Thank G-d day two is over. My feet and calves are killing me, but the jaunt thru the high end today was worth it. First an addition from yesterday. Bruce Edgar of Edgar Horn fame, notified me that he will be opening an East Coast store in New Jersey called Atrium Palace sometime in the next two months. More info can be gotten from Bruce at
(310) 782-8076. By the way, his system still sounded great today.
One that didn't make my cutoff for excellence was the Wisdom Audio Adrenaline Planar Line Source
Speaker (seen above). While sounding very good, it did not meet the hype the Harry Pearson has piled on it. Maybe it would for me if I had a long term loaner. At
$38,000, save your mulla.
A horn which sounded very good at a reasonable price was the T-1 project from Classic Audio
Reproductions (seen above). Using TAD drivers in a 2x3x4 ft. cabinet, they claim 97dB/W/m efficiency and
20Hz to 20kHz range, and I believe them. At $24,000, not quite a steal, but still nearer to the music than the Wisdom at almost half the price.
One non-horn that sounded very good was the Au24 Modular Line Array by Audience. It's a modular unit in tubular form with 4, 3 inch drivers per module, made, believe it or not, by some little old lady in Britain. Several of these modules can be mounted on top of each other to give the line array, and each can be driven by your own amp, or the one supplied by the factory which is especially built for the speaker. In addition they recommend that you purchase it with their line stage and interconnect as a system for best results. While the four unit towers I heard will set you back $20,000, they can be configured any way you want, for instance using two for a center channel and surrounds. They only go down to 70 Hz, but they were using them with a Sunfire Signature subwoofer that they highly modify, and the sound was worth the price of admission. Who says high end is cheap.
My final speaker recommendation is the Lammhorn from RL Acoustique of Montreal. Driven by a Tenor Audio OTL integrated amp, even CD's sounded great. These Quebecors even let me play my Night at the Proms CD, and didn't even flinch when God Save the Queen came on. The cabinet can be used with Lowther, Reps, and the German Aer driver, depending on your pocketbook I forget the cost, but I believe it was under
Quantum Products, Inc., of which I reviewed their QRT noise suppression modules a few months ago, and one month later, Stereophile through
Jonaten, ripped into them, has introduced a new product. They now have the Electroclear QRT units, which are single outlet units for isolating each piece of equipment. At 6 for $250, if they do the same job they'll be worth it. I didn't hear them in action, but the owner said they work almost as well for a small system.
Last, but not least, I met up with Ray Shab of Arcici (seen
above). I reviewed his isolation stand a few articles ago, and still use it. He's now producing a down market one with MDF shelves and top, rather than acrylic, and regular nuts, rather the special one with
Zorbex, at $1000, less than half the price. He claims its at least 90% as good as the $2300 unit and I believe him. Another steal.
Paul McGowan of PS Audio has brought out several more of his power converters and a new modular solid state amp built with a similar cabinet, with some of the filtration of the power supplies. He was honest enough to say he's not sure whether they are any better than my Toshiba AC-DC-AC power supplies, a truly honest man in this age of mega-hype. I'd buy his products on that alone.
Marchand Electric is now producing a 24dB four-way electronic crossover for those who need it. His two way crossover, which I use on my center channel is wonderful, so I think this one should also be a winner.
The final speaker which I heard an d could recommend was the big Sound Lab Electrostatic being driven by OTL amps. This was the only non-horn in the show, that was worth every penny of its asking price. (And if you have to ask, forget it.) Standing over 6 feet tall and about four feet wide each, and black, they would be the perfect speaker to play Also Sprach Zarathustra
on (that's the 2001 theme for the under 40 crowd).
That's it for this show. I did spend three hours at the main arena today, but didn't find anything worthwhile to report on. When I get home I'll add some pictures to the text, as the internet connection here is abominable. Unhappily that won't be for at least a week as I'm off for a vacation in sunny California, or at least I hope it is. Good Listening.