Another modest system from an under-the-radar manufacturer could be found in room 372. Jim Suhre of LRE Audio was demonstrating his Fourier floorstanding speakers. Mr. Suhre has gone to some fairly extreme lengths to reduce the impact of the cabinet on the speaker, and some quite possibly obsessive lengths to reduce the effect of the cabinet on the tweeter. All that obsession is priced at just under $1,000 per speaker. For that money, you don't get Sonus Faber levels of fit and finish. What you do get is powered bass sections with two 12" woofers per cabinet and extension down to 30hz.
The rest of the system was made up of a $500 Yamaha HT receiver, an Oppo transport, and some exotic zipcord and generic cables. The total system price here was well south of $4,000 -- or "quite a bit less than some power cables."
So how did it sound?
It actually sounded pretty good. Really good. Surprisingly good.
It’s hard to tell how good, exactly. My ability to judge the system was definitely a bit hamstrung by the Yamaha house sound, and the lingering crowd of hotel furniture didn’t leave a lot a space for optimal setup. There was a mysterious smearing on transients, and the too-close speaker setup offered up a Phil Spector like wall of sound on everything. Frequency extension seemed undeniably excellent, however, and the lack of box coloration was obvious. The bass alone was utterly superb for this price point. The system as a whole was more than good enough to enjoy listening to Carlos Santana, but I couldn’t shake the sense that the speakers deserved much better setup and much better ancillary gear.
I’d love to hear these speakers in different circumstances.