Second Son

Known primarily for high-end, high-quality electronics, Pass Laboratories has conceived its third speaker model. First came the 4-way Rushmore in 2003, which was followed by the 4-way SR-1 in 2008, so named because it was the first "son of Rushmore." At CES, the company introduced the SR-2, promising superb sonics in a smaller package.

The SR-2 is a 3-way, rear-ported design with Nextel drivers from Seas of Norway—a 10¼:-inch woofer, 7-inch midrange, and 1-inch dome tweeter, all with long-excursion, low-mass diaphragms and underhung voice coils to achieve an impressive frequency response from 30Hz to 22kHz. Also, the cabinet is tapered bottom-to-top and front-to-back, which is said to improve imaging in smaller rooms. Available finishes include cherry ($18,000/pair) as well as madrone burl and black ash ($21,000/pair), any of which should visually compliment the dulcet tones this speaker is designed to produce.