Fourier 6 loudspeaker Page 2
While he was editing and publishing The Audio Critic, Peter Aczel became so disenchanted with the available audiophile loudspeakers that he decided to show the industry how to produce a moderately sized and priced system. The result was the Fourier 1, which aroused extensive critical discussion as to both its sonic merits and the ethics of promoting one's own speaker in one's own magazine. (Aczel favorably reviewed the Fourier 1 in one of the final issues of The Audio Critic before revealing that he was, in fact, one of the owners of Fourier.)
Since then there have been several more Fourier models, of which the 6 is the smallest and perhaps the best.
Peter obviously did his homework on this one; the Fourier 6 is without a doubt one of the best in the group of speakers [reviewed in this issue], while at the same time it's the most expensive. In my opinion, the Fourier 6 redefines in some respects the standards by which all speakers in this price range must be judged.
Middle-range clarity, freedom from distortion and colorations, and resolution of detail are all excellent. tonal balance is realistic despite the absence of any deep bass. The soundstage is open, dynamic and transparent, with imaging that is precise and quite stable. The Fourier 6's frequency response is shown in fig.1.
Fig.1 Fourier 6, frequency response on tweeter axis (10dB/large vertical div.).
This is not to say the 6s are perfect. Some ringing is detectable on transients, and the treble, although fairly extended and open, sounds slightly grainy. There are some mild, "boxy" lower midrange colorations, and—most seriously—midbass definition suffers from rather noticeable "overhang." Overhang occurs be cause the low-frequency driver doesn't stop moving as soon as the input signal would have it stop, and is characteristic of bass-reflex systems—though in most such systems it shows up more seriously as one-note bass and frequently disqualifies them completely as high-fidelity reproducers.
Overall, though, the Fourier 6 is a fine performer, comparing favorably in some respects with speakers costing as much as $1000/pair. On stands, and placed away from reflecting room surfaces, the 6 offers, to my mind, a level of performance not previously available from any speaker system of this price.
In Vol.7 No.3 Larry Greenhill compared the Fourier with the Spica TC-50, another much-talked-about speaker that cost just $420/pair. Since the Spica has already been discussed twice in these pages—see also Vol.7 No.2—I didn't include it in this survey. I have listened to the TC-50, however, and would have to come down more heavily in favor of the Fourier 6 than did LG.
To my ears the Spica, although it does image very well, lacks significant impact at the low end and clarity in the midrange. This lack of clarity in the midrange I find too offputting; I prefer the errors made by the Fourier 6 in portions of the frequency range that I think are less significant.
The Fourier 6 is highly recommended.—Dick Olsher