Sunday morning’s kibitzing was a prelude to our day of fun. We’d taken pictures, we’d taken notes, and now it was time for all of us to leave our assigned territories and go have fun as simple attendees. The first question out of my mouth was, “How were Duke’s speakers?”
… [crickets] ….
Nobody had heard them. Nobody. They’d been completely forgotten, off in their (apparently hard to find) well-marked room in the most trafficked area of the show. Where everyone passed their door at least twice. Because reasons.
I did mention that there’s never enough coffee, right?
This lapse is utterly comical. Duke LeJeune and James Romeyn are two of the nicest guys you could meet. I developed a sincere interest in their speakers at this year’s Newport show, and I was eager to hear them again. Now, thanks to the embarrassing side effects of a critical caffeine deficiency, I was in the lucky position of getting paid to hear them again. That’s what we like to call a win.
The Audiokinesis Zepherin 46 speakers ($4500) again anchored the room. The rest of the system was quite different. A Parasound CD1 spun discs while a Modwright Elyse dac ($7000) crunched bits. Duke’s longtime crush, the Atma-Sphere S30, was paired with Ralph Karsten’s new toy, the anti-bling, baby-blue, single ended only, Ultra Violet preamp ($1900 line only up to $2400 a phono pre that can handle low output MC). The LCS (late ceiling splash) bits were left on during our visit, and both bass ports on the main speaker were well bunged for room tuning. The sound was again dynamic, full, and well lit. The tweeter may have been a little spitty, but the balance remained natural. Image stability was simply off the charts, with the entire room presenting a very solid sense of space. These have to be the most intriguing little speakers in the price range. They’re just so lovably weird.
Excitingly, Lori LeJeune, was hanging out in the foyer to tell us that Duke and James have been working to make the LCS arrangement available independently of AK’s speakers. I have my doubts about how that will meld with any random speaker box, but I’m starting to learn that Audiokinesis is at it’s best when the guys are out working their deep magic on the fringes. I can’t wait to hear it.