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Existence Loudspeakers

Manufacturer: Existence Loudspeakers
Price (in Finland): 2580-2780 €/pair
Contact: Existence Loudspeakers Oy
Tikkalantie 262 | 46140 Vekaranjärvi | Finland
tel.: +358 50 387 6090


Country of origin: Finland

have been an active member of audio community for several years already, writing and reading reviews, attending audio exhibitions, talking to many people about interesting products. It would seem that such experience should have given me a chance to at least hear of most active in recent years audio brands. The real beauty of audio business is that it's always full of surprises, no matter how well you think you know it, there will always be some rare gems to discover. Obviously there are dozens if not hundreds of new names/brands appearing on the market each year, but I actually mean those, that have been on the market for some years already, yet somehow avoiding to be discovered.
This review brought such a surprise/discovery for me. If you had asked me couple of months ago to name some Finish loudspeaker manufacturers I would have mentioned Amphion, Genelec and Gradient. And yet, out of the blue, I received a pair of Existence Loudspeakers, straight from Finland I should add. To be honest I have never heard of this company before. The real question is how it is possible? This particular company offers speakers that are of special interest for me – one more reason why I should have known at least the name already – but I didn't.
What kind of speakers are these? The ones with a single, wide range driver. Why are these so special for me? First of all they are usually an easy load that suits my favorite, low-power SET amplifiers. Secondly, remembering about some limitations of such drivers (especially in both range extremes), I love them because of the extraordinary, unmatched coherence. There are no crossovers that often are „audible” as they have to combine ranges delivered by two or more drivers in „standard” speakers. Sound of single driver loudspeakers is often quite direct and very musical. During my adventures in single-drivers world I focused mostly on horn speakers and much fewer open baffle designs, somehow omitting the third option – bas-reflex cabinets. I was well aware that bass-reflex could be an answer for some limitations of wide range drivers, I mean the not so good bass extension, but … I simply didn't like bas-reflex designs (and still don't). Why? Well, because at least on reasonable (from my point of view) price level I could usually clearly hear some colorations caused by bass-reflex – in other words, I really hated boomy bass offered by most reasonably priced models. Obviously horn designs feature their own sound colorations but these were, and still are, acceptable for me, unlike the ones coming from most speakers with bass-reflex. During my „market research” I auditioned many commercial and DIY models, mostly horns, some open baffles, but I didn't really look for bass-reflex designs, although over the years I listened to a few too. Despite my reluctance towards some particular solutions, like b-r speaker cabinets, I have also learned over years that each product deserves a chance as the sound comes first of all from a particular application of elements/solutions and the choice of particular the elements or solutions is also important but not decisive. There are very good audio products build using regular, average elements, and very poor products using only the best parts.

So when two really heavy wooden boxes with Existence Erotic speakers arrived, and after careful unpacking finally were placed in the right spots I chose not to see these two huge bas-reflex exhausts starring right at me. Especially that emails I exchanged with Existence Loudspeakers chief, Marco Reinikainen, while Erotics were traveling from Finland, bumped my expectations up. I learned from these emails that our view on what's important in music presentation was very similar. The philosophy of this Finish manufacturer says that one of the key elements of proper music presentation are emotions – even the most elaborate piece of music is just a show of technical skills of performing musicians if there are no emotions present. From my point of view also the technical solutions obviously preferred by Existence are at least partially „right” ones – even the bigger models, using widerange drivers array still don't sport any crossovers – they are tuned by the design of their cabinets, its shape and filling – bravo! Erotic, the model delivered for this review is a quite large floorstander with a single, 6,5'' driver, crossoverless, with a front bas-reflex. And of course its name is quite... intriguing. I couldn't help asking where it came from – that's quite an unusual name for a speaker, or any audio product after all. Marco, answering my question wrote, that when they finished this new model and he started to listen to his favorite artists like Katie Melua, Eva Cassidy, or Kate Bush the name just came up, it was kind of obvious... After that answer I was expecting some wonderful, emotional time during my audition to come...

