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Lyravox Karl der Große Preview

Lyravox Karl der Große

Stopping Over In Hamburg For A Teaser

How do you make an active speaker passive and then active again …?

Lyravox Karl der Große Preview

You know teasers, don’t you? Originally, these were short (and often sensational) snippets of series or films that were intended to ensure that people would tune in again next Wednesday. The phrase is currently extremely popular on the Internet. It announces products and/or software long before they are available in stores. This trend is getting so out of hand that I’m already rolling my eyes at the “T” in teaser.

It’s all the more surprising, then, that this mini-report is a kind of teaser. However, there are two crucial catches: I already have too much information for a superficial preview and – whoosh! – the product is on the home straight.

Lyravox Karl der Große Preview
Anyone who has been to the NDHT 2024 will have an idea of the dimensions: Karlmann (on the left) is anything but small. And yet he is dwarfed by Karl der Große.

One Coffee Please …

Lyravox Karl der Große Preview
Sascha Harbs Heinsohn with a chassis selection à la Lyravox.

I was in Hamburg a few days ago and was invited to visit the hallowed halls of Lyravox for a quick coffee shortly before returning home. Our house visit from 2022 gives an impression of the manufactory, where I happened to witness the birth of the new flagship: Götz von Laffert and Jens Wietschorke’s team were just done installing the last Accuton drivers in the new Lyravox Karl der Große (German for Charlemagne). Although the specimen in the photos is not the very first sample of the loudspeaker, it is the first final version made of artificial stone. Previously, there were only mockups and prototypes made of wood.

The mighty Über-Karl is an active concept that leaves the choice of means up to its owner. Lyravox itself developed its four-way giant with variations of its proven Pascal power amplifiers, such as those used in the recently presented Karlmann or Karl II. However, the electronics are external and are connected to “the big one” with four interchangeable speaker cables. This makes it possible to switch to any other power amplifier – according to preference and taste.

Lyravox Karl der Große Preview
Cabinet individualism

Open Drive: Karl Der Große

The necessary preliminary work (there are no crossovers inside the speakers) is carried out by a DSP network. Actually, it would be more accurately referred to as a complete computer including DAC, which is connected upstream of the four power amplifiers. While the aforementioned Pascal power plants are already in more or less finished enclosures, the DSP board is still just that during my visit: a board with superstructures.

Lyravox Karl der Große Preview
Imagination is still required: the DSP network, DAC board and other ingredients will be housed in a beautiful cast stone enclosure for the trade fair in May.

As I enter the listening room, Jens Wietschorke is in the middle of preparing the setup for the final tune-up. A bundle of cables connects the DSP board to a laptop, on whose display I can see complex structures and filter sets. Programming the theoretically countless parameters will certainly take a few more weeks. Nevertheless, the two inventors are confident that they will be able to present their new powerhouse at the Highend in Munich in just three weeks’ time.

Lyravox Karl der Große Preview
The finishing touches will soon begin: Jens Wietschorke prepares the measuring equipment and computer for programming the DSP crossovers.

However, the software already tells me one thing: thanks to its modular structure, the software can be adapted to any power amplifier at a later date – and even the nastiest room problems can be compensated for here.

But Everything Is Activated …

Despite its unique open drive concept, Lyravox Karl der Große fits seamlessly into the Hamburg-based company’s portfolio. The speaker provides each of its eight drivers with its own enclosure volume. The wiring is routed through struts that hold all the modules together. At the back of the giant is driver number nine, a modest 21-inch bass, whose double drive unit ensures maximum power during acceleration. If no signal is present, the magnets arranged in antiphase immediately ensure silence. Without this trick, the use of such a huge bass chassis would hardly be conceivable.

Lyravox Karl der Große Preview
Above: The power amplifiers are already in the housing. Only the artificial stone front is still missing. Below: At the back, however, everything is already “ready for production”.

Lyravox Karl der Große Preview

There was just one small thing still missing during my visit: I couldn’t yet hear Karl der Große. Without a programmed filter network, this would have been a very “peculiar” pleasure. And as the saying goes: you can only spoil a first impression once.

So It’s Gonna Be At The HIGHEND 2024

But there will be an opportunity to do so in Munich. With Atrium 4.1, Room 129, Lyravox has secured an environment that does justice to the colossus that is Karl der Große. My prediction: Karl der Große will be one of the most photographed show stoppers at the upcoming trade fair!


Lyravox Karl der Große Preview

The stated retail price of the reviewed device is valid as of the time of the review and is subject to change.