Jon Iverson and I walked into Studio Electric's room at T.H.E. Show not knowing what to expect and stopped short. Whoa, this was different.

We beheld a pair of speakers straight out of Buck Rogers—shiny chromed domes capped with a swept-back tweeter faring topped more conventional woofer cabinets. "Oh, the woofers aren't operating, what you're hearing is just the Type One ($8000/pair) modules. They operate from 65Hz to 20kHz. If you've got to go down to 40Hz, add the XLR-8 cabinets ($3100, including DSP woofer integration)," said David MacPherson.

The Type Ones were driven by Studio Electric's 275Wpc Electrodyne amplifiers ($7000), hybrid designs featuring NOS Seimens or Telefunken E88CCs in the first gain stage and high-output MOSFETs in the output stage. "I figured why not ship 'em with real tubes rather than make the customer foot the upgrade."

Jon and I listened and wept that we had miles to go before the show closed. The Type One/Electrodyne combo was relaxed and detailed, with a lot of character. It may well be a tad more colored than some of the top-end contemporary systems we heard this past week, but it also had soul. We'd hear again—and again, given the chance.