Over at Dvice, my buddy Michael Trei was floored by the sounds at the Vandersteen room at the Consumer Electronics show last week in Las Vegas. The company debuted its new Model Seven speakers in a $300,000 system while spinning LPs.
Richard Vandersteen told me about these new speakers last year, when he was still perfecting his balsa wood/carbon fiber "sandwich" material for tweeters and woofer drivers. It's super lightweight, which enables the driver to keep up with the music's ever changing signals better than more conventional materials, yet it's so strong, you can actually stand on a balsa/carbon cone without damaging it.
Building each driver is, at least for now, a labor-intensive process, so the Model Seven is considerably more expensive than Vandersteen's bread-and-butter models (prices start around $785 a pair. The Model Seven will sell for $45,000 a pair. Vandersteen speakers are manufactured in Hanford, Calif.