RMAF 2011: Eficion, Exemplar, Stillpoints, LSA

$15k Exemplar Audio XP-1, a fully balanced dual-mono outboard PSU preamplifier, fed into an $11k LSA Statement Integrated amplifier, used as a power amp. The $6500 Exemplar XPH-1 phono stage handled the analog duties.The turntable was the $7.8k Artemis Labs SA-1 turntable with $5.6k Schroder Reference SQ tonearm.  Digital came by way of an “Expo”, a $2500 Exemplar Audio modded-Oppo 93.

Exemplar Audio cables used throughout, including $4250/m-pair S-Portal (silver) interconnects, $1800/5′ Portal (copper) power cords and $3200/2.5m-pair Portal speaker cables.

Bruce Jacobs, talking smack about the awesome drivers on the Eficion F300.

I have a little man-crush on the $16,900 Eficion F300. It’s a full range speaker (F3 @ 25Hz – 40kHz) with reasonable sensitivity (89dB) and a benign impedance (6.4ohm, min) for a floor-standing 3-way box speaker. Oh, it has Heil Air Motion tweeters, too. The RMAF unit had a startlingly black 14-coat piano finish.

In an interesting bit of gossip, it turns out that the Eficion F300 use woofers from the same manufacturer as Magico speakers used to use. Of course, the Eficion drivers are actually the more expensive model as they’re even more rigid, using molded carbon-fiber instead of woven carbon-fiber for the cone material. “Woven is just too elastic”, designer Peigen Jiang told me later on the phone. Sure, Magico has since moved on, but still. Interesting stuff.

And unlike the vaguely guitar-shaped F250 (demoed at last year’s RMAF), the F300 actually looks like a loudspeaker. And boy-howdy, does it sound like one. Big, bold, punchy, nuanced, sweet, and deliciously rich. This is a great transducer. Loved it at this show — and it’s one of the very, very few speakers that made me start scheming on how I might own a pair.

Stillpoints isolation and racks were also used throughout. Bruce hinted that the eFicion on demo here also had some custom Stillpoints mods that really kicked the unit up more than a few notches. A reviewer from The Absolute Sound apparently just took delivery of an eval pair for review — Bruce is planning to trick out that speaker, too so that the reviewer can incorporate it into the review. I’ll be watching for that.

About Scot Hull 1057 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.