There's virtue in being in the right place at the right time. The right place in this story was the headquarters of Acoustic Research in Boston, MA, and the right time was just a couple of weeks or so before the subject of this piece was to be shown (but not heard) at a press conference in New York. Even within that short two weeks, the rot started to set in. What I saw (and heard) in Boston on that occasion was a loudspeaker that stakes a reasonable claim on being revolutionary. A rare event that. The project name was The Magic Box and I was hoping that is what it might have been called when it went on sale. The Magic Box does, after all, conjure up an image of something a little special, and it's also easy to remember.
What I wanted to talk about briefly this month is the new Apogee Duetta, the baby of this speaker family. This particular baby will cost you the rather grown-up figure of $2300/pair; over here in the UK it costs a demonic £3300/pair, roughly double.
The Boston Acoustics A40 loudspeaker ($150/pair) has become "legendary" (ie, it's stayed around for a while), probably because a pair of them images as well as Rogers LS3/5As. Unfortunately, it is no match for the LS3/5A in terms of smooth midrange response. Of course, at $150/pair, it shouldn't be.
I was originally going to do a review comparing the Spectrum 108A ($200/pair) and the Boston Acoustics A40. On first listen, I was mightily impressed by the A40. But after Stereophile's Larry Archibald schlepped me out a pair of the 108As, I didn't much want to listen to the A40s.