Review: Rosinante Dulcinea Speaker
I bought the Dulcineas and the matching stands through an E-Bay auction after reading a very favorable review. I guess I was taken with the fact that the list price is about $6500 and the auction had stalled at around $1500. Ultimately got them for $1800 but it cost $200 to ship with the stands so I paid two grand total. The best money I've ever spent on equipment for sure. I've lived with a pair of Kindel 100 (now defunct company but the guy made some great speakers in Calif)for about 18 years but I've brought home a bunch of speakers in the past five years to test side by side with them. I'm talking about A to B comparisons as best I could manage. Nothing ever just blew me away including B&W, ATC (almost though)and the KEFs. I had some patient audio dealers around San Antonio, believe me. The Rosinantes blew me away, friend. I'm not talking about subtlety here...a bit cleaner or a tad more open or a teeny more of a soundstage or depth. I'm talking about Jimi Hendrix "experience" difference. These things had already been owned by two others and were well listened to prior to me hooking them up. And as soon as I did, it became a five week pig out of pulling out albums and CDs that I now realize I had never fully heard. Talk about instrument separation. If you can't pick out how many guitars are playing, how many voices are harmonizing or where the instruments are located with these speakers, your hearing has deteriorated badly. I'm 50 and have no illusions about having lost a good deal of my aural acuity but I hear things now or perhaps just notice them that I have never heard on albums and CDs in the past. Take Hotel California on Elektra. On New Kid in Town, you hear such fine separation on the guitars that for the first time, I appreciated how each is playing off the other. A riff from one guitar is picked up at just the right crescending instant and finished out by the others. Once pointed out it's pretty obvious but I just hadn't noticed how closely weaved this was until I listened to this CD on the Dulcineas. And Neil Diamond's Hot August Night CD on MCA is simply fantastic. It's always been impressive to me how well recorded this live performance was but on these speakers, bud, you ARE there. Even the normally irritating applause interludes are so real they make you feel like putting your hands together and clapping right along. Then get something new like Willie Nelson's The Great Divide on Lost Highway CDs. Willie's voice is heard through these speakers the way I imagine you'd hear the man if he were sitting on a stool at your wetbar in your house with guitar in hand and you and a few guests are tossing back a few mesmerized by the ease of phrasing and unforced balladeering by the Red Headed stranger. It startles me, seriously. I almost cried one night thinking about all the years I've missed this kind of "realism." Maybe it's not real, maybe it's contrived but, regardless, it sounds gooood. Real good. And with LPs, even better but I am so pleased with the CD sound now (before I listened to CDs about one third of the time...now, about 3/4ths of the time). What these speakers have convinced me of is to start the search to upgrade my Rega 3, cartride and head amp (Rega Fono). I won't attempt to match the pros describing low noise floors, clean highs and all that. I'll just tell you that two weeks after sitting at a friend's house helping him audition a pair of Vienna Acoustics Mahlers against a pair of Avant Garde Duos, I received my Dulcineas and am pleased to announce that neither the Duos nor the Mahlers conveyed the sense of intimacy and realism that these Dulcineas can. Sorry, Bill, but that's the way I hear it. Maybe it's his amp, cables, room or whatever. Maybe it's my room, I don't know. But hearing is believing.
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