Recordings used during test
(a selection)

  • Arne Domnerus, Jazz at the Pawnshop, Proprius ATR 003, LP.
  • Cassandra Wilson, New moon daughter, Blue Note; CDP 7243 8 37183 2 0, FLAC.
  • Cassandra Wilson, Travelin’ Miles, Blue Note 7243 8 54123 2 5, FLAC.
  • Dead Can Dance, Spiritchaser, 4AD/Mobile Fidelity MOFI 2-002, LP.
  • Dire Straits, Communique, Vertigo, 800 052-2, LP.
  • Eva Cassidy, Eva by heart, Blix Street 410047, FLAC.
  • Georges Bizet, Carmen, RCA Red Seal 74321 39495 2, CD i FLAC.
  • Kate Bush, The sensual world, Audio Fidelity AFZLP 082, 180 g LP.
  • Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones, Live At The Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 1981, Eagle Rock Entertainment B0085KGHI6, CD/FLAC/LP.
  • Paco De Lucia, John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, Friday Night in San Francisco, Philips 6302137, LP.
  • Patricia Barber, Companion, Premonition/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-45003, 180 g LP.
  • Pink Floyd, The Wall, CBS/SONY 40AP 1750 1, LP.
  • Raul Midon, State of mind, EMI 0946 3560012 4, FLAC.
  • Rodrigo y Gabriela, 11:11, EMI Music Poland 5651702, FLAC.
  • Take 6, The standard, Heads up B001D94L3O, FLAC.
  • The Ray Brown Trio, Soular energy, Pure Audiophile PA-002 (2), LP.

I must admit that a pair I received was really nicely build and finished. Yes, it's the most expensive standard finish there is but still its quality allows one to expect the same from any other Existence speaker. Even though these are the smallest floorstanding speakers in the whole range they sport large, over 75l, MDF cabinets. This particular pair was finished with natural veneer in Finish Silver Birch (sides and top) and Aspen (front, back and baseboard), and the whole surface was double oil waxed. Besides standard finishes customer might chose almost any other, at additional cost. The single widerange, paper cone (bamboo fiber) driver, with neodymium magnet is placed close to the top of the front baffle, while the exhaust of bass-reflex is placed near the bottom of it. At the back there is a single pair of solid speaker posts – the internal wiring goes directly from them to the driver – no crossover, capacitor, resistor, or whatsoever in signal's path. As already mentioned the whole sound tuning is based on the shape of cabinet and its particular filling.
Considering Erotic's quite high sensitivity (91 dB) manufacturer recommends using amplifiers with minimum power as low as 10W. For me it was obvious from the very beginning that my main amplification for this test would be my modified 300B SET – ArtAudio Symphony II – even though it delivered „only” 8W per channel. The other amp I used was a Polish tube amplifier (under review for the September issue of HighFidelity) EggShell Prestige 15 (offering 15W per channel).

I should probably start this review with a small reminder – I was using single-driver horn speakers for couple of years, some time ago, that were driven by 300B SET. My horns sported firstly Fostex drivers and later even better Voxative ones. And these were beautiful times I still cherish, while understanding (back than and even more now) the limitations of this solution. Back than I had no problem with sacrificing some extension on both range extremes for the most unique midrange, brilliant coherence and musicality of this setup. Later my system evolved towards full range presentation – at some point I added Fostex super-tweeters, and later even experimented with a subwoofer. To be honest, I guess that when I'm old and deaf to some extend I will love to go back to at least similar setup as it is all about emotions and experiencing music, not just listening to it. Anyway – with fabulous Bastianis Matterhorn speakers, that I use currently, I found some sort of golden mean. They sport a 15'' paper woofer and a great dipole tweeter, and can be driven by almost any amplifier, regardless its power output, plus... I simply love how they sound. They deliver it all – great bass and treble, and yet fantastic midrange.
I felt I needed to offer you these information so that you could know that my personal preference gave the speakers under review (and all other single-driver ones) an advantage right on the start (even despite bass-reflex design in this case). Speakers must deliver great midrange for me to like them, although now, unlike say 10 years ago, I need them to offer also at least decent range extremes, as the midrange by itself doesn't cut it anymore, so my expectations are surely higher than back in the days.
One of the basic requirements of reviewer's job is no prejudice and no too high expectations either prior to listening to the object of the test, and believe me – it can be quite hard. In this particular case I asked myself if Erotic, sporting only 6,5'' driver could offer a true fullrange sound? I didn't worry about midrange obviously, but rather about bass and treble. The other question in my mind was: would bass reproduction supported by bass-reflex be acceptable from my point of view? Only an open mind and proper listening sessions could answer these question...

