Here follows an unedited review of the Russell K Red 50s by one of our customers who just happens to be called Russell. Reading between the lines, I think he quite likes them … Running in the Red 50’s
Sometime ago I said I would write something about the Red 50’s and here it is, if it isn’t of any use to you for the website, then don’t worry. Please share it with Russell if you think he would like it.
Thanks again for all your time and help with the system. It has given me enormous pleasure.
‘When will they be fully burnt in?’ I asked, as I chatted happily to the creator of the speakers I had purchased from Alistair and Andy at Signals, just a month previously.
‘About Six months,’ replied Russell Kaufman, with refreshing honesty.
The setting was the Audio Show East last year. Russell had just been demonstrating the jaw dropping wonders of his floorstanders and the scale of the Red 100’s. We were listening to Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Landslide’ and Nick’s voice had an equisite, fragile, wounded tenor to it. An ache that filled the room with musical humanity. It had never sounded so vital or bruised.I had bought the entry level Red 50’s. All three speakers are Cracker Jack products. All three charm and punch, like pugnacious Cassius Clays, nimbly, with fluent footwork, above their weight. They are winners.
Russell kindly then demonstrated how to set his speakers up for the ultimate playback. The advice on listening to a bass heavy track, to get the distance between the speakers right, followed by using subtle toe in, with a treble inclined groove, to get the stereo imaging right, has proved to be invaluable.
So now here I am, playing record after record, writing this over six months later as ‘No Easy Way Down’ from Dusty in Memphis spins mellifluously from the now on fire Red 50’s: this then is a tale of considered ownership,pride,delight and pure joy.
They have truly rounded out. The vocals that were firstly pellucid and protean are now fully present and muscular.Around them,strings,drums and organs blaze, warming the room.’The Only Living Boy in New York’ being particularly potent in demonstrating the benefits of the burn.
The hi fi quest for a sound that returns you to the music is a complex beast.Why put yourself through it? The time,the outlay, the packing up and unpacking,the connecting of cables,the coffee?For this moment, six months and more down the line, when everything swings, when ‘Avalon’ sounds as rhythmically robust as a newly tightened string on Novak Djokovic’s racquet.
For the music now just breathes and the pleasure it gives is akin to drinking from a well that draws water for the soul. There’s that grail quest again.
What the Red 50’s do so dependably is to make the sound live in your mind as well as your ears. Songs sound both as you remembered them and subtly enhanced. Rhythm, speed, timing and vocals. These are the elements that sing out to you from the Red 50’s.
Don’t just take my word for it. Several visitors to the house have noted the quality of the sound, some of them fellow Signals aficionados who have been thoughtfully* impressed. *did you mean thoroughly maybe?
I cannot with any honesty write about the technical specifications of the speakers but the fluidity of the timing may well be related to the absence of more traditional damping. There is nothing between you and the music but the insistency and percussively sweet metronome of the beat.It is such a pleasure for the listener. You just get lost in the head nodding, foot tapping, movement. Lost in the right way that is all about sensual involvement in the sound.
So this is customer feedback when the product has bedded in beautifully.The journey was not without its hold ups. The Red 100’s I first tried never had a chance due to their retro 1980’s styling, an aesthetic misstep that Alistair has typically acknowledged with self deprecating humour on the website. However, the 50’s have found their way home. They are approved of by all. Listening to Paolo Nutini as I type, the scope and gravelly soul in his vocal is stamped on the room.Surrounding it are secure,fluid bass and guitar lines that just want you to move.
From Mobile Fidelity to records over fourty years old, these speakers are faithful to the sound. They communicate.
Buy, audition and fall for the Red 50’s, as they will reward you for your investment, over and over again. Daily.
So Alistair and Andy, thank you for your time, your patience and your watchful listening of and for the listener. I don’t think the musical fidelity that the speakers and all the other system matched components have given would be half as pleasurable if it wasn’t for your involvement, service and sense of how to keep the customer satisfied, however frustrating that might have been as a process.