You Say Aluminium, I Say Aluminum

Audiophiles know the name YG Acoustics, even if they can't afford its flagship Anat Reference II Professional ($107,000/pair, reviewed in Stereophile) or the more moderate Kipod Studio ($38,000/pair). Both models are encased in CNC-machined aircraft-aluminum enclosures and consist of a main compact-speaker module and a powered subwoofer—plus an additional passive sub for the Anat—that can be purchased separately, allowing users to build their systems as budget permits. But even if you start with only the main module of the Anat ($33,000/pair) or Kipod ($17,000/pair), that's still some serious coin, and it doesn't get you all that deep into the sonic basement without the accompanying subs.

At CES next week, YG Acoustics will take the wraps off its newest model, glimpsed here for the first time anywhere. The Carmel brings precision-machined, aluminum-clad speakers to a whole new price point—$18,000/pair for nearly full-range floorstanders. Its 2-way design employs a 7-inch pulp-cone woofer and the same 1-inch ring-radiator tweeter found in the Kipod along with the company's proprietary Dual Coherence crossover technology to achieve a frequency response from 35Hz to 40kHz. This seems to represent a new benchmark in value among ultra-high-end speakers, so I plan to check it out when I visit the Venetian.