While the price tag may restrict them from ever entering my living room, the new Resolution loudspeaker by Wilson Benesch ($69.5k) are still a sight to behold. The frame is predominantly carbon fiber and as such, requires less internal bracing than your typical hifi speaker (and claims to create a stiff, highly damped enclosure).
Also noteworthy, the Tactic-II bass driving transducers are actually 2 dynamic driver units (4 total per speaker) facing each other in what WB calls a clamshell isobaric drive system. According to PR and Sales representative Luke Milnes this allows for more bass reach and power in a smaller physical profile. Indeed, the Resolutions are tall, but the width could pass for a home theater starter pack on a good day.
Vinyl was the source material of choice in the room and Luke was pleasant enough to let me have my pick of the litter. Having heard many audiophile classics that day, I was curious to hear how the classic CCR Greatest Hits album sounded from an along source, having heard it so many times before from a digital recreation.
US distributor Aaudio Imports helped put the room together and choose to pair the new carbon fiber baddies with a Thales TTT Compact II table ($14.5k) and a Simplicity II arm ($9.2k). Driving the backend was a pair of Ypsilon Aelius II Monos ($39k) to a PST-100 Mk II Pre ($37). The collective sound pushing CCR’s cover of I Heard it Through the Grapevine felt invigorating, the bass was thumpy, punchy and catchy but perhaps not as nuanced as some of the systems I had heard that day. Treble to mid was more of highlight, featuring a natural-sounding, solid core of John Fogerty’s vocal chops and cymbal extension as the very much off-the-cuff guitar solo began. Truth be told, it may have been better to stick with some audiophile tracks as production on the song may have shortchanged the experience a bit – so take those observations with a grain of salt. As the record continued to spin I found myself very much enjoying the bass guitar representation on Have You Ever Seen the Rain? and its delightfully round sonic texture.
Sitting in the corner was the $12.5k subwoofer Torus. While not contributing part of the total display rig, it is also constructed of carbon fiber. This particular scenario includes a chunk of the super strong composite formed into a 18″ multi-axial driver cone. From the company site:
“Unlike a common subwoofer that relies upon a high hysteresis suspension to reset the cone to zero, the cone position in the Torus is dictated at all times by electromagnetism… At the heart of the Torus is the core, a formidable 16kg precision machined steel column, with the two large rare earth magnets of the push-pull motor either side. The core is the reference point for every other component in the design, acting both to focus structural borne resonance directly to earth with zero reference to the outer enclosure and also a high capacity heat sink.”
The size looked quite manageable for a sub, given more time I would have loved to take it for a test drive. All things considered it was a good show for a high end room. While not able to quite unseat my favorite pair of MBL’s for top dog, it begs for another stop-n-visit at the next audio show.