Pietra Marble and Granite Model 3.10 Loudspeakers, Benchmark Amplifiers

It's been a few shows since I've encountered one of Jeff Candy's granite Pietra loudspeakers, whose distribution is mostly confined to Southern California due to the high cost of shipping a speaker that weighs in excess of 350lb. Which doesn't mean that you can't get one shipped to upstate New York if that's where you live.

Pietra's flagship Model 3.10 ($19,000/pair) deviates from the large Pietra speaker I've seen in the past in that it's a one-piece sealed 3-way design with an internal divider between the woofer and the two drivers above it. The front baffle is ¼" thick marble, and the rear ¾" granite. Candy told me that his wide baffle design eliminates diffraction in the tweeter's operating range, which allows it smooth out "perfectly" off-axis. He also claimed that the speaker's 8° angle achieves time alignment. Speakers are custom manufactured, take about two months to complete, and are only sold online.

Allied with Benchmark electronics, the Pietra Model 3.10 did a really solid and rousing job of conveying the high energy of Boris Blank's Electrified. Tonalities were realistic, and the soundstage extended to all four corners of the front wall. Wireless streams of tracks from Melody Gardot (in 16/44.1) and Linda Ronstadt (24/96) fared equally well.

daveyf's picture

This room was another example of what NOT to do in audio, IMHO. The SQ was just bright and diffuse. The speakers are clearly not ready for prime time. Again, poor integration of drivers and a diffuse soundstage, with little to no accuracy of placement of instruments. Once again JVS...YMMV.