Troy Audio Hellena MKII, Thrax Audio Electronics, Schroeder Turntable

This company’s loudspeakers have Art Dudley’s name all over them, said Serinus to self upon viewing Troy Audio’s Hellena MK II loudspeaker ($120,000/pair with outboard crossover, $80,000 pair with internal crossover). The Hellena MK II uses a 604-8E alnico coaxial driver, made by Great Plains Audio, that owes its design to the original Altec 604-E. Its woofer, Great Plains Audio’s handmade Model 515-C, incorporates a massive alnico V magnetic assembly. There's also an alnico horn supertweeter. The cabinet is composed of sandwiched layers of Russian Baltic birch. The Hellena is big and heavy—59” high and 330lb—with a sensitivity greater than 100dB. A smaller version is being designed.

Paired with Thrax Audio hybrid amplifiers, phono preamplifier, and linestage preamp and fed by a Schroeder table and arm and a SoundSmith cartridge, the Hellena's reproduced a recording of “Take the A Train” with a really fine midrange, strong bass, and a toned-down top that may well have been due to the room’s acoustic. I was told that detail and soundstage are improved by an outboard crossover.

Ortofan's picture

... can't wait for the opportunity to schlep speakers that weigh 50% more than the K'horns into and out of his listening room.

If he gets to review another dreadnaught class speaker, it would probably be the DeVore Fidelity Orangutan Reference - and odds are that they would never leave.