Bound for Sound
Page 15. Report on the 1999 Winter CES in Las Vegas.
If you can't afford a Ferrari - or a Lexus-priced earth mover, Greg Osborn has an alternative. It's priced like a Toyota, but I suspect it does everything the more expensive speakers do. The Grand Monument is also about five and a half feet tall but weighs only 282 pounds (Reference 374 pounds), so its manly qualities are certainly competitive, but not overdone. It contains the newest and most expensive drivers in the Focal Catalogue, so its technical credentials are certainly in order. The outer cabinet conceals an inner structure of lead and felt, which cannot lay claim to cutting edge technology (or machining costs) but ought to control resonance. I heard it last year and have no reason to change my judgement that the Grand Monument is an island of Fiscal sanity in a comically overpriced industry. I feel a bit feckless speaking of an $18000 speaker as a bargain, but it is. If you want a speaker capable of remarkable dynamic range and more than full frequency response, you should grab the Osborn. The Epitome, a smaller system which may spare your floorboards, ought to bring the same kind of competition to speakers in the $6000 range. www.osbornloudspeakers.com.au