Home Theater Review


Indigo Stage One Bookshelf Speaker reviewed

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Anyone who says LS3/5A-plus-AB1 or WATT-plus-Puppy is gonna get a star: Indigo's Stage One is another grow-with-it scenario of a small two-way monitor with an upgrade path of a dedicated passive add-on woofer system. Not an active sub, not a mono sub, but separate enclosures which, effectively, turn bookshelf/stand speakers into floorstanders.

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It starts with Indigo's Model One, a neat two-way which competes in the one-step-above-entry-level arena at £330 per pair. Measuring 10 3/4x8x10 3/4 (HWD), the Model One is a classic, fully-shielded British two-way speaker with a 1in titanium dome tweeter and a 5 1/4in laminated cone woofer with aluminium voice coil. The crossover is 2nd order for the high frequencies and 4th order for the bass, operating at 3.5kHz. It features hard-wiring for all components, is bi-wireable, and comes with gold-plated multi-way binding posts. The enclosure is solid and beautifully-made, with a 1in thick profiled MDF baffle and 3/4in thick MDF side panels, with real wood veneers inside and out. Available as standard in cherry, the Indigos are also produced in black ash and beech; all are fitted with blue-grey grilles which are supposed to suggest the company name. Yeah, right: if you're colour blind, or have a knackered copy of Paint Shop Pro.

Spec'd as delivering a frequency response of 48Hz-20kHz and not too painful a load at 88dB/1W at a nominal 8 ohms, the Model One sounds smooth yet detailed and works well with British solid-state integrateds within its price band; I loved the sound with my now ageing Roksan Caspian, and suspect it will flatter most of the 30-80W integrateds in the sub-£500 bracket. Categorically, these speakers need to be spaced away from walls to 'breathe', so I treated them like stereo monitors rather than A/V products which are normally positioned according to the wife's commands. And while they delivered just the sort of open, airy sound stage I expect of a compact two-way, and the mid-band possessed the requisite warmth, even I had a problem with the lack of weight.

A look at the Indigo catalogue suggests that the company would like to see you using these either as rear channel speakers in a surround set-up, or - as tested here - with the woofer systems to create the Stage One package. Ones-plus-subwoofers sell for exactly £1000, which puts this up against some serious single-piece floor-standing speakers. But the subwoofer sections are rather impressive in themselves, and transform the wee Indigos.

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