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Newport 2014: LRE takes a step up

DSC_0680 hiresnewportlogoforwebMal and I first encountered acoustical engineer Jim Suhre and his LRE (Low Residual Energy) spearkers at the California Audio Show last summer. At the time, Mal noted appreciatively that Jim's speakers offered a big taste of hi-fi at a reasonable price. With this latest iteration, it's no longer just a taste. Gone are the painted MDF boxes, replaced with glass, which Suhre praises for its lack of resonance. The drivers have also been upgraded since last year, with audible results. Mr. Suhre's unpretentious nature remains in full effect, however; as usual, his LREs were powered by a Yamaha HT receiver and Oppo transport, and Carlos Santana reigned supreme.

The fit and finish on the LREs said “prototype” (as is only appropriate, since Suhre freely admitted that they were) but the sound most definitely did not. The lack of resonance lead to clear, firm, and big sound, with magnificent integration. There was a complete absence of the almost-endemic Hilton bass boominess that other exhibitors struggled mightily to counteract. These speakers, designed to perform shoved up against a wall, neatly canceled out the nasty room modes and performed with an incredible lack of distortion.

The projected introductory price is around $5,000 each. If you missed visiting this room at THE Show, it’ll be worth your while to check ’em out at the California Audio Show in August.

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T.H.E. Show at Newport 2014 Show Sponsor

3 Comments on Newport 2014: LRE takes a step up

  1. Abhijit // June 24, 2014 at 2:05 AM //

    “Glass, praised for its lack of resonance”.. Really? That’s about as far away from observed behaviour that I’ve heard.

  2. “These speakers, designed to perform shoved up against a wall, neatly canceled out the nasty room modes…”

    How exactly was that accomplished?

    • It’s similar to way that dipole speakers can load a room to prevent boominess; it makes use of the out of phase backwave and the resultant nulls. It’s a slick trick, and it worked very well indeed in the notoriously hellish Hilton.

      Jim Suhre’s about as far away from selling snake oil as you can get. He has a fluffy, sales-speak explanation on his website, but he’s pretty serious about the engineering. He does love to geek out about this stuff. If you want the math, you might want to give him a call.

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