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Floorstanding loudspeakers


Langerton Configurations Division

Manufacturer: Langerton Configurations Division
Price: 20.000 euro/2 pc.

Andreas B. Krebs
Schloss Tautskirchen | Schlossstraße 16
90619 Trautskirchen | Germany

tel.: 0049 9107 9257275

Country of origin: Germany

y visit with family to Berlin earlier this year has left me with only good memories. Very nice food, great beer and some really cool people (see Straussman Story HERE). Hence my surprise at Andreas Krebs’ casual remark, while carrying the speakers up to my third floor, that he may have visited Berlin only once and wasn’t even sure when. Apparently, that’s possible, too. Perhaps he’s found his own place on earth in his “small homeland” of Trautskirchen, north of Munich, and he doesn’t need any other.
A photographer by profession (still practiced), Andreas now works with assembling and selling Langerton Configurations speakers. He is not their designer, which is Norbert Heinz’s job. Another person involved in this project is Walter Langer, after whom the company took its name. Andreas and Walter came to me on a cold October Wednesday when I was just watching on the news warnings against the storm called “Christian” about to hit Germany. I was afraid that they may have not made it, but they did as they said. I wondered how they had found me. The answer turned out to be simpler than I expected and at the same time showed how many different elements in the audio business are linked together. Walter, because it was him to decide about the review, had once read my review of the Ascendo System ZF3 SE speakers, in which he’d found everything he wished to learn about them, both as a designer and an audiophile. And he knew exactly what to look for as he had been working for years as a freelance speaker designer for many German manufacturers, including Ascendo. Hence, he knew the ZF3 SE in and out. One day I received an email from Andreas with an invitation to Trautskirchen for an audition. I politely declined due to the lack of time, but I suggested they come to me instead. I realized rather too late what I’d missed when I googled the castle and the town where it’s located, and I did regret it. The region is a beer province, one of the places where you can eat well and have a good drink. And the town itself looks like a fairy tale. Not all’s lost, though, as you will soon find out. For now, however, since we agreed for Andreas’ visit to Krakow, we went on with arranging its details.

Dear Mr. Pacuła,

If you want to visit me in our showroom, it is no problem when you want to come together with your family. We have a nice hotel a few minutes nearby. Nuremberg (Nürnberg) airport is only 45km away so please feel free whenever you want to come. I would be happy to welcome you here at your earliest convenience.
I must admit that I would be happy if we managed to arrange the review date as soon as possible as autumn marks the beginning of the best season in a year for business and of course a season with good reviews is better than one with nothing (I noticed that business changed a lot during the last 10 years; now everything is about reviews and very few people take time to listen and compare), and you definitely have a very, very good reputation in the high fidelity scene.
I also googled the distance between Trautskirchen and Krakow, and found out it that is about 850 km or a 7 1/2 hour drive. So if you like to review our speakers (no matter if you manage to come to Trautskirchen or not), we could bring them to you to Krakow. And don´t worry about the 3rd floor; if you take the "Configuration 217", it is not that big and heavy (as the "Configuration DuoCapable"), so I am not afraid of carrying the speakers upstairs.

Some additional facts about Langerton:
We are a very new and at the same time a very old company. New, because Langerton started only 1 year ago; this year’s hifideluxe show in Munich was our entry to the market. Old, because our head of research and development, Norbert Heinz, has been one of the most brilliant minds in the speaker industry for about 30 years. He is the former founder of ASCENDO and he left ASCENDO last year to concentrate again only on research and development. As we have known each other also for about 30 years, he asked me to set up a no-compromise production facility and to take care of a showroom, sales and marketing. I am very happy about his confidence in me and I like this challenge because music was our first love and we are both maniacs in our quest for perfection.

Andreas B. Krebs

Phew, that’s lots of information, isn’t it? At least it helped to explain the strikingly similar appearance of the Configuration 217 and Ascendo products. But Capable Duo are quite different. Columns that came to me was relatively easy to bring, because consist of two modules: low-midrange and tweeter, stawianego a large woofer enclosure. The concept of a phase alignment of transducers, they are set relative to each other depending on how far and at what rate sit, is not new. Used by many companies to mention even the Swiss Goldmund , or American Wilson . But it is Ascendo "implanted" it in the consciousness of audiophiles. Beautiful, newly constructed columns of mechanisms allowing for precise control of the speakers to each other, appealed to both the mind and the heart.
The model 217 also have the ability to set the tweeter module, but in a simpler way - this is on the bass module and it just move forward or backward. We start from the initial position, that is, from offset backwards by 6 cm. From this you should start experimenting. It should also take some time to find the right angle bend columns. Andreas set them so that their axes crossed at about 50 cm in front of me. It just so happens that the vast majority of columns in my best game set in this way, especially monitors.

