Sanders Model 10 Hybrid Electrostats, $13,000/pair
Having improved on his former Innersound designs, Roger Sanders’ Model 10 hybrid electrostats—which use flat panel ‘stat drivers rather than the curved panel Sanders helped develop for MartinLogan—served up an impressively detailed sound with powerful full-range bass and amazingly robust dynamics. The Model 10s offer buyers their choice of two possible woofer crossovers and two different bass amplifiers.
Speakers under-$20k: Higher-Priced Models
Focal 30th Anniversary 826W, $3495/pair
The Focal 826W, which debuted at CEDIA Expo 2009 about two week ago, was on demonstration at RMAF and sounded fabulous. Featuring drivers made of Focal’s famous “W-material”, normally reserved for use in the firm’s more expensive model, the 826W wind up sounding refined that you might think the “per pair” price is actually the price for just one speaker. Value spoken here.
Salk Signature Sound Songtower QWT, $1800-$2400/pair
Sporting a ¾-inch Hiquphon OW2 tweeter and a pair of SEAS CA15RLY 5-inch mid-bass drivers loaded in a quarter wave transmission-line (hence QWT) cabinet, the Songtowers offer a smooth, refined sound with lovely 3D imaging. In short, they sound as if they should cost more than they do, and are beautifully finished to boot.