Floor-standing Speakers

Eggleston Works The Nine Floor-standing Speakers

ARTICLE INDEX

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Introduction

Sometimes a disappointing start can lead to a glorious finish. Such has been my experience with Eggleston Works' The Nine, a beautiful loudspeaker that more than deserves the copious amounts of praise it is receiving here and abroad.

I first met the current owner of Eggleston Works, Jim Thompson, in his former guise as company sales rep. Thompson had just flown from Tennessee to Oakland to demo the company's much-lauded Andra II loudspeaker for the Bay Area Audiophile Society in a short-lived, high-end emporium in Oakland's Jack London Square.

Jim was greeted by a full house of eager BAAS members. Together, we discovered a generous helping of food, several gracious hosts, and one of the worst, untreated demo rooms imaginable. With ceilings a good 12 feet high, hard plaster walls, and sonically disastrous dimensions (or so it sounded), the room made mush of the Andra II's entire bass region and part of the midrange. Lower pitches were reduced to a booming, indistinguishable mess. About the only thing that came through relatively unscathed was a single soprano vocal accompanied by piano or harpsichord. No matter what expensive amplification the storeowner used – tubes or solid state –a jazz quartet, symphony, pop combo, or anything with a lot of low frequency information was reduced to incomprehensible rubbish.

Specifications

  • Design: Three-way, Sealed
  • Drivers: One 1" Cloth Dome Tweeter, Two 6" MIdrange, One 8" Woofer
  • MFR: 27 Hz - 24 kHz, - 3 dB
  • Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms
  • Efficiency: 88 dB
  • Dimensions: 44" H x 11" W x 16" D
  • Weight: 125 Pounds/Each
  • MSRP: $13,000/Pair USA
  • Eggleston Works

Afterwards, as I commiserated with Jim, I sensed a fine human being who cares about music. Little did I know that he would end up purchasing the company in mid 2004, and proceed to design The Nine.

Because the sound at the demo flew in the face of everything positive I had read about the Andra II, I was more eager than ever to hear Eggleston Works' speakers in a better set-up. The opportunity seemed to present itself a few years later, at CES 2007. There, amidst the constant over-stimulation of Las Vegas, I happened upon EGGS.WORKS' The Nine, the first Eggleston Works speaker designed entirely by Thompson. (Although Thompson contributed to the design of two other Eggleston Works speakers, the Savoy and Andra II, The Nine is the first speaker he's designed solo. The work was done in conjunction with a partner, rich with recording experience, who helped tweak the sound).

Unfortunately, our encounter was a blast from the past. Jim was exhibiting in one of the heavily trafficked, air-walled conference rooms on the ground floor of The Venetian. With neighbors blaring music all around him, everyone trying to drown out everyone else, and people yapping incessantly over music, it was impossible to hear what the speaker was doing. Nor could I begin to assess the Rogue Electronics that drove it, electronics that have since favorably impressed Secrets reviewer Piero Gabucci.

It became clear that the only way I was going to be able to assess anything by Eggleston Works was in the relative comfort and familiarity of my own home. Hence I asked to review The Nine. Little did I know that the speaker that was soon to give me so much pleasure would receive Product of the Year from Hong Kong's HiFi Review, and grace the covers of both Asia's The New Audiophile and this country's The Absolute Sound.