In the heyday of high-end loudspeaker manufacturing, Altec-Lansing reigned supreme from the 1950s to the 1980s, known worldwide for their state-of-the-art, high-output loudspeakers. Models from this era are still sought after, and the Altec 612 versatile monitor, a precursor to the Model 14, holds a special place in the heart of Robert Gaboury, the founder, owner, and designer of The Heretic Loudspeaker Company in Saint-Laurent, Quebec. Gaboury’s vision was to combine modern technology with Altec models’ classic 12-inch coaxial design to create a speaker that delivers a pure, addictive listening experience. His dream results in the AD614 model, a compact but mighty speaker.
The Heretic Loudspeaker Company, founded and led by Robert Gaboury, is a beacon of innovation and reverence for the golden age of high-end loudspeakers. Based in Saint-Laurent, Quebec, this company draws inspiration from the timeless designs of Altec Lansing’s classic models while infusing them with modern technology and a fresh perspective. The result is a range of speakers that pay homage to the past and set a new standard for audiophiles seeking immersive, natural, and enjoyable listening experiences. Focusing on musicality, precision, and efficiency, The Heretic Loudspeaker Company is redefining the boundaries of what premium speakers can deliver to the discerning world of audio enthusiasts.
- 2-way, ductless, high-efficiency 2-way coaxial monitor
- Serial Linkwitz-Riley second-order network
- FSC 12 ply, birch plywood construction
- Mil-spec circuit board
- 10-year warranty.
- 303 Heretic coaxial transducer
- Low frequencies: 12 in. high power, low-frequency transducer
- High frequencies: 1 in. coaxial compression driver
- Horn profile: Short exponential.
- Frequency response: 45 Hz to 22 000 Hz
- typical room response 35 Hz to 20 000 Hz
- Recommended amplifier power : 3 to 300 watts, unclipped
- Impedance: 8 Ω
- Sensitivity: 97 dB @ 2.83 V @ 1M.
- Corner frequency: 1,7 kHz
- Type: 2nd order Serial type Linkwitz-Riley, Air core inductors, Mundorf© Capacitors.
- Dimensions: 25,5 in. high, 18,75 in. wide, 14.5 in. depth; 65 cm high, 48 cm wide, 37 cm deep
- Weight: 43 lbs / 20 kg
- Volume : 3 cubic feet, 85 liters
- Tuning: Ductless port
- Construction: FSC 12 ply, Birch plywood
- Connection: CE-compliant isolated copper binding posts
Exquisite Craftsmanship: The Artistry Behind Heretic Loudspeakers
The craftsmanship at The Heretic Loudspeaker Company is a testament to the dedication and passion of its founder, Robert Gaboury, who takes a meticulous and hands-on approach to ensure the production of speakers that are as much works of art as they are audio devices. At the heart of this craftsmanship is ultra-premium 12mm Canadian birch plywood, carefully chosen for its stiffness, lightness, and conformity. This choice of material is integral to achieving the desired tonal qualities of the speakers.
Each speaker is crafted with great attention to detail, and the design philosophy is driven by a commitment to delivering the best possible audio performance. The ventless design, a unique feature of Heretic speakers, is a testament to their pursuit of perfection. Unlike modern designs that rely on simulation software and tubular ports to optimize low-frequency response, Heretic speakers hark back to the vintage Altec approach, which was calculated without the use of Thiele/Small parameters, creating a much wider and more musical bass response without the typical resonances associated with modern ported designs.
The coaxial design, another hallmark of Heretic speakers, embodies the spirit of innovation. While older coaxial speakers featured larger compression drivers, Heretic speakers opted for a smaller dome with an aluminum horn and woofer diaphragm acting as a waveguide. This design choice reduces mass, increases the resonant frequency, and extends the high-frequency response, setting them apart from their predecessors.
Finally, the serial filter network in Heretic speakers is a complex but highly effective component. Implementing it may be a designer’s headache, but it is the key to achieving unparalleled consistency between the woofer and the tweeter. This network operates in series, meaning adjustments in one section inevitably affect the other. Nevertheless, it results in a level of precision and accuracy that is difficult to achieve with the parallel networks used in most loudspeakers.
