Loyal readers of Alpha Audio know that we have had a pair of Kudos speakers in our listening room on a few occasions. However, those were all models from the top series: the Titan 505 and Titan 606. At Latham – the supplier for Kudos in the Netherlands and Belgium – we also got to experience the models above them. Beautiful… but only for the wealthy enthusiasts. Now, however, it is time for the series below the Titans. We look at the Kudos Cardea Super 20A. A compact floorstander with a lot of punch! And at a price that makes it a lot more attainable. Interested? Then read on
There is always a special place in our hearts for compact 2-way monitor speakers. The cabinet is by definition stiffer than a similarly priced floorstander. The radiation behavior is usually a bit more favorable due to the compact shape… and the cost savings for a more compact cabinet, can be invested in better components. Yes… That makes it sometimes very difficult for floorstanders to compete. Unless the manufacturer knows what they are doing of course. And yes… some manufacturers can. Driade is one of them. The Model 2 is incredibly well balanced. And for example Fink Team can do it too with the Borg (Coolest name for a speaker ever!).
Now let’s take a look at the Kudos Cardea Super 20A. A speaker in the Cardea series. The name Cardea was assigned in ancient Greece to the goddess of the “hinge”. Which in turn stands for the goddess who protects the house and everything in it from evil spirits or other harm, if we understood that correctly. It also stands in the slightly more modern language/society for the connection to the heart. And that’s what Kudos will have chosen the name for…. at least: that sounds a bit more logical.
No way like a 2-way!
Simple, elegant… pure. These are words that belong to a two-way. Yes: three-way can be very good too. But the point is: they are becoming more complex and therefore more expensive. But before we get a lot of people upset; if done right, a three-way can also play incredibly pure and beautiful. And yes: it can play louder with less distortion. The question is: is that necessary? Another discussion. Back to the two-way.
The reason we are so enamored of 2-way is that it removes the limitations of a broadband speaker – either decent bass, or decent treble, but never both – and can still play purely. But again, if done right. Because even with a two-way system, a filter is needed. And a filter can introduce an awful lot of problems. We explain this in our Alpha Audio Academy series on loudspeakers. So what a manufacturer has to take into account is not to save on the wrong components. If everything falls into place, a good two-way monitor (or floorstander) can get you into that well-known music bubble. That is hifi. That is experience. That’s what it’s all about.
Kudos Cardea Super 20A
So the British Kudos super 20A is a two-way floorstanding speaker. A compact model with just under a meter in height. At the top is a SEAS tweeter (Crescendo K2) made to specification and below it a SEAS woofer also made to specification for the mid and bass (each model customised). At the bottom of the cabinet is a bass port. There is a little space between the port and the base where you can also screw in the spikes.
Together, the units can serve a frequency spectrum of 30 Hz – 30 kHz (average in-room response). You can check out the measurements at the end of the article. At the back, it looks a little different. Namely, the Kudos Super 20A can be driven either passively or actively. That’s a cool option from Kudos. So with the matching equipment, the entire filter is bypassed. We heard that with the Kudos Titan 707 on a nice NAIM system. Very impressive. The difference is not subtle. Neither is the price difference for that matter. But that’s another discussion. The cool thing is… this is a nice upgrade path!
The cabinet is also just rectangular and not double like the Titan series. That is not possible in this class: we are talking about 6850 Euro incl 21% VAT. That is per pair by the way. A decent price if you ask us.