Well, this is always my favourite part of going to any hifi show. I am still fascinated after more than four decades being in the trade to see how many people are still designing new - or not so new - speakers of all sorts of technologies, shape, size and colour. i often caught myself inventing new speakers in my head - sometime putting these ideas on paper and more recently going to the prototype phase. Trust me, it is a disease, and it is highly contagious! So you have been warned...
This show, I concentrated on a few favourites and also on some brands that I never had a chance to listen to properly. So here they are without further ado.
Speakers from OZ
The best speakers at the Show - and they are Australians - Kyron Audio
Well, call me biased, but I have watched Lee and Leon for three years now, going about their business of designing the best possible speaker in the World, and I was suitably impressed by their first product introduced here in Melbourne two years ago: the Gaia. Based on the open baffle principle and inspired by Siegfried Linkwittz, it integrated the best techniques of analog compensation for the baas, digital filtering and equalisation from DEXQ, also based in Melbourne, as well as Hypex Class D amplifiers, the best implementation of that technology by its inventor. At 180K$, nobody was expecting to sell hundreds and it didn't! But, Lee and Leon were not going to be stopped by limited commercial success, so they started designing a new product, much less expensive, smaller and with a much better WAF index. Enter the Kronos, a great example of design along the lines of form follows function. It is impeccably manufactured, the electronics have actually improved compared to the Gaia, and it comes at less than half the price! As far as I concerned, it is the most accurate, transparent and musical speaker I have listened to so far. You might have to sell an investment property to afford it, but it is definitely worth your money. Besides, you just need to add a source, CD, Steamer, or a good old turntable and phono stage. Enough talk, go and arrange a listen...
We listened to my French percussionist, so I could properly compared to the Wilson Audio, and the Kronos won!
Other notable speakers
Our next and final episode will be dedicated to valves, not because I am a big fan, but because they can be very beautiful objects...Stay tuned!
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.