In summary, the craftsmanship at The Heretic Loudspeaker Company is a beautiful blend of old-world reverence for classic designs and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of audio quality. It reflects the passion and innovation of a company that strives to deliver speakers that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also capable of providing a listening experience that is pure, immersive, and highly enjoyable for audiophiles.
The Listening Experience:
The listening experience with Heretic A614 speakers is exceptional, characterized by a captivating blend of precision, musicality, and immersion that sets them apart from the ordinary. These speakers possess a unique ability to draw the listener into the heart of the music, making each listening session a truly enthralling journey.
What makes the listening experience with Heretic A614 speakers truly special is their knack for entrancing the listener, almost as if they can “stick” you to your listening chair. Whether you’re delving into the heavy and trippy dub vibes of Nightmares on Wax or the rhythmic beats of Propellerheads, the Heretic A614 speakers effortlessly transport you into the depths of the music. The sound has an intoxicating quality, a tangible sense of presence, and a dynamic range that keeps you engaged throughout the entire listening session.
One of the features of Heretic A614 speakers is their 12-inch coaxial driver combined with a precisely engineered cabinet. This design choice creates a point source configuration, where the tweeter sits in the woofer’s center (behind the dust cover), resulting in a sound that emerges cohesively, akin to a single driver producing the entire audio spectrum. This cohesion leads to a remarkable sense of clarity and unity in the soundstage, making every instrument and vocal feel naturally placed in the musical landscape.
The low-end performance of the Heretic A614 speakers is particularly noteworthy. The 12-inch coaxial driver, combined with the well-crafted cabinet, yields an organic and musical low-end response. It’s a bass that’s not artificially inflated but possesses a musicality that complements the listening experience. Whether you enjoy intricate bass lines or rhythmically rich tracks, the Heretic A614 speakers deliver a low-end performance that’s satisfying and true to the original recording.
As you explore the Heretic A614 speakers’ capabilities, you’ll find yourself engrossed in the music, with no desire to skip tracks or analyze nuances. The Heretic A614 speakers offer an experience that transcends the analytical side of audiophilia, inviting you to simply appreciate and savor the musical ambiance. It’s a rare quality in speakers that allows you to immerse yourself in the pure pleasure of music without needing to dissect every sonic detail.
In essence, the listening experience with Heretic A614 speakers is a journey into the heart of music, where their ability to captivate, their precise point source configuration, and their low-end performance come together to offer a truly immersive and enjoyable musical adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned audiophile or someone who revels in the joy of music, these speakers are bound to leave a lasting impression and create moments of pure musical bliss.
Modern Efficiency with Minimal Power:
The Heretic A614 speakers redefine the concept of modern efficiency by delivering exceptional performance with minimal power consumption. Powered by the Lab12 Mighty amplifier, which produces just 10 watts per channel, these speakers demonstrate a remarkable ability to maximize the impact of every watt, making for a listening experience that is both surprising and eco-friendly.
One of the standout characteristics of the Heretic A614 speakers is their incredible sensitivity, rated at 97db/1-Watt. These speakers can generate impressive sound levels with very little power input. In practical terms, it signifies that even at low amplifier power, the Heretic A614 speakers can produce a sound that is both clear and room-filling. Most people rarely listen to music at ear-splitting volumes, and these speakers are a testament to the fact that high sensitivity can enhance the listening experience even at lower listening levels.
The Lab12 Mighty amplifier, with its modest 10 watts per channel output, pairs perfectly with the Heretic A614 speakers, highlighting their efficiency. This amplifier-speaker combination conserves energy and showcases the potential of a system that prioritizes quality over sheer quantity of power. The Heretic A614 speakers prove that you don’t need a high-powered amplifier to create an expansive and immersive musical experience. Their synergy with a 10-watt amplifier serves as a reminder that it’s not just about the quantity of power but the quality of power and its utilization.
What makes this modern efficiency truly remarkable is that the Heretic A614 speakers manage to fill the room with music, enveloping the listener in a captivating sonic experience, all while consuming a fraction of the energy of traditional high-powered setups. This efficiency level is cost-effective and aligns with the current focus on energy conservation and environmental consciousness.
In summary, the Heretic A614 speakers exemplify the concept of modern efficiency with minimal power. Their high sensitivity, coupled with the Lab12 Mighty amplifier’s modest output, creates a harmonious blend of quality sound and energy conservation. This efficient combination challenges the notion that louder is always better and invites audiophiles to appreciate the synergy of quality components that enhance the listening experience without compromising power consumption.
