CES 2013: Aragon and Waterfall

It’s a quest, of sorts. Noble, even. Or, at the very least, a voyage of self-preservation.

“How am I ever going to get my wife to let me put speakers in the big room?”

Some men have significant others that are ambivalent. Some have significant others that are supportive, perhaps even actively interested, but sadly, those reports have come from unreliable sources and really ought to be discounted until additional witnesses come forward. Pity.

So, what do you do? Well, most of us get banished to the man-cave. That’s fine, but for parties, it kinda blows. I have too many things in my man-cave that I don’t want touched by drunk people, so that’s out for me.

Anyway, this is a long-winded way of introducing Waterfall Audio. Waterfall, you see, may have a solution.

That solution has to do with glass. You see, part of what annoys my wife is the giant space-ship/penis shape hogging up all that floor space. It would help if that objet d’art had some relationship to the decor she’s negotiated with me, but you can guess how likely that is. Ahem. Anyway, while Art Deco megaliths from B.M.C. would probably make that pulsing vein pop out in her forhead, an all-glass loudspeaker from Waterfall might go almost entirely unnoticed. Okay. Being real, unnoticed is a bit optimistic. But if your decor wanders a bit toward the modern, glass may be bloody inspired. For my situation, in-wall would be a better bet, but that’s because I’ve abused the privilege a bit too much and too recently. Mea culpa, honey!

Shown here at CES was the Victoria Evo ($7,000/pair). They’re nifty-looking for sure, with some clever driver mounts called Acoustic Damping Tube (ADT), now in its 3rd generation.

This exclusive ADT system is the fundamental principle that allows prper functioning of a driver in a non damped structure such as a glass enclosure. The ADT is located at the rear of the mid-bass driver and limits the return of the back wave on the cone. This technology has 3 main functions:

  1. Damping control of the medium high frequencies with the integrated damping chamber.
  2. “Hydraulic damping” in the low frequencies which assists in controlling the excessive movements of the cone, therefore reducing low frequency distortion and increasing the power handling capacity.
  3. Mechanical decoupling of the mid bass driver and the glass structure.

The Victoria Evo is the second from the top loudspeaker from Waterfall. It’s a 3-way design (with 4 drivers) with an 8ohm nominal/4ohm minimum impedance. Sensitivity is 89dB, and the frequency response is 40Hz-28kHz. Each speaker is about 40lbs.

Waterfall showed at CES with equipment from long-lost and now-found Aragon AV. The new Aragon 8008 amp sat up high on the stand between the loudspeakers, looking spanky with it’s big ol’ dented notched chassis. Rated at 200wpc into 8ohms and doubling into 4ohms, the stereo amp is offered at $4,399. The upscale Iridium amp pushing 400wpc into 8ohms and 600wpc into 4ohms. Oddly, the input impedance listed for the Iridium is a catastrophically low 15kohms on single-ended inputs, while the 8008 has a more standard 46kohms. My recommendation is to skip the RCA inputs on your Iridium and just go remember to go balanced, where the impedance ups to a more comfortable 45kohms.

Sound quality in this room was impossible to judge with the foot traffic in and out.