Trenner & Friedl Osiris loudspeaker Page 2

Once they were situated in my main listening area, I pushed the Osirises backward and forward and in and out over a period of days, winding up with the speakers exactly where John DeVore put his O/93s some eight years ago. I measured 40" from the speakers' rear panels to the back wall and 72" from the front edge of the Osirises' cabinets to my listening seat. Toeing them in to fire directly at me, so that the sides of the cabinets were unseen, provided optimal imaging and frequency extension.

I set the speakers on "Anti-Vibration Isolation Pads" measuring 6" by 6" by 2" and weighing 12 ounces each (available from Amazon at $22.99 per two-pack) to decouple them from my building's suspended hardwood floors; this increased low-end potency and soundstage width and depth. This 88.7dB-sensitive speaker didn't mate well with the tube amplifiers I had on hand. With the Osirises, my 20Wpc Shindo Haut-Brion power amplifier ($11,000) produced a sound that lacked both treble and bass extension and exhibited a constricted soundstage. The 30Wpc Cary SLI-80HS integrated amplifier ($4495) fared no better, with treble frequencies a mite more extended but coupled to an anemic low end in which the weight and tone of bass instruments were missing.

Alternatively, the 160Wpc solid-state Parasound Halo Hint 6 ($2995) appeared to have adequate power but, when combined with the Osirises, created steely trebles. I also heard from that combination a lack of weight and warmth in the midrange and the bass. Synergy ensued with two other solid-state integrated amplifiers: Heed Audio's 50Wpc Elixir ($1395), and Schiit Audio's original 60Wpc Ragnarok ($1699), each exhibiting tonal neutrality, decent low-end grip (especially strong for the Schiit), and an overall pleasing presentation.


I used Tellurium Q Black speaker cables with both the Trenner & Friedl and DeVore Fidelity speakers; my system included a Mytek digital cable between my Tascam CD200iL CD player and BorderPatrol DAC SE, and Shindo Laboratory interconnects from the DAC to integrated amplifier inputs. Triode Wire Labs Spirit II interconnects mated the Tavish Design Adagio phono preamp to the Heed and Schiit amplifiers.

Once these Egyptian deities awoke from their long slumber (aka their lengthy break-in period), they impressed with music in which the dominant impression was of taut, tactile, precise, well-textured upper mids and lower trebles. They created a soundstage that, while not as large nor as weighty as my reference DeVore Fidelity O/93s ($8400/pair, 93dB specified sensitivity), established more sharply wrought and well-defined images in both solo instrumental and ensemble recordings.

In terms of detail retrieval, the mid/treble range of the Osiris was among the most razor-sharp, well-focused I've heard, without sounding bright or aggressive. This was especially apparent while listening to the opening of Richard Wagner's Die Walküre performed by George Solti and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (mono LP, London OSA 1509). Here, after the orchestra's string section establishes an ominous mood, brass, woodwinds, percussion, and strings swirl together toward an immense crescendo. The Osirises reproduced this complex music with very good impact, detail, and texture, drawing me in. On some music, the Osirises' treble could sound a little closed in compared to the more open DeVore O/93s, but the presentation was coherent and instruments and (eventually) voices were reproduced closer to my listening spot than with my O/93s. The depiction of the music was also meatier.

The Osirises' bass was forceful and well-defined, if less weighty than that of the O/93s. It was also less warm, and images of lower-pitched instruments were less generously sized.

Through the Osirises, music floated free of the confines of their cabinets. I often felt as if I was in the room live with the musicians—not in the control room but separated from the musicians by only some air: no glass, no microphones, no wires.

I'm enjoying pianist Nils Frahm's recordings of electronically treated piano sounds. On Frahm's Felt (LP, Erased Tapes Records ERATP033LP), those sounds were first-row tangible, every note well-resolved. This LP is rich and midrangey regardless of playback system; the O/93s' inherent lushness and sweetness compounded the disc's tonal traits. The Osirises brought out the recording's ambient sounds, making hammer strikes more precise and textural, with better-focused images.


As noted above, I've been enjoying Wagner's Die Walküre as heard through the Osirises. Their handling of the music's dynamic range was intense and lifelike. The Osirises couldn't quite match the O/93's midrange, low-end richness, and more open treble, but they compensated with their greater speed, force, and well-defined imaging. Through the Osirises, Die Walküre was intense and powerful.

Willie Dixon's Willie's Blues (LP, Prestige Bluesville BV 1003) provided a different kind of impact. The Osirises brought the performance closer to my ear than when played through the O/93s, and bass and guitar had a punchier, more primal quality. This recording's production isn't the greatest, but the Osirises delivered fleshier, more specific images and greater presence than my beloved O/93s, which sounded spatially recessed by comparison. Dixon's vocal sounded majestic, textured, and detailed—close but not aggressive.

Going down an old-school electronica rabbit hole, I dug out Funki Porcini's 1996 release, Love, Pussycats & Carwrecks (CD, Ninja Tune ZEN CD 23). Playing Carwrecks' first track, "Purrfect," the oceanic synth bass rolled out of the Osirises, thick and pungent.

