Raven Audio Ce'Lest and Corvus Speakers with Osprey MK3 Integrated Amplifier and Silhouette MK2 Reference Preamplifier and Monoblock Amplifiers

Known primarily for its sharp-looking tube amplification ranges, Raven Audio of Texas has been busy cranking out a plethora of new products, including some entirely new categories for the company: the debut of two loudspeakers (with the same high efficiency, spec'd at 94dB) and a line of cables. Raven presented two active demos: a reference system and a more affordable setup featuring the maker's latest offerings.

The new Corvus tower speaker system ($12,995/pair) comprises two separate and stacked cabinets: an active bass enclosure containing 1000W of amplification and 32-bit DSP for the side-firing woofer, and, on top, a high-frequency/midrange unit that has a dual-ring radiator tweeter with a waveguide for minimizing secondary and tertiary reflections, and a 6.7" poly-cone midrange. The crossover was designed with the waveguide in place and is enclosed within an isolated air-tight chamber inside the back of the apparently solidly built cabinet. Users can access the crossover by loosening a handful of screws to remove a back-panel cover. (Raven also makes a fully active version of this monitor that's sold mainly to the pro audio market.)

The second speaker is another tower, a slightly smaller one called the Ce'Lest ($3995/pair) which is largely based on the Corvus's technology and design, but without the active bass: The passive, reflex-loaded Ce'Lest is said to extend down to 40Hz or so. If you're heavily into, say, pipe organ or dub step, you might wish to augment it with a sub or something, but in my brief listening to material with garden-variety bass content, the extension seemed nicely articulated and quite good.

Both speaker models sport high-end piano lacquer finishes—ie, the same layering process that's actually used on Steinways, Bösendorfers, etc.—a luxe touch that's uncommon in this price segment. Four colors are available: Burgundy, Silver, White, Black. Also included are grilles that attach with hidden magnets.

As one might expect, both these speakers were created with reasonable efficiency (90dB) in mind, to play nicely with Raven's tube amplification.

The reference setup included the Corvus speaker connected to Raven Silhouette MK2 electronics—the preamplifier and a pair of monoblock amplifiers ($25,995/pair) delivering 120–140Wpc. The Ce'Lest was paired with a 30Wpc Osprey MK3 integrated ($4895), a class-AB, fully auto-biasing Ultralinear design. Its preamp stage includes 12AT7 tubes in the first two rows and 12AU7s in the third. The power stage uses 6L6GC tubes, which Raven Audio's James Connell noted are often found in guitar amps, and are readily available—and very musical.

Raven's own Soniquil cables were used throughout the systems, and Mytek Brooklyn and Manhattan DACs served as digital front ends.

Anton's picture

You’d think there would certainly be some system synergy!