Annandale A-25 XL2: A classic 1970s speaker reborn
In the 1970s, when hi-fi was the prime source for home entertainment, the Dynaco A-25 was the speaker to buy. Annandale Acoustics' new A-25 XL2 is the 21st-century version of the legendary speaker.
In the 1970s, the U.S. audio market was dominated by American-made products. Case in point: the original Dynaco A-25 speaker, introduced at the end of the previous decade, sold really well. The oft-cited sales number was something like 1,000,000 speakers sold.
Annandale Acoustics took the original Dynaco as the inspiration for its A-25 XL2. It's not a replica per se, more like the A-25 XL2 is a pumped-up version of the original concept. The company is selling the speaker directly, with a 30-day in-home audition.
The A-25 XL2, like the original A-25, is a large two-way system with a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter and a 10-inch woofer. That's interesting, as a 10-inch woofer is a good deal larger than the more typical 6.5-inch woofer found in most of today's "full-size" bookshelf speakers. So the A-25 XL2's bass punch and oomph are more like what you'd get from a hefty tower speaker.
Rather than use a standard medium-density fiberboard cabinet, the A-25 XL2 features a 15-ply Baltic Birch wood enclosure with constrained-layer damping and internal bracing for stiffness and low cabinet-induced coloration. The A-25 XL2 is finished in real American maple wood veneer.
It's available from Annandale for $2,499 per pair. Each speaker is 21 inches high by 12.5 inches wide by 10.5 inches deep, and weighs 30 pounds.
So yes, the A-25 XL2 is a lot more expensive than the original A-25, and if you're new to the hi-fi scene, you might want to find an original pair to get a taste of the classic hi-fi sound on the cheap. Trust me, if your idea of good sound is an iPod speaker, you'll be blown away by the A-25.
The A-25 XL2 is really for those of you with fond memories of the A-25 but who want something that takes advantage of today's vastly higher build-quality standards.