Wisdom's LS4

Not a high-tech accordion being held by Wisdom Audio’s Jon Herron in retailer Digital Ear’s room, but one of the four magnetic planar modules used in each LS4 floor-standing on-wall speaker ($80,000/pair) seen in the background. The module’s central strip handles frequencies above 750Hz; the side panels cover the range from 80Hz to 750Hz. “So much magnetic energy driving so little mass” explained Herron, results in high sensitivity and very high power handling despite the fact that the backwave from the diaphragm is absorbed rather than allowing it to reinforce the frontal radiation as with a conventional panel speaker. Source was a MacBook driving a Burmester D/A preamp via the Weiss IN202 FireWire–S/PDIF converter. Reinforced below 80Hz by two enormous STS subwoofers, and bi-amped by two Burmester stereo amps, the LS4s produced a full-range sound with enormous scale when required by the music but also with appropriate delicacy. In fact, with the caveat that the system was being demmed in an unpromising, air-walled ballroom, I have to say that this was one of my best sounds at the Show.