Audio Arts & Zellaton's Reference loudspeakers

Like Stephen Mejias at the 2013 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, I have been impressed by the German Zellaton speakers when I have heard them, both at shows, and at a dealer event I attended in 2012 at Fidelis Audio in New Hampshire. With foil-covered drive-units, a crossover from Duelund Coherent Audio, and driven by Trinity balanced phono and line preamps and 200Wpc CH M1 amplification from Switzerland, the three-way Reference speakers sounded forceful and detailed. Whether it was Salvatore Accardo playing a violin piece by Paganini, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, or jazz guitar from Grant Green, the sound in the Audio Arts room was seductive. Priced "a little under $100,000/pair," the speaker combines 3 woofers and a midrange unit in an open-baffle enclosure with a tweeter that also uses a foil-laminated diaphragm. The midrange unit is allowed to rolloff naturally at the top of its passband.