Immersive and Fun:
The Heretic A614 speakers offer an immersive and fun listening experience that is truly captivating. These speakers excel at drawing the listener into the heart of the music, creating a sense of engagement and enjoyment that goes beyond the analytical aspects of audio reproduction.
What sets the Heretic A614 speakers apart is their ability to envelop the listener in a sonic cocoon, providing an immersive experience transcending traditional speaker performance’s boundaries. When listening to music through these speakers, you’ll find that they transport you to the heart of the recording, making you feel like you’re in the studio or concert hall. The soundstage they create is wide and deep, and their precise point source configuration ensures that each instrument and vocal is placed with remarkable accuracy, contributing to a three-dimensional listening experience.
The fun factor of the Heretic A614 speakers is undeniable. Whether you’re listening to your favorite tracks or exploring new musical genres, these speakers make every moment enjoyable. You’ll find yourself engrossed in the music, tapping your feet to the rhythm, and getting lost in the sonic details. The sense of fun and enjoyment they bring to the listening experience is a testament to their ability to connect with the listener on an emotional level.
One of the key factors contributing to this immersive and fun experience is the Heretic A614 speakers’ ability to deliver a natural and harmonious low end. Their 12-inch coaxial driver, combined with a well-crafted cabinet, produces an organic and satisfying bass response without artificial exaggeration. Whether it’s the thumping bassline in your favorite dance track or the rich acoustic bass in a jazz composition, the Heretic A614 speakers excel in reproducing low frequencies with a musicality that enhances the overall enjoyment of the music.
In addition, these speakers offer consistency that makes the listening experience even more enjoyable. The vocal reproduction is transcendent in tonality and can decode layered harmonies. The Heretic A614 speakers’ high sensitivity ensures that nothing strains to produce sound, resulting in low distortion and minimal listening fatigue. This means you can enjoy your favorite music for extended periods without experiencing listener fatigue.
The Heretic A614 speakers are designed to be more than just an audio system; they are engineered to create a deep emotional connection with the listener. Their ability to immerse you in the music and make the experience fun is a testament to their craftsmanship and engineering. Whether you’re a dedicated audiophile or simply someone who loves music, these speakers offer an experience that is as enjoyable as it is captivating, turning each listening session into an unforgettable musical journey.
Versatile in Room Placement:
The Heretic A614 speakers are remarkable not only in terms of their audio performance but also when it comes to their adaptability in various room settings. Their versatility in room placement is a testament to their thoughtful design, making them suitable for various listening environments and configurations.
One of the features of the Heretic A614 speakers is their relatively lightweight, coming in at around 20 kilograms each. This lightweight design makes it convenient for individuals to move and install these speakers alone, which can be a significant advantage when setting up a home audio system. The ability to easily reposition the speakers allows quick adjustments to optimize sound quality in different rooms or listening areas.
The adaptability of the Heretic A614 speakers extends to the various room sizes they can be placed in. Whether you have a small room (around 12 square meters), a medium-sized room (around 19 square meters), or even a large room (around 40 square meters), these speakers consistently deliver excellent results. Their ability to perform well across different room sizes is a testament to their versatility, ensuring you can enjoy high-quality audio regardless of your living space.
Furthermore, the Heretic A614 speakers come with stands for floor use, providing an option for those who prefer a floor-standing speaker configuration. However, their versatility goes beyond these included stands. The review mentions an improved listening experience by elevating the tweeter slightly above ground level, achieved using custom brackets. These brackets are in development, demonstrating the commitment of Heretic to providing additional customization options for their users.
Placing the tweeter a bit higher reduces rounding in the midrange and contributes to a wider soundstage. It eliminates much of the first reflection off the floor, enhancing the listening experience. This adaptability in positioning ensures that the Heretic A614 speakers can be fine-tuned to suit your specific room dimensions and personal listening preferences, allowing for a tailored experience in any environment.
