By Rafe Arnott
Emerald Physics is a company I’ve been curious about for a while, I’d seen glowing reviews of their open-baffle speaker designs and become intrigued.
Do they live up to the hype? Well, the answer is somewhat complicated for me, as I’m a dyed-in the wool fan of that tubey SET sound, (I’m in the minority, I know) but I couldn’t help but be impressed with Emerald Physics’ speakers and their amplifier/pre-amp/DAC capabilities for a number of reasons. Not the least of which is that their new KCII (open baffle, controlled-dispersion loudspeaker featuring dual 10″ proprietary woofers and the company’s 8″ Godzilla point source midrange/tweeter) has few peers producing this level of sonic integrity at $2,495 US.
Mark Schifter, who designs most of the Emerald Physics gear, was showing off his latest model and had many enthusiastic admirers of the sound in the room as I fought my way in — I had to wait to get a seat! And even then, Schifter and Emerald Physics owner Walter Liederman were hard pressed to even speak with me about the new design as the two were fielding questions non-stop during my time with them.
The KCII was being fed a mix of high-res and Redbook files via an iPad through the Emerald Physics EP100.2 SE, a 100 wpc hybrid digital amplifier ($2,200 US) and the DSPeaker Anti-Mode Dual Core 2.0 pre-amp/DAC/room correction device ($1,200 US). The speakers throw an astonishingly wide, clear sound stage despite the room’s very small, physical size (a tribute to Emerald Physics’ “room correcting” DSPeaker as well). It was a fast, tight, catchy sound, with plenty of bottom end.
This is well worth checking out if you’re looking for a digital file based system that integrates seamlessly.
Noticed the fine sounding Exogal Comet DAC with the upgraded power supply atop the rack, yet no mention of it in your article. The Comet display is on, so presumably functioning and contributing to the rooms sound?
I don’t believe it was in use ….
Seeing that the DSPeaker Anti-Mode Dual Core 2.0 pre-amp/DAC/room correction device was probably required for use with the speakers for the EQ function, that would appear to be the case. A pity, though, as the Exogal Comet, especially with the upgraded power supply, is quite a remarkable component. The Comet Plus was an important part of our system at AXPONA: