Review: Veddan Atom Speakers – A New Look at Speakers – 2019 was the introduction year of loudspeaker manufacturer Veddan from the Achterhoek town of Doetinchem. Does this mean nothing to you? Then you have missed out on a real hi-fi novelty. One that is so special and innovative that there is not even another comparable system in the entire world. However, it is also possible that you were shocked by the first model introduced in that period called Origin. A shock reaction that most likely did not arise because of the original appearance with top finish or because of the special rendering, but much more because of the high price of € 19,995 each. But now it is 2022 and these Achterhoekers are making themselves heard again with the brand new Veddan Atom Speaker.
Because you can look at each product from different points of view, I decide this time to go for a different angle and start all the way at the source. By this origin I do not mean the parent factory IF Adamas of which loudspeaker manufacturer Veddan is a part, but more with the remarkably modest spiritual father of the Veddan loudspeakers, André Kamperman. Naturally, this brand consists of even more highly motivated people. Employees who all contributed to the final realization of the designs, manufacturing, quality control, marketing and sales. But the original idea comes from André. Before we get started with the Veddan Atom Speaker in the listening room, I ask him about the how and why of these special designs.
The birth of a legend
‘Well, Werner, you have already told us a bit more about Veddan as a company in the text section above, because the end product is really something that has emerged from an intensive collaboration with colleagues over the past five years. However, I also really enjoy telling how I became increasingly mesmerized and motivated to unite almost conflicting technical and acoustic worlds. For the young André, we have to go all the way back to the sixties. In that period I attended the folk music school, as it was then so beautifully called, and I got organ lessons. I especially loved such a Hammond B3, although unfortunately I never owned one myself. The choice for the organ also had to do with practical points of view. Such an electronic instrument has in addition to an expression pedal, also a ‘master’ volume knob and for the quiet moments you can also use headphones. Another pleasant memory concerns my mother’s Dual record exchanger, which was fitted with tubes. I can still remember that it always played so wonderfully easy and relaxed. The music just poured out of the speakers and the hours and pictures flew by.’
‘In the mid-seventies, another milestone came about with the introduction of the K340 headphones from AKG. This little giant made a deep impression on me which had to do with being able to unite several apparently contradictory aspects for the very first time. Electrostatic elements for speed, refinement and air and dynamic drivers for color, power and dynamic contrasts. The great thing was that AKG had actually succeeded in combining these properties in practice, resulting in a very nice mix with an almost magical rendering. Looking back, I see more or less the same pattern when it comes to speakers. Because there too I first played with Tannoy Super Red 12” monitor speakers. These guys are often seen in studios, with their 12” Dual Concentric unit, excelled in their realistic dynamic behavior and with their super well-timed reproduction, offered a lot of insight into both the recording and the playing pleasure of the musicians. Years later I have enjoyed listening to Magnepan MG 2.7 panels. These were pretty big guys, offering the typical speed, transparency, lightness and scale of the line source principle. As a result, music came across more life-size and you were really drawn into the music due to the beautiful spaciousness and inertialess accuracy. You might not be looking for the last example, but I also found ‘strange’ and deviating loudspeaker concepts such as the well-known Bose 901 from the eighties and nineties very interesting. Not only because of the spontaneity of the presentation,
‘Because of my HTS background with a specialization in loudspeaker technology, I have always been very aware of the enormous number of possibilities and variables with which you can develop a loudspeaker system. Yet unfortunately there was also the sad realization that what I had in mind could not be realized with the existing principles. But gradually through a lot of thinking, calculation and testing, I managed to move in the right direction with an increasingly better functioning prototype. Then I came into contact with Alfred Uytdewilligen who owned and still is the owner of IF Adamas. As an ‘idea factory’ in the field of software development, mechanical engineering, electronic design and 3D printers, he quickly saw the potential of my concept and one thing eventually led to another. As a music lover, Alfred dared to stick his neck out and Veddan is now a subsidiary within IF Adamas. Within Veddan we work with a fairly large team on both the development of new models and the production of the two existing models. The large and almost man-sized Origin and the new, recently released, considerably more compact Veddan Atom Speaker.
