3/4 view of the Piccola being driven by the Rega Osiris

State of the System – Arteluthe La Piccola impresses

Those Alcantara baffles are awesome!

Hey there fellas. It’s been a while, I’ll admit. The last couple weeks have been unexpectedly busy. I was flown out to Australia last minute for work, and spent a good deal of time working with colleagues to figure out the future of our division. It was my first time to Australia, so I had no choice but to explore! As you can guess though, I was unable to give my system the attention it deserves. Since my last article, I’ve shaken up the system with new speakers that will be getting an unboxing article (and video!) very soon.

While we’re on topic though, let’s talk about those bookshelf speakers. They represent a multi-year investment by Robert of Arteluthe. Most notably, they feature a rather unique serial crossover whereas most of the competition is using a parallel version. While I can’t go over the details now, most important of note is that it definitely has its own sound signature.

There are several options when ordering a pair of Piccola’s and Robert (or any of his distributors) are well vetted and wonderful to work with. Finishes include a piano white or black finish, or a new’ish natural Walnut. Being a huge fan of wood finishes, you know I had to choose the last option. In addition to the finishes, there are several options for baffles that include Alcantara or leather. The former is an Alcantara fabric, also known as ultra-suede.

Early Impressions

Out of the box, these speakers were fire-crackers. I simply couldn’t believe the depth to the sound in all three dimensions. The manual states their sensitivity at 86dB (2.83 V / 1m), but my early listening has led me to believe they’re slightly lower, maybe 84-85. I’m basing this off other independently reviewed speakers that I own that are both 86-87 dB.

That aside, it leaves me excited to discover the inner soul of these monitors. It will be my first time hearing a “serial crossover” speaker – it makes me wish I could hear the same speaker with a parallel version of its crossover so I could compare apples to apples.

The Rest of the System

To get a better sense of the monitors, I have them doing double-duty between my two reference systems. The first is solid-state based with the Rega Osiris integrated, while the second is the wonderful Triode Lab Au Pre pre-amp driving their EL84M-FFX monoblocks. On the analog side, I have the Rega RP10 turntable with an Apheta MC cartridge going into the Rega Aria phono-stage. From the digital end of things I have the Audial S4 – a TDA1541 powerhouse – and a much newer Topping D90 representing state-of-the-art performance in 2020.

These two systems will let me peer into the Piccola’s inner workings as I figure out the qualities that make it unique.

Anyways, that’s all for now. Be on the lookout for my first unboxing post and video. Until next time!

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