Peak Consult is a Danish boutique high-end loudspeaker manufacturer which can arguably be regarded as a Danish equivalent of Sonus faber. The engineering focus, lush aesthetics and fastidious attention to detail are certainly at one with the philosophies of the Italian speaker brand, and price points, from the entry-level Princess V to the six-figure Peak Consult Dragon, are up there too.

The Princess V is a compact yet extremely hefty speaker with superb woodwork and an all-Danish driver array. The tweeter is a custom Scan-Speak model with a 1in silk dome and the main driver a bespoke 5in AudioTechnology unit. The latter features a unique cone shape and vented magnet assembly nearly the same size as the cone. A back-slope on the baffle aims to correct any phase errors between the units.

The cabinet side walls boast a 25mm laminate of HDF and a 25mm ‘plank’ of timber which is milled, fitted and oiled to finish. With textured leather covering the front and rear baffles, the result is a natural and very organic look. Our ash sample was perhaps a little pale in colour but rosewood and [at extra cost] walnut and ‘striped’ finishes are available too.

Inside the cabinet, just below the main driver, is a sealed baffle plate isolating a relatively small enclosure behind the drivers. Beneath the baffle plate, the much larger lower section is filled with a very coarse sand-like mineral aggregate.

Both drivers are supplied with relatively basic MDF frame/cloth grilles on plastic pin lugs. This does take the gloss off an otherwise very polished presentation. However, the welcome pack is superb, with impedance graphs, brochures, manuals and the personal business card of designer Per Kristofferson!

The large rear port suggests placement a decent distance from rear and side walls. Suitably set, these speakers need very little tweaking. Increasing or decreasing toe-in makes only a very subtle difference to the sound.

The Princess V is not going to make you sit up and say ‘wow’ from the first encounter. It’s a grower: smooth, sophisticated and never fatiguing. With Antimatter’s Live @ An Club [Music In Stone MIS 102], Mike Moss’s emotion-filled vocal on the track ‘Leaving Eden’ had admirable presence and a real goose-bump-inducing scale that belied the Princess’s bijou driver pairing. The detailing in the hard struck acoustic guitar had depth and vibrancy akin to the real instrument, yet lacked a little in leading-edge attack.

This is a speaker that errs on the safe side of neutral yet avoids the shut-in sound that often accompanies such a balance. Moss’s voice was intense and precisely imaged while the ambience of the venue was crafted with excellent back-to-front depth. Bass is admirable for a 5in driver in such a small enclosure. Rhythmically the Princess V cannot be faulted either.

Verdict

The Princess’s superb build and finish is a joy to behold and its mellifluous musicality is to savour. It’s a speaker that delivers great musical involvement and will never have you wincing at a bum note or a harshly recorded disc.

Originally published in the 2013 Yearbook