Sound and Image

Richter plays its joker

Richter can lay claim to being one of Australia’s oldest loudspeaker manufacturers, and the Harlequin one of its longest-running designs. The Harlequin name derives from the mischievous ‘devil’ or ‘demon’ character in French passion plays of the 16th century, though it is better recognised today with the chequered costume developed during Italy’s subsequent commedia dell’arte. The name fits well among Richter’s mystic speakers — the Wizards, the Merlins, and the outlying Thor, this last chosen for the presumably ‘thunderous’ subwoofer of the latest Series 6 line-up.

Equipment

As you can see from the photographs here, the Harlequin is an unusual design, a two-way, two-driver floorstanding loudspeaker. That’s unusual because most two-way designs are in small cabinets that are intended to be placed on stands or on a shelf or side-table (and indeed Richter has just such a model in its range: the Merlin).

Yet floorstanding two-way speakers have many advantages over their smaller counterparts. Foremost among these is that the larger cabinet enables a more extended bass response than otherwise possible, because any given bass driver will always deliver more

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