Magnepan demonstrated a very high quality “mystery speaker” whose identity the firm staunchly refused to divulge during the show. The game, here, which was plainly geared to pique the curiosity of audio journalists, was to ask journalists to participate in a contest where the objective was to guess the price of the mystery model (the winner will be able to request that a pair of the speakers be given to a legitimate charity of the journalist’s choosing). Thus, we can’t tell you the name, price, or configuration of the “mystery speaker,” though we can tell you it produced one of the better overall sounds heard at CES or at T.H.E. Show 2014. Also, given Magnepan’s past practices, it is a pretty safe bet that the mystery model sells for under $15,000/per pair (unless Magnepan was using this very unorthodox demonstration approach to launch a new flagship). Watch this space for further developments.
Late-breaking development: According to Wendell Diller, Marketing Manager for Magnepan, “The Mystery System was all MMG models that retail for $2,375, which includes the Tri-Center configuration” (the Tri-Center is a center channel system used in stereo playback configurations to expand both the width and focus of the soundstage).
MartinLogan showed a pre-production prototype of what some might consider a “lifestyle” speaker product—albeit a relatively high-performance one. Specifically, the firm showed its stylish, single-box Crescendo all-in-one, self powered, stereo speaker, whose expected price will be ~$899. The Crescendo uses a single woofer plus dual Heil-type tweeters.
Also on display was the new hybrid Heil/dynamic driver-equipped Motion 60 floorstander ($3000/pair).
The British firm Monitor Audio has a built its reputation by supplying lines of loudspeakers that offer very high levels of value for money, so that it is a major event for one of those lines to be revamped. For CES, Monitor showed its new Silver RS range, with emphasis falling upon an new flagship offering, the Silver RS10 floorstander ($2,500/pair), said to achieve higher levels of performance than have ever before been available in the Silver-series range.