In summary, the Heretic A614 speakers’ versatility in room placement reflects their user-centered design philosophy. Their lightweight build, compatibility with different room sizes, and the option for customized bracket solutions make them well-suited for a wide range of listening environments. Whether you have a cozy home studio or a spacious living room, these speakers can be adjusted to deliver exceptional audio quality, ensuring that you can enjoy their immersive sound in a way that suits your individual space and preferences.
Heritage and Innovation:
Heritage and innovation are at the core of the Heretic A614 speakers, representing a delicate balance between paying homage to classic designs and pushing the boundaries of modern speaker technology. This unique blend of old-world charm and cutting-edge innovation defines the essence of these remarkable audio devices.
The Heretic A614 speakers take inspiration from the iconic designs of the past, particularly those of Altec-Lansing, renowned for their state-of-the-art loudspeakers in the mid-20th century. The founders of Heretic, most notably Robert Gaboury, deeply appreciate the golden age of audio technology. In particular, Gaboury’s fondness for the Altec 612 versatile monitor is evident in the design of the A614 speakers, which can be seen as an evolution of this classic model. By infusing these vintage design elements with modern technology, Heretic has created a bridge between the audio traditions of yesteryears and the demands of contemporary audiophiles.
One of the defining features of the Heretic A614 speakers is their ventless design, a concept that harkens back to the days when Thiele/Small parameters were not in widespread use. While most contemporary loudspeaker designers rely on advanced simulation software for precise calculations, the Heretic team has resurrected a method used by Altec designers in the 1940s. This design approach bypasses the conventional use of tubular ports and embraces a broader, more musical bass response. The ventless design is a nod to the heritage of speaker technology, demonstrating that the past can hold valuable insights for the present.
Another notable innovation in the Heretic A614 speakers is using a coaxial driver, reinvented for the modern era. While older coaxial speakers like the Altec 604 employed a compression driver with a relatively large dome, Heretic has opted for a smaller dome, almost as diminutive as a contemporary tweeter. This innovation reduces mass and increases the resonant frequency, enhancing the extension of high frequencies. The result is a superior performance that surpasses the classic models, providing a more balanced and detailed listening experience.
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of the Heretic A614 design is using a serial filter network. Unlike most speakers’ more common parallel networks, this approach connects the woofer and tweeter in series. Adjusting one part of the network affects the other, requiring a more intricate design process. Nevertheless, the serial network offers unparalleled consistency in sound reproduction, a feature that audiophiles highly value.
In conclusion, the Heretic A614 speakers embody the spirit of heritage and innovation. They draw from the timeless designs of classic models like Altec while infusing them with modern technology and novel design concepts. These speakers are a testament to the belief that performance and musicality can coexist and that there is much to be learned from the past in shaping the future of audio technology. This blend of heritage and innovation makes the Heretic A614 speakers a unique and captivating addition to high-end audio.
Usability, Connectivity, and Unique Features of Heretic A614 Speakers
The Heretic A614 speakers offer impressive usability, connectivity options, and unique functions that enhance their appeal to audiophiles seeking a seamless and enjoyable audio experience.
Usability: The Heretic A614 speakers are designed with user-friendliness in mind. Their relatively lightweight, around 20 kilograms each, ensure that users can easily move and install them without needing additional assistance. This convenience is particularly valuable for individuals who enjoy rearranging their listening space or experimenting with optimal speaker placement. Including stands for floor, use provides flexibility in configuring the speakers according to room layout and listening preferences. Additionally, the speakers’ adaptability to various room sizes, from small to large spaces, highlights their versatility, ensuring that users can experience high-quality sound regardless of their living environment. These features make the Heretic A614 speakers user-friendly and accommodating, allowing both novice and experienced audiophiles to easily integrate them into their setup.
Connectivity: The Heretic A614 speakers offer a range of connectivity options to accommodate different audio sources and playback devices. They can be seamlessly integrated into existing audio systems, whether you prefer analog or digital connections. The availability of various input options, including RCA and XLR, ensures compatibility with a wide range of audio sources, such as turntables, CD players, preamps, and more. This flexibility in connectivity empowers users to enjoy their music collection through the Heretic A614 speakers while maintaining the integrity of their preferred audio setup.
Unique Functions: One of the features of the Heretic A614 speakers is their ventless design. Inspired by vintage speaker technology, this design choice results in a broader and more musical bass response than traditional tubular ported designs. The ventless design eliminates the resonances often associated with ported speakers, creating a more enjoyable and nuanced listening experience. This unique feature sets the Heretic A614 speakers apart from the crowd and appeals to audiophiles seeking a distinctive sonic character.
