May 15-18, 2014
All prices in euros or US dollars unless indicated otherwise
Companies featured in gallery below: Crystal Cable, Magico, Tannoy, Octave Audio, CH Precision, Simaudio, Nagra, Cambridge Audio, Amphion, Pro-Ject Audio Systems, Alpha Design Labs, Pathos Acoustics
Companies featured in gallery below: MartinLogan, Jeff Rowland, EAM Lab, Ambitious Audio Design, Ayre Acoustics, Audia Flight, Hegel Music Systems, JMC Lutherie, Estelon, Vitus Audio, Verity Audio, Ascendo
I was telling Tidal Audio designer Jorn Janczak that I thought the Contriva G2 (€41,000/pr.) was the perfect-sized loudspeaker. It is large enough to have generous internal air volume for support of a pair of 9" woofers, but also small enough to fit most real-world listening rooms. And let's face it: most audiophiles want a loudspeaker that can produce enough bass to make them feel the music -- a pair of nines will do that. At the same time, we all know that real-world speakers need to be able to fit in an average room -- not just relegated to a large dedicated listening room, which are not all that common these days. The Contriva G2 fills the bill better than most.
It wasn't that many years ago when most speakers were available in only a limited number of finishes -- all that you had to choose from were usually a small number of wood-type finishes (real or vinyl) or glossy black paint, which everyone had. Only a handful of companies were pushing beyond that limited selection. The rest were, well, boring.
High End 2014 was a study in contrast on the superspeaker front. Vast technological differences separated the most ambitious participants, and no clearer contrasts could be found than with three of my favorite models: MartinLogan's Neolith, Estelon's Extreme, and Magico's Ultimate III.
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