I think the various incarnations of Dunleavy's speakers should have done better but the cabinets weren't visually appealing.
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Tannoy's famous SGM10 with Mastering Lab cabinets - Doug Sax bought up the entire lot of the last production drivers. I think the high cost of Alnico is what made Tannoy stop production of this wonderful driver.
These never really made it out of studios and to consumers - sold by word of mouth among pros and I guess they looked pretty ugly, which is after all a domestic consideration far more important than the sound.
Back in 1986, I had a room at the Chicago CES show where I was demonstrating speakers of my own design (the company name was Shannonbrooke Audio FWIW). During the show, the one speaker that impressed me as superbly musical from top to bottom was the Waveform speaker from John Otvos. This was I believe near the beginning of Waveform and the speaker I heard (which I think was called the Mach 17 but I'm really not sure) was a very large, pyrimidal shape with a large woofer (12 or even 15 inches). It was voiced very well and I was impressed with its sheer musicality. This was the only speaker I heard that surpassed the Shannonbrooke Model 1's that I displayed (he said with no modesty). I heard Apogees and Wilson's at the show among a number of other brands but the Waveform was truly excellent.
I hadn't had the chance to hear any of Otvos's evolving designs in subsequent years but I imagine he was able to improve them. I think its a pity that John threw in the towel several years ago but this is a cruel and competitive business. One reason why his speaker was less popular is that the top of the line required tri-amping thus making its potential market smaller. Oh well...
A long time ago, maybe the late 80's but maybe the early 90's, a local guy--I think the inventor, named Bill something--demoed some Metaphor speakers for us at Gifted Listener Audio in Centreville, VA. They looked and sounded fantastic and I think were around for a few years but never took off. There were two models I believe and I really thought they sounded great.
One word: Hales. Although I never got to meet Paul, I had the good fortune of meeting his business partner/co-designer Larry. A real class act. I spent a couple of years working on the sales floor of No.Cal's only Hales dealer in Oakland in 2000-01 and the Hales were just the best sound overall that I had ever heard. Nothing too esoteric, just good solid design and execution with quality components. Such a shame the company left the consumer market so abruptly.
After they closed, the boss asked us to spend time with other speakers to help pick a brand to fill the hole in our product lineup. We already carried Meridian and Genelec on the active side, B&W, Canton and Triad on the passive side, so the new brand had to fit well at the top. Reps from several manufacturers came by to show their wares. The boss eventually went with Snell, and they are very nice speakers. But nothing ever really came close to the overall music that flows out of Paul's designs to my ears. -jz
hales were magic for sure. i remember listening to a revalation 3 against a brightly painted 20k speaker, and the hales actually sounded way better.......i believe the waveform brand was marked from the beginning by those who were loyal and beholden to the brightly painted brand and destined to be thrown under the bus, even though they were remarkable. they are still remarkable too.
hales were magic for sure. i remember listening to a revalation 3 against a brightly painted 20k speaker, and the hales actually sounded way better
I agree the Hales Revelation 3 was (is) a revelation but it is often more desirable to a own a more expensive "statement" piece that really looks ultra impressive than an ordinary box that just sounds great. Guests will remark on the "statement" but not the other.