Once again, I got a chance to funnel noobs into what I think might be the niftiest entrant into the audio show circuit, Madison-Fielding. Everyone I was able to later survey had the same thing to report -- "holy cow" paraphrases the results in an appropriately (and completely uncharacteristically-for-this-site, PG-rated) manner.
Yes, I'm referring to "the planters".
The speaker is called the Flagstone. At $3,500/pair, the price is somewhere on the lower-end of audiophile madness -- not cheap, but not astronomical. The design is, well, a planter -- you can (and are encouraged) to stuff the tops of these speakers with all kinds of flora; the integral drains and included baskets are more than enough to help your plants or plant-like objects, find a natural and well-drained home. The speaker part is a three-way, with a front-firing tweeter and mid-woofer, paired with a down-firing woofer. Terminals are capped (with plastic), and the whole is designed to just sit outside and be part of your patio world, or star in a more room-friendly audio rig. Up to you. My preference is for the black finish -- the units are a durable all-weather plastic, and the black hides most of that.
I actually have a pair of these on my patio as I write this — I’m finding it difficult to not annoy the neighbors as keeping the volume neighborhood friendly is decidedly annoying. Review is forthcoming ….
Anyway, the sound stage from these squat little buggers is surprising on just about every level. They’re planters … and yet they pretty much kick tush all over the audio map. Big, tight and tuneful bass, and with enough of a set-back, I heard true 3-D holography and a better-than-average level of detail retrieval.
All this adds up to a new world of audio possibilities. I was thinking stereo. I was thinking multi-channel. I was thinking front yard and back. Crab feasts, block parties, birthday bashes on the deck — all definitely in-scope. Speaking of which, Halloween could be pure mayhem with loud speakers like these. Oh, yes. The mind is definitely spinning.