The idea behind Veddan Atom Speaker
‘Speaking on behalf of our entire team, we as audio enthusiasts have come across many wonderful systems. Each system had its advantages, but unfortunately also always a package of disadvantages. This motivated us to further develop my basic concept and jointly design a system in which these advantages could be combined without drawbacks. In our opinion, the perfect loudspeaker consists of the following five main points and to clarify these a bit more I will briefly tell you in Jip and Janneke language what they mean:
- Phase correct
Imagine you are standing in front of a live orchestra. The drummer of the orchestra stands five meters behind the violinist and they play the same song at the same time. Because the sound of the drummer has to travel a greater distance than the violinist, you hear a small difference in duration. In order for the sound from a speaker to come across as true to nature, it is highly desirable that all frequencies arrive at your ears at the same time as intended in the recording. We call this phenomenon ‘phase correctness’.
- Dynamic range
As most Music Emotion readers will know, dynamics is a speaker’s ability to accurately reproduce any change in volume. By dynamic range, we mean everything from noise floor (the level of sound present with no audio signal) to the point where distortion starts. When you listen to music at home, you want to be able to distinguish the softest sounds. Even during loud passages, just like in the concert hall.
– Frequency range
Sound is nothing more than vibrations in the air. By measuring the number of vibrations per second, you know what the frequency of sound is. This is expressed in Hz (Hz).
In general, a flat frequency response is desirable for uncoloured music reproduction. This means that all frequencies are played at the same volume. In practice, this would mean that an audio signal is reproduced the same way it enters the speaker.
– Lowest possible distortion
Ideally, your speaker system will play a piece of music exactly as it was recorded. In this case, there is no distortion. However, a played track can also become distorted for a variety of reasons. This can be done by the intervention of passive crossovers, resonance in the speaker or the design of/components in the amplifier or driver. The less distortion, the more ‘natural’ the music will sound.
We all know the effect of the attack on a triangle. It vibrates and produces sound immediately. This sound will slowly fade away unless you stop the vibrations with your hand, for example. The speed of a loudspeaker can be compared to the operation of a triangle. As soon as it receives an audio signal, it exerts a certain pressure on the membrane. You want this signal to be heard without delay and to stop immediately when the signal is gone. So don’t fade out as the triangle does.
‘Ultra Fast Membrane’ modules
The Veddan loudspeakers, and therefore also the Veddan Atom Speaker discussed here, basically consist of two parts. One part (the bottom) is for the lows (up to 150 Hz) and the other part for the mids and highs. The one for the middle and high is the most different and is based on the magnetostatic principle. ‘Aha’, I hear you thinking, ‘so again the well-known package of advantages and disadvantages’? No, so not, because a very specific type of carousel has been placed in the cylindrical Veddan Atom Speaker. This carousel consists of three modules, each of which resembles a wedge or pie slice. Each of these ‘pie slices’, or rather Ultra Fast Membrane module, is provided with two taut membranes that are driven by an elongated magnetic strip. The special feature and the secret of this design is the very specifically defined angle in which the membranes are placed. By accurate calculation and push-pull operation, the Veddan team has succeeded in niping extinction phenomena and unwanted resonances in the bud. Finally, the three modules mounted in a very solid metal frame ensure a 270 degree radiation behaviour. 360 degrees would also have been possible, but a slightly more limited behavior was deliberately chosen to simplify placement in front of the rear wall. It is also worth mentioning that all plastic parts of the frame are manufactured in-house using 3D printing technology. By accurate calculation and push-pull operation, the Veddan team has succeeded in niping extinction phenomena and unwanted resonances in the bud. Finally, the three modules mounted in a very solid metal frame ensure a 270 degree radiation behaviour. 360 degrees would also have been possible, but a slightly more limited behavior was deliberately chosen to simplify placement in front of the rear wall. It is also worth mentioning that all plastic parts of the frame are manufactured in-house using 3D printing technology. By accurate calculation and push-pull operation, the Veddan team has succeeded in niping extinction phenomena and unwanted resonances in the bud. Finally, the three modules mounted in a very solid metal frame ensure a 270 degree radiation behaviour. 360 degrees would also have been possible, but a slightly more limited behavior was deliberately chosen to simplify placement in front of the rear wall. It is also worth mentioning that all plastic parts of the frame are manufactured in-house using 3D printing technology.
