EgglestonWorks: Light from Dark
If the Soundsmith exhibit invariably brings a light show, the EgglestonWorks/Arte Forma Audio room created the opposite effect. All of the horrible energy-saving fluorescents were turned off, leaving the room lit only by what came through the window.
I had previously heard EgglestonWorks' Andra II loudspeaker, but this was my first opportunity to hear the fairly new Andra III ($24,000/pair). In addition to new aluminum cosmetics and a $6000 price increase, the Andra III has a completely new crossover, designed by Jim Thompson; a new Morel carbon-fiber midrange; as well as a new pressure release port for the isobaric woofer configuration. With an impressive frequency response of 18Hz 24kHz, and 89dB sensitivity, this speaker's impedance never dips below 5.6 ohms. Hence, it was easy to drive by the Arte Forma Audio 845 SET 22Wpc monoblocks ($8000/pair), "Air" tube preamp ($4000), and Audia Flight CD player ($7000).
Arte Forma Audio, which debuted its product line at the 2009 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, is a relatively new company that was started in Taiwan by three do-it-yourselfers. Changes to products, including Mundorf caps and Cardas silver wire, as well as an expanded product line, are in the offing. In the meanwhile, what I heard had great warmth and control in the lower registers. On my first visit, the sound was delicious. When I returned briefly on the last day, I found it a bit edgy on top.
Given my familiarity with Eggleston's signature sound, I'm 99.44% certain that the edginess did not originate with the speaker. Perhaps it was caused by what I suspect to be a drop in voltage in the hotel on the last day. It may also have been caused by a change of power products, from the usual PS Audio Power Plant Premier power regenerator that would have corrected low voltage had it not conked out just as the show was getting underway, to a power conditioner that does not regenerate a perfect sinewave. Regardless, my initial visit was so positive that I look forward to my next opportunity to hear Arte Forma Audio electronics.