We're working on a special speaker issue of The Absolute Sound (November cover date, September 30 mail date) that's loaded with some very cool products. Here's a sample:
Jonathan Valin is reviewing the Quad 2905, a speaker that might set the standard in what's possible in a sub-$15k speaker. Many who have heard the 2905 consider it a "giant killer."
What's it like to live with a $148,000 loudspeaker? I'll describe that experience in my review of the mighty Wilson Alexandria X-2 Series 2. This speaker is the pinnacle of Dave Wilson's 30+ years of loudspeaker design. The review is accompanied by an interview with Dave Wilson.
Robert Greene examines the Emerald Physic, an extremely unusual four-piece loudspeaker that uses massive di-polar bass modules and DSP correction. This speaker has sounded exceptionally good at shows, and could be a spectacular bargain at under $5k (including DSP).
Robert Greene also brings you a primer on DSP in loudspeakers---how it works, what the advantages are, and the describes the current state of the technology.
Jim Thiel threw out the conventional cone-driver designs and created a woofer that looks like a corrugated pie plate that he says is ten times stiffer than any conventional cone material and shape. It's the basis of the CS3.7, a $9800 speaker that also employs a cast aluminum baffle that houses the coaxial midrange/tweeter. Anthony H. Cordesman has a full review.
Wayne Garcia reports on a promising electrostatic speaker that sells for just $650 per pair. The X-Static MS450 might deliver the magic of an electrostat for the price of a small box speaker.
Neil Gader has a sneak preview of a new $2000 floorstanding speaker from PSB that uses a radical new cabinet construction. In a conversation with PSB Founder Paul Barton at the last CES, he said that he thought this method of building cabinets would revolutionize the speaker industry. The new Imagine series has no visible fasteners, and a sleek, tapered cabinet shape unlike anything you've seen at this price level.
Neil Gader also weighs in the new ProAc D Two. The venerable English brand has had a low profile in the US lately, but that's about the change. Neil owned the precursor of the D Two, and has some fascinating insights into the evolution of this iconic product.
In addition to these speakers, we also have reviews of the Triangle Titus (Triangle is France's second largest speaker maker), a $995 bookshelf, the gorgous Chario Premium 1000 from Italy (stunning cabinetry), the $3500 Hyperion HPS-968, the Sonics Alegria, the Vienna Acoustics Mahler, and the Venture Excellence.
I'm reviewing for this issue the Wadia 170 iTransport, the first Apple-sanctioned docking station that taps into the iPod's digital bitstream for connection to an external DAC. This $379 device turns your iPod into a music server, with no sonic compromises.
Finally, we bring you Don Saltzman's epic review of the $150,000 Clearaudio Statement turntable.