The end result is a system offering a bandwidth of 45Hz – 22kHz ±3db, with –6dB points at 30Hz and 30kHz, a sensitivity of 91dB and a nominal 8 Ohm load. In fact, the minimum impedance is 4.3 Ohms, but the characteristic is non-reactive, making the speaker easier to drive than that number suggests. I got excellent results with both the Almarro and VAS valve mono-blocs, the latter boasting a mere 40 Watts, and once carefully positioned the Cygnis seems remarkably accommodating of partnering products – which isn’t to say that it’s without preferences. I’ll leave the appearance to personal opinion (avoiding any of the cruelly obvious “swing-bin” jokes) but the grilles have really got to go, at least as far as listening goes. Replacing them for protective purposes is hardly a chore, but I simply dispensed with them altogether. The Cygnis needed minimal toe-in to achieve image focus and leveling them was considerably eased by the accessibility of the spikes.
Despite running them with a range of excellent solid-state amps, there’s no escaping the fact that these speakers really come to life with a good thermionic design doing the driving. Their virtues of clarity and unencumbered separation can leave music sounding a little exposed and harmonically threadbare if the amplifier has any leanings in that direction. The fruity weight and warmth of a really good, traditional push-pull valve amp delivers just the mix of energetic shove in the hind-quarters and flesh on the bones that really brings the music to life. The VAS Citation Sound mono-blocs did a sterling job, but there was no ignoring the extra sheer urge, energy and enthusiasm that simply leapt forth once the Almarro’s 100 or so watts was hooked up to the speaker terminals.
The almost prototypical simplicity of the drum, bass and guitar opening to Bill Malonee and the Vigilantes Of Love’s "Goes Without Saying" has the energy, agility and drive that characterize a really tight three piece, but driven by the Almarro the Cygnis deliver the track with a rollicking, seemingly unstoppable sense of presence and momentum, filling the stage with the three instruments.