Publisher Profile

AKFest 09 Coverage 6

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Another item that showed certain promise was the Emerald Physics CS2.3 and smaller C3 Controlled Directivity Loudspeakers, $3995 and $2995 respectively. Single point-source speakers utilizing an open baffle design and a two-way dynamic dipole arrangement. It was an interesting design and execution. Compact and easy to place and very coherent, it will be interesting to see how they develop.

Emerald Physics CS2.3 ►

Acoustic Technologies, LLC was showing their very interesting single-driver speaker. Driven by a 3” single driver and wired with silver wire, this tall and slim speaker (43 ¼ x 6 ¼ x 9 ¾ in) was quite a surprise. The sound was really unique in that most anywhere you went in the room the sweet spot followed you around and they were able to get some real 3D sound out of a mediocre room. The speaker only requires 15 watts into 8 ohms, weighs in at 40 lbs. and retails for $2495 per pair. They were a little closed lipped about the state frequency response but they did seem to reach way below where I would have thought a single 3” driver could go.

◄ Quad ESL 2095

I was lured into the Quad room when the door opened up during some intense listening. The sound just grabbed me. Quads are legendary for their sound albeit more so for the vintage Quads. The new stuff isn’t too bad either. Driving the Quad ESL 2095 speakers ($11,499.99) were a pair of the Quad II 80 amps ($11,399.98) from their Classic series along with Tom Evans ($9950) pre-amp, all being fed by an EMM Labs CD player ($11,500). Seems $11,000 is the favorite price with Quad! All in all very pleasant and enjoyable and they were offering killer deals on the display units to boot.

One of the more interesting aspects of the show was the rooms set up and presented by members of the Audio Karma group. There were ten members of the group that had rooms set up with their equipment to share their systems with the public. I have to take my hat off to any audiophile willing to dismantle their listening room, pack it up and drive it to a show, spend three days in a hotel and then pack it all up again, drive it home and set it up! Many of the rooms sounded very interesting. It was really great to see AK Members and to catch a lot of the interesting call names they use. Thanks to Markusill, Army, Whell, Kegger, Cosmo, Squidward, Dwojo, NOS Valves, RayW and Retro Stereo! That was an awesome job you guys did! They also set up a Swap Room. I never did get to make it to that room and I really regret it. No telling what I could have brought back with me.


▲Left to right: Dr. Joseph D’Appolito and Gary Lea.

One of the absolute highlights of the show was the seminar given by Dr. D’Appolito. It was standing room only and from what I understand about or 30 so people were turned away. Dr. D’Appolito was gracious and had a great Q&A session after his discussing his views on the steps to speaker design. He also gave away a signed copy of his new book Testing Loudspeakers. Look for it if you want the definitive source on the philosophy of testing loudspeakers. It was a great lecture and done with a good sense of humor and very captivating. Of course, most of the time all I heard was the whooshing sound of an intellectual level far superior to mine flying over my head! Even at that I felt very privileged to be in the audience to hear one of the great names in speaker design tell us all how it is done.


Overall this was a really great show. It was laid back, fun and for a writer it gave us a chance to move around freely without being rushed or crammed into rooms, elbow-to-elbow fighting for a 2-minute audition. The organization seemed to be really good and it all went off without a hitch as far as I heard. I will definitely look forward to returning next year. Thanks so much to David Goldstein for inviting us and the great hospitality! Keep up the great works guys. Shows like this drive our hobby and educate the masses! Thanks!

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