Spatial Audio

Clayton Shaw, who designed Emerald Physics loudspeakers and founded the company, returned last year with Spatial Audio loudspeakers. The Spatial Hologram M2 standard ($1995/pair) contains a new Hologram Circuit, and is a completely passive, analog, high-efficiency, open-baffle speaker. Each baby contains two 12' mid/woofers and one coaxially mounted compression driver. Designed to eliminate floor bounce, it claims not to need DSP or bi-amping.

Paired with a Prism Lyra 1 DAC/preamp ($2350) and Red Dragon M500 monoblocks ($1600/pair), this little system's very nice midrange shone on a 176.4/24 track by Doug McLeod, and a 44.1/16 version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Jane Monheit. Monheit's piano sounded enticingly warm, but there was a bit of sharpness at the top of McLeod's voice.