Outdoors with Madison Fielding

Designed by Art Powers Sr., who, I understand, manufactured some of the older Lamm amplifiers and designed their loudspeakers, Madison Fielding's second-generation Flagstone all-weather speakers ($3500/pair) include down-firing 10" Eminence 150W active custom-made woofers, and claim a frequency response of 44Hz–15kHz ±3dB. The Flagstone series consists of two models and three variations, and claims to cover an area of up to 1000 sq. feet.

Heard with a Marantz SA 8005 SACD player, Parasound P 5 preamp, and A 21 amplifier, the sound was surprisingly good. Yes, my SACD pressing of Patricia Barber's Smash sounded a bit thuddy in the bass, and the image was low, but I expect that outdoors, with the woofers firing into a solid surface rather than springy carpet, the Flagstones will work a lot better.

Pro-Audio-Tech's picture

I need these on my patio for sure. However at $3500... well that is a bit high for outdoor speakers when there are so many more choices.

But I did like the sound of these far better than the other outdoor speakers I have experienced. I think for restaurants and whatnot these could be a great choice!

acuvox's picture

Art Powers Sr. supported Lamm's development of the first amplifier design and was a pioneer of Architectural Electronics; but the Madison Fielding speakers including the PlanterSpeaker line are from the fertile mind of Art Powers Jr., pictured.

PlanterSpeakers sound best in the quasi-anechoic conditions outdoors as you conjectured. The value is also in the industrial design. They are the most rugged outdoor speakers covering the full temperature range and obviously are waterproof enough to handle a garden hose. They are further premium quality planters because of the engineered drainage system so the plant roots are never flooded, even during Hurricane Sandy; and the enclosure is made from sintered HDPE beads that supply oxygen to the root zone.

While they do not sound as good as my Earthworks Sigma 6.2 or Dunlavy SC-I, mine are still working after 12 years and beat all other environmentally resistant designs in reliability and sound.

When you make the comparison to other outdoor speakers, include the costs of replacing the other periodically, the cost of buying a separate premium planter and the spousal acceptance factor and these are well worth the price.