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Carboton Speakers

Carbon fiber seems to be the cabinet material of choice for many speaker makers these days, including Austrian Carboton, whose designs are described as "a sensual experience for your eyes, too."

Carboton's cabinets are made from a composite of carbon fiber and fiberglass-reinforced plastic, which exhibits the right balance of stiffness and damping behavior. Using a monocoque construction technique similar to that of race-car bodies and a curvilinear design, this is said to avoid distortions by preventing external reflections and internal standing waves.

The Maitresse is Carboton's flagship with an 8-inch sandwich-composite woofer, 6.5-inch ceramic midrange, and 1-inch ceramic tweeter in a slender, ported enclosure. The 3-way design achieves a frequency response from 30Hz to 25kHz with a sensitivity of 87dB/W/m.

Similar in appearance, the 2-way Juliet omits the 8-inch woofer, pairing a 6.5-inch aluminum mid/woofer with the same 1-inch ceramic tweeter for a frequency response from 35Hz to 25kHz with a sensitivity of 84dB/W/m.

Neither speaker can reach all way to the bottom of the human hearing range, so Carboton offers the Romeo subwoofer with a 12-inch cellulose-membrane driver in a ported cabinet. Powered by a 400W internal amp, its frequency response reaches from 15 to 155Hz.

Of course, the Carboton speakers carry a hefty price tag—$30,850/pair for the Maitresse, $13,160/pair for the Juliet, and $8250 for the Romeo. Actually, I'm surprised that the Maitresse is so much more than the Juliet for only 5Hz lower bass extension and 3dB more sensitivity. Combining a Romeo with a pair of Juliets would be much less expensive than a pair of Maitresses, and the result would likely be a match made in heaven—which is probably what the company had in mind when it named them.

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