Neat Acous­tics IOTA Loud­speak­ers

NOVO - - PRODUCT REVIEW - Dou­glas Brown

Even though my wife is gain­fully em­ployed as an an­a­lyt­i­cal chemist, at times I think she’d be hap­pier work­ing as an in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tor. She seems semi-ad­dicted to the Home and Gar­den chan­nel and holds strong ver­bal opin­ions about what does, and doesn’t, qual­ify as be­ing wor­thy of in­clu­sion within our home’s decor.

The first time she saw my Quad ESL-63s, she asked: “Are those loud­speak­ers…?”

“Yes… they’re elec­tro­static pla­nar speak­ers.” I re­sponded.

“Good Lord…” she con­tin­ued, “…they look hideous.”

I smiled a de­mented smile and re­torted: “They may look hideous, but paired with the proper tube amps, Quad ESL-63s de­liver the best mid-range in the en­tire audio game.”

She sighed and walked away in si­lence.

That con­ver­sa­tion took place over a decade ago. I still have the very same pair of ESL-63s. And, IMHO, they still pro­duce the best mid-range I’ve ever heard.

When new speak­ers ar­rive for reviews, I usu­ally un­pack them in the front hall so that my oh­hhh so un­der­stand­ing wife can eye­ball them too. Th­ese days, if she doesn’t like the way speak­ers look, she calmly ut­ters one word: “Base­ment.”

This means, in no un­cer­tain terms, that most new pairs of speak­ers are to be for­ever ban­ished to my ‘Au­dio­phile Man Cave’ in our base­ment.

When I un­veiled the pair of Neat Acous­tics IOTA loud­speak­ers, my wife com­mented: “Now those… those are gor­geous.”

I passed her one of the tiny speak­ers and asked: “Yea… wha’d’ya like about them?”

She care­fully clutched the tiny mi­cromon­i­tor, eyed the IOTA fondly, and ex- plained: “They’re com­pact, the fin­ish on them is stun­ning, and… well… they’re cute.”

“You think th­ese speak­ers would ap­peal to women?” I asked op­ti­misti­cally.

She slowly nod­ded her head ap­prov­ingly and replied: “Ohhh yes… you can put th­ese any­where you want.”

She paused briefly and then added: “If they come in royal blue. I might even take a pair for my of­fice.”

“But…” I in­ter­jected, “don’t you wanna hear what they sound like?”

“Doesn’t re­ally mat­ter…” she fired back. “They’re small enough to fit in any­where and, if they sound half as good as they look, you’ve got me sold.”

For the most part, au­dio­philes don’t give a tin­ker’s darn about how a loud­speaker looks. If they de­liver stel­lar sound, a pair of speak­ers can be: A), larger than an elec­tric car; B), three times as hard as any elec-

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.