Kudos Audio was founded in 1991 when the company's first product the S100 loudspeaker stand was launched. This complex and well engineered stand quickly went on to become a reference support for many audio reviewers across the world and is still used and highly respected today.
Following on from the S100 the lower cost S50 firmly established the company for first rate performance and high quality engineering. Indeed the S50 continues to win awards for its performance and is a highly respected product many years after it was introduced. In 2006 the company took a change in direction when it was re-launched by Derek Gilligan, the renowned loudspeaker designer, by moving into the design and production of a range of high performance loudspeakers.
Coming from a family of skilled cabinet makers, hi-fidelity enthusiasts and professional musicians, (as well as having worked as a music / sound engineer in the demanding world of professional audio) and after years of designing for other companies, Derek wanted to bring a range of loudspeakers to the market based around exemplary engineering without gimmick, or artifice.
This is outlined in more detail in the 'Our Philosophy' section, and is the underpinning ethos of everything the company produces. The loudspeakers have already gone on to win awards and establish themselves as some of the best sounding available, with each model setting a standard at its respective price point.
Kudos is not standing still, continuous development and the desire to improve is a given and new ideas and products are always being worked upon.
KUDOS: THE ONLY MODERATELY PRICED FLOORSTANDING SPEAKERS TO OWN!
I first heard the $4800.00 KUDOS C-2 because a customer was so enthralled with them that he insisted that I listen to them. So, I brought them into the store for an audition, hooked them up without much care, and then fell flat on my ass when I heard the amount and quality of music that was coming out of them! I quickly turned to my then favorite $6000.00 pr. floor standing speaker and was simply non-plussed by how less "right" they were then these newcomers
Imaging, dynamics, inner detail, tonal balance everything was just so right with the Kudos and just so "eh" with the up till then favorite! Since then I have not heard a speaker under $15.000.00 per pair that captures the emotion and involvement of live music like the Kudos- any of them! The king is dead .Long live the King of moderately priced floorstanding loudspeakers.
NEW ! for the first time in the USA !
SOUND BY SINGER EXCLUSIVE
"The new Cardea C30 demonstrates wonderful communication skills with all types of music. It boasts outstanding timing and an impressive ability to reveal the difference between system components. What really distinguishes the C30 from the common herd is the obsessive attention to detail during Kudos' extensive R&D process.
Perhaps this is why the loudspeaker has become the new reference point for Paul Messenger, Hi-Fi Choice's very own loudspeaker guru."
"The Perfect Floorstander"
Hi-Fi Choice Awards '08
The C30 has been developed to produce an altogether higher level of performance than even the C20 design is capable of. It combines over twenty years of Kudos'loudspeaker design experience, all of its drive unit manufacturer SEAS’ experience, and the highest quality materials to deliver a musical experience which is superlative. It has already been awarded a number of accolades including Hi-Fi Choice Loudspeaker of the Year.
The cabinet is constructed from 18mm high density MDF with specific damping for each internal surface and finished with a range of real wood veneers to provide an elegant appearance. However there is much more to the design than is at first apparent; the enclosure is divided into two separate chambers to optimise the performance of the bass and main drive units. The upper chamber is reflex ported to the rear of the loudspeaker and is tuned to suit the response from this unit. The lower chamber reflex port is situated on the bottom of the cabinet and it uses the tri-laminate plinth to provide a fixed boundary gap, improving port response. The plinth itself is a complex mixture of a very high density MDF specially selected for the purpose, an inert damping compound, and a steel base section. This construction has proven to deliver an improvement in sound quality as well as giving excellent stability.
The main driver is an 18cm unit manufactured with a cast chassis and a unique Tri-laminate Nextel coated paper cone. This driver is of a specification exclusive to Kudos incorporating our own design phase plug and “eddy current” shorting ring to provide superb midrange clarity and harmonics. Its excellent integration with the stunning SEAS Crescendo tweeter ensures exquisite coherence and a well balanced mid to upper frequency response.
