Stereophile—Sasha Reports from the NYAS

2018-12-12 09:54:59

In Salon C, the largest active listening room at this year's New York Audio Show, I couldn't help but be wowed by the massive system installed by ESD Acoustic, hailing from Hangzhou, China. A newcomer on the international audio scene, ESD was all new to me, though not to Herb Reichert, who mentioned having heard them at the Munich audio show earlier this year.

译文:在C大厅,今年纽约音响展最大的听音展房里,我不由自主地被来自中国杭州隐士音响的巨大号角系统所震惊。ESD是国际HiFi音响界的新成员,我对它一无所知,但对Herb Reichert来说不是,他曾提到过今年早些时候在慕尼黑音响展上听过。

At my request, Sales Manager Nicole He kindly stood next to one of the gigantic horns to give an idea of the sheer scale of the things! I know what you're thinking—we are on the deck of the Titanic here. As presented, the system comprised three sizes of horns, plus two tweeter modules. In between was arrayed a buffet-table-length mass of electronics. All of this firepower was graciously presented to me by ESD Chairman David Dai and his son, designer and co-founder Jacky Dai. As heard and seen here, I was told the five-way Dragon loudspeaker system would retail in the US for approximately $300,000. The electronics as configured would retail for $500,000 total.  (I was not provided with individual unit pricing). To this, unfortunately, I was told you could expect to add approximately another 25%, given the current trade tariff situation with China and the US.



There is a lot of technology involved here, but a few significant design aspects of the loudspeakers include: field coils, Beryllium diaphragms, and the use of Supermendur alloy in the magnetic circuits—described as "the highest magnetic density achievable outside of laboratories."Designing for high-efficiency horns frees things up on the amplifier side—the ESD D100W power amplifier outputs just 20W of class-A monoblock power, and many were used in this setup. Designer Jacky Dai showed me the ESD DX-1 active crossover, which can modify up to four crossover points for up to five channels.

译文:ESD系統包含有许多的黑科技,其中最重要的一部分包括:励磁、铍膜,以及磁路中的坡莫合金(被描述为“实验室以外所能达到的最高磁密度”)。高效率的号角喇叭设计让功放这端解脱了出来,ESD D100單聲道功放输出仅仅單端甲類20瓦,这一套系统每一個號角都用了一部獨立功放,设计师戴中天展示了DX-1主动分频器,可以对四个分频点五音路进行调整,實在厲害。

When I got my breath back from taking all this in and actually listened, I heard unidentified acoustic guitar and Harmon-muted trumpet sounding "yuge," but in no way harsh or strident. I asked for something classical, and heard an older unidentified mono recording of Beethoven's Symphony 5. The Dragon horn loudspeaker system seemed to revel in the darker lower mid-bands of this recording, and simply exuded the thick and viscerally powerful string textures. However, on other material that included highs and lows from hi-tech synthesizer instrumentation, I don't know how you could hear any more sound—I could hear it around the corner and down the hall. This is take-no-prisoners stuff on all levels, and the kind of thing most of us can get to experience only at an audio show. Awesome ESD!