Stein Goes for the Gold

Holger Stein may be one of the softer-spoken men in the audio business, but he's hardly shy when it comes to attracting attention. For eye candy alone, Stein Music's new Bob XL Plus Ultimate loudspeaker (€348,000/pair) had few rivals at Munich High End.

In a difficult, sloped ceiling room that had no visible room treatment (although there were, as expected, any number of the company's proprietary sonic enhancements), the Stein Music system produced good bass, lots of inviting midrange, and a smooth top. It triumphed through Youn Sun Nah's ridiculous, both barrels loaded, over-the-top "Ghost Riders in the Sky," and handsomely nailed the distinct timbre and body of the voices of Bryn Terfel and Simon Keenlyside performing an unusual arrangement of the opening movement of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater. Color me impressed.

Electronics includes the HighLine Amp 1T (€16,800) and prototype Highline MP 1 phono preamplifier ($TBD), Tone Tool turntable (€35,000, above) with Conductor tonearm (€12,000) and Aventurin 6 cartridge (€5000). In addition to Stein HighLine cabling, the system employed TopLine Power X8 (€8200) and TopLine Power X6 (€5600). Look closely and you may spot a Stein Matrix G (for gold) tag inside the horn.

MattJ's picture

But do they have anything with BASS and DYNAMICS? What about in the back? I already have a 9.4.2 surround setup with the Bob XL Plus Ultimate in my kids's room. Oh yeah, just turn one horizontal for a center, no prob. But hoisting 2 for the Atmos was a bitch. They tell me that 2 of my manservants will be out for WEEKS with "back injuries". Oh BOO HOO.

Glotz's picture


Sujay's picture

Hi, I heard these speakers at Munich. The bass was subterranean, I think easily punching below 20 hz though I had no means to measure. Superb dynamics.

David Harper's picture

hooooo, boy, I can already see the look on the wife's face when her husband tells her he wants these things.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Some audiophiles are women; some men are married to men; some women are married to women; and some are none of the above.

As I'm sure you know, aesthetic preferences have nothing to do with sex, sexuality, or gender. My husband's comments on the aesthetics of a sound room that brings me immense joy shall go unprinted.

MontyM's picture

Like your husband, I think, mine appreciates the sound, is not so sure about the look, but loves that it makes me happy.

Even as such, those are more speaker and more gold than my partner would suffer.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

to keep our husbands apart, at all costs. The dish would be too great.

I'll be covering shows in Long Beach and Seattle, and the husband will join me in Seattle on Sunday. If you two are there, please try to convince yours that a day spent shopping downtown would be far more rewarding for him.

MontyM's picture

Thank you for the gracious invitation. We are on the opposite coast, in the Northeast, so won't make it out to Seattle. I hope to attend the Capital Audiofest later this year, so maybe some time in the near future we can meet. BTW, for my partner, shopping is always a draw, very little convincing required.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

We head to my birthplace in the third week of September.