Hardware Reviews

Coppice X2

coppice x3 main

The Coppice X1 gave me considerable pleasure with both the beauty of its English oak cabinet and also a highly-competent application of Peerless driver units when I reviewed it earlier in the year. Those same drivers feature in the new X2 floorstander which turns out to be something of an audiophile bargain.

Without repeating the story again, Coppice Audio is the creation of Mal Hyde and Ryan Morse in the Malvern countryside. Professional carpenters by trade, they know how to handle wood and that’s evident as soon as one sees their cabinets. They are hand-built masterpieces.

The X2 is lovingly constructed in the Cotswolds from sustainable hardwood, my pair using top-quality timber sourced in Europe. A variety of finishes is offered, custom-made so that they are sure to suit any listening environment. Available finishes are ash, oak, sycamore and a range of high-quality paint options. Some of these will incur extra finishing costs but all Coppice models are made to order so the price will be known in advance.


Coppice made their public debut at the UK Audio Show at Staverton in October 2021 as guests in the Malvern Audio Research room, showing a pair of X1s and stands. Visitor reaction was hugely positive and cemented the solid-wood design concept as one which audiophiles appreciated. With space booked for their next public appearance at the North-West Show, Cranage, the Coppice team decided to create a bigger impression so quickly got to work on some of the other solid wood products that they had contemplated. This necessitated much evening and weekend working because their established joinery business was also booming. This work resulted in the brand’s our own sheep’s wool room treatments (more dense than traditional mineral wool/fibreglass) and equipment racks, both things which went down well at the show, alongside the new floor-standers. The editor was suitably impressed with the sound under show conditions and so the X2s were soon winging their way to me to try in my system. I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed.

We have the same drive units as the X1 in a 165mm high-excursion, coated-paper mid/bass unit alongside a 1-inch fabric-dome tweeter, both sourced from Peerless. To the rear is a single pair of robust terminals and a letterbox reflex port. The solid-timber cabinet being the ideal volume for the drive units.

Coppice credit much of the sound quality of the X2 to audio designer Danny Ritchie from GR Research, who has licensed his designs. As Mal explains: “I had limited, experience of DSP while the licensee at outdoor music venues but we quickly realised that if our speaker didn’t have a crossover it could not be used in a standard system and would need a bi-amp/DSP set-up. We would have had to make them active with the Icepower Class-D boards (which we were using at the time) but this would have added a lot of expense as we would have to CE certify them. Also if they were active they couldn’t be used with valve amps, which is where they really come to life.”

The Coppice team began work on their own crossover but quickly realised that they needed some help, so contacted Danny after watching some of his audio-based videos. “We could have had our own design”, says Mal, “but felt it would be a wiser move to license an existing one, at least until we had tested the market’s reaction to our solid-wood products.” Through their collaboration, Coppice admit that they have learnt a lot about speakers and crossover design, now having a good understanding as to what it is that makes them sound so good.

coppice x3 fb

The world of solid, hardwood cabinets brought its own challenges, as Mal explains. “When we compared our MDF prototype with hardwoods there were clearly sonic differences and we spent time trying different woods and damping solutions until we arrived at the ash X1s with GR Research’s No Rez damping material which worked wonders.”

The 22mm thick timber goes into a specially-constructed kiln to remove unwanted moisture which would cause the wood to move. The cabinet is then sealed internally to control both movement and resonance. The cabinet has a cavity in the base to fill with sand to improve sonic performance and, as standard, spikes are provided although the review pair came equipped with the optional Gaia II isolation feet from Isoacoustics.

Ryan’s music production experience came into its own here and he really liked the warmer sound of the solid ash cabinet. A listening panel was commissioned to test this out and its members also preferred the warmer-sounding ash over MDF.

Sound quality
The overall space occupied by the X2s was comparable to my regular speakers on stands and I was therefore very interested to see what they could achieve in my listening room, they are considerably less expensive than my BBC-style stand-mount monitors before suitable stands are added to the equation.


Connection was straightforward and the X2s present an amp friendly load of 87dB at 8 Ohms, so my trusty Hegel H190 DAC/streamer/integrated amp didn’t have to work too hard. During the review period I had an Atoll TU80 Signature tuner connected and the timing could not have been better as the BBC Proms season was in full swing. The speakers were supplied as ‘run in’ but, to avoid any confusion or doubt I left them running for a week before sitting down for critical listening.