In addition to these drivers the C30 also employs a specifically designed 18cm bass only unit housed in the lower chamber of the cabinet. This unit provides the C30 with a significantly enhanced bass response when compared to our C2, or C20 designs and results in improved bass texture, slam and detail.
The well matched drive units once again allow a low order crossover to be used and we use close tolerance, bespoke components from Clarity Caps and Volt, together with internal wiring from The Chord Company. The crossover itself is of the two and a half way type. In this arrangement the bass only unit is rolled off before it is asked to reproduce a mid range signal, the mid bass driver works from the bass right though to its crossover point with the tweeter and the tweeter is brought in to cover the treble response. This arrangement allows us to ensure the C30 produces a seamless response from bass, through the midrange and on into the treble.
Hi-Fi Choice described the C30 as “the perfect floorstander” during their review, a description we could not disagree with! This loudspeaker combines all of the attributes of superb imaging, soundstage reproduction and dynamics with the one we respect most of all – the ability to allow the listener to connect with and enjoy the music.
Kudos Cardea C2
The C2 is an elegantly styled floorstander with a ported cabinet constructed from 18mm high density MDF specifically chosen for its acoustic properties and beautifully finished with real wood veneer. The reflex port is situated on the bottom of the cabinet to enable more flexibility in placement within the listening room. The fixed plinth provides a fixed boundary gap for the port to work optimally as well as providing additional stability. Internally the cabinet is optimally damped and braced and the tweeter is mounted in its own chamber to isolate it from the compression effects of the main unit. Both of the drivers are neatly rebated into the cabinet and the grille is mounted via magnets to maintain a clean appearance.
The main driver is an 18cm unit manufactured with a cast chassis for high stability and a coated paper cone; the unit has been specifically designed to optimally utilise the larger cabinet volume. The tweeter unit is a 25mm fabric dome unit more usually found in significantly more expensive designs and has a superb quality of treble. Excellent integration between the drive units allows a low order crossover to be used for minimal electrical interaction with the signal.
The C2 produces remarkable bass extension and greater scale to the presentation of the music than its size has any right to permit, and maintains an open and accurate midrange and a subtly detailed treble. The easy 8 ohm impedance means that the loudspeaker will work well with a wide range of valve and solid state amplifiers.
The C20 is a loudspeaker delivering a level of performance that belies its discrete appearance. In the C20 the C2 cabinet and main driver unit is combined with the the legendary 29mm SEAS Crescendo fabric dome unit - this is almost certainly the finest tweeter in the world. When used in the C20 this produces unrivalled ability to reproduce high frequencies accurately without negative "hi-fi" artifacts such as smearing of fine detail, or compression. To make best use of this superb tweeter the crossover components and wiring are all of the highest quality. The capacitors are silver wired and made specifically for Kudos by Clarity Caps to the highest possible tolerances and internal cabling for the C20 is by the renowned cable specialists The Chord Company. Once again a low order crossover is used for minimal electrical interaction with the signal.
The C20 has again quickly established a reputation as one of the best small floor-standing loudspeakers available at its price point and should be on everyone's shortlist to audition.
The X2 is the first product in a new range of Kudos loudspeakers designed to bring as many of the attributes of the Cardea range as possible to an entry level product. During development of the X2 it was quickly nicknamed the MC2 (Mini Cardea 2) partly due to its looks of a scaled down C2, but also due to its remarkable ability to deliver many of the sonic hallmarks which have set the C2 apart from the pack.
The cabinet is constructed from 18mm high density MDF specifically chosen for its acoustic properties and is carefully tuned to minimise cabinet colouration and time smear. The cabinet is beautifully finished with real wood veneer, and using experience gained with the Cardea range, the reflex port is situated on the bottom of the cabinet; the plinth then provides a fixed boundary gap for the port to work optimally, as well as providing additional stability.
The drive units are manufactured exclusively for Kudos by Norwegian specialists SEAS and have been specifically designed for this application. Both drivers are of exceptional quality and the main driver uses a cast chassis for optimal stability. These drive units and cabinet are woven together with bespoke crossover components from specialists Clarity Caps and Volt to produce one of the most musically rewarding compact loudspeakers ever.)