In the '80's, the price was something below that.
New price now, factory direct, is $7000. They debuted in 1977(?) for $1800.
The "Audio" magazine annual equipment directories for October, 1985, and October, 1986, list them at $1600/pair, presumably in the standard wood finish.
A 1991 Orion blue book I have lists them as having sold originally at $2050/pair in walnut & oak, and at $2350/pair in rosewood. What year of manufacture that applies to is not clear, as the only year of manufacture that is indicated is 1977.
Hope that helps. Regards,
For classical orchestral and choral music, I would suggest you make a real effort to audition Shahinian Hawks or Diapasons. They are designed by their creator to model as closely as possible the sound of an orchestra playing in a concert hall. They provide an extremely convincing spacial and timbral recreation of that sound. In addition, they boast very dynamic, concussive bass, an enormous sound field, more sense of 3-d ambience than I have ever heard outside reality, and a string sound that is palpably rich, realistic, and velvety.
Very importantly, they will play very loud without strain or tonal variation. I can listen in my 2200 cubic foot room to Mahler's Eighth at close to actual live-concert-level volume (peaks of 108db) and the sound is as good, clean, undistorted, and easy on the ears as at 80 db. This takes a good amount of power and current though (I use 2 Plinius SA-100's).
The Shahinians are polydirectional above 250hz and use a transmission line woofer terminated with a passive radiator.
They do not do pintoipnt imaging. Of course, neither does the Berlin Philharmonic or Miles Davis. If you want razor sharp images, unlike the reality you hear live, these are definitely not for you.
There are no US distributors so these can be purchased only from the factory at about $12,000 for Hawks, $20,000 for Diapasons. A used pair of Hawks just sold for $3200 on Ebay.
If you listen primarily to large force classical music, or any acoustic music recorded well in a live space, Shahinian's top speakers (or even the Obelisk, at $6000) are very, very hard to beat.
I heard the Obelisk's back in 1977 at the NY Audio Show. Richard Shahinian personally demoed them using a PSE amp and preamp. Signal source was a TT (can't remember the make) with a MC cartridge. The hotel room was small, but the sound of the classical symphonic LP's that Richard played was superb - the best of all the exhibitors at that show. I listened raptly for several hours! Near the end when the show was closing down, Richard offered to sell me the demo pair of Obelisk's for $450! Now I wish I had taken his offer! I declined because I already had at home a pair of DCM Time Windows (certainly competitive with the Obelisk).
we sold them ( Audio Connection -Ohio)
we had Audionics amp that was not the best match but they were capable of what I would call big soundfield magic as others have noted. We also had Thiel....most customers went that way...
but I at the time found them intriguing and the cabinet quality high.
I remember hearing those at the Audible Difference in Palo Alto,Ca. was
late 80's .. Used a Threshold Stasis Two along with the Threshold SL 10 preamp.. Linn Sondek set up w/Koetsu cartridge ..They played a Fresh Aire album... toccata maybe? it was very impressive.. very spacious with a heck of a wallop on the low end. I did not have a chance to hear anything else .