One of the best sounds at the
show was from none other than the JosephAudio
room which featured their new Pearl ($15,000) speaker. The Pearl is a
"cost-no-object" design that uses all the latest thinking in loudspeaker design
according to their literature. The Pearl uses a 1" soft-dome
"Millennium" tweeter with fully dampened back cavity, a 6.5" magnesium cone
with copper phase plug midrange, and two 8" aluminum cone woofers which use a
four-layer voice coil. In combination with VTL amplifier, they were amazingly fast,
clean, and provided tight and tuneful lower frequencies. The highs were deliciously
extended, too, without being harsh. Frequency response is claimed as 25Hz to
20kHz (+-2db). Lustful gloss wood side panels are used as is JosephAudio's usual
"Infinite Slope" 120dB crossover design. Unlike other JosephAudio
speakers, the crossover network comes in a completely separate cabinet.
Audition? Highly and humbly recommended!
Alón, a company whose line has been highly
acclaimed by the critical press for years, were showing their Circe speakers ($12,000).
The Circe is their newest speaker which features their "no compromise"
1" aluminum-dome tweeter, 5.25" cast-frame midrange, and 10" long-throw
woofer. All of the drivers use special Alnico magnetic structure for the utmost is
music reproduction. Both the tweeter and midrange operate in an enclosure-free
dipole mode. The passive three board crossover is housed in an external cabinet for
the peak of performance.
The guys at
Coincident Speaker Technology have been hard at work and were showing their new Super
Eclipse ($4,995 s shown here) speaker. With a D'Appolito-type design, the 1"
titanium tweeter is flanked above and below with a 5" polypropylene midrange (upgradeable
to magnesium as shown here). Two side-mounted 8" paper-treated cone woofers
assist in the lower frequency reproduction. Frequency response is claimed as 28Hz
to 35kHz. They were using the Manley Labs 18 watts 300B triode amplifier which were
really putting out the sound power. Sensitivity of these speakers is 92dB/W/m with a
easy-to-drive 14 ohm load. Single-ended tube lovers take note!
ProAc is at it again with their model Three Point Eight ($7,200). A
1" soft-done tweeter with two 7" carbon fiber cones for bass are deployed for a
frequency response claimed at 20Hz to 30kHz. ProAc is one of those companies which
pays much attention to offering many different finishes to customers such as Black Ash,
Walnut, Natural Oak, Mahogany, Cherry, Rosewood, Yew, Ebony, Bird's Eye Maple and Burr
Oak. These floorstanding speakers include dedicated spikes and acoustically
Waveform's Mach 17 ($8,495) is a tri-amp-able,
electronic crossover including, super big speaker. The top mid/tweeter looks like
an egg (avoiding the chicken/egg joke here). Leave it to a Canadian company to make
such an interesting speaker of visually unusual design. The wood on the lower
subwoofer section was absolutely stunning! With two 12" woofers, ???" mid,
and 1" soft-dome tweeter, the frequency response is claimed at 27Hz to 20kHz
(+-1dB). The electronic crossover is adjustable and the entire speaker requires six
channels of amplification.
Linbar Audio were showing their new UD-6.5-Pro floorstanding speakers ($4,510).
Using the 28mm Esotec tweeter, 100mm HD-A midrange and 170 mm Esotec woofer, Stanley
claims a linear frequency response from 45Hz to 21kHz. A 4 ohm minimum with 7 ohm
nominal resistance while power handing is rated at up to 250 watts. They are quite
unique looking in my humble opinion.
Coming in visually captivating wood, the Vienna Acoustics Mahler ($9,800).
The Mahler is a larger floorstanding speaker which uses two side-mounted 10"
Eaton honeycomb woofers, two 7" Scan Speak mids and a 1.2" Scan Speak tweeter to
produce audio frequencies from 22Hz to 25kHz. The construction and woodwork it
top-rate with a 1.6" thick front and rear baffles. Internal bracing is used
throughout as well. Vienna Acoustics had great sound in previous shows and i hope to
hear these tomorrow. Not to be missed! If you get a chance to audition these
speakers it is very highly recommended! Good sounds here!
