The box next to it is the T2 “head unit” for the amplifiers, sitting strapped to a pillar behind the speakers. Operating at 5GHz (instead of the crowded 2.4GHz), this transmitter takes signals via coax, optical or USB, and sends them on to the amps to make with the sounds at the speaker. No word on the range (as in, I forgot to ask), but you gotta admit that not having to run expensive wires from your conveniently located (i.e., not in a tall, imaging-destroying rack) stack off to the side of your speakers is quite nice. And the fact that the system can scale to up to 8 receivers for each transmitter does open quite a few possibilities.
The paired R200 receiver/amps are ICEpower Class D, not surprising given their size, and are good for 200 watts when run as a mono block (drops to 50 watts when run as a stereo amp).
The sound I was hearing out of the big $18k/pair Crescendos was a bit different than I’m used to, not surprisingly. Not bad by any means, but different. Imaging might have suffered in comparison to memory, but memory is a tricky thing. But what was obvious here was a significant improvement in control down low, with the focus of attention seemingly down-shifted accordingly. Those speakers are just devastating. Yum.
As for the wireless technology — I’ve said that this sort of thing is the future. Whether or not the future is now is one of those moot points that will only become obvious in hindsight. I for one am psyched to see this kind of evolution occurring and the freedom for wiring constraints is a good thing, where by “wiring constraints” I mean having to run python-sized cabling across the living room floor. Yeah, not doing that is pretty much awesome.