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Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Million Dollar Speaker System

High-end audio has always seemed to be more about price and hype instead of audio quality, but it looks like insanity has taken over the industry once and for all.

A company called Transmission Audio now makes a speaker, called the Ultimate, that at $1,000,000 is probably the most expensive in the world. Now understand that this is for just a single speaker system, so you'll need to shell out a couple of mil for a stereo pair!

The Ultimate is a really large speaker system with each one consisting of six, seven-foot tall panels that houses a total of forty 15-inch subwoofers, twenty-four 8-inch midrange speakers, and massive arrays of 2-inch and 1-inch wide ribbon tweeters. And that's just for one channel. Double those numbers for stereo! A pair of Ultimates are nearly forty feet wide!

Each Ultimate speaker comes with its own power amplifiers with a total output of 31,000 watts, and the manufacturer claims the Ultimate can generate up to 146dB SPL, which if true is louder than a jet plane taking off.

Just to put the price of the Ultimate into perspective, you could build a very fine professional sound system very capable of providing quality audio to 20,000 for less than that. Or a first-class recording facility complete with Alan Side's wonderful custom monitors for a lot less.

I don't know if Transmission Audio's sold any of these at all, but I'd love to know who their clients are and what they do for a living. My guess is it's a person with more money than they know what to do with, trying to compensate for impaired hearing. There's a sucker born every minute, especially in audiophile world.

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