This is the 3rd write up in a series about my hifi system.

I am now working very hard :-) on the review of the Siltech Forbes Lake interconnects for AVXpress. Having the Forbes Lake in the system gave me some new appreciation of my system’s capability, especially the loudspeakers –The EgglestonWorks NINE.

EgglestonWorks is quite a low profile company, you don’t see their products or adverts in the hifi magazines a lot, this is further exacerbated by their products’ long life span and rare new product introduction (well, if there is nothing new, there is no ‘news’ to report, is there?). But I believe that is actually good for us audiophiles. If a long-life-span product can stay competitive with those that change every 2-3 years, that means the product is done right at the beginning, so there is no need to incorporate ‘upgrades’ to the design on an ongoing basis, right?

If you look at the ingredients that EgglestonWorks uses, you will see the same drivers and cabinet design used in the entire product line. The difference is in the scale - the same Dynaudio tweeter and Morel mid-woofer are used in every model, the difference is in the number used; all the cabinets have the familiar ‘darth vader’ shape at the top, the difference is in their sizes. This similarity actually also translates into the speakers’ performance – they have remarkably consistent sound quality from one model to another (I have heard Fontaine II, Rosa, Nine and Andra II in demos), again the difference is in the scale of the sound (bigger soundstage, deeper bass, denser images etc.)

What attracted me to EgglestonWorks is the organic way they produce my kind of music – classical, jazz and vocals. The sound is seamless – the top to bottom integration, to my ears, is excellent, no one spectrum stands out in particular. They also present good body and tonality to the sound. When I listen to jazz for example, I’d think to myself that the double bass sounds so good, it has rhythm, is taut and goes low; when the saxophone comes on, I’d then go, ‘wow, what sexy tone this thing has’; and then the cymbal work has my attention, and I’d be impressed, ‘hmmm… this is rich and smooth…’.

(The Siltech Forbes Lake brought this quality out even more – bass, mid, treble all gain in stature, music flows from one note to another like liquid. But that is the story for the Siltech review)

The other attraction is that they are not afraid to be played loud. One can almost sense as if the loudspeakers are gleefully lapping up every orchestra crescendo or every thwack on a drum track for lunch, with no hint of breakup or distortion at all.

But they are no brute. Matched to my Pass Labs XA60, the NINEs have a slightly warmish tonality, which makes music sound natural. Not that they are totally forgiving, but this quality together with the amps make some badly recorded CDs more bearable.

One thing I do not treat the Egglestons right currently is the space I provide them with. They need bigger space than my current room. The soundstage’s dimensions are restricted and the images are slightly congested.

Looking at the bright side, what this means is that I can get even more performance out of them once I get a bigger room – so I foresee they will stay with me for many more years to come, and I have no complaint about that.

34 comments:

kim said...

Quite a brave choice,the Eggleston.

most owners of Pass labs that I know of tend to choose Thiel as their partners.....

kepa said...

You sound like one contented audiophile.

that is quite a rarity....

Yaya said...

I must say that I haven't heard Eggleston speakers before,but those speakers of yours looks quite gorgeous.

Will it accept tube amp ,you think?

banaikyap said...

Looks like you are Nelson's very good custemour!!!

ramon said...

It sound a lot like the von schweikert range of loudspeakers.{and thiel}.In fact I was contemplating getting the egglestons before finally Decided on Hanson"s prince.

Zimmermann said...

Haifikaki,

You have got a very,very good system,and a superb choice of speaker.

Here is my tip to take it to the next level:

1]Change the spikes of your speakers to Alto -Extremo/Finite elemente CERABASE[

2]Get a pair of Shakti Hollograph,and put 1 each behind your Eggleston.

Get Maggielurva over and let him play that Teddy Robbin CD..

Watch his jaw drop.I kid you not

hifikaki said...

Hi kepa,
I am contented with my system within the current environment and system boundaries. But like everyone else I aspire to achieve more always :-)

Hi yaya,
interesting question, I never heard them with tube amp so I can't say. I am curious too. The local dealer does not carry tube amp so I never had the opportunity. May be maggielurva can find me a tube amp for review in the future ;-)

Hi banaikyap,
Nelson and me went back a few years. A very nice chap.

Hi Ramon,
Wow, Hanson, don't think we have them here, I just see them in mags. I think the Prince is in the range of Eggleston AndraII or Savoy!

hifikaki said...

Hi zimmermann,

ah, tweaks...interesting and vast topic to learn up on...

Anonymous said...

hifikaki,
Maybe you need to start reviewing some tweaks and then your system will open up. Seriously....

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi everyone,

i promise to you that there will be some significant changes to hifi kaki's system in the next 6 months. because he has me as a bad influence ;-)

P Walsh said...

I actually agree with Zimmermann's recommendations,especially with regards to the speakers feet.

Spikes only decoupled the speakers'cabinet from the contact,it doesn't do much to control the main speaker killer;resonance and vibrations.

The German designed and engineered Finite Elemente Cerabase are amongst the finest resonance controll devise ever made.It is my personel believe as an aeronautical engineer and audiophile that no speakers should be without them.

You could get an improvement of 30 % in even the best designed speakers{Mine is Wilson's Watt?PUPPY 7]....YOur Eggleston could certainly benefit tremendously..

I do not know Whether it is available in Malaysia,but some of my friends in HK said they got theirs there...In US it is ubiquitous

ramon said...

Agreed with above,

I do not consider changing the spike to Finite Elemente as tweaks,I consider it a necessity.

I do not think many audiophiles use the given Power chords with our electronics,we use the Audiophile PC,Right?

The loudspeakers are always the most expensive items in the system yet very people change the stock feet to audiophiles one.

