Front Runners August 2015: Cardinal Rules
The curved shape of the 6-foot-tall, 265-pound Wilson Benesch Cardinal loudspeaker (wilson-benesch.com; available in the United States through the Sound Organization, soundorg.com) is designed to maximize the cabinet’s internal volume while minimizing its reflective surfaces. The cabinet, part of the British brand’s Geometry Series, is made of carbon fiber and houses an array of 7-inch drivers: two midrange and two bass drivers in the lower section and an upper-midrange driver in the upper section. It also contains a 1-inch high-dispersion, semispherical tweeter. The driver cones are made from isotactic polypropylene, ultra-rigid yet inherently dampened, allowing them to be more precisely tuned at the factory. The Cardinal speakers are priced at $115,000 per pair and are available in a selection of finishes that includes black and white gloss, various wood veneers, and bare carbon fiber.