Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

To Hans Wetzel,

It was with smile on my face that I read your post-CES article. While I truly admire those companies that push the outer envelopes of audio performance with cost-no-object designs, a good amount of the shit being pushed onto the public is somewhat dubious at best.

If you want to read what happens when you suggest that a $200,000 speaker is overpriced, check out the comments under Stereophile's review of Wilson Audio's Alexandria XLF. I posted two well-though-out comments about how I thought the Wilson XLFs were drastically overpriced and you'd think that I just spat in Pope Francis's face.

Here's my first comment:

And the second:

Since most of these dopes who were flaming me know as much about speaker design and audio engineering as a shit I take in the morning, I opted out of adding anything else. It did seem that about half the people who posted actually understood what I said.

Take it light,
Jeff Henning

Jeff, you're fighting an uphill battle against legions of audiophiles, including many reviewers, like Michael Fremer, who penned the review you commented on. Name recognition and rave reviews seem to cement a product's quality in the minds of many folks. Michael Fremer's outgoing speakers were Wilson Audio MAXX 3s. A pair matched with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of Lamm Industries' electronics behind them were blazing away in one of the rooms at CES, and, without exaggeration, I couldn't listen to the setup for more than a minute or two. The tweeters were old inverted Focal domes that happen to ring like hell when they begin to break up, resulting in a really edgy and sharp top end. I followed two younger guys out of the room, and without provocation, one muttered to the other: "Those sounded terrible." It goes to show you that just because something is expensive -- $68,000 for the MAXX 3s -- it doesn't mean it's any good. Trust your ears, then ask what the price is -- I think you'll be shocked to find that there's more engineering (and better resultant sound) in products costing an order of magnitude less than either of those Wilsons. I would have thought that $200,000 would buy you bespoke drivers, but it looks like that would have pushed them over their intended price point. Maybe next time. . . . Hans Wetzel