Absolutely shocking! Vinnie Rossi debuts a new open-baffle speaker that does so well to find the absolute truth in the music, that each recording we demonstrated with carried along with it the recording engineer’s unique personality. Vinnie’s new Stiletto 15 loudspeaker gets out of the way, imparting nothing of itself in coloration. It delivers stunning levels of detail from top to bottom. For a first foray into loudspeakers, Vinnie certainly has come in like a seasoned professional.
When it came to speaker design, I know Vinnie Rossi had to take the abilities of his own electronic components into concern. In previous audio show outings with the Vinnie Rossi L2 Preamplifier and L2 Monoblock amplifiers, Vinnie was gather many best-of-show awards when tethered to big Harbeth loudspeakers.
With a solid sense-memory of Vinnie’s 2018 appearances still fresh in the minds of many, it would take a solid showing from his new Stiletto loudspeaker to trump his recent audio show success.
About the Stiletto 15 loudspeaker: it is 3-way reference loudspeaker design that aims to balance the articulate and dynamic bass response of an open baffle woofer with the remarkable clarity and imaging of a separate, sealed-box midrange and tweeter. And not to spoil the demonstration story, the new Vinnie Rossi did this very well.
The upper enclosure houses a custom 5.5-inch dedicated paper cone mid-range driver with a low-loss linear suspension, followed by a custom 1-inch fabric dome ring-radiator tweeter with phase plug. The lower section houses — and you guessed it — a 15-inch paper composite cone woofer with dual voice coils and high Xmax specifically designed for open baffle use.
The crossover is built with Mundorf M-resist SUPREME resistors, premium-grade Jantzen air-core & c-coil inductors and film capacitors (no electrolytics). Point-to-point wired and mounted on an anti-static fiberglass board.
The woofer is crossed in 2nd-order at 280hz, and then carried over to the mid-range from 280hz-up to-2,500hz, and then a 3rd-order crossover for the ring-radiator tweeter from 2,500hz on up. The 15-inch woofer in open-baffle loading was chosen for speed, efficiency, and summed driver coherence. The cabinet material is solid as a rock and thicker than the mountain it came from.
* Estimated start of production: June of 2019
* Estimated ‘early-adopter’ sold-direct price: $19,995 pr USD
While in the room’s center seat, I did experiment with changing seat positions to help replicate near-field and mid-field listening. In both instances, I enjoyed what I heard and felt that bass loading was quite linear even with changing my fore and aft positions. Everything I’ve come to love about open-baffle designs was present in the new Stiletto — and this isn’t even the complete production ready package. More work is scheduled to refine the new speaker both sonically and aesthetically, which bodes well for anyone who was impressed like I was at the show.
by Eric Shook