Piega Coax 30.2 – Review
I am really happy that I finally have a chance to review these speakers, as they represent one of products that marked my audiophile journey. I have heard them in lots of systems and on many occasions at jack-fi.ro, but now I finally have more time to properly test them for a full blown review.
I have reviewed two of the smaller brothers of Coax 30.2, the Premium 3 and the Premium 5.2.
Who is Piega ?
PIEGA SA was founded in 1986 by Leo Greiner and Kurt Scheuch, an unlikely pair with completely different strengths. Kurt Scheuch is responsible for innovations and technical matters, while Leo Greiner manages the company’s finances.
A few years ago the 2nd generation entered the company; a breath of fresh air so to speak. We remain a family-owned company with a vast amount of experience, high flexibility and short decision-making paths.
Our two highlights – ribbon technology and seamless aluminium housings – are responsible for the outstanding sound characteristics of our loudspeakers. The fact that these are real innovations with measurable and audible added sound value has been confirmed many times over by the specialist press over the last few years, and our continuously increasing fan base also speaks for itself.
Piega’s specialities are the LDR (Linear Drive Ribbon) tweeter ribbons and the coaxial ribbon system. The design of both systems is predominantly based on a strong magnetic field and an extremely thin, partially embossed, foil. For the coaxial system, the acoustic centre of the entire mid- and high-range is at precisely the same point on the X,Y and Z axes. This means that the system is the only real point sound source on the market. Time-aligned emission in all dimensions is the valuable advantage of this uncompromising construction.
The precise, seamless housing is pressed from a single aluminium block. The optimal damping prevents any intrinsic resonance and the natural sound reproduction is one of the key benefits of our aluminium housing.
Some of the Piega History:
Some of the main achievements of Piega are the ribbon tweeter, ribbon midrange and the coaxial midrange / ribbon system.
From the very start, Piega has used its own ribbon tweeters which were developed by Kurt Scheuch and are still handcrafted and produced in Horgen.
In 1993 the first PIEGA Ribbon Midrange followed the LDR (Linear Drive Ribbon) Ribbon Tweeter.
In 2000 PIEGA combined Tweeter and Midrange to form one unit and thus released the world’s first Coaxial Midrange / Tweeter Ribbon System.
Beside the ribbon technology, the aluminium cabinet is one of the most characteristic features of PIEGA’s louspeakers.
Having heard the Linear Ribbon Tweeter and the Coaxial Ribbon System, I must say that they really give something special to the sound.
Piega offers one of the most transparent sound I have ever heard from speakers and the Ribbon System has a lot to do with this:
General Presentation & Specs
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I just love looking at these babies. Their finish and build quality are stellar and my parents and wife agree with me in that regard.
So yes, the Coax 30.2 has the famous Piega Aluminium Extruded Cabinet, but also the ribbon tweeter and coaxial midrange drivers.
It actually has a Linear Drive Ribbon Tweeter (LDR) which allows very high linearity:
|Recommended amplifier output||20 – 250 Watt|
|Frequency range||33 Hz – 50 kHz|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||112 x 19 x 22cm|
|Design principle||3-way-system floor-standing loudspeaker|
|Equipment||2 15 cm MOM® bass 1 C2 coaxial ribbon|
|Connection||Bi-Wiring / WBT|
|Designs||Aluminium cabinet, black metal grill optional: silver grill, black anodised cabinet, white varnish cabinet|
Listening Impressions and Tests
The tests were performed with MSB Analog DAC with quad usb + custom lps, Audio Gd Master 10, Martin Logan Ethos, Piega Coax 30.2.
The Corrs – I know my love
Ah … yes the lovely Piega sound is noticeable since the first second of the song. The guitar present wonderful tactility, sparkle and the the drums have a strong hit and nice extension. The scene is incredibly airy and full of energy. The voice fills up the room showing good textures & extension. But the tactility of the guitar plucks on these babies is just addictive.
Dawn & Hawkes – Love you forever
Again the guitars are full of vibration, life and tactility, this time also showing very good extension on the lower area. The voices are clean with lively textures attached to them.
