The 2000 Products of the Year Loudspeakers
Avantgarde Uno (review)
($10,970-$12,970/pair, depending on finish; reviewed by Robert Deutsch, Vol.23 No.9, September 2000 )
Dynaudio Evidence (review) ($85,000/pair; reviewed by Larry Greenhill, Vol.23 No.5, May 2000)
Runners-Up (in alphabetical order):
Acarian Systems Alón Circe ($12,000/pair; reviewed by Wes Phillips & Jonathan Scull, Vol.22 No.5 & Vol.23 No.4, May 1999 & April 2000)
Infinity Prelude MTS (review) ($8000/pair; reviewed by Michael Fremer, Vol.23 No.5, May 2000)
Magnepan MG3.6/R ($4200/pair; reviewed by Brian Damkroger, Vol.23 No.8, August 2000)
Meridian DSP6000 (review) ($19,950/pair; reviewed by Kalman Rubinson, Vol.23 No.2, February 2000)
Naim NBL ($10,750/pair, passive crossover networks add $1200/pair; reviewed by Paul Messenger, Vol.23 No.10, October 2000)
Paradigm Reference Studio/100 v.2 (review) ($1900/pair; reviewed by Robert Deutsch, Vol.23 No.6, June 2000)
ProAc Response 3.8 ($7200/pair; reviewed by Larry Greenhill, Vol.23 No.1, January 2000)
Revel Performa F30 (review) ($3500/pair; reviewed by Kalman Rubinson, Vol.23 No.5, May 2000)
Thiel CS7.2 (review) ($13,500/pair; reviewed by Brian Damkroger, Vol.23 No.2, February 2000)
Triangle Zephyr II ($995/pair; reviewed by Sam Tellig, Vol.23 No.8, August 2000)
Vienna Acoustics Mahler ($9800/pair; reviewed by Robert Deutsch, Vol.23 No.4, April 2000)
There was an extraordinarily diverse group of contenders for our writers to choose from this year, from an equally diverse number of countries. Significantly, high-value designs like Revel's F30, Magnepan's MG3.6/R, and Paradigm's Studio/100 made a strong showing. But ultimately it was the cost-no-object engineering that won out.
Other than their European provenance, our joint winners have nothing in common. The slim but massive tower from Danish manufacturer Dynaudio takes traditional low-sensitivity, direct-radiator, moving-coil technology to its limit. It combines an astonishingly neutral tonal balance with superb transparency, genuinely extended, boom-free bass, and, provided you have sufficiently powerful amplification, almost unlimited dynamic range. To gild the lily, the Evidence's measured performance was textbook in its response flatness, in its well-controlled dispersion in both lateral and horizontal planes, and in its freedom from resonant problems. In an age when some expensive loudspeakers offer perversely peculiar measured performance—a subject that dominated Stereophile's "Letters" column earlier this year—it is refreshing to see an expensive speaker for which one doesn't have to make any apologies.
And no apologies need be made for the other winner, the Uno from the German Avantgarde company. With looks that have proved surprisingly acceptable to non-audiophile spouses and POSSSLQs, the Uno combines horn-loaded midrange and treble drivers with a powered woofer module. It delivers simply enormous dynamic range from just a handful of amplifier watts, and offers a supremely clear view into the recorded soundstage. Most important, it gets the music right. According to reviewer Bob Deutsch, while the illusion of "liveness" in reproduced sound is usually a rare and delicate perceptual phenomenon, experiencing such an illusion became a frequent occurrence during his auditioning of the Unos—so frequent that he bought the review samples!