Sheer See-Through Transparency

"Now that can't work," I thought, as I went into the Crystal Cable room and saw the Dutch company's new Arabesque loudspeaker (45,000 Euros/pair, equivalent to around $60,000). A glass enclosure? But as I listened to a variety of recordings that I thought would expose cabinet problems, such as female vocals and solo cello, I didn't hear any flaws that I could lay at the feet of the enclosure.

Panels of ¾" glass are glued together to form an enclosure that from above looks like a truncated spiral and sits on a heavy aluminum base that carries the crossover components. A RAAL ribbon tweeter crosses over to three Scan Speak Illuminator woofers, and the internal wiring is, of course, Crystal's own Dreamline cable.

A highlight of CES for me was listening on the Arabesques to Gabriella Hofer's performance of the famous Chopin Berceuse (Op.57), from a sampler CD Crystal's Gabi van der Kley had released for the Show. (I believe Ms. Hofer was Mrs. van der Kley in a former life.) This had been recorded in the Buda-Pest concert hall pictured on the drape suspended behind the speakers: 5 minutes of welcome contemplative calm amidst an ocean of Show hubbub. The tubed Nagra VPA amps didn't hurt, of course!

The Groove's picture

This room had the BEST backdrop of any system. Sounded very good too with ribbons from Serbia. Wasn't the only glass speaker at the show. Gaby, well done!

B The K's picture

I agree with Mr. Groove. I want that poster minus the Crystal Cable propaganda. Actually, this was one of the top systems at the show and sounded like music.