Nola’s Studio Grand Reference Gold

"Here is a recording that should never be played on this small speaker," said Nola's Carl Marchisotto, as he cued up Reference Recordings choral spectacular, John Rutter's Requiem, to play on Nola's new $19,800/pair Studio Grand Reference Gold loudspeaker. Finished in a vibrant red "true Piano Rosewood" veneer, the glistening 42" mini-tower played the full range of the recording's broad soundstage presentation of full chorus and organ at high SPL with hardly a trace of compression and no strain evident.

The unit's 160mm bass driver had great bass extension, blending smoothly with the speaker's 120mm midrange and ribbon tweeter. Rated with a frequency range of 32Hz–100kHz, the speaker presents an amplifier-friendly load of 6 ohms minimum and a voltage sensitivity of 86dB/V/m. Driven by a Audio Research Reference 75 amplifier, the speaker pumped out remarkably high and smooth levels of clean sound. "This speaker is like a small dog that doesn't know its limitations," smirked Carl, "it just keeps going."