The $5,000,000 loudspeaker
One of our readers posted a link to a new speaker from Japan that has an astronomical price tag. Coincidently, an Ask Paul viewer wrote to me on the same day asking what I thought about a speaker costing $5,000,000. How could I resist? If you'd like to see my reaction and pictures of this expensive piece, go here and watch the video I put together. To be honest, I shook my head when Wilson announced their $650,000 speaker. But, at least with the Wilson, you're assured of getting a high-end audio product. Even if it is crazy expensive. So, what of this $5M speaker? From the Rivers Tone website, I learned the speaker system is actually designed for use on a desktop. It's a three-piece affair. Left and right speakers with an integrated amplifier. The speakers are a 6" cube of solid gold, featuring a 3" carbon fiber woofer, a 1" silk dome tweeter, and a diamond-crusted grille. The integrated is also in a solid gold housing and features 4 class D amplifiers—one for each driver—and another diamond to mark the volume knob setting. Bluetooth comes standard. From my perspective, this is not high-end audio despite the marketing materials. It's an embarrassment, using such marketing BS as, "Solid gold bodies achieve the lowest “longitudinal elastic modulus/density” resulting in incredible clarity and a transparently pure audio signal". Seriously? Had they marketed this as one might a Rolex or other luxury good—expensive just because—then I'd have little to say other than a yawn and an eye roll. Implying this has any relationship to high-end audio only serves to alienate people interested in good sound.
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