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I've read your articles and reviews for years and I respect the fact that you've always purchased the equipment you review with. It is a refreshing change of pace in a time when some "personalities" in the industry seem to demand that their gear be paid for by someone else. You've always struck me as a straight-shooter.

My question involves a speaker search I am lucky enough to be embarking on. Basically, considering your experience, what speaker systems would you listen to if you were going for a state-of-the-art system? The budget is $100k and my room is 29' x 25' with 12' ceilings. I'll be using Boulder amplification like you. Thank you in advance for your advice.


Thank you for the kind words. You are in an enviable position to be considering such a purchase. It is certainly an exciting undertaking. While there are many speakers that would qualify as candidates, probably the easiest way for me to narrow them down for you is to consider what I'd purchase if it were me in your place. With that mindset, three speaker systems stand out as candidates: 

The Rockport Technologies Altair Series II with the beryllium tweeter and revised bass driver would rank right up there at the top. My previous ownership of the original Altair was a magical experience for me and if the new one is even better, well . . . 

I'd also listen to the Vivid Giya-series loudspeakers. I heard the G2 at the most recent Rocky Mountain Audio Fest and was transfixed by the sound. It is lightning fast, single-driver coherent, and has dynamic range that is startling. 

Lastly, I'd listen to the TAD Reference Ones. These have always, year after year, impressed me greatly. If they can be set up to sound poor, I haven't heard it. They're full sounding and tonally beautiful -- essentially, impossible for me to find fault with after a handful of show auditions.

All three of these speakers have one thing in common: world-class engineering. This translates into sound that, although different with each one, is utterly true to the music in the end. Any one of them would make me happy as a "last purchase" and a way off the high-end merry-go-round forever. . . . Jeff Fritz