Price: $24,999.99 per pair
Doug said: Add to those qualities strict neutrality across the audioband, extremely extended highs, and clarity that made me stand up and notice, and the Blade Two is a top-drawer transducer as exciting to listen to as it is to look at. There’s nothing in the world like the Blade Two -- except its big brother, the Blade.
The gist: One of Doug’s top choices in a full-range loudspeaker.
Price: $37,500 per pair
Jeff said: Its special qualities, sonic and otherwise, appeal to me. The dB9-S ticks off a lot of boxes -- enough that a pair of them might be your ideal ticket to the dance.
The gist: Kharma’s dB9-S is a real prize in the ultra-high-end-speaker sweepstakes.
Price: $16,500 per pair
Hans said: With its immaculately lifelike sound, sterling midrange neutrality, and soaring top end, Magico’s S1 Mk.II revealed an incredible amount of low-level musical detail without sounding clinical, and was engaging without resorting to artifice. Most impressive, it produced a good portion of the tight-fisted, concussive bass you’d expect from a small three-way design, and in that sense is the first two-way speaker I’ve heard that doesn’t sound like a two-way.
The gist: The best two-way speaker Hans has heard.
Price: $62,500 per pair
Jeff said: The Rockport Cygnus is one of the finest-sounding speakers I’ve had in the Music Vault. You have only to look back at my many reviews of the past ten years to see that that’s about the highest praise I could give it. You can buy these and never look back.
The gist: Andy Payor’s most forward-thinking design to date.
Price: $28,000 per pair
Doug said: When I heard that Laurence Dickie had begun revising Vivid Audio’s Oval B1, I didn’t think he’d be able to make much of an improvement. But the Oval B1 Decade doesn’t sound only a little better than the original model -- it sounds so much better that it now stands alongside Vivid’s very top models, the Giyas, all of which cost much more.
The gist: Hard to imagine a better midsized speaker than this.