The obvious choice for this type of speakers, especially after I learned where their name came from, to start audition, would be some female vocals. But since my biggest worry was a b-r design I decided to start with some bass pieces. So I started with spinning my favorite, Ray Brown Trio's Soular energy record. Not only is it a great piece of music but also the recording itself is technically close to perfect, and the pressing I have in my collection is amazing too. To put it simply – that's one of the best jazz bass recordings I know, and the bass is my first choice of instrument when it comes to testing bass performance of speakers. I often play this kind of recordings during my first audition of new speakers as it helps me also to find the best spot for speakers in my room, which is not acoustically perfect. In this particular case it took me some time to find optimal placement (I used also some hints Marco send me) which was around 50cm from back wall, 150cm from side walls, and the speakers were slightly toed in. This placement gave me large soundstage but with nice focus, and secondly, which in fact was the most important thing for me – I couldn't really hear any coloration coming from bass-reflex – yippee! No boomy bass, no artificial sustain – just natural sounding, nicely extended, and nicely paced bass.

The double bass in hands of the great Ray Brown, as presented by Erotics, changed into an agile, powerful beast. Maybe not so powerful as with my Matterhorns, that go down even deeper with impressive slam, but I don't think anybody would call Erotic's bass lean. I could hear proper proportions between strings and wood, sound was fast enough on one hand, and with nice, long decay too. There was plenty of small details, subtleties that made this presentation quite palpable, realistic – fingers sliding along stings, foot tapping rhythm and so on. Another thing that I really liked was a huge, open soundstage. Listening to a trio I felt like there was a band in front of me in a large room that extended well beyond the wall behind speakers. Each musician had his own well defined place on the stage. Yes, I know some speakers that define each particular source of sound in a more precise, three-dimensional way, but still Erotics gave me that amazing sense of presence of each instrument in my room, with clear location of each of them and lots of open space between them.

Still feeling like jazz, but raising a bar (in terms of difficulty of presentation) I spun the Jazz at the Pawnshop vinyl next. That's another great piece of music, and brilliant recording too (some say the best live jazz recording of all times, if there really is just one). It's more complex as there are more instruments here, crowding on a small stage of the Stampen (Pawnshop) Jazz Club in Stockholm. To play it right you need a certain level of resolution and selectivity. Existence speakers dealt with it with nicely placing each and every instrument in particular place in space, using all the size, including depth, of the soundstage. As always when listening to this recording I was particularly focusing my attention on vibes – this instrument alone tells me a lot about reviewed piece of audio equipment. This time its sound was vibrant, strong, and clear, unlike in some cases of not so good loudspeakers I happened to listen to in the past. In general it might not have been the most precise presentation of that recording I ever heard but still thanks to the amazing coherence and smoothness of the sound it was unbelievably enjoyable. There was no time to think about any weaknesses of this presentation, as it was truly involving. There was this sense of both musicians and public having a great time, enjoying themselves and it was simply contagious so instead of analyzing sound I shortly found myself also just enjoying this beautiful performance. It is one of the major assets of otherwise imperfect single-driver loudspeakers that convinced so many people around the world to chose them for their systems. When you listen to a good recording of a live performance you get involved real quickly and you forget it's just a recording you listen to in your room. Without thinking about it you start to participate in a concert, which obviously involves emotions so much stronger than simple listening to the music could offer. The difference between many different designs and speakers like Existence Erotic could be described as a difference between listening to the music and experiencing it. When you experience live music you simply forget any imperfections that happen during concert, because contact with live music is simply something else than listening to a recording of it. Existence Erotic bring you very close to the same kind of experience so you can easily forgive them some minor imperfections. Each audiophile has to make his own decision, chose his own path, his own way of listening to, or experiencing music. For me when it comes to this particular kind of music the choice is quite simple...

Advantages of using bass-reflex cabinet for a single-driver design became even clearer when I started to play some rock and blues music – meaning pieces where bass guitar and drums play key roles, when the music is mostly about pace&rhythm. The Finish guys managed to achieve with their design quite tight, fast bass with good timing that worked for this type of music pretty well. That came really handy for a live recording of Muddy Waters and Rolling Stones. Erotics relayed really well an atmosphere of a concert again allowing me to fell like I rather participated and not just listened to it. While flipping record to side B I decided to try another setup, with 15W EggShell amplifier replacing my 300B SET. Almost doubling the output power resulted with a little more slam, and even more agile rhythm, but at the cost of some midrange magic of 300B tubes, which was clear even with slightly rough Muddy's and Mick's voices. The same happened later, when I listened to Dead Can Dance record, when more power translated to more hefty electronic bass, and even more agile rhythm, while the voices of Lisa Garrard and Brendan Perry were not so palpable as with my SET. Next recording, this time from Marcus Miller (played from FLAC files), proved that more output power resulted in an even better control of Finish speakers – they went down even deeper, with more slam, while still being quite fast and nicely defined. Most horn speakers I know, even when driven by powerful amplifiers did not deliver such a nice and powerful bass as bass-reflex Existence Erotic did with 15W amp.

