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2019 Golden Ear Awards: Jim Hannon

Zellaton Stage Loudspeaker
$89,975
The Zellaton Stage loudspeaker replaces the Quad ESL-57 as my Golden Ear Award selection. Like the original Quad, the Stage has a pellucid midrange, with world-class purity, clarity, fine detail retrieval, and transparency. However, the Stage extends the magic throughout its entire frequency range and offers bass extension down to 24Hz. Its three sandwich-cone drivers are remarkably coherent, like a large single-driver electrostat. There’s also far more “meat-on-the-bone” with the Stage than with the Quad, making for a more satisfying and engaging musical experience. This stunning three-way floorstander with an open-back cabinet design features the highest quality parts, such as Duelund Coherent Audio crossover components and internal wiring, as well as handmade proprietary drivers. Each utilizes an ultra-thin aluminum diaphragm on a foam substrate. The Stage is not only beautiful to behold, it reproduces timbres beautifully and naturally. Better still, the Stage does a better job of putting the performers in the listening room than any other speaker I have heard. The results are breathtaking and highly addictive, and move the audio arts closer to the absolute sound.

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