Monday, 17 October 2016

Arpeggio Pensato - Another Malaysian Pride

The name Arpeggio Pensato does not really sound like Malaysian but the designer of this speaker, Mr. Victor Pheh of HiFi Creations is as Malaysian as it can be. I first heard the sound of these speakers back in 2014 when it was still in the prototype stage. The second time was during its debut in KLIAV show in 2015. But it then went quiet after the debut. What I can remember at that time was these speakers have high level of authority when run with Magnet power amps. Clarity was one of its virtue.

When Victor sent the Pensato over, I now realised how big the cabinets are. Measuring at 590 mm (H) x 340 mm (W) x 400 mm (D) and weighs at 36 KG each, it is not an ordinary bookshelf speaker. In fact, I do not know how to categorize the Pensato as bookshelf or half floorstander. Its a 3 way speaker with a 1" sonolex precoated dome tweeter, 4" paper coated cone mids and 8" nextel coated woofer. Frequency response is between 38 Hz to 30 kHz with relatively high sensitivity of 89 dB. It is also rear ported design. The pair is fully hand crafted using high quality internal components including VDH wiring.

  • Bryston B135 SST2 Integrated amp (also as pre amp)
  • KOGA Aimez power amp
  • Bryston BDP2 media player and BDA3 DAC
  • Sony HAP Z1 ES HDD Hi Res player with Skogrand Wagner power cable
  • Lenco L78 TT
  • Musical Fidelity M1 ViNL phono stage
  • Vermouth Audio Black Pearl speaker cable

  • Temptation by Diana Krall (WAV 16/44.1)
  • Silent Death (LP)
  • Unchained Melody by Willie Nelson (DSD 2.8 MHz)
  • Money for Nothing by Dire Straits (WAV 16/44.1)


With the Pensato driven by KOGA Aimez power amp, the Pensato started to show the level of music authority that I have heard before. The zing sound of percussion in the intro was definitely the clarity of sound that can really sound extended. Its not bass shy with the double bass sounding warm and deep. Its not a bass power house like the PMCs, but its enough to really sound refine.

With a really heavy music like the one by Silent Death, the Pensato can really cook up an overall solid metal sound with high degree of separation. However, the double pedal percussion sounded a little bit thin in which a hard hitting bass kick is required in this kind if music. Partially it may also be the B135 integrated amp was not the best match for Pensato. At times, it sounded a bit restricted as oppose to a sound from a full floorstander.

The beautiful voice of Willie Nelson can be relived with high level of excitement via the Pensato. The clarity of vocals can be clearly heard through these speaker. The mellowness of his vocal was reproduced by the Pensato that it sounded very fluid and unrestricted. A character that I find very important in any speaker. It can allow music just to flow freely, creating that ambient of a big sound stage.

Now for the final track, the intro of Money for Nothing was again where the Pensato showed some muscle. The drums and guitar intro really gave  long lasting impact on me. It delivers sufficient hit on the drums tom toms and at the same time, a adequately high shredding guitar sound.PLus, the sound stage sounded really huge on this track.

Do you have the space? Are you looking for an honest sounding, high clarity and tight and defined bass? The Pensato might just be the one for you. Vocals sound clean, the mids are sweet and harmonious and the bass is just sufficiently reproduced. Bear in mind that we are dealing with a bookshelf design here. Even though the sound stage is big, at times it can sound a bit restricted especially on metal music. It needs a big air space for it to really shine. Overall, at RM22K RRP, it is a pair that has that finesse touch by Mr. Victor.With proper kit matching, these Pensato can be a great contender to ATC. If interested in a demo, please contact Victor Pheh of HiFi Creations.

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