One of the Cogent True-to-life loudspeaker horns. The
sound in this room was awesomely deep and dynamic and rich and open
and....I found them to be very enjoyable. The only problems were that
the music had a tendency to focus on the horns (aka the room being
REALLY too small), and ... where would we put this thing? The
black triangular section in the center is a giant subwoofer horn.
We played our test CD in this room: Radiohead
Amnesiac, track one. Besides the tendency to focus on the horns (i.e.
the sound was strong center, or coming from the horns, not much in fill
between the two, well three, locations). We also got something to buzz
when the bass got to be a little too much. For a prototype, this
speaker, excuse me, system, kicked butt.
2 watt amplifier, at about $1000 (Neli knows this, one of our good
friends is building one of these) did a great job. Even the modded Denon
CD player, which has its sonic signature, but which did not make too
much grinding noise during the demos, did its part. Part? Part of
what you might be wondering while thinking just how insane is this
little hobby of ours...
Hard to describe, but this
system had this effortlessness, both microdynamics and macro - but not
like the very efficient Avantgardes, which always have this 'clacky'
kind of sound (and other problems). Here it was like the speaker got out
of the way of the music. Which is impossible, because the speaker is
what makes the music. But it sounded that way, ...kind of.
It had similar microdynamics like the Tenors on the Karmas, and,
speaking of which, I would love to hear the Tenor 15 watt amps on these
speakers. [Or the Lamm ML2.1. Or a really small Audio Note. And the
Meitner]. But unlike the Tenors, these microdynamics were rich
with harmonics (the Tenors have a tendency to be the very slightest bit
These guys make the Field Coil
Compression speaker drivers. The drivers are, memory fails, but about
$15K each. So not for the faint of pocketbook. Hopefully a different
subwoofer can be used that will integrate with the horns. Hopefully a
larger room or a different horn design will address the soundstaging
issues and hopefully transparency and the rest of the sonic attributes
important to me will fall into place.
The fact that this system did not do what I
like my systems to do - to produce a true-to-life re-creation of the
recording event - and I still liked it means that, sometimes, I think I
really like the rush of listening very near-field. The Acapella* Fidelio
II speakers at HE2005 were also kind of like that, though their
presentation was more realistic.
Can't wait to hear
what they come up with the Denver RMAF show in October 2006!
Neli says, and she knows: "The Welborne amps are not $100 amps.
The kit costs maybe 2K (with no tubes), Jim has bought a bunch of
upgraded parts for his, and Ron Welborne had
god-knows-what-very-high-quality-parts in his
amps there at the show ... I think that's his Teres table in there, too,
and his Welborne-modded Denon. There were still problems in the digital
playback -- I really wish we coulda played a record in there.
Also, they're more like 6 or 8 watt amps -- single 300B per side, I
didn't get up & look at which kind of 300Bs were in the amps, but from
the pictures -- they're TJ mesh plates. Jim ordered NOS front-end tubes
for his, so one could presume that Ron might've too.
The one pair of drivers is $13K (maybe). The other pair is $7K. They'll
give you the plans for these current speakers, which I think of as early
Mike says back: "Oh."
Mike elaborates: "So maybe putting on of the very high-end amps on the
horn will not result in as much as an improvement as I once thought.
I've heard really inexpensive tube amps sound pretty good on high-end
speakers, for example the Oskar Heil Kithara and Acapella Violons. So in
this room one has to wonder how much of wonderful sonics were
attributable to the amp and how much to the speakers, or maybe it was a
Anyway, it sounded great and they say
'the speakers get all the credit'. And they really do when they so
dominate the room like these - perhaps unfairly. No, it is undoubtedly