Salon HiFi 2011

Probably the largest speakers seen in Paris were these behemoths from Ocean Way Monitor Systems (above left, $38,600/pair). Each HR-2 stands 46"H x 36"W x 27"D and weighs an eye-watering 400 pounds. The tweeter, if my weak French can be relied upon, is made from titanium, the midbass driver has a diameter of 15" and the woofer is 18" in diameter, with crossover frequencies at 80Hz and 650Hz. These are as much at home in studios as in domestic audio systems, which explains maximum SPLs of greater than 110dB.

Elipson’s 4260 (€17,000/pair), offered in white or black lacquer, drew crowds in a massive room that it had no trouble filling. As is evident from the photo, it’s a three-way system said to cover a frequency range (+/-3dB) of 31Hz-40kHz. Impedance is 8 ohms and sensitivity a horn-like 92dB, so it’s no wonder the system didn’t sound like it was working too hard. Still, the company recommends amplifiers in the 100-200Wpc region. Dimensions are a healthy 56 1/2"H x 21 3/4"W x 23 1/4"D, the enclosure housing a PHL Audio 15" paper-cone woofer, a PHL Audio 8" paper-cone midrange and a 3/4" Scan-Speak soft-dome tweeter.

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