Continuing on their home theater trail, Infinity gave me some preliminary information
(and photo CD) of their new Prelude MTS speaker. Claimed to be a "room
friendly" design (please also see Dr. Floyd Toole, who is the speaker designer for
Infinity, seminar on the Hi-Fi '99 Other page). The Prelude
MTS is a four-way system which includes four 5.25" midbass drivers, a 4"
midrange, and a 1" tweeter mounted on top of a side firing 12" subwoofer
cabinet. The subwoofer section includes its own 500 watt amplifier with crossover.
The outer cabinet is a combination of lovely polished maple and brushed
anodized-aluminum. Infinity is claiming new breakthroughs in speaker design by using
their proprietary Ceramic-Metal-Matrix Diaphragms (C.M.M.D.). It is claimed to offer
"stiffness and dampening superior to that of traditional metals and soft-dome
materials" according to their literature.
PSB has yet another new version
of their popular floorstander and is now called the Stratus Silveri
($1,799 in black ash or dark cherry wood veneer and $1,999 in high gloss black). It
is claimed to be a "2-1/2 way" three driver design utilizing two 6.5"
woofers and a 1" aluminum-dome tweeter. The cabinet is front ported, present a
4 ohm load, and is claimed as being 91 db/w/m sensitive.
Leave it to
NHT to come up with another killer bass pounding, room sounding, neighbor's at my door
pounding speaker. The new VT-3 uses a forward array of two 6.5" lower mids, a
5.25" midrange, a 1" soft-dome tweeter, and two side firing 10" woofers
(woofer are powered by a built-in 500 watts Bob carver/Sunfire amplifier)! Home
theater and rock and roller unite! NHT were also showing their new VC-3 center
speaker which uses two 6.5" woofers, a 5.25" midrange, and 1" aluminum dome
tweeters. The new matching surround sound speaker uses the same driver configuration
as the VC-3. For those who love SPL and bass, this could very well be the ultimate
speaker for you! Hw do they do it? Volume, volume, volume!
was using the huge Mark Levinson No 33 monoblock amplifiers with their
Evidence speaker ($85,000). Using a one piece machines aluminum block for the mids
and tweeters, the imaging was quite wide and deep! Of course a very high quality
design like that that uses four woofers per cabinet, you can expect (and get) high quality
deep bass as well. The woofer are of the 8" variety which use a large 3"
voice coil and dual neodymium magnets. Here is definitely a must hear system for
those who come to the show.
here are the new Paradigm Studio/100 floor standing
speakers. Using a 25mm tweeter, 170mm midrange, and two 215 bass drivers they really
looked sweet! Available finishes are Black Ask, Rosenut, and Light Cherry (laminate
or wood veneer). Pricing is $1,900 a pair for laminate and $2,200 for wood
veneer. Other new speakers by Paradigm include the Studio/20 ($700-850 pair) two-way
which uses a 25mm tweeter and 170mm mid/bass driver. The Studio/40 ($900-$1,100)
which also uses the 25mm tweeter though it uses a 170mm mid/bass driver and also a 170mm
woofer. The Studio/80 ($1,500-$1,800) with 25mm tweeter, 215 mid/bass and 215
woofer. Can you believe Paradigm has even more new speakers than these? Stop
by their website to learn more.
At every show
i have attended here in the USA, Kharma consistently has great sound. Tonight they were
playing their very musically involving Kharma
Ceramique 1.0 ($14,999 pr). These speakers feature a 1.5" cloth dome tweeter,
4.5" ceramic midrange and 11" Nomex Kevlar woofer in a ported cabinet.
Sensitivity is rated at 90dB/W/m. All i know is that they were playing some great
dance music when i walked in... and it jammed! Good stuff here!!! Upstream
equipment was the Lamm L1 ($6,990)
preamplifier, Lamm monoblock amps, and of course wired with Kharma's own cabling.