Cabasse Pacific 3 launch in Paris

It’s not difficult to be a Francophile when Paris is bathed in September sunshine. It’s easier still when Cabasse Deputy General Manager Guy Bourreau excuses himself from a most agreeable couple of hours in a brasserie with sincere apologies for the ‘short lunch’.

Cabasse invited me (along with a fistful of other European journalists) to Paris for the official launch of two new speakers: the Pacific 3 and Pacific 3SA.

The venue was the ‘Sound & Colors’, a huge (250m/sq) and beautifully appointed store just down the street from the Parc Monceau, and as a shop-meets-demonstration facility it’s nigh-on ideal.

The Pacific 3SA is an intriguingly contoured 3-way floorstander that doesn’t appear to have a set of parallel lines anywhere on the cabinet. The visual quirkiness extends to the driver array: between two 21cm low-frequency drivers sits a 17cm coaxial unit called BC17. This is a hemispherical driver comprising a dome midrange/tweeter and a ring-shaped low-midrange/woofer membrane – its shape and functionality dictates baffle grilles with cutouts to allow the BC17 to protrude.

The ‘SA’ part of the model number stands for ‘semi-active’. The twin 21cm drivers are powered by a Cabasse-designed 450-watt amplifier, which is intended to make the Pacific 3SAs forgiving of room position and easy to match to an amplifier.

Standing 129cm high, 29cm wide and 49cm deep, and priced at €12000 (UK prices will follow soon), the Pacific 3SAs are available from next month in a choice of gloss black or gloss pearl finishes.

As you might imagine, the Pacific 3 (available from January next year at the equivalent of €9000) is a passive sibling to the Pacific 3SA. At 131cm tall and a considerable 59cm deep, it’s got the internal volume to compensate for its lack of on-board amplification – although that extra cabinet isn’t quite a swoopy, nor as glossy, as that of the 3SA.

Simon Lucas is a freelance technology journalist and consultant, with particular emphasis on the audio/video aspects of home entertainment. Before embracing the carefree life of the freelancer, he was editor of What Hi-Fi? – since then, he's written for titles such as GQ, Metro, The Guardian and Stuff, among many others.