Tag Archives: Wilson Audio

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Paul is correct  about this and I wonder how many they have actually sold at $5,000,000? I’ll bet at least a few…Wow…

The $5,000,000 loudspeaker

One of our readers posted a link to a new speaker from Japan that has an astronomical price tag. Coincidently, an Ask Paul viewer wrote to me on the same day asking what I thought about a speaker costing $5,000,000. How could I resist?

If you’d like to see my reaction and pictures of this expensive piece, go here and watch the video I put together.

To be honest, I shook my head when Wilson Audio announced their $650,000 loudspeaker. But, at least with the Wilson, you’re assured of getting a high-end audio product. Even if it is crazy expensive. So, what of this $5M speaker?

From the Rivers Tone website, I learned the speaker system is actually designed for use on a desktop. It’s a three-piece affair. Left and right speakers with an integrated amplifier to power them. The speakers are a 6″ cube of solid gold, featuring a 3″ carbon fiber woofer, a 1″ silk dome tweeter, and a diamond-crusted grille. The integrated is also in a solid gold housing and features 4 class D amplifiers—one for each driver—and another diamond to mark the volume knob setting.

Bluetooth comes standard.

From my perspective, this is not high-end audio despite the marketing materials. It’s an embarrassment, using such marketing BS as, “Solid gold bodies achieve the lowest “longitudinal elastic modulus/density” resulting in incredible clarity and a transparently pure audio signal”.


Had they marketed this as one might a Rolex or other luxury good—expensive just because—then I’d have little to say other than a yawn and an eye roll.

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

I’m pretty good at set up, but the guys that Paul mention in this post are really really good!

Setup vs. equipment

Equipment in skilled hands performs differently than it does for a first time user. One of the best examples of this can be found in a video on YouTube. NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon plays the role of an inexperienced bumpkin taking a fast car for a test drive. Watching the video you have to feel sorry for the salesman taken by surprise, but at the same time, impressed with Gordon’s driving skills.

Without Gordon’s level of skill, it’s just a fast car. With it, the experience is transformed.

The same can be said for our stereo systems. Even the very best equipment can be transformed by skilled setup hands.

I am pretty good at setup, though there are plenty better than I. Jim Smith of Get Better Sound, Peter McGrath of Wilson Audio, and John Hunter of REL Acoustics come to mind.

The problem with sharing our skills is scarcity and distance. While any one of us might help you get better sound, there are far more of you than us and you likely don’t live close by. Which is why one of my long-term goals has been to put together a step-by-step setup package that is based around specific recorded materials and instructions of what to do with them and what to expect when they’re right.

Not to say I’ve actually made such a package. Just to suggest it’s an idea rattling around in my head and one day I’ll do it.

Unless someone else comes along first.