Pshaw! Pshaw, I say!
And then I was told that the $279 (each) F5 floor standing speakers would “knock my socks off”. I scoffed and was forced to show off my nifty Dr Seuss-like Nice Laundry socks, saying, these are not leaving my delightfully attractive feet. I’m might also have pooh-poohed, or perhaps offered something dismissive like, “Mmm … is that so?”
I will offer, in my defense, that wild enthusiasm never seems supported by actual experience, and that whenever “a lot of people” tell me that a room is “fantastic”, I take this as pretty reliable indicator of ho-hum.
I will offer, also in my defense, that I’ve heard a lot of stuff. Wild claims and expensive gear, alike. So, color me a little natively suspicious.
But … I should know better. Pride goeth and all that.
Yeah. Well, it turns out that these new speakers are all that and a bag of chips. So much for my unpredictability and my preconceptions. Turns out, “they” knew what the heck they were talking about. Color me embarrassed. Apologies are due! I mean, they’re not actually going to be forthcoming, but they’re due. Heh.
Run here with some very swish gear from Audio Alchemy, the soon-to-ship F5 is my new reference for affordable awesomeness, replacing a pair of speakers from Pioneer. The savvy among you know what speakers I’m referring to, and also note that the common denominator in that equation is Andrew Jones.
I didn’t get a chance to hear the little bookshelf speakers, but the B5 ($229/pair) was the big news at Munich this year. The slightly-larger B6 ($279/pair) is the one I’m looking at. It features a larger woofer (6.5″ vs 5.25″), and like all of the speakers in this series, it features (the non-tweeter) drivers made from
Kevlar Woven-Aramid Fiber and a 1″ cloth dome tweeter, which is embedded in a “custom deep-spheroid waveguide”. Cabinets are a “brushed-black vinyl”, made from MDF. The look is “finished”, but there’s definitely a step (or ten) that many of the speakers at this show have taken that are all “up” from this level — but again, none of them are at this price point, either.
We should expect a whole host of offerings from this particular collaboration, too — including a center-channel, Atmos satellites, and a massive sub. Yeah, I’m thinking “home theater”, too. Oh, and just a tease, but CES will showcase another suite of speakers from ELAC and Jones, one level up from this “Debut” series. Expected prices will be in the $1000-$1500 range.
So, while I eagerly await what extras a larger budget will bring, this particular budget-friendly offering was my first Best-In-Show contender. Regardless of price.
So much for expectations!