acapella Audio Arts produce?
make fine speaker cables, interconnects, and isolation platforms, all
of which are just now becoming available in North America.
What Do It
Yourself performance-improving modifications can be done to the
Campanile and other Acapella speakers?
power cord (European) connector on the back on the tweeter unit can be
replaced with a standard, North American IEC connector so that
3rd-party audiophile-quality power cords can be used to power the
tweeters. The IEC is a drop in fit and so no modifications to the
tweeter chassis is required. The original connector is connected to a
common line filter that can be removed and replaced with an
audiophile-quality, out-board line filter.
Damping material can be added between the
bottom of the tweeters and the cabinet for additional isolation (Fred
Crowder, Epic Audio)
Spikes can be put underneath the
speakers. Lovan spikes have been used to good effect by Tapsa
Stainless steel threaded cones can
replace the stock feet 'nubs' on the bottom of the speakers is working
well for Brian Ackerman (Artistic Audio).
The speakers can also be put on 1 inch
or thicker slab of granite.
Damping 'isolation' platforms can be
put underneath the speakers (for example the Acapella Fondato Silenzio
bases) [though Hermann Winters at Acapella suggests that this be done
only after all other equipment has been adequately isolated].
What are these
weird tweeters, anyway?
Tweeter (often called a plasma tweeter) is unique in that it produces
sound by modulating an electric spark. Because it has zero mass, there
is no delay between the signal from the amplifier and the sound coming
out of the tweeter. The rise and fall of each note is reproduced much
more smoothly and accurately than that achieved by any other known
technology. This technology also allows this tweeter to reproduce
sounds at much higher frequencies than most other tweeters (5K Hz to
50K Hz). Because of the nature of full-spectrum harmonics, this
fleshing out of the upper frequencies helps smooth and enrich the
lower frequencies as well.
tweeter is packaged as a self-contained metal, ventilated chassis
weighing about 30lbs with an opening in the front (for the sound to
come out of) and connectors and adjusters on the back. The chassis
contains a tube amplifier/oscillator (containing Siemens PL519 tubes)
in addition to the ion chamber that generates the sound. The rear
connectors consist of one standard female RCA input connector and one
European connector for the power cord. This chassis fits (slides)
inside Acapella speakers. It can also be placed on top or beside any
other speaker to enhance the speaker's capabilities in the upper
The tweeter uses a quartz rod when
generating sonic sparks, and over the course of 10 years or so of
normal use, they should be replaced (for a nominal cost from your
dealer or Acapella). Pentlabs has replacement PL519's for the tweeters
but of EI (Yugoslavian) manufacture. A replacement-parts kit is
available containing 4 tubes and 2 quarts rods.
Can the tweeters
be bought separately?
approximately $6,900.00 USD per pair (call or email for latest
7. How long do the
speakers take to break in?
|The tweeters take little
or no time to break in (they sound great right out of the box). The
mid-range takes about a minimum of 14 full-days and continues
improving for the next 2 - 3 months. The bass module takes about 4 - 6
weeks to start loosening-up and also continues improving for the next
3 - 4 months.
8. What amplifiers
are people using with the speakers (Violins and Campaniles)?
|Good results have been
obtained with the:
- Edge NL-10 (220 solid-state smooth
detailed watts) [Mike and Neli, Audio Federation]
- the Audio Aero Capitole (50
push-pull EL34-based triode/pentode tubed watts) [Mike and Neli,
- Wolcotts monoblocks retubed with all
NOS tubes (240 tubed watts) [Fred Crowder, Epic Audio]
- Audionet max two monoblocks (500
solid state watts) [Tapsa, TL-Audio]]
- Audio Physic Strada digitalmonoamp [Tapsa,
- Accustic Arts Amp II-AC (~200 solid
state watts) [Vince, TriCell Enerprises]
- Jeff Rowland Model 12(?) (200 solid
state watts) [ Jeff Rowland, Jeff Rowland Design Group]
- Edge Signature monoblocks (400
solid-state smooth and detailed watts) [Mike and Neli, Audio
- EL34 tube-based designs for Acapella
speakers that need higher power and SET's (single-ended-triodes) for
their more efficient speakers [Hermann Winters, co-founder Acapella
- WAVAC HE-833 monoblocks [Brian
Ackermann, Artistic Audio]
- Parasound Halo JC-1 monoblocks (400
solid-state watts) [Fred Crowder, Epic Audio]
Mixed results have been reported for
the substantialness of the bass when using the Audio Aero Prestige
Monobloc amplifiers (40 watt single ended triode tubed watts) with the
Violins and the Campaniles.
