The Carina is quite different from the Vela. The first thing that stands out is the control in the slightly modified JET tweeter. It is refined, open and silky smooth. Our previous reference in this price range, the Audio Vector QR1, had a special s-stop filter but still sounded a little hot. Even the similar JET tweeter on the Vela sounded a little more nervous. Bizarre. It’s probably in the different wave-guide. Because of the downward port you get some more sub-bass when you are in direct contact with the standard but we prefer a slightly tighter and faster bass through the Aperta’s. A matter of taste.
Imaging is good but not the strongest side of this speaker. Of course, you can’t expect everything in this price range. The stereo image is quite spacious and is just between the speakers. The Carina BS also ‘disappears’ nicely like most high-end monitors can; the disappearing act… The Carina is not the fastest loudspeaker we’ve heard but follows the rhythm of the song very well. It is a speaker with a slightly darker mid-area and one that opts for a more relaxed sound
It goes well with most kinds of music, vocal and jazz in particular, but more complex pieces can sometimes sound a little slow. The Carina does not have the ‘get up and go’ of some other competitors. Still, it is controlled and the ‘warm’ reproduction is a relief between the fresh, analytical models we regularly came across in recent years. There is also enough tension and sparkle to guarantee a captivating sound.
We take out the “K&D Sessions” (cd), a timeless double from 1998 by Kruder and Dorfmeister. In our room without the Aperta’s sounds pretty good but still we find the bass a lot tighter when we decouple the speakers. Or had we already mentioned that! There is enough detail and the generous bass goes well with the lazy beats of Kruder and Dorfmeister
New work by The Cowboy Junkies is always worthwhile and their latest album “Ghosts” (Tidal Hifi) is another gem. Here the strengths of this monitor comes even better into their own. “Ghosts” is a more solid album where guitars are more present and on the Carina they resonate wonderfully. The wonderful voice of Margo Timmins is never sharp and the atmosphere of the songs is miraculously reproduced.
Time for some pop music, because that’s what we call the music on Sam Hunt’s latest album “Southside” (Tidal MQA). This country star makes a modern break-up album full of recognizable songs. Under every song there’s a solid beat. And the Carina’s follow effortlessly. This loudspeaker does have punch but stays controlled under all circumstances. The big advantage of the rounded, soft upper-end is that lesser recordings are not mercilessly punished.