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Sampan

The Sampan

"The Greatest Disappearing Act Since Houdini "

Sampan, black and red birch

Dimensions: 36 X 4 X 4 inches (H X W X D), 91 X 10 X 10 cm.
Base: 7.5 X 8 X 1 (W X D X H) inches

It is less than half the size of the Totem Arro but has lower bass and better imaging.

"Few loudspeakers on the planet can create as much excitement as the tiny, unassuming Sampan..."
(Reinhold Martin, HIFI STATEMENT, Germany)

 

The Sampan is an innovative time coherent, minimum phase, point source, transmission line, design. It uses a single driver to cover the audible sound spectrum. The Sampan's full-range, single driver design eliminates the problems of conventional loudspeakers which introduce distortion in the reproduction of music. Its stereophonic imaging is unmatched and it provides satisfying, deep bass even at low volume. Its dimensions are an amazing 4 inches wide by 4 inches deep by 37 inches high.

SOLD OUT!

Finish

Report from 2011 Axpona show, Atlanta, Georgia

Best in show?

"I was totally blown away by Role Audio. Their Sampan speaker is one of if not the most exciting speakers I have ever auditioned..."
neo-geo.com

"... these speakers “disappeared” like no others I heard at the show." 
Stephen Mejias, Stereophile

Accurate enough for mastering?
The Sampan is full range and so accurate that it is used for mastering by Lundvall Masters recordings mastering studio (click on "studio" link").

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS

"Even a respected Lowther cabinet builder ... said he could not believe the quantity and quality of bass that was being reproduced from such a slim little cabinet."

(Jeff Rabin, Ph.D., enjoythemusic.com)

"... the true stars in the Role firmament are, for me (so far), the Sampans ...We listened, drop-jawed, to detail, a seamless soundstage, crisp warmth (Oxymoronic? Not in the least), and next to no sense of compression or congestion at climaxes."
(David Ogden Stiers, see review/testimonials page)

"I heard through the Sampan's music and ... imaging to die for, and a speaker disappearing act that I wouldn't have believed possible."
(Jeff Rabin, Ph.D., enjoythemusic.com)

"I used the Sampans in three systems, with six different amplifiers, in three different situations and they never ceased to amaze me or my guests who heard them in action. ... I had the pair of them next to a very much larger pair of speakers and would ask people to point to the speaker that was playing and I would conservatively guess only one out of three people correctly identified the Sampans as playing..."
(Jeff Rabin, Ph.D., enjoythemusic.com)

" ... a transmission line speaker in an unfeasibly narrow cabinet that does one of the best disappearing acts I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying..."
(Jeff Rabin, Ph.D., enjoythemusic.com)

"...the Sampans were magic."
Jeff Rabin, Ph.D., enjoythemusic.com)

The Sampan is a match made in haven for even a 5 watt amp.

As Jeff Rabin notes in his review,
"...the single driver Sampans seemed a match made in heaven for the Glow ("a paltry 5 watts"). Through the Sampans I could hear all that single ended detail and that certain clarity that only a speaker without a crossover can provide..."

(Jeff Rabin, Ph.D., enjoythemusic.com - review of Glow amplifier
 

Special Features:
True point source
Transmission line design
Magnetically shielded
Perfect time coherence
Reproduces entire audible frequency spectrum
Hard wired hand soldered
Single 3.5 inch cast frame titanium transducer
MLSSA matched transducers
True minimum phase response
Superior five-way terminals
10 year limited warranty

HIFI Statement label

"Few loudspeakers on the planet can create as much excitement as the tiny, unassuming Sampan, which is able to pull off the rare trick of disappearing completely as a sound source within the room whilst at the same time giving the impression that music is coming from a speaker many times larger than itself. Thanks in particular to the enormous and detailed soundstage that a pair of Sampans is capable of creating - and despite possessing an unobtrusive appearance likely to make the wives of audiophiles happy - these speakers acquit themselves well by audiophile standards." (Reinhold Martin, HIFI STATEMENT)

"We set two Sampans up in our listening room next to a pair of 'normal size' floorstanders (my Triangle Cellos) but did not tell anyone wishing to listen to the system which speaker was actually playing. If fact, it is unlikely that any of our visitors even realized that the Sampans were loudspeakers. I then began the demo with the system playing through the Sampans. None of the visitors who were subjected to this 'trick' suspected that the music was coming from the two Sampans rather than the largish pair of Triangle Cellos. Indeed, everyone thought that the sound they were listening to was quite appropriate for the (much larger) Cellos. These observations do credit to the full-range capabilities of the elegant Sampans. The fact that this deception was successful even when the Sampans were positioned well away from the Cellos shows how completely the sound decouples itself from the slim towers to produce a soundstage of almost palpable depth and width."(Reinhold Martin, HIFI STATEMENT, Germany)


The Sampan wins Enjoythemusic.com Best of 2007 Award


 ""Rarely do I have the opportunity to walk around the sound stage, inspect Norah Jones from behind, check the rivets on the drum kit to confirm that Keith Moon's 1965 Drums really was a Premier single-bass, or otherwise wax pedantically on correct microphone placement. Never for me has a sound-stage indicated to me the different heights of the horns of John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis's during the glory days of Kind of Blue. All that changed for me with the Sampans." 
Dr. Jeff Rabin

 

"We set two Sampans up in our listening room next to a pair of 'normal size' floorstanders (my Triangle Cellos) but did not tell anyone ... everyone thought that the sound they were listening to was quite appropriate for the (much larger) Cellos."

"Few loudspeakers on the planet can create as much excitement as the tiny, unassuming Sampan..."
(Reinhold Martin, HIFI STATEMENT, Germany)

Notes:
(1) The loudspeakers require a minimum of half inch clearance between the bottom of the base and the floor or carpeted surfaces because the cabinet is ported on the bottom. If clearance is inadequate, longer spikes should be used. For greater stability, optional larger bases are available.