Rebel 2 is PenAudio's newest
addition to their collection of high quality small loudspeakers.
Despite the fact that the price of this elegant product is very
affordable, no compromises were made concerning the sound or the
look, according to the designer Sami Penttilä.
The appearance of Rebel 2
loudspeakers is quite similar to the company's other classy
mini-monitor, Charisma. Everything from the refreshing retro-60's
look to the aluminum back label gives a finished impression.
At first I experienced a little too
much mustiness in the sound, but that was a matter of positioning.
I repositioned the speakers so that there was enough space between
them. The sound became instantly more airy and the soundstaging
improved clearly. In my listening room the speakers were
positioned the way that the inner sides of them were visible to
the listener. That way the stereo impression was at it's best.
The tweeter of Rebel 2 is
the same as in Charisma, and the sound is pretty similar too. The
"brightness" of the sound of their loudspeakers is the
trademark of PenAudio, and the company doesn't fail with this
model either. In fact, the treble surprised me at first, although
I have heard some of PenAudio's speakers before. But after a while
I got used to the sound and learned to appreciate it. Truly, the
brightness and the resolution of Rebel 2 are details most worth
mentioning. They will be remebered after listening to these
loudspeakers. All instruments were distinguished perfectly and all
nuances could be heard brilliantly. Although sometimes if the
music contained a lot of upper register material, like heavy
cymbals, these instruments stood out a little too much and
distracted me from hearing the melody itself.
The midrange was in the same
scale as PenAudio's earlier loudspeakers. Female vocals were very
clear, pure and natural. Male vocals sounded also natural and full
bodied. With some records though, male vocals stayed in the
background while other instruments took over. For example, with
harder music, I expected more power from the male singer. Maybe
the mixing emphasized electric guitar and cymbals too much and the
singing sounded a little weak. With acoustic music there was no
problem at all.
The lower register of Rebel
2 loudspeakers was sharp and powerful, excluding the lowest bass,
which was a somewhat powerless. Still, considering the size, Rebel
2 has a very warm and smooth bass. With different records, the
bass section of the speakers performed differently. Sometimes I
had a feeling that these speakers absolutely need a subwoofer, but
after listening to another album, I wasn't so sure. The kind of
music you listen defines your need of a subwoofer with these
speakers. Full lower register can be achieved with PenAudio's
Charm subwoofer, which provides an equally impressive bass
performance with these speakers as with Charismas.
All in all, acoustic music is what
these speakers live for. And quite certainly, vice versa; these
speakers can be what acoustic music lives for. With orchestral
music I have nothing but good things to say about Rebel 2. Also
light jazz and pop sounded better than I expected. Everybody has
their favorite music genre. If yours is classical or in any way
acoustic, Rebel 2 might just be your choice.
To put all this in perspective:
Rebel 2 is an excellent loudspeaker with every characteristic to
be the next hit product of PenAudio. Naturally, small size brings
limitations, but compared to other same scale products, in price
as in size, Rebel 2 impresses and astonishes, no doubt.
Manufacturer: PenAudio Ltd,
- Listening room: 15 m2, no
special acoustic treatment
- Amplifier: Electrocompaniet
- CD-player: Sony DVP-NS705V
- Interconnects: Goertz Sapphire
- Albums: -Tutti!: Orchestral
- Bela Fleck and the Flecktones:
Flight of the cosmic hippo
- Jacques Loussier trio: Baroque
- Cassandra Wilson: New moon
- HIM: Greatest lovesongs vol.666
- Type O Negative: Bloody
- Moonspell: Sin/Pecado -E-type:
Last man standing
- Nightwish: Oceanborn
- Celine Dion: All the way...A
Decade of Song -
- Tehosekoitin: Rakkauden