So much of what big speakers are about is the bass, the way it is made, and the way it interacts with the listening room. Bass is where I feel most full-range systems crash and burn, and no amount of bass traps or sound dampening products seem to help. Lose this battle and you have lost the war. With this in mind I have to say that I have only heard the Extreme in one room, but it was nicely damped and the speaker responded really well. It is very precise, concise, and beautifully controlled, but seldom clinical. Dynamic and focussed, it was superb on most bass instruments with no vagueness or incoherence that I could detect. They have that feeling that comes from ultra-lightweight driver cones and tightly controlled enclosures. These Estelons are endlessly expansive. They shift the music out of the not-inconsiderable cabinets and into the room before you. In many ways, they behave like the small XCs; both have a voice that is free and dynamic from the gentlest whisper to the most shuddering dynamics.
But, for me, the Extremes are not really about bandwidth or the sheer imposing power of their sound. They are actually all about subtlety, musicianship and the art of recording. They are about communication, involvement, emotion, and about you, the listener and the music you love. Yes, they are crazy money and a complete system capable of showing what they can do is even crazier. They are a statement product, unfortunately to be afforded by very few. I could call them the ‘lucky’ few. But that shouldn’t detract from what a stunning experience listening to them can be.
Type: five driver, floorstanding speaker in two enclosures.
Driver complement: Two 250mm aluminium bass driver; one 250mm aluminium dome mid-woofer, one 180mm inverted dome midrange, one 32mm inverted dome diamond tweeter.
Frequency response: 20Hz-45kHz.
Dimensions: (HxWxD) 1770-2070m x 790mm x 820mm.
Weight: 250kg/ each
Finishes: All liquid gloss – Copper, Gold, Dark Silver, Black Lava.
Price: £140,000 per pair
UK distributor: Kog Audio
Tel: +44 (0) 247722 0650