A few simple words from…
Andreas B. Krebs | production, head of sales and marketing

I don’t know if there’s any significance to this, but I noticed that many German manufacturers have their roots in Central Europe. For example, Norbert Heinz had a Polish grandmother, my grandmother comes from Wroclaw, and Walter's roots are in the Czech Republic. And speaking about Walter, he is not only a co-owner of LANGERTON Equipment and Cables Division, which is a separate part of the company dedicated to cables, but has also been Norbert Heinz’s technical assistant for 10 years. The company’s name, LANGERTON, comes from Walter’s surname – Langer [ed. note: by sheer chance, my parents’ next door neighbor’s name is also Langer], and goes back about four years when he began manufacturing cables. After Heinz left Ascendo and asked me to organize the production of his speakers, we decided to use the name ‘Langerton’. To keep the two entities independent, we divided it into separate branches dedicated to speakers and cables: LANGERTON Configurations Division and LANGERTON Equipments and Cables Division respectively. Both parts of Langerton Configuration work very closely together and with strict cooperation with Norbert Heinz’s research and development laboratory called R&D by 4C.

Albums auditioned during this review

  • MJ Audio Technical Disc vol.6, Seibundo Shinkosha Publishing MJCD-1005, CD (2013).
  • Abraxas, 99, Metal Mind Productions/Art Muza JK2011CD07, gold-CD (1999/2011).
  • Antonio Caldara, Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo, dyr. René Jacobs, wyk. Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Harmonia Mundi France HMC 905221.22, 2 x CD (1996/2002).
  • Black Sabbath, 13, Vertigo/Universal Music LLC (Japan) UICN-1034/5, 2 x SHM-CD (2013).
  • Can, Tago Mago. 40th Anniversary Edition, Spoon Records/Hostess K.K. (Japan) 40SPOON6/7J, 2 x Blu-Spec CD (1971/2011).
  • Clifford Jordan Quartet, Glass Bead Games, Strata-East/Bomba Records BOM24104, CD (1973/2006).
  • Massive Attack, Heligoland, Virgin Records 996094662, CD (2010).
  • Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells, Mercury Records/Universal Music LLC (Japan) UICY-40016, Platinum SHM-CD (1973/2013).
  • Mills Brothers, Spectacular, Going for a Song GFS275, CD (?).
  • Project by Jarre for VIP room, Geometry of Love, Aero Prod 606932, CD (2003).
  • Roger Waters, Amused To Death, Columbia/Sony Music Direct (Japan) MHCP-693, CD (1992/2005).
  • Sting, All This Time, A&M Records 212354-2, SP CD (1991).
Japanese editions of CDs and SACDs are available from

How can you not talk about speakers’ “personality”? Of course, we can naively believe that there exist speakers – electronics, too, but this time it’s not about the latter – with perfectly flat and neutral tonal response. If that were true, they would faithfully reproduce exactly what they receive from the amplifier output. As newcomers to the audio world we may even believe in this Holy Grail, and it works to our benefit. Unable to find it, we look deeper and deeper, getting to know various designs and becoming familiar with the design philosophies of particular manufacturers. Sooner or later, there must come a kind of “awakening” with the resulting understanding that there is no such thing as a “neutral” speaker. There are only various speakers that embody these or other design assumptions. And the latter are the result of a certain vision of sound and of the compromises in its implementation. Each speaker simply has its own “inherent” sound, intended by its designer.
That’s why I listened so intently to Walter’s remarks he was making while setting up the 217s in my room. Those that struck me as most important were related to imaging and space. I will perhaps not be too wide off-mark if I say that imaging, holography, soundstage, and all elements associated with re-creating the musical event in space, are Langerton engineers’ obsession. The first album Walter picked up was Roger Waters’ Amused To Death, played by all audiophiles over and over to death. However, it is no coincidence (both being picked up and played over to death). The album is actually a textbook example of how you can get surround sound from just two speakers, without losing any fullness or definition. Although very tempting, I did not start my auditions from it but instead picked up the album 99 by the Polish band Abraxas. In 2011, it was released on gold disc (not remastered, though, it seems), which I bought recently and now had an opportunity to test it. The album was recorded in a Warsaw studio with a pretty self-explanatory name: Q-Sound (I can’t find it on the Internet; could it be possible it no longer exists?). And QSound is a surround virtualization and spatial enhancement audio technology that was used on Waters’ album and makes it sound so spectacular. QSound Labs that invented it is primarily known today for its stereo enhancement systems used in mobile phones. Things were different back in the day, though. There used to be more albums recorded in this technology and, apart from Waters, the most famous musician whose albums feature the familiar logo was Sting. That’s right; his first three albums were recorded in the QSound system. The fourth unfortunately wasn’t as it was recorded on a digital recorder and QSound was originally an analog system. I will come back to Sting later.

