Larsen is a Scandinavian loudspeaker maker that is the logical and spiritual successor to some of Stig Carlsson’s brilliant Sonab loudspeakers as produced from the 1970s on up through the 2006. John Larsen, who was a close friend and associate of the late Carlsson, has expanded upon the original Carlsson design to produce three successor models: the entry-level Larsen 4 floorstander ($2,000/pair), the Larsen 6 floorstander ($3,800/pair) and the flagship Larsen 8 floorstander ($6,995/pair).
By design, the Larsen speakers—like the Carlsson/Sonab designs before them—are meant to be placed directly against the rear wall of the listening space and use a combination of sharply angled driver placements plus absorptive panels to remove the walls of room as possible sources of colouration insofar as possible. Moreover, the wall placed floorstanders offer exception low frequency extension from relatively compact enclosures. The net effect, with the Larsen 8, is somewhat like listening to the front side output of an omnidirectional loudspeaker, but without unpredictable rear-wall reflections to contend with. The Larsen sound will not be for everyone, but for those who love large, spacious, deep, and wide soundstages it might be just the ticket.
We sadly didn’t get to hear the more affordable Lawrence offering in our price category, but we were fascinated by the overall look of Lawrence’s hybrid ribbon-driver/dynamic driver standmount monitors: the Mandolin ($5,500/pair) and the Violin ($7,500).
For now, let’s agree to file these striking speakers under “bears further listening in the future.”