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WCES '99


Galante Audio Buckingham

  So while lookin' for some more leads in solving this case i also came upon these speakers.  Well, beauty is only skin deep, but man these new Galante Audio Buckingham ($6,500) babies were putting out some great tunes. With the likes of those low wattage tube amps i love so much too!  These 15" beauties are rated at 100dB/W/m with 7.3 Ohm being the minimum impedance load!   This looks like a recipe for great music so far.  Some time passed, songs played, and another piece to the puzzle has been found!  With a massive 18 lb. 7 oz. magnet, this baby uses a two-way rear ported bass reflex coaxial speaker.  More specifically, a 15" mid/woofer and 1" horn-loaded high frequency compression driver.  Hey, i even liked the natural wood finish too.  In fact even on their literature it sez 3 watt is cool.  Well, maybe not in those words, but i'm beginning to like these guys already.


Classic Audio

Since this dic was obviously feeling horny, i went to the Classic Audio Reproductions room.  They are known for their, what else, reproductions of those great classic designs.   This year they seemed to be featuring their smaller floorstanding speaker (small speaker in the center of photo).  At almost 23.5" high and 14" wide, the Cinema Ensemble uses two 6.5", 2" dome compression driver, and 1" throat horn tweeter.  i still couldn't help but wonder about all those great looking corner-loaded cabinet designs.  Still, i was on an assignment, a job, a mission; i had a duty to my client to solve her case.


Burmester B97

A company well known in Germany and finally making their way into the USA, Burmester has been praised by this private eye for years.  In fact all the way back in this dic's WCES '97 Hot Stuff report you can my praises.  In fact it won my personal best sound at the show!  Well, years later they are only now being recognized in the USA as a manufacturer of great audio products.  Seems my detective work is years ahead of its time!  Seen here is this super secret photo of their new B97 ($71,925 pr) three-way full range loudspeakers.   The passive crossover is adjustable to allow the speakers to better integrate acoustically to various rooms!  These speaker can be bi/tri-wired and, of course, bi-tri-amplified too.  At about 72 inches high and weighing in at about 400 lbs. each, these are some serious speakers.  In fact if this private eye was asked what he felt was the best solid-state system available today, he'd say Burmester.  This was true in 1997 just as it is in 1999.  Sometimes it takes years for others to realize great private eye work.


TLG Series-I

One of my clients were looking for wall to wall sound.  A new company called TLG Acoustical Design, Inc. were showing this extremely large horn speaker.  Using what they call 19th century physics with 21st century technology, the Series-I uses computer aided design for fine-tuning this horn-loaded speaker.  This 2,500 lbs. over 116 inch wide speaker is approximately 107 db/w/m sensitive and can be finished in various colors.  This private eye did some more snooping and found out the Pioneer TAD TD-2001 and ET-703 drivers are used as are the Audax PR10OMO and McCauley 6234.  Pricing is not quite set yet, but expect it to be around $150,000 or so depending on finish.


KEF Maidstone

This was not my usual private eye gig.  Sometimes things are predictable, yet this job was a bigger challenge then i had imagined!  In fact i was checking out this one company called KEF that has been predictable... until now.  Maybe there was something in the water in Kent UK, maybe it was the weird weather patterns this year?  All i can remember is that while laying low for a few nights i could hear wonderful music from across the alleyway.  Seems the KEF folks have this new speaker which is an amazing departure from their usual stuff.  Using their fifth generation Uni-Q® six inch driver on top.  Meanwhile a 10" covers the lower middle frequencies and a 15" is used for 100Hz and below.  Using my super dic skills, i overhead a price of $17,500 per pair.  As much as i love my KEF 104/2 speakers, these speakers were in another league!  

Suddenly this girl knocked on my door.  What a looker!  It was my long-time friend Connie.  She was crying and mumbling about a past lover i warned her about years ago.  He was a drug addict and wife beater.  Guys like that oughtta be fitted with cement galoshes.  Anyway, seems she wanted good sound but the lover i warned her about ran off with all her speakers.  Well, as a dic who likes to make a girl happy, i tipped her off to this new underground buzz that my friends told me about.  i held her in my arms and wiped the tears off her face.  Couldn't help myself since she has a pair of eyes that makes a man melt.  The kind that cut through to melt man's heart like a hot knife through butter.  She told me how nothing seems to be satisfying her so i decided to tell her about these new speakers.  After all, not every dic can make a girl happy. 

So i told her about them and she seemed so relieved.  Alas, some secrets i can't say here.  In the end she was happy again.  Maybe it was my special private eye compassion, maybe it was something else?  Whatever it was, she said "Thanks.  You're really great, Dick" and with that she left.  Out of my life again.  Sometimes good guys finish last i guess.  Oh well, i have my work to do.

The buzz i told her all about were these new sensibly-priced Alón by Acarian Systems speakers.  i really wanted to make her mine so this private dic went to the last known whereabouts of the new Li'l Rascals.  A few leads and a small bribe to this sleazy bartender lead me to a hotel.  Using my trusty locksmith key kit, i accessed room 1851 at the Alexis Park hotel and found the Alón Tuscany.  This baby was finished in beautiful wood.  This dic loves wood, but let's not get into what i prefer.  i had a job to do.  This 9"x46"x20" (WxHxD) speaker featured a side-firing amplified 12" subwoofer.  Meanwhile a time/phase aligned 5.25" bass-mid and 1" aluminum dipole dome tweeter graced the front.  The rear of the Tuscany is another 5.25 bass-mid driver.  With a claimed frequency response from 20 - 25,000 Hz and weighing in at 130lbs each speaker, this is some serious stuff my friends.  i can see these will take some more investigation, but you can get your own pair for $7,000 a pair.