Listening to 99, especially the short interludes where the surround effect was used to the fullest, I was trying to figure out what type of space it was and how it was presented by the German speakers. They did it unlike almost any other pair of speakers I’d ever had at home. I don’t think I need to mention that they are extremely spacious as that’s rather easy to guess. Yet they don’t sound the same with anything they play. While each album, even in mono, received its own proper setting in the form of individual, clear acoustics, its particular elements were presented differently from one album to another, and often from track to track. I didn’t even realize previously that some of these differences existed.

The dog on Waters’ album that barks from behind the window or the sound of sled running on the snow behind us – that’s normal. You can hear it even on a small portable stereo in the kitchen corner, as long as it has two speakers. Referring to it in the context of high-end in order to emphasize audio system spaciousness is downright offensive. It can only be a basis to build up something bigger. The Langerton speakers do it perfectly. Not only do they define phantom images on the sides and at the back, but they also combine them with what is happening in front of us. If the reverb on 99 runs from front to back, it is continuously audible, without jumping between these two points. When the infamous dog barks, it doesn’t happen for its own sake but in a certain space in which we are also located. There is a connection between HERE and THERE; both have the same exact set of distinctive sounds, reflections and reverberation.
This “connective tissue” referred to above was even better audible on Sting albums, including the single All This Time from his third album The Soul Cages. In addition to the title track, it features his composition not found anywhere else that, in my opinion, is the most beautiful track recorded by the former lead singer of the Police. It just happens to be an instrumental, titled I Miss You Kate.
QSound is used on Sting recordings in a slightly different role than on Waters’. It is to help recreate large acoustics, with no “special” effects. And it sounds just great. The German speakers captured this aspect perfectly, as it was almost imperceptible. I just suddenly found myself in a large space without being aware of it, so naturally it sounded. As a matter of fact, I heard the same thing on classically recorded albums, like Clifford Jordan Quartet’s Glass Bead Games. The double bass that starts most of the tracks, is supported on one intro by arpeggios on the piano strings. The double bass is located centrally in front of us, large and full, and the strings suddenly appear on its both sides, widening the field of “vision” and opening up the soundstage.

However, to reduce these speakers’ advantages only to great imaging would be most unfair. I think that their ability to show the space so precisely and naturally, and so well differentiated has some other origin: a very flat and even frequency response. These are really neutral speakers. Perhaps this is the reason for such a tight and dense connection between the front and back and the sides. Creating spectacular space is often done at the cost of thinning down the lower registers and emphasizing a few frequency ranges. I didn’t notice any of that here. Even though, at first, the listener unprepared for such a presentation may find the bass slightly lacking. And this is another aspect that makes these speakers different from the majority of other designs I've ever heard.
The 217s sat in the same exact spot that was taken only a few days earlier by the powerful JBL S3900 horn speakers. The sheer scale of sound of the latter was unprecedented, as was their tonal saturation. However, their emphasized parts of bass and midrange resulted in everything sounding equally big and impressive. I really liked it, as the presentation was spontaneous, unrestrained and full, just the way I like it. But I couldn’t close my eyes to the fact that the differentiation of events suffered, reduced to a common denominator.
The Langerton speakers are not lean or thinned out. Note the deep bass extension on the Massive Attack album Heligoland, the deep growls on the disc Project by Jarre, or the least obvious but easiest to verify double bass sound on Clifford Jordan’s album. It was all rendered with sensitivity and attention to color and detail; slightly soft and very, very natural. Woofer tuning reminds me of what I heard in well-designed closed-enclosure speakers. They usually allow for a deeper bass extension than equivalent ported designs, although the latter seem to offer a stronger bottom end. And it is stronger, but only because part of it is boosted and emphasized. They pay for it with their inferior transient impulse response and lower definition. The Configuration 217s sound as if they had no bass-reflex vent on the rear, yet when a strong, deep bass impulse is needed they simply generate it.

