If you are looking for Hi Fi bragging rights, Bowers & Wilkins, a British H iFi company, has rolled out the ultimate in Hi Fi speakers that will not only cost you an arm and a leg but will result in one having to call in security guards next time you have a party.
There is one thing that Hi Fi manufacturers have never been able to do and that is is grab market share among the masses. Brands like B&W, Denon, Harmon Kardon are still niche players when one looks at what the likes of Samsung, Sharp and Sony have done with TVs and other CE devices.
So with Hi Fi relegated to niche markets Bowers & Wilkins have decided to go to extremes by rolling out new limited edition speakers with diamonds and marble at the heart of a new, limited-edition Hi-Fi speaker range. They have also called in leading designer Kenneth Grange, to add his touch.
Each pair takes the equivalent of jaw-dropping 6 months of man-hours to make. The Signature Diamond is finished in either white or a Japanese-inspired Wakame (isn’t that seaweed?) veneer while on top of the enclosure, the tweeter pod is carved from Italian Grigio Carmica or Belgian Black marble – a material not only beautiful but perfectly suited to the acoustic demands of its role.
According to B&W, this is the first time marble has been used in this way in a speaker and means that, due to natural differences in the marble, no two speakers will ever be exactly the same (although we say you would want a bit of individuality for what they cost).
Now, here comes the science – the Signature Diamond uses the latest innovations in sound reproduction materials from Bowers & Wilkins. It has a pure Diamond Dome Nautilus tube-loaded 25mm tweeter in the decoupled top-mounted marble pod; a new Kevlar cone 180mm bass/midrange driver featuring an innovative new noiseless phase-plug; an ear-tuned first-order crossover network made possible by the extraordinary wide linear bandwidth of the drivers; and a Flowport equipped downward-firing reflex port. The Diamond Dome Nautilus tweeter uses diamond crystals to strengthen the tweeter dome to produce a cleaner, purer sound.
The limited-edition of 1000 individually-numbered Signature Diamond speaker sets will be available through Bowers & Wilkins stockists worldwide from July, retailing at a mere $28,000.