As you might remember, Marco named these speakers after listening to some female vocals, which suggests that this is the kind of music they were created for. So I decided not to listen to such recordings till the very end of my auditions. When it finally came to that I started with Kate Bush Sensual World and this record alone allowed me to understand what Marco meant, and why he called his speakers with a name he did. The Existence Erotic deliver a slightly warm, sweet, smooth and dense midrange and that translates to a palpable, intimate presentation of human voices. It doesn't really matter what kind of voice, whether it is Kate Bush, Eva Cassidy, Patricia Barber or Cassandra Wilson, each of them was presented in an amazingly realistic way – the right timbre, pitch, texture, it was all there. But again, when listening to them I didn't care about all that – what was important was the amazingly involving, emotional presentation, as intimate as it gets. For this kind of music a support of 300B SET's magic was truly appreciated and led me to spending long hours listening to many fabulous vocal recordings. It was an amazingly unfatiguing presentation, allowing me to enjoy music for many hours, involving me, as a listener, so much, that I simply didn't want to quit. In most of these recording I focused my attention on a vocalist, because she/he was always presented in the front of the accompanying band. That doesn't mean that whatever happened behind frontman lacked details or precision – no, it did not. I was nicely sorted with all elements in the right place, but clearly showed behind vocalists. I tried many records to find at least one with a voice sounding not right and I failed to do so. Whether it was any of female vocalists, or male, whether with sweet, gentle voice, or rather strong, coarse one – Existence Erotic dealt with every challenge in a way, that very few speakers from this price range could compete with. It would be even harder to find one that could present vocals in a similar way and and at the same time play almost equally well other types of music requiring fast, tight bass – Finish speakers can do both and that makes them quite special.


Existence Erotic are a perfect proof for my claim that a particular application of some elements, parts and so on is even more important that a particular choice of these elements, part, etc. As I admitted many times before I don't particularly like bass-reflex designs, I mean in general, even though there are some exceptions. Coloration introduced to the sound by b-r in majority of reasonably priced speakers is simply unacceptable for me. So I approached Finish speakers at first with some reservation – single driver (yuppi!) but in bass-reflex enclosure. The question that came to my mind when I saw them for the first time was: why a horn?! Than I started my audition and found my answer quite quickly – guys from Existence Speakers managed to get from a medium size, 6,5'' driver an impressively extended frequency response with punchy, fast, well controlled and defined bass, and a sweet, yet detailed and open treble. In order to achieve similar effect (at least in the lower area) with horn enclosure it would have to be surely much, much bigger, and even that wouldn't really guaranty same results. What is equally important is that typical single-driver merits were all preserved – like amazing coherence, smooth, palpable midrange, large soundstage, sweet, vibrant treble, and last but not least a capability of delivering whatever emotional load a particular piece of music carries, which in my opinion is the true clou of music presentation. You might think that these speakers would play well only some music genres, but in fact they are allrounders capable of playing almost any music there is. They will charm you with mids when needed, but support it with quite punchy bass and open, vibrant treble. I think it's a product meant mostly for working with tube amp, no matter 8 or 50W. If emotions are one of key features of music reproduction for you, if you like not to just listen to the music but experience it, plus if you expect your speakers to be a nice piece of furniture – give Existence Erotic a chance, they surely deserve it!

Existence Erotic are quite large floorstanding loudspeakers in a single-driver, crossoverless, bass-reflex cabinets. They sport a 6,5'' widerange driver with a bamboo fiber paper cone with durable structured santoprene surround, neodymium magnet and and aluminum phase plug. It is made by a Tungband company (that's information from Existence) and, if I'm not mistaken, it is a W6-1916 of F series in particular. The almost 75 litres cabinets are made of 30 mm MDF. The whole tuning of these speakers is achieved via an internal design and filling of the cabinets, so that no crossover, nor capacitors, nor resistors are needed. The bass-reflex port is placed on the front baffle. Solid speaker posts accepting both banana plugs and spades sit on the back panel right above an elegant plaque with company's name and serial number. No crossover means that speaker posts are connected with driver directly with internal wiring. The cabinet sits on a slightly larger in dimension base that sport four soft feet underneath (no spikes).

Technical parameters (according to the manufacturer)

Sensitivity: 91 dB
Nominal impedance: 8Ω
Room response: ~30 Hz – 19 kHz
Recommended amplifier power: 10 W <
Recommended room size: 20-40 m2
Dimensions: 109x36x31cm (base 42x37 cm)