Buggtussel speakers: a "sleeper" hi- end spker?

Anyone heard Buggtussel speakers made in Michigan(?)Their ads appear in several mags, and their website provides some interesting design and driver information. They use a transmission line bass which (in my experience)produces the tightest and best low-end. Is this the "sleeper" speaker(line) of the 21st century, or just another bunch of empty boxes??
You gotta love a speaker company that chooses to name their product after a fictitious town from the Clampett family's hillbilly past. I've never heard them, but they get my vote. :-)
I haven't heard them recently, but I have met the guy that makes them. I live in the same town they are made. He does have a weird naming philosiphy. That is the kind of guy he is. His name is Kevin Blair. He used to show his stuff in the local high end shops, and I was really impressed. In my opinion it is hard to get transmission line right, and he does. I haven't heard them since he changed his company name to Buggtussel.
I think the name is marketing suiside! They may be great but..........Jethro,you and Elly Mae, go fetch them speakers from down to the cement pond, Granny want's to hook up them new "Pixley" By war shotgun(shotgun,hehe, get it)speaker cable critters to her new fangled "Green Acres" 300B amp gadgets she done got form Mr. Haney! And this could go on and on and on and...........................do they need to be hooked up to the "electrisical"? How do they look? what are the "comseteticals"? Sorry I got go climb the pole to answer the phone, but I did see that they were well reviewed by the "Arnold Ziffel Guide to Home Theater". He gave them 5 oinks. They make those old westerns sound like the Cowboys and Indians(sorry if this is not PC) and are in the room!
Has any one heard The "Hootervlille" horn loaded speaker,they sounded great with the "Doubble Naught Spy" 2A3 amps when I played the "Bodeans"(this is a real band by the way).I couldn't help myself! Someone stop me!
What about the new "Clampett" equiptment rack? O.K. I think I am done now.
Hmmmmm I wonder what Grinderswitch would sound like on Buggtussel speakers?
Alright Maxgain, I'm impressed. Now prove your worth on the thread about the ultimate high end speaker from yesterday! I threw down the gauntlet with some awful puns there, I think it's made for you!
Thanks Rcprince, but after that I need to take off my shoes and set a spell, but Ya'll come back now, ya hear?
Just leave a place for me on the fancy eatin' table, OK?
I have never heard the speakers but have talked to Kevin in person before. He seemed like a very knowledgable guy and was an avid enthusiast. I think that he would invest that love and knowledge along with a great amount of personal pride into his products. He also markets a record cleaning solution that is enzyme based that supposedly works quite well.

As to transmission lines, there are several different types that i've run across. They are, as mentioned by S7horton, a difficult design to fine tune and mass produce. If done properly, they exhibit very tight and well defined bass. This is due to the minimal impedance peak at resonance and associated phase shifts, offering the amplifier improved control and ability to load into the speaker. The results are similar to using a very high quality woofer with a low impedance at resonance in a large sealed box with a very low Q. Most "die hard" fans of sealed box's are also "closet" TL fans and consider them the only "vented" alternative that works well.

As to the names, i agree that they are less than "normal". Then again, many companies produce "oddball" names. They typically remain esoteric and that is what some people like about them. Exclusivity sometimes breeds demand, albeit at a higher price : ) Sean
Bummer Dude! Sean has to quiet down the class with serious stuff. what's with the :) thing, you don't really smile do ya? Do you loosen up your bolo tie once in a while and get wild? Toss the pen protector across the room? O.K. Sean, just some good natured ribbin'. Perhaps I will design and market an amp and name it "Sam" so the next version can be named "Son of Sam" and see if it is well received.I can see it now........... The reviewers said it was "killer" sounding hooked to the "Hellter Skellter" speakers(featuring the Jeffrey Daumer cryogenic hook up wire), with the Nazi SS(soild state)pre amp. These could be VERY exclusive items and I might advertise on the back of "Cereal" boxes.
My appologies to Kevin who I am sure is serious about his product but must understand the funnin'. your turn Rcprince
Hey Sunnyjim, how have ya been? Yes, I did hear them at the C.E.S./The EXPO in Vegas. I didn't know what to expect with a name like this (kinda like a sports car named "Doofus" ). The sound was VERY impressive, especially for the price. A serious contender for consideration, if you can get by the name! (Just read some of the posts.) I, too, think that the name does nothing to help the company's image. Of course, from a marketing standpoint, one will always remember this product's name and associated acoustic signature. With that being said, my only negative impression of the sound (and I'm not 100% certain, due to auditioning HUNDREDS of speaker set-ups) their transmission line driver did produce OODLES of bass, but it was more of a "loose" and encompassing bass, rather than a tight, focused, and punchy bass. If you're really into bass, this might be a consideration, depending on your preference. Happy Tunes!
Maxgain, time to check Lithium levels? :-)
Maxgain, I am actually speechless! Did my friends from Bellvue reach you yet?
Regarding the many posts about Buggtussel, I did not think that it was going to provide such an object of derision. I am not going to make comment on some of these posts, only that I may have overestimated the intelligence of some of the GON' membership. I hardly think a name defines a product or its design team. I don't care what the name of the product is,just as long as it offers audiophile level performance. I can think of many of the hi-end dogs from yesteryear that are probably gathering dust in a basement, or barnacles at the bottom of the sea. Does anyone one out there remember Mariah speakers, or Fourier speakers, or Rappaport amps?? Yes, catching, sexy names, but lousy and/or inconsiderable products that did not make it. So, lets give Kevin Blair and Buggtussel a break. I know of one dealer on the East Coast who has given Buggtussel a try. I only know of this audio seller because I recently purchased some inexpensive speaker cable from him . He is an honest dedicated professional whose judgement I trust in his selection of product. He is also a resident of the area I onced lived. I mention this because he is a refreshing change from many of the dunderheads, both salesmen and owners that, I have had the misfortune of meeting in sunny Southern California since I moved almost here two years. I think their work ethic can be described: "Apathy is our passion"!!!
sunnyjim: you might wanna try out the "putrid pus that runs from uncleaned sores" ( a/k/a, pptrfus) preamps. they REALLY need a spokesperson. -cfb
I thought Maxgain was pretty funny. The builder of these speakers had to know this was going to lead to trouble.