Certainly ,an MDF based cabinet will benefit tremendously with a resonant controlled feet...you haven't heard your speakers at their best till you do so.ignore at your peril.......

hifikaki said...

Thanks for all your feedback.
If I could get my hands on the Finite Elemente Cerabase, I'd definitely check them out. Anyone wants to sponsor s review sample for AVXpress? ;-)

Jacques said...

Give alto Extremo a try ,Hifikaki...Harmonix also makes good ones but they are at least 2 steps behind the German.If you do go for Finite Elemente make sure it is the CERABASE,because your speakers look really heavy...

DO you have them in Malaysia though?If not I think Malaysians audiophiles are missing out BIG time!!!

Tsang said...

Acoustic system,Harmonix,Ginko are ok for the entry level light speakers..For Hi -end,and ultra hi-end the German Marques will give you superb improvements.The Alto-Extremo range are as good as Finite Elemente IMO{I use both}

hafiz said...

I brought back a pair of boxes ,of Alto Extremo from my recent trip overseas[after reading about it here]to be used
The results were simply unbelievable.It is like having a dedicated line,change of PC,change of IC and Sp Cables COMBINED !!!Unbeliveable.

The local dealers that is bringing the product will make a lot of Dough.Of that i am sure....

tim said...

the cerabase has an edge over the alto for heavy speakers

landau said...

There are only 2 things in ultra hi-end speakers that I can't do without;

1.Bybee Golden Goddess Speaker bullets.

2.Finite Elemente Cerabase to replace the speaker spikes.

No matter How good the designer of the speaker's claim their products are,the addition of the above 2 alwaysimprove the performance.Significantly.Even on my Magico's Mini

GCK said...

Interesting stuff looking at this Alto Extremo footers. However, I think it is not so practical putting on the speakers as it would be quite a task doing speaker placement/positioning. It is better on equipment. But on the other hand, the Finite Elemente Cerabase would be easier as it has threaded post to the speaker.
I am using Soundcare Superspikes from Norway for my speakers spikes and it is a great improvement on my system. Anyone has any experience to share about Soundcare?
FYI, in Klang Valley, Finite Elemente is brought in by Audio Image in SS2 PJ.

Anonymous said...

I'm using Soundcare Superspikes M8 (normal version) with Focal 1027Be.
It definitely improve the bass (less boomy and tighter) compared when using the stock rubber feet.
Previously used the M6 (high-end version) with B&W 703 but the difference is not so much against the supplied rubber feet.
Maybe because the B&W is front-ported whereas the Focal is bottom-ported???

tim said...

I have given up on Spikes after vfinding out the benefits of resonance Speaker control.I was using Souncare Superspikes and audiotioned the Cerabase just for fun,and the improvements were just so staggering.

It works for all kind of speakers from Your usual MDF based design,to Planar.In fact the Higher end speakers tend to produce more awe inspiring results.

Anonymous said...

gck,

Where can I get Soundcare Superspikes in Klang Valley

gray said...

Based on sound engineering principles the Resonatant-Isolation devise ala the Cerabase would be more effective than Spikes,because spikes only decouple the speakers from the surface [no matter how good they are] whereas most of the bad energy comes from cabinate ,drivers,wire and coil induced inductance andresonance.

hafiz said...

Not difficult at all gck.

You need to position your sp before finally putting the feet.
Fine tuning is way easier than spikes because the feet glides easily.

Giveit a try,you will not use spikes again.

Ramzi said...

I own the Original Andra 1,and bought it after an extensive audiotions.

Initially i was quite scared and 5 yrs down the line I still haven't got the urge to change it.

For those of you who hasn't heard an Eggleston speakers,you might not know what tonally correct means...a true speakers for musiclover ,Eggleston

Benjy said...

The Eggleston you have is certainly one of the best loudspeakers in its class.Partnered with such sweet sounding amp like PASS LABs I do not think you need to change anything in the next DECADE!!!Unless there is a massive revolution in hi-fi somewhere.

sha said...

wow,what a speaker !!!and being driven by the pass labs monoblock!!!

you must be getting aural orgasm everyday.

How could you work though,having to leave such beuties behind?

catalona said...

Such lovely speakers certainly deserve the best feet around,and it is hard to fault the FE Cerabase.The Bybee speaker bullets are also something that this lovely speaker deserve.

I would not consider either of the above as tweaks.It is an essential part of any speakers that cost USD 5K an above.

neal said...

Yup the Bybee is as good as they say it would be.

Most of the dealers in US would gladly let you do a home demo,because very few custumors return them back.

If you do not plan to buy or are short of fund ,do not try them though...you might end up selling your car and taking the bus to work[with your smile on your face] and your wife might threatened to leave you..

basler said...

love those Dynaaudio tweeters

It makes vocal sounds so lush.

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

guys,

do you think the cerabase or alto extremo will work on planars? anyone tried that before on maggie 3.6R? i can't imagine how they can work since my 3.6 sit on a inverted T-brace pedestal.

kim tan said...

Maggie,

I haven't heard cerabase on 3.6R, but I have heard my friend"s MG 20.1 on the Cerabase[In New Zealand}My friend was raving about the improvement he ended up putting the cera everywhere including using them as cables elevator.

I remember listening nonstop for almost 5 hours{our wives went out shopping]and I must say that it was the best system I have ever heard in my life...If I remember correctly ,he didn't screw in the cerabase ,to the speaker but I can ask him the next time I talk to him.

Anyway the folks in Finite Elemente [yup I put them under my thiel after coming back] are quite nice.Drop them an e-mail and they might give you the best solution[which was what my buddy did]

2V1G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi kim,

please, please, please!

ask him! if possible, send some photos. as i have said, i can't imagine how the cerabase can be applied to the T-pedestal.

thanks!

p/s btw, not surprising that maggie-based systems are best-systems ;-)