When I heard that I was getting the Teufel Ultima 60s, I was none the wiser as to what was coming. I was going to have to look at their website which if you ever have, shows one of the most staggeringly large ranges of products you will ever see. They may be a new name in the UK, but ranges of that scope don't turn up overnight - Teufel have been running for 30 odd years so are no newcomer. Virtually every shape, size and kind of loudspeaker is covered, and it can look at touch confusing at first glance. However, a few seconds of burrowing showed that I was to get a comparatively straight forward pair of stereo floorstanders which, if I'm clear on this, are from Teufel's current top end stereo speaker range, with only one other model sitting above them. So I left it there and waited for them to turn up.
Having not paid too much attention, I was slightly surprised by the size of the pair of boxes turned up and it required a good amount of effort to h eft them into my car. Taking them out of the packaging didn't do a lot to diminish the size; the Ultima 60s are comfortably above average in size. Whilst not overly large in any one direction, being 1023x21x32 cms, they are quite an imposing presence and weight a not inconsiderable 18 kg each.[...]
So what do you get for your money? Clearly quite a large speaker and a full four driver, true three way speaker at that. Fronted by gloss black baffle, the rounded corner cabinet sports a vinyl wood effect wrap [...]
These speakers have quite a prodigious and deep bass output that can, if you don't have the room to pull them clear of walls, err on the side of too much. Plugging a port lowers the bass tune slightly and also reduces a touch of bass energy, but those with a larger room may well prefer both ports open for that extra power. Tonally, bass was tuneful with the power and texture of deep notes conveyed well, showing the natural advantage a full sized speaker has in this department. One or two of the bass drops in Madonna's Ray of Light CD were portrayed with a power and depth I've seldom heard without a subwoofer in tow.
This size advantage also shows up in the efficiency of driving the speakers.[...] Guitar, electric or acoustic, had bite and was able to convey how hard the instrument was being played very well. Piano had an equally impressive attack to the leading edge of notes suffering none of the (slight) softness lower down the scale. [...] Imaging is very good in the plane between the speakers, with a slight flattening of the sound stage front to back, lacking the airy space compared to the best that would add that depth and height. Images hang free of the speakers, creating a believable sound stage within their limits and voices, perhaps because of the colouration noted earlier, project solidly out front.
Now, I must confess that in the rush not to prejudice this review by reading too much in advance, the one thing I didn't know about the Ultima 60s until quite late in the day was their price. Finding out that the Ultima 60s only retail for 178 pounds each; that's 356 pounds per pair, was quite a surprise to put it mildly. At 360 (ish) pounds, to my knowledge the number of true three way, four driver floor standers is not large.
It became apparent during their stay, that here is a pair of speakers comfortable crunching out rock, pop, dance and electronica in general in a confident and often impressive fashion. They go loud and comfortably off not a lot of watts and equally, their easy-going nature isn't going to result in a forensic dissection of less than stellar kit further up the audio chain. Equally, they sound good when fed a really first class quality pressing, but don't descend into sounding like a transistor radio when presented with a mix clearly dynamically compressed for radio airplay. Those CDs that sound good in your car, will still sound good at home if the Ultima 60s are involved. This is not a bad ability to have at any price.
Equally, I found then to be capable 2.0 movie speaker; not everybody has the room or a partner willing to accommodate more than a pair of coffins in the front room.[...]Push them against a wall and they should lift you clean out of your seat on the big hits.
If you have mainstream tastes, want a capable room filling loudspeaker on a budget, then I heartily recommend you take Teufel up on their eight week (Yup! That's 8 weeks!) return or exchange policy (return shipping at your cost) and if they do stay put, remain safe in the knoledge that they come with a twelve year warranty. [...]
• Full sized speaker with a full blooded sound
• Easy to listen to quietly
• Goes very loud
• Tunable through port bunging to suit a wide range of rooms
• Easy to drive
• Undemanding of partnering equipment
• Huge warranty
• Value for money
• It is large by modern standards (this is the fault of modern standards) • Only one finish/colour option • Slight softness at the very bottom end • Not as transparent as the best at the price • Colouration evident in lower mid • Not at a showroom near you (but with 8 week home trial)
• Build Quality: 4 / 7 stars
• Connectivity: 4 / 7 stars
• Ease of Use: 5 / 7 stars
• Audio - Movies: 5 / 7 stars
• Audio - Music: 5 / 7 stars
• Power Handling: 6 / 7 stars
• Value for money: 5 / 7 stars
Overall: 5 / 7 stars