Stereophile's Jon Iverson grabbed me in the hallway of the Venetian Hotel's 35th floor. He was excited. "You've got to see Avantgarde's new loudspeaker on the 31st floorit's full of features not found in most other loudspeakers." I rushed down the back stairs of the Venetian, and found Avantgarde's Executive Manager, Armin Krauss, who walked me through the $18,500/pair, three-way, Zero 1 loudspeaker.
"This is our new top-of-the-line subwoofer," said James Tanner, as he proudly showed a non-playing Byrston Model T subwoofer that will retail at $4795 each. He described why Bryston built a 110' tower to confirm that sub's anechoic response does actually reach down to 12Hz.
Wei Chang, designer of the $3690 Sopranino electrostatic supertweeter that John Atkinson reviewed last May, was showing their bookshelf-sized, 42 lb monitor loudspeaker, the $14,690/pair Mythology 1, which incorporates the Sopranino for the top-octave driver.
The $80,000/pair MartinLogan electrostatic hybrid, the Neolith, played with wonderful spatial imaging and translucent sound. The speaker's enclosure was painted in a glossy, thick automotive glass red paint called Rosso Fuoco, but is available in 6 other colors.
The huge $43,000/pair Acoustic Zen Maestro loudspeaker is an imposing 225 lb, 67"-tall, 4-way, floorstanding transmission-line speaker system that physically dominated its seemingly tiny-by-comparison exhibit room.
Meridian was showing three of their current line of DSP loudspeakers: the $20,000/pair DSP 5200; the $46,000/pair DSP 7200, and the $80,000/pair DSP 8000. These loudspeakers have in common an all-digital input, internal digital signal processing circuitry, and a crossover implemented in the digital domain.
Estelon presented its slim, 151 lb, 50"-tall, $45,000/pair, floorstanding XB loudspeaker (above). The speaker employs an 8" Accuton ceramic-dome woofer, a 6.25" Accuton ceramic-membrane midrange, and a 1" inverted ceramic-dome tweeter. Internal wiring is by Kubala-Sosna, and the crossover capacitors are Teflon-Hybrid. The loudspeaker was beautiful to see, and was playing smoothly and softly as I read about it at the exhibit.
"Here is a recording that should never be played on this small speaker," said Nola's Carl Marchisotto, as he cued up Reference Recordings choral spectacular, John Rutter's Requiem, to play on Nola's new $19,800/pair Studio Grand Reference Gold loudspeaker.