In the lower airtight cylindrical part of the Veddan Atom Speaker, there are two 7” woofers from the top series of the well-known Norwegian speaker manufacturer Seas. These are applied in a so-called push-pull configuration, which eliminates the reactive forces and makes the design virtually vibration-free. Like big brother Origin, the Atom is also a fully active design. In this case, it is a very slim, almost rod-shaped amplifier section, which is equipped with the latest generation of Class D amplification technology. This involves a total of 1,050 Watts of combined power for both the highs/mids and lows, divided into two separate amplifier modules. What else is there to say about these special displays, available in matt black and matt white and custom colours? In any case, that the transition frequency is at 150 Hz, the specified frequency range is from 28 Hz to 24,000 Hz, the weight is around 30 kg and that the dimensions of the Veddan Atom Speaker alone are 69 cm high, 25.5 wide and due to the round shape also be 25.5 deep. By the way, the height together with the stand is 128.5 cm. Last but not least, the Atom can be controlled both wired (balanced XLR connection / unbalanced with special cable or plug) and wireless (WiSA 24-bit; 96 kHz). By the way, the height together with the stand is 128.5 cm. Last but not least, the Atom can be controlled both wired (balanced XLR connection / unbalanced with special cable or plug) and wireless (WiSA 24-bit; 96 kHz). By the way, the height together with the stand is 128.5 cm. Last but not least, the Atom can be controlled both wired (balanced XLR connection / unbalanced with special cable or plug) and wireless (WiSA 24-bit; 96 kHz).
André comes to my hometown especially for me to be placed in my own listening room. At least that was my impression. But nothing is further from the truth because everyone who purchases an Origin or Atom will receive this VIP treatment. According to André, it is a pure necessity to get the most out of every set-up, because every customer has a different acoustic environment and has his or her own wishes where the reproducers should be located. After I have placed both Atoms in the most suitable place for me, André takes out a tripod with measuring microphone and a laptop from his bag. The microphone is placed at ear level just above my listening seat and the measurements are taken through broadband pink noise. Although it can also be done automatically,
For the test, because of the necessary fully active control, this time I use a Mola Mola Makua preamplifier. In addition to unbalanced (RCA) signals, this can also process and output fully balanced (XLR) signals. A necessity with both the Origin and Atom. The copy provided to me by the importer Terrason even has the DAC module built in, so that I don’t even have to use my own separate Tambaqui DAC. Wonderfully minimalistic with ultra-short signal paths. As a power cable I have resorted to the excellent AudioQuest Monsoon. This entry-level cable from the Wind series offers an excellent price/quality ratio and a package of very balanced features. In addition, it is also just flexible enough to be sufficiently manageable. Finally, my reference Grimm MU1 serves as a music server and I didn’t use more sources or amplifiers this time. André warns me in advance that listening to a Veddan loudspeaker will take some getting used to in the beginning. Also logical when you go from a passive loudspeaker system to a fully tuned active all-round radiating setup.