The tonality of these speakers seems to be, or should I rather say it simply is brighter than that of the Harbeth M40.1. It generally resembles the JBLs mentioned earlier, which also have a better constructed treble, with higher definition. The frequency response of the 217 is flatter, however, with no unevenness that is always present in horn designs. Yet it is not a "bright" sound. I have mentioned the strong bass earlier on. The midrange also sounds saturated and very stable. It is helped by the method of driver mounting and the selected crossover network. But the main thing is that the speakers differentiate very well and hence the vocals will not always be strong and saturated, nor will be located in front of us on each album. When the recording was made in a large space, such as church – Antonio Caldara’s Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo, for example – the vocals are recessed deep into the soundstage. When it is a mono recording made with a close up microphone, right before the singer, his vocals will be in front, just before us. However, since we are used to the fact that the sound at home is to a large extent “made” or recreated, it puts us slightly off our stride. Due to the physical constraints of audio playback on speakers in small spaces, sound and production engineers who monitor it in even smaller sound control rooms attempt to condense the sound to make it “fit” between the speakers, without reducing the volume of individual instruments. It's very difficult but feasible, as evidenced by the best examples. This is the path taken by speaker designers who "help" them create a large volume. An outstanding example of such thinking are the Harbeth M40.1.
The ‘217’ are different, closer in this respect to what I heard from the Amphion Krypton3. They create in our room a balanced picture with very natural proportions between the instruments and the space in which they have been recorded. This is why some of the former will be smaller than with the Harbeths. The tonality will also seem brighter.
At a certain volume level everything settles down, however. Turn it up a bit and it gets too bright. That is a sign that the speakers perfectly "sense" the signal that is fed to them. Albums are mastered at a certain specific sound pressure (and hence volume) level and the perfect reproduction of the mastering studio conditions is only possible at the same level. The 217s easily follow these changes. They are simply very honest and reliable speakers that earn our increasing recognition, which further grows with each next album. Listening to them for half an hour will leave us with an impression that everything is more or less OK, but there is nothing to be particularly excited about. After an hour, we enter into their world with growing curiosity and respect. In time, this can grow into love.


“School of Sound” is a basic audio concept that is worth remembering. One can of course talk about good and bad products, but most of them are simply dull. However, if something is good, it will most likely be different from other good things. The Langerton Configuration 217 speakers are also different from most others, resembling – I couldn’t help saying that – the Ascendo speakers I once auditioned at home. I don’t know how it’s possible, but the 217 seem more refined to me. While the ribbon in the System ZF3 S.E. is far better than the 217’s tweeter, bass delivery and a total integration of everything into one smooth whole are better with the speakers Andreas and Walter lugged up to my third floor.
These are speakers that show the soundstage as it really is. Instead of creating it, they do their best to re-create it as faithfully as possible. The price for it is a smaller optimal listening field and smaller sound sources further down the soundstage. The advantages are truly amazing, however. I believe that you will hear many of the elements that create recording’s holographic dimension for the first time, no matter what kind of speakers you currently use.
You just need to give the 217 some time as they are not the sort of speakers that fill us with awe in the first minutes of listening. Their bass is really special because it is natural and deep at the same time. It is also well differentiated – hence some recordings may seem slightly "lean". But that's only because they have been so produced. We will not get an equally high sound pressure, filling the room tightly, as from the speakers equipped with large woofers, like the Harbeth M40.1 or the JBL S3900. This design is much closer to the Tannoy Kensington GR. The speakers require a high-current amplifier, even though their sensitivity is above average on paper. Their positioning is quite simple, although proper placement of the tweeter module takes some time. Finish quality is outstanding. The speakers receive the RED Fingerprint Award.

The 217 were set up and positioned by Andreas and Walter. They took the same exact spot as all other speakers before them, but were heavily toed-in, with their axes crossing well in front of the listening place. I also tried less toe-in, but that suggested by my new friends turned out to be optimal. I experimented with the treble modules, though. The guys left them positioned 6 cm back from the front of the bass modules. My attempts to move them further back led nowhere as everything was getting blurry. However, moving them forward to about 3.5 cm from the front resulted in the most coherent and stable sound image.
The audition had the character of an A/B comparison, with the A and B known. Music samples were 2 minutes long; I also auditioned whole albums. Since the speakers came equipped with their own isolation plinths, this time I didn’t use the Acoustic Revive isolation boards.

