Gradient Helsinki

See this little guy? It's the Gradient Helsinki ($8000/pair). I'm a big fan of this weird-ass speaker. Rather than placing its drive-units within a cabinet, the drive-units are laid bare, free for the world to see, mounted onto the speaker's narrow body. Why? Free love. Free love! Cabinet resonances are eliminated. The Helsinki's dipole-radiation woofer projects sound from side to side, canceling out top-to-bottom sound waves and minimizing deleterious room reflections.

That's the idea, at least. I haven't actually heard the thing. I just like the concept. I mean, look at it! It's awesome.

I know, I know: It's all about the sound and appearances don't matter, blah fart cough blah. Get over it, audiophiles. Live a little, love a lot, have some fun before you die.

Chris's picture

All for good looking speakers, but, seriously? Listening position is in the dipole null of the large woofer.

TIM RYAN's picture

The Helsinki is no crack pot design... it is the result of over 25 years research into speaker design by the renowned Finish acoustician Jorma Salmi respected for his dipole bass panels for the QUADS...You are correct in that there is a null 90 degrees with respect to the drivers axis.... This means there is less bass directly in front and directly above the speaker.....The genius of the Helsinki design is that the dipole bass minimizes the most damaging room height node no matter what way you toe the speaker.Secondly, the speaker is typically set-up to play straight ahead or toed in slightly allowing one to dial in the bass to the listeners preference.... something that is impossible with conventional speakers with omni bass.The speaker is an excellent example of form follows function... note the MF and HF drivers use wave guides and are tilted upward to reduce the first reflection point ie. the floor.... Impressive specs ...Freefield 200-20000Hz +/-1dB, -6dB cut off at 35HzWORTH

Sceptic's picture

Just wondering, how can anyone justify the $8k asking price for this? It's basically some multiplex board with drivers, come on...

Jeff Stake's picture

Chris, No, the listening position is NOT on the dipole null. Read the instructions for set up.Sceptic, Take a listen, or a measurement, and then tell us what sounds, or measures, better. No product out there is worth the asking price if you just compare it to the cost of the components.

mikejohnsonrules's picture

Hello. My wife and I bought our house about 6 months ago. It was a foreclosure and we were able to get a great deal on it. We also took advantage of the 8K tax credit so that definitely helped. We did an extensive remodeling job and now I want to refinance to cut the term to a 20 or 15 year loan. Does anyone know any good sites for mortgage information? Thanks!Mike