*Highly recommended (especially when
driven directly by an Audio Aero Capitole CD player (try using
balanced interconnects). Winner of best of show in Frankfurt).
**Highly recommended (especially when driven directly by an Audio Aero
Capitole CD player)
9. What speaker
cable are people using with the speakers?
|Good results have been
obtained with the Nordost Valhalla speaker cable (Mike and Neli, Audio
Federation and Fred Crowder, Epic Audio) as well as Accoustic Zen and
Cardas speaker cables.
10. Are the
speakers bi-wirable? Do they accept banana and spade type connectors?
11. What subwoofers are people using with the speakers?
|Tapsa (TL-Audio) is using the Audio
subwoofer for good effect with the Campaniles and complements its very
high resolution and control. Another uses 2 with the Violoncello.
12. How are people positioning the speakers?
|Tapsa (TL-Audio) puts the speakers
against the long wall in a 6 x 6.7 meters room, 3.5 meters from the
inside of one speaker to the inside of the other, 1.25 meters from the
front of the speakers to the rear walls, and 4.5 meters to the
Here at AudioFederation we put the
speakers along the short wall in a 15x35x24 feet tall room, 8 feet
from the inside of one speaker to the inside of the other, 5'4" from
the front of the speakers to the rear (beveled) walls, and 14.5 feet
to the listeners ears. [Update: Jan 2003 - We moved
the speakers about 14 inches farther into the room, and angled them so
they are only angled in about 5 - 10 degrees. Much better soundstaging
and imaging and bass response is somewhat tighter].
Hermann Winters. co-founder Acapella
Audio Arts suggested [as reported by Fred Crowder of Epic Audio] that
the location of the speakers in the room is essentially determined by
the room's nodes and that there was no one place that worked in every
instance. in a long room he preferred the speakers along the long wall
closer to the wall. I got the impression that he generally preferred
the speakers closer to the back wall rather than out into the room. he
also said that the amount of toe-in should be a function of what works
best in a particular room.
Can the speakers
be separated into pieces for moving?
|The Campanile is shipped in 3 sections
(top, middle, and bottom) and the middle section can be detached from
the horn assembly, if desired, and the tweeter comes in its own 30lb
chassis that slides into the back of each Campanile.
The Violon box enclosure can be
separated from the horn assembly and the tweeter comes in its own 30lb
chassis that slides into the back of each Violin.
14. What components are used in the Campanile?
|The Campanile is built from a
ION/plasma tweeter in its own enclosed chassis; a midrange
(non-compression) horn, built using a very strong and thick
acoustically neutral composite material using a Dynaudio driver; and
four 10" SEAS drivers for woofers in individual rather large sealed
enclosures (2 woofers per 30" by 12" by 28" heavily braced box).
The Campanile Highs are the same as the
Campaniles except that there is significantly more internal bracing
and dampening, and more expensive components and Acapella's own silver
wiring are used in the cross-over.
15. What components are used in the Violin?
|The Violin is built from a ION/plasma
tweeter in its own enclosed chassis; a midrange (non-compression)
horn, built using a very strong and thick acoustically neutral
composite material using a Dynaudio driver; and one 10" SEAS driver
for a woofer in an individual rather large sealed enclosure.
The Violin Highs are the same as the
Violins except that there is significantly more internal bracing and
dampening, and more expensive components and Acapella's own silver
wiring are used in the cross-over.
The Violin High Subs are the same as
the Violin but add an additional 10" SEAS driver for a total of two
woofers in the rather large sealed enclosure.
16. What online discussion groups discuss the Acapella line?
|The Manufacturer's online discussion
Who are all the
reputable Acapella Audio Arts dealers?