Will Wonders Never Cease?
Walter Liederman and Danny Richie next showed me the mammoth LS9 (named for its nine planar magnetic drivers). Priced at an unbelievable $6000/pair considering their size and complexity, the LS9s were coupled with Al Stiefel's fine Red Rock Audio 50Wpc Renaissance Monoblock amplifiers ($39,750/pair), Red Rock prototype preamplifier, Abbingdon Music Research CD-77 player ($8500), Grand Prix Audio Monaco turntable ($19,500), and Red Rock Audio cables. Components were supported by the Monaco Modular Isolation Rack ($4750) and Monaco Amplifier Isolation System ($1499). Grand Prix designer Alvin Lloyd says of these plexiglass shelf stands, "I will argue that our stands are the most efficient and highest-performing isolation products in the industry."
Truth be told, these huge speakers need more than 50Wpc to shine. Nevertheless, what I could hear was so inviting that my appetite was whet to hear them in my own listening room once they become available in a month or so.
A word on AV123's speaker cabinets. When Mark Schifter told me that his cabinets are sourced and assembled in either China or Colombia, I asked if he was using rare hardwoods from endangered species. Mark assured me that all his wood was sourced from sustainable, renewable forests, and that his veneers are certified eco-friendly. In fact, one of the reasons Mark shifted some of his manufacturing from China to Colombia was his desire to honor the planet's ecology and not become part of the problem. Bravo, Mark!