|Morel Octwin 5.2M Loudspeakers|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Floorstanding Loudspeakers|
|Written by Ben Shyman|
|Tuesday, 01 June 2004|
Page 1 of 3
Founded in Israel during the mid-1970s, Morel is very well known for manufacturing ultra-high quality drivers for other loudspeaker manufacturers. Their physical transducers are found in loudspeakers manufactured all over the world, including many award-winning models. While some audio enthusiasts have never heard of Morel as a driver manufacturer, they undoubtedly have heard Morel speakers as part of another speaker system. Now aggressively marketing specialty home and car speakers in the U.S. and around the world, Morel produces more than just raw drivers; they manufacture top-notch loudspeakers that range from truly affordable systems that compete with the likes of Bose, Energy Definitive Technology and Paradigm, as well as higher-end systems that run with a more snooty, high-priced crowd like Revel, B&W and Wilson. Morel’s Octwin 5.2M loudspeakers are in a class of products that Morel calls Music Deco, which targets listening connoisseurs who also seek edgy, modern aesthetics.
The Octwin 5.2M loudspeaker system consists of two Octave 5.2M loudspeakers. Each Octave 5.2M loudspeaker is a two-way, dual rear-ported, magnetically shielded enclosure. My review pair came in both black and white, but purple and red are also available. Each Octave speaker has a 5.25-inch woofer and a 1.12-inch low resonance soft dome tweeter. Morel claims the Octwin reproduces frequencies from 42-18 kHz ± 1 db, has nominal impedance of eight ohms and can handle 200 watts. In their Octwin configuration, impedance falls to four ohms and power handling doubles to 400 watts. The Octave’s crossover is first order at 1400 Hz between the woofer and tweeter. Each pair of Octwin 5.2Ms sell for $5,000, including stands.
The Octwin configuration is cleverly achieved by combining two Octave speakers on specially designed stands, which allow the upper speaker to be placed upside-down over the bottom speaker. Immediately upon opening the shipping container, I was struck by the density and weight of each speaker and the attractive, ultra-high gloss finish of the cabinet. Admittedly, I found assembling the Octwin stands somewhat tedious, given the labor required for a successful operation. Each stand has four truss rods, screwed and bolted into upper and lower plates, some of which did not fit smoothly on my first attempt. However, after they were fully assembled, the stands were surprisingly stable, considering their high center of gravity while sitting on their adjustable metal spikes.
One issue I did encounter during the set-up was with speaker positioning. The Octwins require surgically precise placement for them to sound their absolute best and due to the free-stacking nature of each Octave speaker, there can be some slight variance in angling the upper and lower speakers. This, combined with trying to find the ideal location for each speaker in general, made getting the Octwins in an ideal listening position more challenging than other speakers I have tested. I would have preferred the entire set-up be bolted together rather than freely stacked on small rubber nipples, which are placed between each speaker and the stands.
The Octwins’ input terminals are four-millimeter gold-plated binding posts, which allow for use of heavy gauge cables. I wired each Octwin with Transparent MusicWave Plus speaker cables. The pair of Octwins Morel sent me were used at the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and were thankfully already broken in. However, the company recommends a 72-hour break-in period for a new pair. I think one could consider as much as 100 hours before a high-end speaker comes into its own. Much like a fine cabernet benefits from time in the decanter, fine loudspeakers take some time to loosen up from the time they are first freed from the box.