Alón Rascle

Meanwhile upon further investigation, i found the new Alón Rascal.  This $495 per pair mini-monitors seemed too good to be true.  A front-ported speaker using 6.5" treated paper cone and 1" silk soft dome tweeter this could be just what this other client was looking for.  This dic is always hard at work.  After all, they don't call me the always hard working private eye for nothing ya know.  Both drivers are magnetically shielded while air core inductors and polypropylene film capacitors are used in the hand-wired crossover.  A 60 - 20kHz +-2.5db is claimed with a sensitivity of 88 db/w/m.  These babies looked sexy.  More investigation needed here too.  Maybe we should just keep an eye on these Alón by Acarian Systems people.  Yeah, that's the ticket.  Well, i don't know about you but a good stiff drink is in order.  Time to hit this local joint for a drink and some more information.  Time to shakedown this guy i hear frequents this corner bar.


Aliante Linea

There she was.  The "girl" of my dreams was standing just outside the bar.   Dressed up in the sexiest Ferrari red outfit, this girl looked ready for action.   i thought to myself, this Dick loves action.  Call me a "hands-on" type.  She had this drop dead gorgeous carbon fiber front that looked like the cleavage line of my last lover.  Introducing myself, she told me her name was Linea by Aliante... and she was rare.  Only about 20 pair of her will be available.  For $12,500 she told me i cold have her.  With her 1" silk-dome tweeter, 13cm midrange, and 8" woofer whose output goes through the two ports on her bottom, i felt she was well worth it.  It is not everyday a girl like this walks past you.  She noticed my stares and ignored me.  Playing hard to get.  i wanted to learn more about her, but i blinked my eyes and Linea was gone!  Only memories of her 91 db/w/m 6 ohm specs now fill my head.  Maybe you are the lucky one who settles down with this babe.  Me?   i have a job to do and women can be lots of trouble.  Still, i love them.   Maybe one day i'll find the right "girl" for me.  This Linea seemed a bit flighty to me though.  Still, her sleek and slender lines made my body yearn for more of her.  What's a private dic to do?


Moth Audio Chrysalis

Walking into the bar my peepers saw this large gal.  She had voice that reminded me of my favorite singer, Billie Holiday.  Her parents that gave birth to her are from Moth Audio.  Unique and wonderful.  She had, well, how should i put this?  Well, she was big and full-bodied.  Her 15" bottom and 60 lbs. head with ribbon tweeter were distinctive.  i could see she was a close relative of the famous Jensen Vereo-Vents in design.  This dic knew she'd like single-ended tubes with her 96 db/w/m measurements.  Oh, and what a lovely measurement that was too!  Seem to recall $10,000 a pair.  This girls wooden "tan" was a sight for this northern guys sore eyes too.  gorgeous!  Still, a bit too big for my digs.  This private eye gig is not for the quick and easy buck kinda person.  We work hard for our money.  Maybe one day i'll have a nice large place to call home.  For now the streets are my home and i wouldn't have it any other way.  All this talk was makin' my lips dry, time for a drink.


Hales JBL Horn Speaker

After getting a few stiff drinks, this dic has his mind blown!  Word on the streets was that Hales Design Group were up to no good.  Seems they've been making some big waves with the low powered tube radicals by offering a few new high sensitivity speakers!  An agent for these speakers told me they make these great JBL equipped horn speakers that include a JBL 15" woofer.  The trick was in that Hales spent many hundreds of hours designing the right crossover for them.  These speakers are said to be used for in-wall mounting for home-theater usage.  This information was too hard for this dic to swallow.  Ya see, i know this one guy in the Bronx who would love these for music speakers.  Well, maybe these JBL/Hales are best used in-wall.  So i shook the Hales representative for more information.  Seems this guy crumbled like a oatmeal cookie in milk.



Hales also makes another new high-sensitivity speaker called the Alexandra which is built to "audiophile" standards.  Ah, now we are getting somewhere.  These special 94 db/w/m speaker is called the Axelandra.  Using a solid machined aluminum head weighing in at 45 lbs. holds a beryllium ribbon tweeter and two aluminum midrange driver.  A sexily glossy finished Pau Ferro wood cabinet holds the two aluminum woofers.  Wired with 100% Cardas cables and speaker binding posts, these babies cost a prety penny.  No, not pretty Penny as in my old secretary that left with my low-down brother.  i mean as in $27,990.  Alas, no clues in solving my case here, but still some good information that might be needed for another job.  i moved on.  The crumbling bartender also told me about this other place with some interesting speakers.  It was time for more detective work and my name is Richard Rochlin, but most people call me Dick.


Lamhorn 1.8

Little did i know this last place was more like going into a cult's den!  Many people have heard the rumors about the Lowther people.  These are generally a secret cult of guys using sharp tools like saws, knives, and pointy instruments to make cabinets for these rarely seen Reps-1 driver.  Now even ordinary dics like me can get 'em for $9,500.  The driver is basically a fully reworked Lowther driver, but i kept the link about these RL Acoustique guys just in case i wanted to learn more for a later gig.  Using a cabinet made of 17-ply Brazilian Birch, internally wired with Goertz, silver binding posts by Cardas, this was some virgin territory this dic wanted to in conquer.  It had been a while since a Lowther type speaker had been heard so i was really in need here.  Of course nothing can stop a good hard-up dic from a challenge too so i entered cautiously.  After an entire night of very satisfying musical pleasures, i needed to get back to finishing my job.  Time for some more investigation elsewhere.


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