Richter Acoustics Unicorn Floorstanding Speakers

Richter Acoustics Unicorn Floorstanding Speakers 


Centre speaker for home theatre


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[Apr 19, 1999]
an Audio Enthusiast

The Richter Acoustics Unicorn centre speaker for home theatre. What can I say to save the reputation of this product? Well, unfortunately not much. I auditioned the "Unicorn" with the Richter Acoustics "Merlins" at my local dealer and they seemed to work okay. I did have a slight disposition in so much as I needed a centre speaker that would be physically robust to take the full weight of my 72cm JVC Pro-II TV that come in at 48Kg. It had to be fully magnetically sheilded (obvious) and hopefully sonically compliment my Richter Acoustics "Wizards" (original Mk 1 versions) that I'm presently using as the rear speakers in my system. The front speakers are KEF "Concertos". The system is powered by a Sony TA-N9000ES 5 channel amplifier and driven by a Sony TA-E1000ESD pre-amplifier.
Prior to the purchase of the Unicorn I had been operating my home theatre system in the phantom mode using the Dolby prologic decoder in the Sony pre-amp. The result was very satisfying with the KEF and Richter Wizards working in good harmony. My decision to attempt to integrate the Unicorn was a disaster. A horrible honk in the midrange and almost no bass response worth mentioning that no amount of fiddling with the parametric equaliser can seem to fix. In an attempt to solve the problem I decided to run a mono signal into the Unicorn and listen to it in isolation to the rest of the speakers. Still honky! I even tried different positions for the Unicorn within the listening area but alas to no worthwhile sonic improvement. Clarity on the dialogue of movies is compromised and on music it is just a laugh. I can barely believe that the Unicorn could be so vastly inferior to the Wizards, which for their size and price are quite acceptable.

In another Richter review on this site one model, the (Wizards MkII) came in for a bit of bad critique on build quality. My Unicorn, on unpacking had something loose in the inside of the enclosure which sounded like a golf ball rolling around. It turned out to be the air-cored inductor of the crossover network which had become unstuck from the cabinet wall.

Overall opinion: A poor product. Nothing as good as the Wizards MkI. At AUS$699 well and truly over priced. I've heard better centre speakers like the Jamo at less than half the price. Sorry Aussie company, but the thumbs down on this one.

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