The idea of a phase corrected speaker design was first realized by Norbert Heinz in 1988. Perfected over the years by Ascendo, it received a new form in the 217 Configuration speakers, based on electrical rather than mechanical phase correction. As Walter said, the real key to these speakers is their crossover network, their true heart and brain. Its proper design and tuning is always the most difficult aspect of maintaining linear phase response between the drivers. In the reviewed model it’s divided into two separate PCBs, on in the low-midrange and one in the tweeter module respectively. They feature high-quality components, such as expensive capacitors and air coils from Mundorf.
The modules are decoupled from each other via aluminum feet with rubber inserts. Underneath the bass module are cap-shaped discs with matching recesses in the base plinth. The latter is quite thick and rests on three cap-shaped feet. They can also be replaced with larger spikes.
The cabinets are made of thick MDF and filled with loosely compacted felt. The speaker terminals look fantastic and are high quality connectors from Furutech. They are not the most expensive Furutech model, though. Walter said he tried them once and not only was their clamp mechanism prone to breaking down quickly, but the speakers also sounded inferior compared with the ones that were being used. It's hard not to believe him; the speakers are expensive and their designer didn’t cut corners on components. The terminals are mounted to large, thick aluminum plates. They are separate for each of the two modules and need to be coupled with a short cable, as in the Avantgarde Acoustic speakers. During the review I was using cables provided by Walter who is a true cable "guru". These were the NL2 Mk2 that use copper and silver conductors.
The drivers come from Scan-speak: a 28mm soft dome tweeter from the Prestige line and a 200mm mid-woofer with coated paper cone, from the Classic line. The top module features a sealed enclosure, while the bottom one is rear ported.

Technical Specifications

Design: Two-way, bass-reflex
Sensitivity: 89 dB at 1 W / 1 m
Maximum power: 110 W
Height: 1008 mm


- Turntable: AVID HIFI Acutus SP [Custom Version]
- Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory KANSUI, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory SHILABE, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory ZERO (mono) | Denon DL-103SA, review HERE
- Phono stage: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC, review HERE
- Compact Disc Player: Ancient Audio AIR V-edition, review HERE
- Multiformat Player: Cambridge Audio Azur 752BD
- Line Preamplifier: Polaris III [Custom Version] + AC Regenerator, regular version review (in Polish) HERE
- Power amplifier: Soulution 710
- Integrated Amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
- Stand mount Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic, review HERE
- Stands for Harbeths: Acoustic Revive Custom Series Loudspeaker Stands
- Real-Sound Processor: SPEC RSP-101/GL
- Integrated Amplifier/Headphone amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
- Headphones: HIFIMAN HE-6, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-300, review HERE | Sennheiser HD800 | AKG K701, review (in Polish) HERE | Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, version 600 - reviews (in Polish): HERE, HERE, HERE
- Headphone Stands: Klutz Design CanCans (x 3), review (in Polish) HERE
- Headphone Cables: Entreq Konstantin 2010/Sennheiser HD800/HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE
System I
- Interconnects: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, review HERE | preamplifier-power amplifier: Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo, review HERE
- Loudspeaker Cables: Tara Labs Omega Onyx, review (in Polish) HERE
System II
- Interconnects: Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0PA | XLR-1.0PA II
- Loudspeaker Cables: Acoustic Revive SPC-PA
System I
- Power Cables: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300, all system, review HERE
- Power Distributor: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate, review HERE
- Power Line: fuse – power cable Oyaide Tunami Nigo (6m) – wall sockets 3 x Furutech FT-SWS (R)
System II
- Power Cables: Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version, review (in Polish) HERE | Oyaide GPX-R (x 4 ), review HERE
- Power Distributor: Oyaide MTS-4e, review HERE
- Portable Player: HIFIMAN HM-801
- USB Cables: Acoustic Revive USB-1.0SP (1 m) | Acoustic Revive USB-5.0PL (5 m), review HERE
- LAN Cables: Acoustic Revive LAN-1.0 PA (kable ) | RLI-1 (filtry), review HERE
- Router: Liksys WAG320N
- NAS: Synology DS410j/8 TB
- Stolik: SolidBase IV Custom, read HERE/all system
- Anti-vibration Platforms: Acoustic Revive RAF-48H, review HERE/digital sources | Pro Audio Bono [Custom Version]/headphone amplifier/integrated amplifier, review HERE | Acoustic Revive RST-38H/loudspeakers under review/stands for loudspeakers under review
- Anti-vibration Feets: Franc Audio Accessories Ceramic Disc/ CD Player/Ayon Polaris II Power Supply /products under review, review HERE | Finite Elemente CeraPuc/ products under review, review HERE | Audio Replas OPT-30HG-SC/PL HR Quartz, review HERE
- Anti-vibration accsories: Audio Replas CNS-7000SZ/power cable, review HERE
- Quartz Isolators: Acoustic Revive RIQ-5010/CP-4
- FM Radio: Tivoli Audio Model One