Cabasse is not well known in Australia. Indeed, as I write the official launch of this French brand here is just two days away. The company’s longstanding ‘thing’ – that which it does differently to most others – is its use of coaxial drivers. Its top of the line loudspeaker is a four-way model with all four drivers concentric!
The present MC40 (that’s the range) Java (that’s the model) speaker uses a concentric 25mm tweeter over the front of a 100mm midrange (crossover 3400 hertz). The tweeter is nestled into a floating horn arrangement, while the midrange driver ‘fires’ around its edges. As with the Tannoy speakers, this arrangement is designed to give a ‘point source’ effect, with the aim of producing greater coherence of the midrange and treble frequencies.
Bass (below 900 hertz) is provided by a pair of 170mm drivers. The whole cabinet is bass-reflex loaded via a downward firing port at the base of the speaker. The attached plinth has spacers between it and the cabinet proper to provide space for the port to work. Like the Focals, extra terminals for bi-wiring are not provided (is this a French thing?)
Cabasse rates their frequency response from a surprisingly high bass point of 59 hertz to to 23,000, and their sensitivity at 90dB.
Maybe there is something to those point source claims. The Tannoy and Cabasse speakers were very different units indeed, except when it came to imaging. The Cabasse Java matched the Tannoy for that sense of tangibility in the stereo imaging, making the instruments seem whole within the space, and offering a deep stage as well. It had the edge on volume levels. While not quite as sensitive as the Focal speakers, it still produced a nicely unconstrained climax when necessary. The actual bass performance belied the mediocre specification, but still left a sense of an insubstantial foundation with some music.