Encore ENC-5 Bookshelf Speakers
Over the past few decades, we have seen some truly splendid consumer electronics products come out of Japan. Sadly, except for a few exceptions, this did not include great high-end loudspeakers. This is why most audiophiles who were partial to front end electronics that are made in Japan, usually turn to North America or Europe for their loudspeaker requirements.
One of the reasons for this could be that most Japanese products are mass-produced on assembly lines, which is very antithesis of the way superior loudspeakers are made. It is a fact that most true highend loudspeakers are carefully and meticulously handcrafted one pair at a time by skilled hands and like fine musical instruments, they are individually tuned and voiced to optimize their performance.
Of late, I have found a few loudspeak- ers coming out of Japan, which have been created the way the better transducers in North America and Europe have been for the past half-century. One of the more prominent efforts has been from Sony, who introduced the ES SS-M9ED and then followed it up with the well reviewed SS-AR1.
design | features
The Encore ENC-5, which is the subject of this review, belongs to the same ilk as the SS-AR1, in that it is meticulously designed, hand assembled and individually tuned like a fine acoustic instrument. The Encore is made by Combak Corporation of Japan and it is their second foray into the world of high-end loudspeakers. Their first attempt was the ‘Bravo’, which, like the Encore is also a bookshelf speakers with ambitions of rivaling not just other high-end bookshelf speakers but also some floor standing models.
Wynn Wong of Wynn Audio dropped by with the review pair of the Encore and very graciously helped me unpack the speakers and set them up. My first impressions of the Encore, out of the box, were not exactly overwhelming. The Encore is a petite, well finished boxy cabinet that measures 217mm x 300mm x 217mm and weighs in at 12.32 kilos (around 16 kilos with the packaging). I could not fault the packaging, which is very well thought out and should survive even the most brutal handling during shipment.
The Encore looks to be a single driver unit design until you go through the literature which reveals that it is actually a coaxial design consisting of a 176mm fiberglass midrange at the center of which is mounted a coaxial aluminum dome 24mm tweeter. The design goal was to create a one-point source drive that has a disper-