Otherwise why would there be a beautiful girl named Pussy Galore in the James Bond film? Same general idea, both are bound to solicit humorous comments.

So, on to serious questions.

What is worse than a PUN? Two thirds of a PUn.

What would be a worse name than Bugtussel? Roachwrestle.

What do you call an Audiogon post with two posters doing puns? Pun-ishment.
Sunnyjim,jsut cuz we poked fun at them speakers don't mean we ain't,intele... what was that wurd he said?
I have been around this stuff for along time(nearly 30 years) and I never made any reference to the quality of the product in question! Maketing is both an art and a science. When marketing an audio product I am merly sugesting that image DOES play a role when it comes to the point of prying money out of the publics pocket. Why do you think people continued to buy McIntosh for years after they switched from their respectable sounding tube gear to those dreadful SS designs they produced in the 70's and on into the 80's. It was image, status, pride of ownership, big blue meters,it couldn't have been the sound. The name, the look, the brand, all play a part. If two components had the same sound and the same price, one had a funny name& was butt ugly, the other was true eye candy and had an air of sophistication, which might you choose? Would Mark Levinson, have sold as well as say Billy Bob Levinson. It would not change the sound or the quality of the product but it may change the percertion of it. If the fact that the audio community is a fickle bunch comes as news to you then, I hope I have not let any great secret out of the bag. Some humor in the industry is a refreshing thing,I owned a Son of Ampzilla, in college. If you named your kid "Booger" or "Stinky" or better yet if your last name was Head and you named your son "Dick", would you have a hard time figuring out why the other kids tease and make fun of him. He could always claim he is Spanish and go by Recardo La Cabeza.
So like Jimmy, like I know, like that you are like, man from like California man and all, like totally and you don't like care, like what someting is called like, but don't like cast like aspersions, like at us for like pointing out , like the humor in like something, like it might like bring us all, like down like totally ,man! What a downer, lets all go get like an organic burrito,and listen to like those bitchin' speakers or we could like just do like nuthin' instead.
we are quest for sound and a buggtussel dealer --- and proud of it ...

WOW is what should be said about this speaker line ....

they sound and look amazing ...

and yes the transmission line bass provides wonderful low clean bottom end .. the staging on the speakers are superb ..and they can be had in real wood finishes ...

check them out on our showcase on audiogon ...

ya definitely the sleeper speakers of the 21th centry !!!

so, questforsound, do you also have the guts to carry "putrid pus that runs from uncleaned sores" preamps? awesome sound if you can get past the smell. -cfb
No Cornfed they cannot get them from the factory as they are on strike. Problem is there are SCABS that want to take over and continue production in spite of pickers.
whoa, albert! that's really cold and ugly! and i luv it. -kelly
This is the only venue for HiFi comics, "the Agon Improv",where open mic nite features a Telefunken U47!
I was curious whether the WWF would now feature bug tussles, where your favorite insects duked it out. My money's on the centipede.
What are the odds?
Probably 100 to 6, given the number of legs?
Dear Gentlemen,

It thrills me to no end that you are having as much fun with the name of my company as my customers hare having listening to our products. In fact, when I sellected the name "Buggtussel" for my company, I did not remember it form the beverly hillbillys.
During my spring break of 1975, I participated in a youth-fellowship that worked at repairing a needy orphanage in West Virginia. My home state being Michigan, we had a bit of a bus ride to our destination. The morning of the second day "on the bus", when I awakened, I was informed that we had all received nick-names during the night. Mine was to be "Buggtussel". Two of my friends became "Bent Fork" and "Spiders Breath". I do not remember the nick-names of the remaining youth as they were not willing to go along with the "unity-building-game" and would not respond to their given nicknames.

In 1979, I started selling custom designed audio gear (mostly loudspeakers) under the wholly inspiring name of Blair Audio. I am sure everone remebers that name.

