This is one of those head-scratching moments at the show, though. If NOLA can pull this kind of sound out of its hat for $10k, why are we paying $100k for loudspeakers, exactly? I honestly can’t answer that.
That said, my favorite NOLA loudspeaker is, and remains, the Boxer, which was on static display in the corner. That little guy is awesome. $1,500 — a very convincing case for value, in my book. Oh, and it sounds fantastic. I came by this room twice and each time, I was happily impressed with the sound. And each time, I wondered if it’d be rude to see if the Boxers could be swapped in. Ah, well.
The always-sexy $13k Audio Research REF5SE preamplifier was paired with the new $10k REF75 amp to round out the demo package. That stereo amp, unlike its big brother the REF150, has those sweet vu meters on the front — and, from what I’m told, a substantially sweeter sound. Dunno myself, but I am very curious about these two pieces.
Yes, those are wheels turning in my head. Leave me alone.