This is the room
with the Scaena Iso Linear Array Speaker
system. This system is capable of painting a panoramic sound stage with
unrivalled precision. This is what you might expect from a line source tower
freed from a box enclosure. It is capable of rendering music with speed and
pinpoint precision. The stage appears boundless with all the depth, width and height
information present in the recording. The Demonstration system was the
model 3.2 speaker. The tower stands 60" tall uses 12 midrange cone drivers, 9
planar ribbon tweeters and in the back of the room are 2 large cylinders each
one with an 18" woofer. Up front is a Scarlatti DCS transport and DAC, power
comes from a VTL X400 stereo amplifier with Nordost Odin speaker cables. This
3.2 system has a MSRP of $54,000. P.S. Thatís yours truly on the
left side in the photo standing next to the co-designer Mr. George Bischoff.
the McIntosh people are near the
top of the heap. Lighted front panels on every component can certainly draw
your attention. The were showing a system comprised of a pair of
the new MC2301 tube power amplifiers ($15,000) supplying power to the
multi driver XRT-1K line source tower speakers ($35,000). Up front I got my
first in person look at the McIntosh MT10 turntable. Uniquely the translucent
acrylic platter is illuminated so that it has a soft glow in the dark
appearance and there is a lighted speed-read out dial on the front panel. The
system as I heard it was sourced from the $6000 MS750 music server or the
MCD500 SACD/CD ($6,500) player with a RAM storage chip, volume control and
digital inputs. After hearing the Mac system I am beginning to think that
speakers comprised of many small drivers rather than three or four larger cone
drivers can produce sound that is closer to live music.
I think I will
wrap up the show report be touching on a few items which stand out because
they are unique in some way, either new or innovative, or super expensive.
Speaker Systems That Fall Into The 'Big Bucks' Assault On The Art Category
Imports in the Larkspur room displaying massive German
Triolon Excalibur Horn tower speakers with a center firing ionized
air tweeter only $192,000 a pair. Modern sculpture that talks to you, I wonder
what my wife would say?
Muon Reference speakers are other worldly monoliths that came to
visit Denver. You are not likely to see another pinched waist mirror finished
aluminum speaker costing $140,000 very soon. These four-way, 79-inch high,
235-pound beauties are formed from molded 6mm sheets of aluminum and contain a
total of 8 drivers each. Seven drivers (there are two in the back) are 9 7/8
inches in diameter with separate crossovers and the center Uni-Q driver is
both a midrange and tweeter. They are a limited edition with production
limited to a 100 pairs. Designed is by Ross Lovegrove (I love suggestive
British surnames). I was informed that they had sold ten pairs so far; sound
was pretty good in a cramped space.
Lets not over look
what maybe the hit of the show the Focal
Grand Utopia speakers in the Audio Unlimited room. These all out
transducers weight in a 580 pounds and cost a mere $180,000. For that price
you get concert hall dynamics and sound staging. A pair of Boulder 2050 mono
block amplifiers supplied power. The music source was either the Boulder 1021
combo disc player music server or the Clearaudio Statement Turntable.
Lets take a closer
look at the Clearaudio
it is something to behold. Massive and weighing 770 pounds the linear tracking
housing for the arm and the magnetically driven platter are kept level by
magnetic suspension and an internal gyroscopic system then for good measure
add a 176 pound pendulum counterweight. I did not ask the price, I was afraid
If anything can
convince you that vinyl recording is not passť than this has to be it.
Items, Filed Under The Heading 'Of Things Odd Looking'
Requisite Omni Direct Loudspeakers.
What you see in the photo is a cast bronze base ball with a stack of drivers
in a pole configuration. I canít comment on sound quality.
Signature Speakers made in Yokohama City Japan, The literature says
the word Evanui means 'vanish' in Latin. A single three-inch driver on top of a
stack of 63 carved Apitong plywood layers. Again I really canít comment on
the sound. But does anyone remember Al Capp and his cartoon creatures the
Shmoos? Well if you do than you may remember they multiplied like crazy and
they taste just like ham.
From the country
that invented Pizza I call your attention to the Montegiro
Lusso Turntable. What
you see is a stack of alternating aluminum and black acrylic plastic disks in
the shape of an inverted cone. The three surrounding cone bases support a
two-speed belt drive motor and two outboard tone arms. All the sections are
free standing and are movable the whole magilla is anchored by its 176-pound
mass, I didnít get a price.
At long last tired
and sluggish from the Mile High altitude I found time to suck in some
mint-scented oxygen to chase away that dull pain between my eyebrows. What
more can I say, itís the best U.S. show every dyed in the wool audiophile
really should see it.
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