Sure, we all know high-end audio gear sounds great, but now it also looks great.
Ultimate AV Magazine's Scott Wilkinson has an eye for style. He regularly posts some of the most beautiful shots of high-end audio exotica I've seen, so I decided to share a few of them here.
Leave it to the Italians to come up with a radically different approach to speaker design. Behold the Book of Music's Teti Extreme; its twisted curves look great and improve sound quality. With the standard finish each speaker carries a hefty price tag of $9,920; or if you're really willing to splurge, go for the special "liquid-rubber" paint job that ups that to $10,481. Custom finishes are even more.
In the U.S., Constellation Audio is advancing the state-of-the-art in high-end electronics. The company's engineering team boasts a full roster of the most legendary names in the industry. The circuit boards inside the Constellation Altair stereo preamplifier are isolated from external vibration and interference, "much like rafts floating on a calm lake on a windless day." The boards are mounted on a platform that sandwiches an isolating polymer sheet between sheets of stainless steel. The entire assembly floats on an elastomer suspension that further damps external vibration.
The preamp's machined, solid aluminum enclosure with 8.2mm walls effectively blocks external electromagnetic interference. The Altair comes with an equally stunning Pyxis remote, which controls all Constellation Audio components as well as products from other brands. A 432-pixel by 230-pixel touch screen on the Pyxis simplifies control of the Altair's advanced functions. The remote's aluminum volume knob is connected to a high-quality potentiometer to give a traditional high-end audio feel. Constellation may be a new company, but it will be a force to be reckoned with.
Everything But The Box was founded in 2003 by Kamen and Dobromir Dobrev in Bulgaria. The speaker company lives up to its name and designs some of the most unusual-looking speakers around. The Sputnik 12S' 12-inch woofer is fitted to a 10mm-thick aluminum sphere that houses a 1,000-watt amplifier. There are two versions of the Sputnik 12S subwoofer, one that can be suspended from the ceiling and one floor mount model. The ceiling mount sub reduces the amount of bass transmitted to the floor below the listening room. Your downstairs neighbors will like that.