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Hi-Fi '99


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Click here to see a high resolution (circa 1999) photo of the new Pipe Dreams panorama!

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Click here to see a high resolution (circa 1999) photo of the Martin Logan panorama!

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Click here to see a high resolution (circa 1999) photo of the new Wilson Watt/Puppy 6 panorama!


JosephAudio Pearl
  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!


Alon Circe
, 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 Three Point Eight
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 transparent grill.



Mach 17
'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.


Stanley 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.


Vienna Acoustic Mahler
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!


Infinity Prelude MTS
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!


Dynaudio 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.


Studio / 100
Seen 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. 


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