Mamma Mia – I have a dream
The voice is so clean and so extended that it managed to hypnotize me and make me loose myself into the song. The drums are very well extended but also well controlled and punchy. The chorus is also very well placed into space and every voice inside it presents the same level of cleanliness and extension.
The Chieftans – Carolan’s Concerto
One of the things I always loved about Piega, is the treble which is wonderfully extended, sparkly and detailed. This song managed to reinforce my findings once more.
Pink Martini – Edelweiss
The female voice at the beginning and actually in general on these speakers are just mesmerising through the wonderful crystal clear clarity they have and through their extension. When chorus started to sing, I just got shivers down my spine and I phased out. It’s impossible not to get pulled into the song with these speakers.
Infected Mushroom – Mambacore
This song shows the bass capabilities of these speakers, underlining the punch, speed and control the Coax 30.2 has. Actually the whole song was incredibly energetic and fun.
Scarlatti: Sonata In D Minor, Kk.1 – Allegro
The piano notes are just lovely. The speed and decay the coax drivers has is translated in the awesomeness of each piano note which is crystal clear & extremely well defined leading edges wise. There are rare moments in my audiophile history when I’ve been so impressed with piano notes and this is one of them.
Leonard Cohen – Steer you way
Leonard’s voice is quite nice, with good presence, grit and textures, but it’s not the best interpretation I’ve heard. For example Focal Electra did have more texture, body, grit and presence here, but they weren’t so impressive on the female voices as Coax 30.2. Don’t get me wrong, Leonard Cohen’s voice might sound better on Focal Electra 1028BE , but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t listen a whole day of Cohen on Coax 30.2.
The bass is super fast, controlled and punchy. It’s pumping energy in the songs. The bass on Electra 1028 was a little more natural, with a longer decay, but Coax 30.2 has a punchier and a faster presentation.
The midrange is incredibly detailed, clean and well textured. It has the tendency of sounding a little analytical/metallic here, but with the right gear you can steer the sound in the right direction.
The treble is wonderful. It opens up the scene, giving air to the soundstage and extracting subtle micro details and stage cues that I couldn’t hear with other speakers. It also has wonderful spark, extension and detail. The trick here, as with the midrange is to steer it into the natural sounding direction.
These speakers are quite detailed on all the frequency spectrum, but especially in the upper midrange and treble region where it’s quite hard beat them.
The soundstage is big, especially in height and width and shows good layering, but it would use a little more depth. However, the scene is very well presented and when you are listening to a chorus recorded in a cathedral you feel there. The spatial cues are very well reproduced and it helps to reproduce the stage and with the sensation of you being there.
Imaging / Leading Edges
The leading edges are very well defined and the imaging has pin point accuracy.
Another very strong point of these speakers is the cleanliness, crystal clear transparency they are capable of. The sound is like a cold mountain spring that is crystal clear and it has the same refreshing effect.
The transients are awesome! They have good attack and lightning fast decay. This creates an energetic, controlled and very tactile sound signature.
The voices are something to behold on these speakers as well and in this department, the female voices are the pinnacle, as they sound crystal clear, have a wonderful extension and they just fill the room with excellent ease. The men’s voices are also very good, but just not as impressive as female ones.
I am really happy I finally got to test these speakers inside my home. They proved me once more why I love Piega and their technology.
They have some features and strong points that are very hard to beat. However, what you have to know about the Coax 30.2 is that you have to find the right gear to get the emotion out of them. Sometimes they have the tendency of sounding a little metallic/analytical and you have to steer them in the right direction with the right gear.
They won’t sound as natural/emotional as Focal Electra 1028 (review here) for example, but they will sound more energetic, more controlled, tactile and will have clearer and more immersive female vocals.
- Excellent bass control, speed and punch
- Detailed and well textured midrange
- Excellent sparkly, detailed & well extended treble
- Very good details
- Good soundstage
- Very good imaging/Clear Leading Edges
- Excellent transients
- Very good vocals, especially female vocals
- Excellent build quality and design
- Sometimes they can sound a little analytical/metallic/ non emotional
- Would use a little more presence on lower midrange (problem solved in bigger models)