First impressions of the X2s are that there is a wider frequency response than achieved with the company’s X1s, most of this in the lower registers, while the sound is slightly warmer than I am used to, with a wider, deeper and high soundstage produced. As listening continued I became aware that the Coppice design was much more ‘musical’ and less sterile sounding than my usual MDF monitors. Timing was also credible, a facet I miss from my daily boxes. If the bass in the X1s can be described as ‘extended’, for the floorstander it is approaching seismic, the rear letterbox port working so well. Treble is refined and detailed, while the midrange sounds natural.

Reviewing during the annual Proms is always a delight as there is a ready source of ‘live’ material and a chance to see how realistic the reproduced soundstage can be. One of the first concerts I heard via the X2s was of founder-conductor Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra who entertained us with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The performance was indeed mesmerising, lively, exhilarating, sometimes even stirring. The sound  generated by the X2s was superbly wide, and consummately deep, as individual performers were placed across the soundstage in a most realistic and believable way; these being the key credentials of a hi-fi loudspeaker in my book. I was also conscious of delicious spaciousness between performers, as opposed to the homogenous cacophony all too common from poorly-designed transducers.

IMG 20220203 132240

Radio 3 also provided us with Bach’s Mass in B-minor as a Through the Night special and I wallowed in a star line-up of soloists as Jordi Savall conducted La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Le Concert des Nations. If I had found the X1s capable of three-dimensional reproduction, that was a trait even better created by this model. Wow. The performance brought a huge smile to my face as I was transported to the venue, with the performance on and behind the speakers’ axis rather than projected towards the listener. Even the audience applause sounded realistic when it can, so often, resemble fish being fried.

Aware that the X2s have fine timing and low-frequency credentials, I switched to the aptly named LF System’s single Afraid To Feel as being undoubtedly the pop song of this summer. Perhaps not entirely to my taste, and sounding rather like a 33 being played at 45, it is clearly a well-produced dance track and one being talked about because of the ground-breaking tempo changes. Something of a torment for poorly designed speaker systems, the X2s handled the material with commensurate ease and had my feet tapping away after just a few notes. Pace and timing are key requisites for many audiophiles and they certainly won’t be disappointed with the X2’s credentials in this respect.

For me, midrange clarity and as flat a frequency response as can be reasonably achieved are the hallmarks of a competent loudspeaker design, influenced I am sure by many years sitting behind a BBC studio desk in front of Rogers LS5/8s and 5/9s. I spent many a happy hour enjoying documentaries, drama and current affairs (mainly courtesy of BBC Radio 4) and found the X2s to be an ‘easy listen’, by which I mean devoid of any jarring anomalies which all-too-often mar an otherwise musical speaker. So often the listening experience can be spoilt by sibilance, nasality or other coloration – thankfully, Coppice have managed to avoid all these aberrations and the X2s pass muster. They allow the studio balance to be reproduced at home without adding anything to the mix or losing micro-detail. That’s not to put them in the monitor category but, if push came to shove, I’d be happy to use them for balancing knowing that the result would be more than acceptable.

IMG 20220203 132101

Review equipment usually falls into one of three categories: that which the reviewer cannot wait to re-box and return to the manufacturer; that which one can live with and, finally, those items which one would dearly love to keep as a permanent fixture. The Coppice Audio X2 definitely falls into the last category.

Saying that this is a loudspeaker of reference quality and one which I would like to keep as an ongoing reference is, perhaps, the highest accolade to award. The concept of a solid-wooden cabinet is sonically a winning formular. Somehow the sound is more complete than with wood pulp and resin MDF board assemblies. At Coppice we have craftsmen who know how to handle natural timber.

The X2 is not only a delight to listen to, completely unfatiguing and producing a wonderfully natural sound, but also a beauty to behold in that it is aesthetically most pleasing. We also have here something of an audio bargain, especially given that my stand-mount BBC-style speakers (in their Chinese MDF boxes) are now £4,500 with another £500 for basic stands. In the X2 we have a complete monitoring solution with hallmark pedigree for £4,000. That really is a no-brainer.


Type: reflex loaded 2-way floorstanding loudspeaker
Crossover frequency: not specified
Drive units:
Mid/bass: 165mm high-excursion, coated-paper cone
Tweeter: horn loaded 25.4mm fabric dome
Nominal frequency response: 45 – 20,000 Hz
Nominal impedance: 8 Ohms
Connectors: single-wire binding posts
Sensitivity: 87dB @ 2.83v/1m
Dimensions HxWxD: 950 x 224 x 310mm
Weight: 32 kg (when sand loaded)
Finishes: ash, oak, sycamore, custom paint jobs
Warranty: 2 years

Price when tested:
Manufacturer Details:

Coppice Audio
07890 132482


floorstanding loudspeaker


Trevor Butler

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments