This review has been a while in the making – I first started talking to the Kudos guys at shows about a decade ago. In the loudspeaker equivalent of the ‘snog, marry, avoid’ game (which as a reconstructed male, I hasten to add, I haven’t played) Kudos has always seemed to me to occupy ‘marry’ territory. There’s always been plenty to like and admire, but they impress by their steadiness and honesty, rather than getting your attention with fireworks. Time, then, to see if this could be ‘the one’?
The £15,000 Titan 707 sits just below the flagship Titan 808 in the current Kudos line-up and, apart from being a slightly more accommodating size and configuration, it also represents a saving of some £10,000 over the larger model. It eschews the Titan 808’s 2½ -way, four-box layout for a more conventional two-way floorstanding design, though it uses the same tweeter, and retains Kudos’ isobaric and fixed boundary reflex bass loading arrangement. This puts two of Kudos’ bespoke SEAS 220mm bass/mid drivers back to back in a sealed chamber and wired out of phase so the pressure in the chamber remains pretty much constant. The front-facing driver fires into the room in the conventional way, while the rearward facing unit fires into another chamber within the cabinet, which exits in a downward-facing flared port onto a fixed boundary panel at the base of the speaker. Custom-designed spiked feet, courtesy of Track Audio, complete the speaker-floor interface.
Kudos explains that the isobaric loading produces the frequency response you’d expect from a cabinet of twice the volume, and the port arrangement is much less room-dependent than a conventional reflex port design. I can attest to this, despite being a fairly large loudspeaker in a fairly modest room this hasn’t presented any real issues and the Titan 707 doesn’t seem to object to being put fairly close to the wall. The tweeter is another bespoke SEAS unit, broadly a hybrid of their Beryllium tweeter’s motor with the Sonomex dome of the SEAS Crescendo unit, and with a newly-designed magnet system. The low-order crossover (first order for the mid/bass, second order for the tweeter) gets similar close attention to detail and top quality componentry, and the speaker can also be configured for active operation. The whole sits in a fresh, modern cabinet with beautifully finished wood veneer side cheeks, elegantly chamfered top and bottom which quite effectively reduces the visual mass of what is actually quite a large cabinet, and also helps define the shape of the downward-firing port.
The thing that has always appealed to me about the Kudos designs is their sense of ease, and natural tonal colour; first impressions of the Titan 707 quickly reinforce that notion. There’s a sense of honesty in the warmth of their presentation, a limpid fluency that is both beautiful, and entirely reassuring. Openness and freedom abound, but without any hint of looseness, there’s no concern that they might, at any moment, give up the struggle for control and simply blurt the music at you. These are not going to be some wayward, rollercoaster ride of a speaker that exhilarates and enervates in equal measure. Rather, they exhibit the calm, professional air of a skilled artisan; “relax,” they seem to say, “we’ve got this”.