LA Audio Show, #4, Best Speaker Under $20,000

Clayton Shaw’s newest design the Spatial Audio X1 UniWave Speakers were so musical, so open and so emotionally involving that for a few minutes I forgot I was at a show. Admittedly, I was listening a little before the room was open to the public, and that quietness helped me forget that I was at a show. The amplifier driving these speakers was equally remarkable, it was the Vinnie Rossi LIO “super integrated” amplifier set up with four channels to drive the UniWave speakers.

This system that Clayton Shaw and Vinnie Rossi put together was close to the best sound I heard at the show. At the cost of $11,880 for the amp and $14,000 for the Spatial speakers in a Satin Paint in black, white or the beautiful red I saw at the show. These speakers are also available in gloss wood finishes for $17,500 per pair. Yes, I know that’s a lot of money, but with many, if not most of the systems at this show costing over $100,000, the price makes this system a real bargain.

The entire audio spectrum above 300Hz is reproduced by a single precision transducer element; the Unity Wavelaunch 100mm diaphragm. Clayton says it produces a near perfect phase front plus a controlled radiation pattern and low distortion. The dipolar Uniwave system is a time coherent portal into the music signal itself with a sensitivity of 110 db/1W.

The bass is generated by an 18-inch woofer with a 40 lb Lamba Motor assembly featuring an ultra-low inductance.  This dipolar design loaded the room in a way that no other speaker at the show could.

Yes, the bass was very deep and powerful, but it was also extremely tuneful and not the least big or fat even in these show rooms, which  were not kind to speakers with deep bass. There were only a few rooms with speakers that could say this. The sound was also very open and very transparent with great imaging, and yes, the soundstage was huge.

None of that is nearly as important as how musical and emotionally involving as these new speakers are. So, let us present our first ever Beatnik Bongo Award to the Spatial Audio X1 UniWave Speakers as the Best Speakers Under $20,000.