I’ve always wanted to say something like this, but the Kudos 505 comes from a race of Titans! It’s the smallest and lone stand-mount in a four-strong Titan range, all of which use the same basic profile; a rear-ported isobaric design, like the 606 and 707 it’s a two-way design, and all of them can be powered actively as well as basic passive operation. The Titan 505 arguably lends itself to passive drive slightly better than its bigger brothers (by virtue of not having those bigger cones to move in the two largest models), and this is the ideal model for the listener in smaller rooms.
Kudos uses SEAS drive units, custom made to Kudos specification, throughout the Titan range. They all use a 29mm K3 fabric dome tweeter (a ‘Crescendo’ K3 dome in the 808). Both the Titan 505 features two SEAS‑Kudos 180mm mid-bass units, composed of double-coated paper cones, with a 39mm voice coil that uses a copper shorting ring, and an aluminium phase plug with Kudos three-lobed racetrack logo on the visible driver.
The second of the two mid-bass units is internally mounted in an isobaric bass reflex system. Isobaric loading requires two identical bass units wired in parallel inside a common cabinet, so that the front face of one unit and the rear face of the other operates within that cabinet. Kudos adopts a back-to-back driver arrangement, with a reflex port behind the isobaric chamber.
The cabinet itself is well-finished, and the side cheeks come in a range of five finishes, including the lovely shade of walnut in which our samples were supplied. However, the front baffle, top, and rear are all in a contrasting flat black. Under the surface is some fairly powerful resonance control techniques deployed throughout the loudspeaker.
The crossover is a key feature, in part because it’s inherently defeatable. If you go passive (as we did), the loudspeaker has a minimal, low-order crossover with high-grade components from Mundorf and Clarity Caps. However, the rear panel is festooned with links and connectors, and their removal gives the listener the chance to drive the loudspeakers actively. Thus far, active crossover networks have been developed with Linn’s Exakt system, Devialet’s Expert amplifiers, and Naim’s SNAXO electronics. We relied on a single Devialet Expert instead. Naturally this means more amplifiers in the chain, but the exercise is generally considered more than worth the effort and expense.
The Titan 505 is designed to be used with an integral equipment stand, which is itself deceptively heavy when filled and features some stealthy engineering in its own right. It’s a seven-pillar stand, with six of the seven pillars designed to be filled to the end user’s requirements.
Like many loudspeakers reviewed today, the review sample was the demonstration sample and had been given many hours of use before we got it, so any discussions of the run-on process or the time it takes to come on song were long past. The loudspeaker takes a few minutes to come on song when either moved or left fallow for any length of time. Give it a quick blast of Faithless for a few minutes to wake up the bass units. You can tell when the isobaric section kicks in… in an appropriately sized room, it’s like firing the bass afterburners. The sound fills in, drops an octave, and starts swinging a few gut-punches.