Floor Loudspeaker Reviews

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John Atkinson  |  Mar 26, 2020  |  48 comments
The priciest loudspeaker ever to have taken up residence in my listening room was the Akira from German company Tidal Audio (footnote 1), which I reviewed in the November 2018 issue of Stereophile. Designed by Tidal founder and CEO Jörn Janczak, the Akiras cost $215,000/pair! "The sheer resolution of the Akiras continued to astonish me throughout my auditioning," I wrote in my review, concluding that "The Akiras are the best-looking, best-built, best-sounding speakers I have had in my listening room—as they should be at the price."
Art Dudley  |  Feb 28, 2020  |  7 comments
Hi-fi is like cake. Most people enjoy listening to music, and most people like cake.

People who like cake tend to like different things about it. Some people like a flourless cake, some people like a fluffy angel food cake, and some like a cake loaded up with little pieces of carrot and God-knows-what-else. People who like hi-fi also tend to like different things. Some like punchy, forceful sounds, some like realistic, natural tones, some like texture and color, some like "air," and some like to hear things go whooshing from one speaker to the other. It's all okay.

John Atkinson  |  Jan 24, 2020  |  95 comments
On a snowy day in March 2019, the first room I visited at the Montreal Audio Fest, hosted by retailer Audio by Mark Jones, featured the world premiere of the Magico M2 loudspeaker. The soundstaging produced by these elegant towers was palpable, the full-range tonal balance superbly uncolored. Both aspects reminded me of my experience of Magico's S5 Mk.II loudspeaker, which I enthusiastically reviewed in Stereophile's February 2017 issue. Accordingly, I made a note that the M2 was going on my "must review" list. Seven months later, Magico's Alon Wolf and Peter Mackay visited to set up a pair of M2s in my listening room.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Jan 22, 2020  |  26 comments
For a decade, the sound of the Vivid Giya loudspeakers, which I had heard only at CES in private demonstration suites, beguiled me. My positive impressions were completely consistent from one show to the next—but then, so were the host and the surroundings. I had to wonder how much those factors contributed to my impressions.
Sasha Matson  |  Dec 20, 2019  |  22 comments
There is change, and also continuity, at Wilson Audio Specialties, the company founded in 1974 by recordist and loudspeaker designer David A. Wilson. David's son Daryl Wilson was appointed president and CEO in 2016. David Wilson passed away in 2018. And in 2019, Wilson Audio Specialties released the Sasha DAW loudspeaker ($37,900/pair), designed by a team led by Daryl Wilson and named in honor of his father.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Dec 03, 2019  |  First Published: Sep 01, 1973  |  15 comments
Ye Editor had his first exposure to a true omnidirectional speaker system 15 years ago, while he was employed as chief equipment tester for High Fidelity magazine. The speaker was a most unusual-looking device for its time, being roughly a foot square and standing 3 feet high, with a "cube" of grille cloth at the top like a cupola. Inside the cupola was an 8" woofer facing upwards. Directly above it was the weirdest-looking tweeter you ever saw.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 27, 2019  |  101 comments
Everyone who reads my loudspeaker reviews knows: I wish box speakers did not sound like box speakers. Plus! I wish all speakers sounded focused and transparent like LS3/5a's or vintage Quads. I also want them to be uncompressed and play large, with window-shattering power and floor-shaking bass. And while I'm wishing . . . I'll take a little glow and sparkle and voodoo magic as well.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Nov 22, 2019  |  46 comments
The GoldenEar Triton One.R is the successor to the original Triton One, improving on that model in both appearance and function, with features that first appeared in the Triton Reference.

Externally, the Triton One.R is a 54" tall by 8" wide by 16.65" deep tower that appears even slimmer than those dimensions suggest. In lieu of the sock-like fabric covering used on GoldenEar's less expensive speakers, the One.R, like the Reference, is finished in a high-gloss black, with large rectangular grille-cloth panels on the lower portions of each side and a curved, full-height front grille whose edges blend smoothly into the side panels.

J. Gordon Holt  |  Nov 06, 2019  |  First Published: Oct 01, 1974  |  2 comments
We have still not received a pair of these for formal testing, which may be a good thing in view of our feelings these days about "updatings." (Our feelings about such are clarified in this issue's "As We See It.")
Ken Micallef  |  Oct 30, 2019  |  7 comments
Austrian loudspeaker manufacturer Trenner & Friedl has a thing for coaxial drivers. They're used in at least three of the company's eight loudspeaker models, including the diminutive Sun bookshelf speaker and the large floorstanding Taliesin. In these models, T&F eschew more conventional stacked drivers for a putatively time-aligned, wide-frequency range coaxial design.
John Atkinson  |  Oct 25, 2019  |  91 comments
"Stirring the stew" is what I've heard it called when a company introduces a new version of a product every three or four years. When a new product is launched, sales generally rise rapidly to a maximum and then slowly decline. If the stew is stirred every few years, plotting the product's sales volume against time results in a sawtooth wave, without sales ever dropping close to zero.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 23, 2019  |  33 comments
About a year after settling into my new house, I decided to buy a pair of Monitor Audio Silver 10 floorstanding loudspeakers, which I had reviewed in 2014 for our sister publication Sound & Vision. I wound up buying three of them, with the intention of cannibalizing the drivers and crossover from one to make my own three-way center-channel speaker. But that project was long delayed, and I never got around to doing anything with the third Silver 10: It now sits in a closet as a spare.
Herb Reichert  |  Oct 16, 2019  |  26 comments
In the realm of loudspeaker reviews, John Atkinson's measurements and my empirical observations have one important equivalency: Both are meaningless abstractions until confirmed by your listening experience.

Both are contingent on factors that are necessarily obtuse and not especially controllable.

Kalman Rubinson  |  Aug 29, 2019  |  10 comments
There is necessity as well as comfort in having a long-term reference recordings and, system. The necessity derives from the familiarity with the reference that allows for comparisons and contrasts with the equipment being tested. The comfort that comes from the familiarity lets me relax and enjoy recreational music, relieved from the need to focus my attention intently on the sound. I do relish getting my hands on lots of interesting audio equipment and getting to play it in my own home, but it's like a two-month one-night stand: The new stuff usually goes back even if I am impressed. I don't change my audio equipment often.
John Atkinson  |  Aug 22, 2019  |  54 comments
PS Audio's Paul McGowan has been sending out a daily newsletter by email since 2011. In his May 29, 2019 epistle he asked, "What would our world of high-end audio look like if there were only active wireless loudspeakers? If even the half-a-million-dollar mega-beasts were internally amplified and connected via wireless and controlled from an iPad? No more boxes. No more wires and cables. Only speakers."

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