This room was one of the surprise treats of my weekend. The Manzanita CV ($2,500 without stands) is an open-baffle stand mount with a 15″ woofer and a 4″ mid-tweeter. It’s a deceptively simple design, and is of a type familiar to DIY audio aficionados, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
When I entered the room, John Busch was playing a recording of Japanese taiko drumming, and the impact was absolutely fantastic. The resonance of the drumheads and the clacking of the sticks came through beautifully, and thanks to the 15″ driver I could really feel the hit in my chest. NIFTY.
Taiko drumming’s a neat trick, but what about vocals? On went a Sun recording of Elvis singing “Fever.” Oh my. The sound’s big and smooth, and Elvis’s voice seems to effortlessly appear in the air, rather than actually emerging from any single point. I would love a chance to really put these speakers through their paces, because what I heard this weekend really impressed me. This is exactly the kind of thing that got me into hifi to begin with: gear that makes the music immediate and physically felt.
Amplification was provided by a modified Ming Da integrated amp ($4,000), which is imported and modified by Manzanita. Oppo provided the source, meaning that this entire room can be had for under $10,000.