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A half-ton loudspeaker for $200,000

German-inspired insanity or brilliance.

German Physiks

Just as we had contemplated with luxury turntables, we seriously considered a self-imposed moratorium on high-end speakers. But once again, our resolve was weakened by yet another irresistable offering.

The latest example of loudspeaker insanity (or brilliance, depending on your view) is the "Loreley Mk II" from German Physiks. Audio Junkies says it looks "more like a piece of alien machinery than a loudspeaker," a statement that we find a bit harsh--after all, there are aliens and there are aliens. But granted, the Loreley does have a certain Brazil-ian quality to it.

The company says the unusual design accommodates its "bending wave" drivers and an exceptional bass response for a complete 360-degree radius. We certainly hope so, because there'd better be a darn good reason that this beast weighs 925 pounds--an excess matched only by its price range, which tops out at $200,000 for a carbon finish.