Joseph Audio’s statement speaker, the Pearl has been a stand out success for this company–now in its 17th year. At $28,500/pr however it wasn’t for every budget. So Jeff Joseph took his venerable compact winner, the RM7 and filled it to the brim with Pearl technology. The result is the Pulsar (pictured with Jeff Joseph). It takes the tweeter of the Pearl, a scaled-down version of its long-throw magnesium woofer, the double side panels for added stiffness and Joseph’s asymmetric infinite slope crossover and finishes the entire package with a deep poly lacquer finish. The sonics were tonally well-balanced, smooth, dynamic, and within limits yielded surprisingly deep bass. The Pulsar will easily be one of the compacts to beat in 2009. Due out in the 2nd quarter. The target price is an estimated $7000/pr.
The RBH 8300-SE/R ($8450/pr) should be a floorstander to reckon with in the coming year. It’s a hefty (118lbs) six-driver , three-way reflex design that boasts powerful cinema-style punch and extension with some bona fide audiophile finesse and delicacy. Available as the 8300-SE ($7999/pr) with a standard Vifa tweeter or as the upgraded “R” version (pictured with RBH's Daren Egan) which adds a higher end Scanspeak tweeter and more exotic phase-plug mid-bass transducers the speaker featured rich, warm, full range output. Inter-driver coherence was very good and from my seat it impressed with speed and image focus. The tight quarters of the room didn’t allow for much in the way of soundstage depth but this will likely not be the case in a more spacious listening room. Suggested power is 100-400Wpc. Due to ship at the end of the 1st quarter.