Morel’s Fat Lady loud speakers

Let's make one thing clear from the start. This is not a review and I probably will never get to hear these little beauties. Nevertheless, I thought they were interesting enough to blog about.

First off, I saw these speakers on Malcolm Steward’s blog pages. Malcolm was a kind of a hero of mine back in the 1980s. Back then, he wrote for a magazine called HIFI Review, long since deceased, (not him, the magazine), and was one of the first HIFI reviewers to not write about “mids”, “highs” and “bass” tones but instead, actually write about how a piece of music sounded. Did the piano sound like a piano? Could you identify the musical instruments in a piece or was it all merged into one? Did the HIFI set up a convincing sound stage, placing the instruments and singers in their proper place or was everything flat?

The fact that the measured frequency response of those speakers or wattage power output of that power-amp was low according to someone’s standards was for him, totally irrelevant. Absent were those oscilloscope style graphs that had always accompanied hifi component reviews in other magazines up until then and instead he simply stated that "the proof of the pudding was only in the eating", or, in this case, in the listening. If it made your foot tap, if it put a smile on your face then that’s all that counts!

Naim Nait
 (Take the Naim Nait Intergrated Amp for example. On paper it didn't have the power to drive a pair of paper cups but connect them up to the most demanding of loud speakers and they sung for all they were worth.)

Talking of sayings, let’s mention another one. “It’s not over till the fat lady sings”.

The term was actually used first in the 1970s by American baseball commentators and is synonymous with the English football term “It’s not over until the final whistle”

According to Wikipedia, the original saying was “The opera is not over ‘till the fat lady sings” which was supposed to conjure up an image of some obese woman singing on stage in the final act of a Wagner opera.

By calling his speakers “Fat Lady”, the designer is making the outrageously bold claim that these speakers are the ultimate, never to be improved HIFI speakers. According to him, anyone who listens to his Fat Lady will agree that she has indeed just sung.

The Fat Lady sings

When I first heard this claim I laughed at the guy’s chutzpa. I should have known. Only an Israeli could have said such a thing. Sure enough, the company that produces these works of art is called Morel and is based in Ness Ziona, Israel.

The manager of Morel is one Oren Mordechai but the designer of the “Fat Lady” is an oleh chadash from England (swelling with pride time...) called Russell Kauffman.

The first thing you notice about these speakers is that they look more like a cross between a shiny black double bass and a giant slug than an obese woman. Indeed, the unit’s girth is actually quite slim.

Here’s a very sleek video of the product.

For those who are interested, there is a review here.

and a Video interview with Russell Kaufman here.

(Before you play the video, I'd just say that it features an American, Israeli and Anglo Jew. Just for fun, try and guess from the picture below, which is which - Clue:  Not difficult!).

Morel has made the ultimate claim with regard to the qualities of the Fat Lady and has backed this up with a totally outrageous chutzpadik price. They are retailing in the States for $32,000. (Yes, that is for the pair!)

I wish the company much hatzlacha and hope they bring out a cheaper version soon (perhaps called the "Not So Fat Lady") so that us mere mortals can hear what this company has to say.


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