Tom, I heard them at Carverfest, too. Try to completely erase the sound of that
speaker from your mind. What I heard at Axpona was an entirely different sound.
A few things about them:
The ribbons blend now. Yay Team Biamp!
They loaf along at extreme volume. Bob's max SPL figure is nutz. Watch the video when it gets posted.
They sound great everywhere in the room; even when there's a crowd standing between you and the left channel.
That was the worst, livest demo room I've ever SEEN
. Yet, it didn't sound
that way. Look ma, no room treatments. What kind of strange voodoo was going on with that?
I'm normally a pretty harsh critic of ribbons and usually prefer ESLs and even I liked how they sounded.
I can't say for sure if they sound better than the MBLs or the CLXs because those require you to be in the one exact right spot, (notice I didn't say the s - word) and there were just too many people there.
Which brings me to an important thing that it's easy to lose sight of:
Bob's new ALS speakers sound really good if you want to sit in your favorite chair and focus your mind like a laser beam on their sound. They'll pass that test for sure.
I can see these as being a sort of gateway speaker for all of your visiting non-audio friends. If you had these guys in the room, they could just notice on their own.
"Hey, that sounds great! And look honey, no big, ugly boxes. Can we get a set?"
Just don't tell them how much they cost