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CAF 2015: Madison-Fielding still “best pot at the show”

KEF R Series

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When Art Powers of Madison-Fielding/PlanterSpeakers starts talking about pot, he’s not talking about smoking. I mean, I don’t think he is. Hmm. Okay, whatever. Let’s just say that what he’s usually talking about is planters. That is, containers into which you can stuff large plants and tastefully arrange to have throughout your living and livable spaces, whether those spaces are indoors or out.

That last bit, the outdoors part, is really interesting. To me, at least. Last year, I had a chance to try out their Flagstone Series … pots … out on my back patio. And the experience changed the way I listen to music (and, for the record, the way my neighbors listened, too).

By now, I’m guessing you’ve clued into the fact that Madison-Fielding’s “pots”, “planters” or whateveryouwanttocallthem, are also loudspeakers. A damn-fine sounding three-way loudspeaker, actually, with a down-firing 10″ driver, a separate 4″ midrange and a 1″ tweet. One that comes a large central container (from Smart Pots USA) that allows you to, actually-yes-really, stuff full of living not-plastic plants. I leave it to you to explore whether or not the plants prefer any particular sort of music.

What’s new? Wood enclosures. Teak, actually. The new Piermonts (prices starting at $5,795) come in the most striking-looking enclosure yet from these clever lads, and there will be a variety of form-factors, too, to best suit your decor (though the driver complement won’t change).

There are a few options too — if you want the speakers to “cover” a much larger sonic footprint, you can order them with a second set of drivers. That is, another tweeter and mid, either at 90° from the first pair, or 180° (on the opposite face). For those of you with big backyards, it’s an interesting option.

I think the new speakers (and the old ones, too, for that matter) look and sound amazing. The bass is propulsive, the soundstage is wide and deep, and to say that they “vanish into your decor” is a laughable understatement — they are your decor, and not in a Look-At-Me-I’m-A-Giant Space-Penis way. The Piermonts look smart, fancy-shmancy and really high-end. Look ma, instant “good taste”!

I can see these on the deck, patio, by the pool, outside the cabana, on the lanai, in the rock garden, in the entry … I’ve thought seriously about running some speaker cables under the floorboards and using a pair to bracket my fireplace.

As I’ve said before, these are the only large speakers my significant other (she’s the one that coined the “Giant Space Penis” aesthetic) will allow in the common spaces. She loves ’em. And to be frank, I’ve never had a sound system that I could take outside that sounded even 1/10th as awesome.

I’m a fan, can you tell?

About Scot Hull (998 Articles)
Founder, Editor and Publisher at Part-Time Audiophile and The Occasional Magazine.