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  • cameronk97

Little but not petite.

Updated: Apr 3

The Aretai Contra 100S update model is quite a powerful performer in the high end, stand-mount/bookshelf speaker segment.

From $15,999 it does not sit in the budget end of the category, but more the mid of this highly competitive field where technology is pushed to the limits to extract as much potential from such small forms sitting often on even smaller footprints.


When I first came across this lovely design, I was not expecting such authority from the pint sized cabinet. I asked,,, can I please listen to the little ones now and it was met with, yes,, you are listening to these right now,,,, so I was impressed yet again and then anchored myself to a better sitting position for an extended time.

Reciting some text from the fabulous review of update model by Hi-Fi Knights,, "This 100S is the entry-level model the of the Latvian brand and is a fully sealed "2.5-way" lovely crafted box that incorporates three SB Acoustics drivers per channel; a 1” soft-dome tweeter and two 6” mid-woofers.

The dimensions : (W x H x D) 21 x 40 x 25cm at 15kg each.

Specifications : 32Hz-30kHz frequency response, 4Ω nominal impedance and 85dB (@1m/1W)" so a decent 35 WCH tube amp to 100WCH solid state amplifier would be considered the partners in need to drive these speakers, within our own line up, I will be running with the competent FEZZ Titania ( 2 x 45 via KT88 )


The rear transducer is a full-fledged woofer and is crossed at 200Hz and as a result will have a decent impact on sound level adjustment when placement is tweaks. "The driver up front operates as a widebander with several notch filters...

to attenuate breakup peaks and is subject to a 1st-order high-pass filter that compensates for its raising response.

The soft dome tweeter sits inside a shallow horn and is crossed at around 6kHz via a two-cascade high-pass filter. This waveguide bends the high frequencies to maintain wide dispersion and improve soundstage size, therefore it contributes as an ambience booster".


Overall, placement is a key component in the system,, if you like a larger sound that can take full advantage of the rear driver, the wall could well be a great friend to provide that big spatial sound that is very engaging.

Over the course of time, I will be setting these up in various dealers who have a client base looking at downsizing in speakers box size only,,, while possibly gaining in spl. These are very cool, please give them the time to audition as the are well worth the effort and may very well lead you down a more eclectic and rewarding journey of discovery and enjoyment.

Individual preference for direct and reflected ratio varies from person to person,

similar to choices for the relative bass output level, direct and reflected sound ratio,

and width and depth of the soundstage. Trying variations in speaker positioning,

toe-in, and distances from the walls will let you align the resulting sound to your

preference. This will require time, patience, and good-quality recordings. Choose

ones with a wide range of linear bass lines, many instruments and vocals spaced

in many locations between the stereo channels, and ambient spatial cues of large

concert halls.

First, find the room-specific speaker and listener position that brings the midbass

and bass balance that suits you best. Here is how.

Generally, moving the speakers closer to the front and side walls and the listener’s

position closer to the back wall will increase perceived bass output relative to

midrange and higher frequencies. On the contrary, moving them farther away from

walls will decrease it.



Technical parameters

Type: closed passive 2.5-way passive stand / desktop / shelf speaker

Frequency range in room (-6dB), Hz: 32 –30 000

Nominal power, Watts: 100

Sensitivity, dB/1m/2.83V: 87

Nominal impedance, Ohms: 4

Dimensions, in: H15.74, W8.25, D9.85; cm: H40, W21, D25

Net weight, single unit, lbs: 35; kg: 16

Non-oxidizing metal plated speaker terminals

Vibration decoupling pad

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