My quest for new speakers ended up with the Audio Physic Classic 8.
After some 20 years of listening to my Mission 753 Freedom Speakers I wanted something new.
It took me some time to find out what I wanted (sound, budget), to find out what would fit into our home (styling, color, dimensions, placement) and I made up a shortlist (14 different speakers by 11 manufacturers). And it had to match with my all-Cyrus system.
3 dealers in the Netherlands gave me the opportunity to listen to 8 models on the shortlist, in store.
Being very impressed by the Audio Physic Classic 5 which ticked almost all boxes (even at that price) the Hifi Studio Nr. One offered me to get a demo from the Cl8 which would probably fit our living-room better, having to work less-hard to fill the room. As the Cl5 was only the second speaker I heard, I left with the idea of the Cl8 probably be a very good contender. My plan was to hear a lot more speakers and eventually go back to the Cl8. The shortlist got shorter and soon there were 2 left: AP Classic 8 and Dynaudio Evoke 30. To my ears many speakers were a little harsh/tiring in the treble. Metal-dome tweeters and ribbon-tweeters are not for me. That’s why the shortlist melted pretty fast!
At that time (not knowing about these 2 contenders) Eric from the Hifi Studio phoned me and told me the Cl8 was almost ready for a demo. He was so eager to hear the Cl8 that he had already got hold of a set. On Saturday my wife and I listened to the Cl8 and the Evoke 30. In store we decided to almost certainly go for the AP Cl 8, but Eric insisted on giving a home demo.
On a Thursday he delivered the speakers with the plan to pick them up the next Tuesday. But being very busy he called again, to ask me if it was a problem to audition them a little longer. “Make my day, no way!”. Later that week he called me to hear my opinion. I just told him “the Cl 8 is doing great, I want to buy them!” As he had already hoped and expected! Than the bad news: I would have to wait for some 8 weeks. Just as I feared I had to go back to my old speakers he told me he had been able to arrange something: I could use the demo-set for the time it took to deliver. Would we have chosen the demo-color I could have kept them but it took a while to get the Black-Ash set ready for delivery. Lucky again, that is!
The demo speakers got better all the time. Relaxed sound, lots of detail, great soundstage. The Mission speakers gave a 2-dimensional stage, but the Cl8 made it 3-dimensional and a lot wider. I was able to hear tiny sounds I never realized before. Don’t blame the 20 year old Missions, which were great back than!
The Cl8 were ‘only’ on DCF II M8 feet and it would be very easy to get more out of the speakers using the VCF II or even the VCF II Magnetic feet. I decided to take my chances and chose the non-magnetic. For me the price difference between these two feet was too big and the cost-ratio speakers-to-feet was a bit better this way and we didn’t like the size of the magnetic’s. We even decided to use the ‘component’-version and not the M8. We didn’t like the way the M8 protruded the base of the speakers. Thanks for the tip, Vincent.
At last on July 21th 2020 Eric called me again, to tell me the speakers had arrived (together with the feet) and that same day he delivered the goods!
After having used the CL8 for about 7 weeks than, it was clear that they could best be placed (only!) 30 centimeters from the rear wall, with a little toe-in. Eric helped me position them on the feet and then the party began. Probably because of the better feet they started on a level I had not heard from the demo version in all that time! Even ‘out of the box’ the difference was easy to tell. And they got better! Now that they are 4 weeks ‘old’ I think they won’t get much better anymore.
It’s an absolute pleasure to listen to the Audio Physic Classic 8 (#228) and I can absolutely recommend them to everyone. Do yourself a favor and try the VCF II feet as well. Sure you will hear the difference.
Many thanks to Eric and Vincent from the Hifi Studio Nr. One and the people at Audio Physic who answered all my questions while being in the beautiful process of buying new speakers. It was a great journey selecting them! Listening to the Audio Physic Classic 8 is an even greater pleasure, which I hope will take 20 years again!