Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2010 • Best of Show

As you walked by the door to the room in which the JBL Everest DD66000 speakers ($60,000-$70,000/pair depending on finish) were playing, it was impossible not to catch a glimpse of them out of the corner of your eye. They were squeezed into one of the hotel's small rooms -- a recipe for sonic disaster, or so it seemed.

Instead, the squat, wide JBL speakers sounded sweet and delicate with one cut, big and demonstrative -- yet always in control -- with another. There was an appealing effortlessness to their sound, including the lowest frequencies, which seemed impossibly well controlled, given the size of the room.

The electronics were all from Mark Levinson, including a No.532 stereo amp ($20,000), No.326S preamp ($10,000) and No.512 CD/SACD player ($15,000). Cabling and power products were from Transparent.

Based on this demo at least, the JBL Everests appear to be a sonic paradox: very big speakers that can work well in small rooms.

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