You have to admire companies that take the plunge into manufacturing products that are just outside their comfort zone, and that's exactly what Kudos has done. The company used to make speaker stands as part of Neat Acoustics, and although they still manufacture the S50 stand, they've now branched out into speaker design.
We first reviewed one of the company's speakers last December, when we were very impressed with the entry-level C1 standmounter. The C2 floorstander is equally impressive.
For a start, though the C2s can't really be described as glamorous, we really like the clean lines, uncluttered fascia, and plinth stilts. They also feel very sturdy and well put-together.
Timing and rhythm shine throughAs with the C1s, Kudos approach of primarily developing by listening, rather than developing by measurement, is abundantly obvious with the C2s.Try a bit of Radiohead's In Rainbows album, and the inherent musicality of these floorstanders shines through. Timing and rhythm really are exceptional, and the C2s exhibit a degree of agility and directness of communication that's rarely seen in a floorstander.
Switch to a more orchestral piece, such as The Village soundtrack, and these speakers continue to thrill. Each element of the musical ensemble is easily identified and placed in the large, atmospheric soundstage, and the dynamically expressive delivery adds drama and suspense to the already exciting Race To Resting Rock.
More after the break
The exciting delivery is partly due to a balance that slightly favours treble, and although the tweeter is of a very high quality, you should take care in system matching to avoid any harshness. Something like the Naim NAC122X/NAP150X pre/power combo, or the Leema Tucana would be perfect.
We're not going to be too critical of the need for careful system-matching, but we do have to mark the C2s down for a bass performance that's just a touch vague. Tracks that rely on deep thumps for drive reveal a slight lack of bite and tautness in the low-levels.
We really like these C2s, and they get very close to five stars. However, at £2000 there are a couple of alternatives that offer similar levels of excitement and a tauter, punchier bass.