Barrister-turned-speaker-maker David Hart had the human ear in mind when he designed this unique speaker—but I see a giant molar turned on its side. I’ll let you decide what to make of it and whether it’s worth the asking price of $64,000 per pair in bronze, $300,000 in silver, or upwards of $5 million in gold (shown). Why so expensive? Remarkably, the 28-inch-tall cabinet is cast in solid bronze, silver, or gold, which explains the 110-pound weight (in bronze). Add to that the 200 hours it takes to cast and hand-finish each pair at Hart’s factory on Isle of Wight.
In describing the design concept, Hart draws a parallel between the Aural Pleasure and the human ear. “To amplify sound at the cochlea, three bones vibrate a window in the inner ear. This amp- lification is re-created by the cabinet being entirely silent. It is so solid and inert that almost all of the energy from the drive unit enters the room instead of being used to vibrate, resonate, or excite a wooden cabinet. The result is super-efficient, clean sound without any cabinet noise.”
England’s Hi-Fi Choice wrote, “The fact that it can do things that no other speaker can—and in such a musically cohesive manner—makes it addictive.” For Hart, the sound is “all about the bass” even though the 8-inch Tannoy dual-concentric woofer/tweeter driver peters out below 39 hertz (it’s paired with a Vifa supertweeter). “I used to struggle with why upper frequencies were always sacrificed when producing a lot of bass. It occurred to me that the bass was exciting the wood of the cabinets and creating unwanted noise. Now when I listen, I have the clarity of the bass that I always wanted, and it’s nirvana.”
Hart plans to make 99 pairs of Aural Pleasures in solid phosphor bronze, five in silver, but only one in 18-karat gold. He’s already sold 14 pairs in bronze and one in silver. If you want the private-cast gold version, you’d better hurry. Hart has an interested party. I don’t know, in this age of economic uncertainty, maybe it’s not such a bad idea to invest in a pair of solid-gold speakers.
SOURCE: Sound and Vision