The coaxial driver configuration with a small dome and a short aluminum horn also serves as a waveguide, offering high-frequency extension and enhanced performance. This innovative approach optimizes reproducing the upper-frequency range, adding to the speakers’ appeal.
Furthermore, the Heretic A614 speakers’ utilization of a serial filter network is a noteworthy unique function. Although it presents design challenges, this network ensures consistency in sound reproduction that is often unattainable with traditional parallel networks. The result is a remarkable clarity and coherence in the audio output, regardless of the genre of music being played. This unique approach caters to audiophiles prioritizing audio accuracy and balance in their listening experience.
In summary, the Heretic A614 speakers offer a user-friendly design, versatile connectivity options, and several unique functions contributing to their overall appeal. Their usability, adaptability to different room sizes, and compatibility with various audio sources make them an excellent choice for both novice and experienced audiophiles. Including innovative design elements, such as the ventless configuration, coaxial driver setup, and serial filter network, sets these speakers apart and adds to their uniqueness in the world of high-end audio.
In conclusion, the Heretic A614 speakers are a testament to the harmonious marriage of heritage and innovation in high-end audio. Their design, inspired by past classics, pays homage to the golden age of loudspeakers while pushing the boundaries of modern technology. The ventless design, coaxial driver configuration, and serial filter network represent a bold departure from the conventional, resulting in a captivating and enjoyable audio experience. Whether placed in a small, medium, or large room, these speakers adapt effortlessly, offering a sound quality that is both immersive and versatile.
Moreover, the Heretic A614 speakers’ usability, including their lightweight build and adaptability to various room sizes, and an array of connectivity options, cater to a broad spectrum of audiophiles. Their unique features, such as the ventless design, coaxial driver, and serial filter network, add a distinctive character to the listening experience. These speakers are committed to delivering high-quality sound, paying tribute to the heritage of audio technology while embracing the innovative spirit that drives audio enthusiasts in their pursuit of sonic perfection. The Heretic A614 speakers are a compelling choice for those seeking a blend of vintage charm, cutting-edge innovation, and an unparalleled listening journey.
Reasons to Buy the Heretic A614 Speakers:
- Immersive Listening Experience: The Heretic A614 speakers create an immersive and enjoyable listening experience. Their ability to transport you into the heart of the music, their precise point source configuration, and their melodious low-end performance make every listening session a captivating journey.
- Modern Efficiency with Minimal Power: These speakers showcase modern efficiency by delivering exceptional performance with minimal power. With high sensitivity and the ability to produce room-filling sound with just a 10-watt amplifier, they offer a cost-effective and environmentally friendly audio solution.
- Versatile in Room Placement: The Heretic A614 speakers’ versatility in room placement is a significant advantage. Whether you have a small, medium, or large room, their adaptability ensures consistent and high-quality sound. Custom brackets for optimal positioning are also in development, providing additional flexibility.
- Heritage and Innovation: These speakers beautifully balance heritage and innovation, paying homage to classic designs while incorporating modern technology. The ventless design, coaxial driver, and serial filter network showcase a commitment to musicality and consistency.
Reasons Not to Buy the Heretic A614 Speakers:
- High Price Point: The Heretic A614 speakers are positioned as high-end audio equipment, and their cost may be prohibitive for some consumers. If you’re on a tight budget, there are more affordable options available.
- May Not Suit Analytical Audiophiles: These speakers are designed to create an enjoyable and immersive listening experience, which may not appeal to audiophiles who prioritize analytical listening and critical evaluation of audio nuances.
- Space Limitations: While they are versatile in room placement, the speakers are not ideal for very small spaces due to their size and weight. Potential buyers with extremely limited space may need to consider other, more compact options.
In summary, the Heretic A614 speakers are a remarkable choice for those who value immersive and enjoyable listening experiences, appreciate modern efficiency, and seek a versatile and heritage-infused audio solution. However, their higher price point and focus on musicality may not align with the preferences of budget-conscious consumers or those who prioritize analytical listening. Additionally, consideration should be given to the available space when deciding whether these speakers are a suitable fit for your audio setup.