Listening Veddan Atom Speaker
And there you are in your listening chair. Both Master Contemporary C loudspeakers have had to make way for the in this case two black round Veddans, the Zanden 6000 tube amplifier looks on idly and all I need is my tablet and the remote control of the Mola Makua prestage. I’ve been well acquainted with the latter very natural and neutral sounding preamp for years, so all I hear now is the pair of Atoms in the acoustics of my own room. What is immediately noticeable from the first second is the enormous radiation behaviour. Now the Masters used by me as a reference also radiate very well, but a reproducer that really radiates all around is quite different. It’s just really, really weird when you’re extremely far off-axis, and you still have the same brightness, transparency and musical communication as if you were right in front of the speakers. Okay, the moment I get up, there is a lot of high waste to be seen (vertical there is indeed a question of bundling). But as soon as I sit down again, everything is optimal again. What is also striking is that the mids and highs are, as expected, extremely fast and have the weightless character typical of magnetostats. Furthermore, refinement, air and transparency are extremely good. Of course I am very curious how André and his team have realized the connection to the dynamic layer. Because it is this aspect that you hear very often that it is a hybrid design. The good news is that the transition has been cleverly accomplished and it’s not noticeable at first when the two woofers take over. But after listening for a while, I experience the character of the woofers directed downwards and upwards, as considerably different. It is distinctly different from the way direct beam transducers vibrate the air molecules in front of the listener. It’s not really better or worse and I would rather describe it as more relaxed and laid back. However, relaxed with the same somewhat diffuse slant that characterizes all all-round radiant systems. But there is certainly also a pleasant degree of focus. It is up to you whether you see this as a plus or as a less strong point. It’s not really better or worse and I would rather describe it as more relaxed and laid back. However, relaxed with the same somewhat diffuse slant that characterizes all all-round radiant systems. But there is certainly also a pleasant degree of focus. It is up to you whether you see this as a plus or as a less strong point. It’s not really better or worse and I would rather describe it as more relaxed and laid back. However, relaxed with the same somewhat diffuse slant that characterizes all all-round radiant systems. But there is certainly also a pleasant degree of focus. It is up to you whether you see this as a plus or as a less strong point.
Q-sound recordings or other musical works where the phase has been played with strongly also sound completely different via these Veddan speakers than with direct radiating systems. It then seems as if the manipulated phase conflicts, as it were, with the surrounding radiating behaviour. On the other hand, phase-ready productions such as 2-microphone recordings or artificial head productions are a party. Especially because everything then falls into place and an enormously satisfying listening experience with great casual naturalness is created. Although the Atom speakers can certainly be loud enough, I don’t think they excel at that. Especially those who enjoy the direct pulsating sound pressure of direct radiating systems will really have to get used to this.
Veddan Atom: For whom?
I therefore think that the target group for these beautiful sculptures may be slightly different than for the die-hard audiophile. The latter group usually enjoys being very concentrated in front of the audio system and experiencing the music both physically and more directly. The Veddan Atom speaker system evokes a different feeling for me. Although the Atom can be acoustically (and visually) integrated seamlessly into just about any room due to its extensive adjustment options, I also see this system excelling in, for example, an elongated loft. The speakers are then placed on the left and right approximately in the middle of the room, so that the entire space can be filled beautifully evenly with beautiful music on both sides. Because although certainly different in character from conventional reproducers, the reproduction and smoothness are of a wonderfully high level. Enjoying in a way that you can also experience at, for example, classical concerts in the concert hall, and that is also an aspect that many music lovers have been looking for for years.
Veddan Atom – Conclusion
Of all the speakers that have ever stayed with me, this Veddan Atom is perhaps the most special and most unusual. Now the latter can easily be interpreted as negative, but I hasten to say that this is absolutely not my intention. Because although the sound impression is certainly very different than many of us are used to, the system is very tasty in its own way. Because what is wrong with a high degree of individuality and a distinctive display? Nothing at all as far as I’m concerned. So are you ready for something different, do you dare to leave the beaten track, do you like minimalism with maximum system integration and do you crave a more relaxed and less compelling music reproduction? Then these brand new purely Dutch high-tech reproducers could possibly be your musical dream ticket. In addition, the build quality is very good, there is a wide variety of (customized) finish variants available and the originality price can also be added to the prize cabinet. Whether it will completely convince the seasoned traditional audiophile I don’t know, but there’s only one thing left to find out for yourself. Contact Veddan and experience these relatively small quantities of tomorrow at a dealer or of course the own Veddan Experience Center in Doetinchem. The future is now. Contact Veddan and experience these relatively small quantities of tomorrow at a dealer or of course the own Veddan Experience Center in Doetinchem. The future is now. Contact Veddan and experience these relatively small quantities of tomorrow at a dealer or of course the own Veddan Experience Center in Doetinchem. The future is now.
Veddan Atom Price:
Veddan Atom (excluding stands) €19,990 per pair