Audience at THE Show

My penultimate stop at THE Show, held for the first time this year at the Flamingo, was the Audience room, where they were playing a system full of new gear. Their line stage combines a relay-controlled autotransformer volume control and zero-gain active buffer. The unit has four inputs, all single-ended, and very clever switching to keep noise to an absolute minimum. Oh—it also includes a headphone amp and all of Audience's power and signal-transfer technology, in a sleek, compact package.

Dan Rosca of Audience was also introducing two new speaker systems, an 8-driver model, the 4+4, that will retail for $12k/pair and is shown in the photo, and a mini-monitor–sized 4-driver model, the 2+2, that will run $5k/pair. Both are one-way, full-range dipole systems with half of the drivers pointed forward and half pointing rearward. All of the drivers are Audience's 3" modules. Both sounded great, but the little guys are my bet for superstardom. I'm already wrangling for a review pair.

Their system also used their "almost finalized" 200W monoblocks, a class-D design using the well-regarded VCD modules, and a heavily reworked Denon (I think) DVD player. I don't know where to place the credit, but the system managed a combination of high resolution and musicality that was extraordinary. I'll be anxious to hear the production versions.

Oh, lest I forget, the setup used second-generation Au-24 cables and Adept Response power conditioners across the board. Good stuff.

Nathan's picture

Those 4+4s look good, wonder how they image. PS, assuming this was the second to last room you went to,thank you for using 'penultimate' correctly (its rare these days.)

William Riley's picture

I heard the 2+2s and the 4+4s at the show and both produced a coherent and well balanced soundstage.The 2+2s disapeared nicely, and were not wildly thrown off when moving from a centered listening position. In comparison, the Sanders electrostatics, for instance, were more vivid, but required the listener to be placed in the center and a relatively shallow range of a listening distance. Anywhere outside of this area resulted in one speaker dominating.I would say the 4+4s are a little better in some regards, but definetely not twice as good. Budget and desired room decor would be major factors in choosing between these two speakers. Either speaker is Audiophile grade.