MonoPulse is serious about timing. The company's idea is to get the leading edge of all notes, from the entire frequency range, to the listener at the same time.
It's what single-driver speakers are famed for, but MonoPulse uses two precisely placed drivers in conjunction with a specially designed crossover to create a 'single impulse wave-front'. The result should be a rhythmically seamless presentation. It is.
Play the scuzz-rock/disco-pop mix of Marmaduke Duke's Everybody Dance and the 82A's astonishing precision results in attacking excitement by the bucket-load. Every note begins with pinpoint precision, but there's no sacrifice in texture or natural note degradation – these aren't clinical to the extent of sterility. A joyful presentationWhere previous MonoPulses have tended towards the lean side, the 82As are chunky and full-bodied, with sensational bass punch, depth and definition. Vocals are equally impressive – full of life and nuance.
The overall presentation has excellent width and three-dimensionality. Dynamics, both small-scale and large, are a joy, and although the rhythmic integration of instruments is seamless, it doesn't prevent separation in the soundstage, allowing you to identify individual strands with ease.
So the 82As combine the best of a single-driver speaker with the best of a more traditional multi-driver array. But that doesn't make them perfect.
More after the break
The treble isn't quite as well-defined as the midrange or bass, and can sound a smidge sharp. And care is required with positioning: MonoPulse recommends you leave 85cm between each speaker and a wall. We'd add that toeing them out a little more than usual helps them sound their best.
Then there's the quality of the finish. There are imperfections – foam panels and filling that stick out more on one speaker, and slight bowing on some metalwork.
If you expect manufacturing perfection for £2500 (and why wouldn't you?), walk away. But if you can overlook the odd flaw, and are happy with the materials, the MonoPulses are fabulously, uniquely brilliant.