Substituting the Heed Audio Elixir integrated for the Schiit Ragnarok brought a more colored, less focused sound, with a looser low end, at the expense of fine detail. Music was smoother and warmer. Introducing Kenny Burrell (mono LP, Blue Note TPLP51998), part of Blue Note Records' Tone Poet vinyl reissue series, was warm and compelling through the Heed-Osiris pairing, with a deep soundstage. Tone Poet reissues retain much of the organic soul of the original pressings but with more resolution in the top end. Art Taylor's cymbals sounded tonally dark but natural. This was a consistent trait with the Osirises: Instruments sounded natural and true, if often a little dark.

I recently scored a copy of Duke Ellington and His Orchestra's Indigos (mono LP, Columbia CL 1085). This is one of the great Ellington recordings, a sublime set of three original Ellington compositions and various Great American Songbook standards. My six eye copy played with full orchestral body, good tone, punch, and outstanding clarity through the Heed/Osiris combo.

The Trenner & Friedl Osiris surprised me. In terms of clarity, detail, and naturalness, it competed with every speaker I have reviewed, including my long-term reference DeVore Fidelity O/93, though it didn't quite match the Volti Audio Rival or the Burwell & Sons' Mother of Burl. The Osirises had less warmth, low-end weight, and top-end openness and sweetness than my O/93s, but they impressed me with their detailed, focused, and finely drawn images. Tonal balance was good if—as I've said before—a shade dark.

The Osiris is very particular as to ancillaries; it didn't mate well with my Shindo and Cary tube amplifiers. I thought they would never break in. Still, with some hours of use and with synergistic components, the Osiris is refined, resolute, and tactile, capable of musical intimacy and deep insight into recordings. It's competitive at its $8500/pair price and well worth investigating.

Trenner & Friedl Graz Trenner & Friedl GmbH
US distributor: Profundo
2051 Gattis School Road, Suite 540/123
Round Rock, TX 78664
(510) 375-8651

Bogolu Haranath's picture

T&F Sun (Stereophile Class-A, limited LF) may be a better value for the money, at about less than half the price of Osiris :-) ..........

Ortofan's picture

... Klipsch La Scala II speakers. It's been over a decade since "Sam Tellig" sampled them. Perhaps KM can review current production units, or maybe the somewhat pricier latest AL5 iteration. His 20-30W tube amps should be a good match for them.

Anton's picture

The Golden Ear Reference is in this range, as well.

It's a fascinating market point. This price is where speakers really seem to break loose of the main cost constraints and really start the party!

The T & F speakers are sure pretty, though!

supamark's picture

I live in Austin (Round Rock is a suburb, and I recognized the road on which they're located so I googled it), and that address is a freakin' PostalAnnex+. They're not even a real company, just a box at a retail shipping service. They literally don't exist as a physical entity and their phone number (510 area code) is based in the Bay Area of California. Diety of your choice help you if you need US service for anything they distribute (like 5 obscure brands)....

bclarke3's picture

Profundo will celebrate it's 20th anniversary next year. We moved to the Austin area 8 years ago from the SF Bay Area. Due to frequent travel and for continuity's sake, we have maintained our original phone number, which is mobile. Owing to the high value of the equipment we import and stock, we, like many distributors, maintain a mailing address that is separate from our physical location. We are not open to the public, as we sell through a dealer network.

I have to question the motivation for such a comment, other than just trolling. It does not address the product reviewed, its performance, or anything else relevant to the enjoyment of music, which is our primary goal in this industry. We support all our products, which rarely require service. The "youngest" product for us has been in our lineup since 2003, so these are not fly-by-night companies, rather, they are small, high-quality manufacturers that have very solid reputations worldwide, both for sound quality and reliability.

Since the author, "supamark" is a neighbor, perhaps he would like to meet for coffee sometime and learn more about our company and, also, maybe something about the products we import. We, and they, are quite real.

lars's picture

In my experience such a resonance as seen at 227 Hz is most often caused by an internal standing wave. Using 343/227/2 the internal dimension should be 0.76 m, which might very well match the internal height. It can be confirmed by measurements or by adding additional absorption in the bottom.

Hawaii Audio's picture

Aloha from Hawaii Audio! Just read this review and comments, and was saddened to see the comments about Profundo.

Bob Clarke is a CLASS ACT; I have communicated with him since at least 2005, when I was importing S.A.P. Audio of Salerno & exhibiting at CES. Always a big fan of VIVA Audio and also Transfiguration.

I bothered Bob on numerous occasions with inquiries; he was ALWAYS super responsive, courteous and professional.

Amazed and humbled that he is still running an audio import business in 2019. Hats off to him...and let's SUPPORT those who are still at it, instead of trying to tear them down...

Mahalo from Hawaii, for all your good will and professionalism all these many years, Bob!

Terry Hart
Hawaii Audio / S.A.P. Audio Int'l