New Kid on the Block
There's nothing like being greeted as the audiophile equivalent of the Messiah to either make your day or impel you to run for cover. In the case of Peigen Jiang's Eficion speakers, I'm glad I got over my embarassment and stayed.
Jiang was so excited to see me because the Bay Area Audiophile Society's Bob Walters had done everything but swear on the Bible that I would be visiting the room. Thankfully, I made it just in time before show's closing to hear Eficion's small and large models. Jiang, a former chip designer who resides in Redmond, WA and manufactures his speakers in Seattle, is responsible for his speakers' styling, cabinet structure, and driver selection; his partner does the crossover.
As I entered the room, he was playing "I Thought About You" from Cisco's Steve Hoffman-engineered jazz disc Here At Last on the smaller Eficion F200 ($3400). The music and sound were equally lovely, perfect for the last hour of the show. I was hooked.
I hate to use that word "lovely" again, but the smoky flavor that the speaker imparted to Marta Gomez's vocals on her great Chesky CD suited me to a T.
Peigen Jiang has been building speakers for 20 years. You can tell from how clearly and well defined the F200 presents instruments. This is a 2-way vented box, with 8 ohms impedance, 88dB sensitivity, and a frequency range of 38Hz40kHz. Associated equipment included the BAT VK-5D CD player (approx. $5000), an older BAT 3i preamp ($3000), and BAT VK-250SE power amp ($6700). Two of the cables, manufactured by Choseal in China, were intentionally inexpensive to demonstrate that this speaker is easy on cables. These included the Choseal XLR interconnect ($250) and speaker cable ($350). Much lower in price than those Ray Kimber chose for his own amazing demo (see earlier post) was a Kimber XLR ($200) that connected the CD player to the preamp.