E.A.R. USA and Sound Advice
All prices in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

Dan Meinwald's E.A.R. USA/Sound Advice hosted an internationally flavored system equipped with the Marten Design loudspeakers and Jorma Design’s cables, both of which come from Sweden, along with E.A.R. electronics from England.

The Marten Bird ($30,000 per pair) loudspeakers, from the company’s Heritage series, were as beautiful to behold in their high-gloss finish as they were to listen to. The three-way Bird features a custom 26mm diamond tweeter and unique ceramic midrange and bass drivers from Germany’s Accuton, all rolled up in a 104-pound cabinet. New SoundStage! Network writer Peter Roth, who attended RMAF for two days, found the system captivating with the music he listened to, describing them as exceptionally smooth yet still highly detailed. Doug Schneider, who also liked this system, was impressed with how clean they sounded, living up to their namesake with airy highs and soaring vocal reproduction.

The Birds were driven with aplomb by E.A.R. electronics, which are designed by Tim de Paravicini. Shown above is the striking-looking E.A.R. 912 that's $11,000. Look out for a review of the smaller E.A.R. preamp, the 868, by Garrett Hongo on Ultra Audio. According to Dan Meinwald, although the features differ, they sound pretty much the same The source component (not shown) was the E.A.R. Acute CD player, priced at $5500.

The stereo power amplifier driving the Birds was the equally distinct-looking E.A.R. 890 that's $7300. Paravicini is well known for his professional equipment designs, long used in recording studios around the world. His high-end lineup has a look that is both classic and unique, and has more than a passing resemblance to his pro gear. A review of the 890 is underway now and will be published on Ultra Audio.