In 1985, I took my M.S. in Entomology (Insecticide Toxiclogy), initiated my Ph.D. studies in Neurosceince, and converted Blair Audio to Buggtussel. By this time, Blair Audio had many buisness facets, some of which were no longer limited to audio. Not only was I building and sevicing audio gear and operating a mobile (live on-location) recoding buisness but biomedical and research instrumentation for several departments was being produced. For example, one insturment was developed to measure the contraction force of a fly uterus and ova ducts to quantify the action(s) of insecticides and other neurochemicals on egg laying behaviours of pest insects. This instrument has a resolution of about 200 nm (nanometers) and has been adapted to study tweeter and midrange diaphram mechanics. Other instruments addressed things like pharmaco-psycology of feeding behavior. Blair Audio just did not cut it as a corporate logo when talking to multi-billion dollar research companies. I needed a corporate name that implied nothing specific of what I did to any of my potential customers. Thus "Buggtussel" was born.
I have learned of many other associations to our corporate name but, I have rambled enough. Enjoy.
Kevin L. Blair

Kevin, I wish you well, and am glad to see that some out there have a sense of humor. They will remember the name!
I like "Bent Fork," wonder what would have happened if you had been sleeping in another spot on that bus?

Bent Fork Speakers, kind of has a nice ring to it.

Must admit though that I like Blair Audio best of all. It's a shame that others didn't like your name. Much better than Buggtussel.
truth be told, i thought, the first time i stumbled upon it, that "buggtussel" was one of the coolest names i'd ever heard for any audio product. right up there with "buttkicker." now that i know how the name was derived, i like it even more. than you, dr. kevin.

Quote from Kevin Blair.

"when I awakened, I was informed that we had all received nick-names during the night. Mine was to be "Buggtussel"

Thread subtitle is "sleeper" high end speaker. Appears to be accurate, at least in obtaining it's name.
Albert, if you listen as intently as you are visually observant, i have no doubt that your system sounds phenomenal : ) Sean
Has anybody read the review of the Buggtussel Amygdala in the new Audiophile Voice Volume 8, Issue 1. Chuck Bruce called them every audiophiles delight. Sounds like some exciting stuff!
At CES 2001 and 2002 the Buggtussels were among the speakers that impressed me most, particularly on voice and solo piano. They are very fast and articulate, and give a lively presentation more reminiscent of say a jazz club than a symphony concert hall. The lower registers of the piano were especially well rendered, and the dynamic impact and contrast was excellent - leaving no doubt in one's mind that the piano is a percussion instrument. I thought the price would be about twice what it actually was. For example, the seven grand ballpark Lemniscus sounded better to me than some very well respected speakers at over twice the price, which I had been considering carrying.
Ak, did you listen to the Buggstussel Amydagala(?). it is $3995 and the model recently reviewed in Audiophile Voice as offered by another GON member. What is the bass and and soundstaging of these speakers??? Do they sound natural, analytical, or warmish?? Please advise, Jim
Good to hear from you, SunnyJim!

Yes, I heard the Amygdala's at CES 2001. That was the Buggspeaker that originally turned my head. I kept coming back to the room over and over. I would characterize them as having rather natural timbre - neither "warmish" nor "analytical" really describe them. The Amygdala's had a refreshing lack of boxiness, something very rare in that price range. For example, there is a certain rosiny churrrumphiness to cello and double-bass that most speakers impose their signature on top of. The Buggs didn't. In fact, they impose very little sonic signature - one hears a great deal of variation between different recordings, which is a sign of an accurate speaker. And even music you aren't normally drawn to is enjoyable - which is a sign of a very good speaker. The bass was lively, neither overdamped nor hollow and underdamped like some transmission lines can be, and with very good pitch definition. I must confess I don't remember much about the soundstaging - every time I was there I was sharing the room with other listeners, and I don't think I ever got the "sweet spot".

At first when I heard the Buggtussels, it sounded to me like something was missing, but the sound was very engaging and musical. After going around and listening to other speakers, I was better able to put my finger on what it was: There was no boxy resonance subtly thickening the midbass. In comparison, many other speakers sound a bit warmer, but they also sound wrong after a while. I would expect the Buggtussels to appeal to the more experienced, been-there-done-that audiophile who is intimate with the sound of live instruments, as well as to die-hard Beverly Hillbillies groupies.

Like I tried to say earlier, their presentation is more intimate like what you'd get in a small hall or jazz club rather than enveloping like what you get in a large hall.

I wanted to let you know that Stereotimes.com is working on a review of the Lemniscus. Greg Weaver has already done a factory tour and mentioned us on the CES update page (Equipment Lust: Day 5.) Also, here is a link to the reference system that Greg is using


Either the link provided by Kevin (klblair@buggtussel.comĀ ) is non functioning, he is out of town or does not wish to communicate with me.

I sent Kevin an email 5 days ago and have not had a response.
Stephen aka Quest, Greg is now writing for Stereotimes ??? Sean
Albert -

I called Buggstussel and the Buggtussellians said they never got your e-mail. They said they check their e-mail five times a day. Anyway hope you don't mind but I passed along your phone number.

No problem Duke, they called this afternoon and we had a good discussion. Heck, there not even mad about the bent fork speaker idea, but they plan to keep their name just the same.