The speakers arrived in a Lirpa Labs Chevy Express 8100 van. The rumble of the 8.1-liter V8 set off my car alarm. Lirpa delivery guys Clint and Nathan helped me unbox the large and exceedingly heavy speaker boxes. Many speakers come wrapped in velvet bags to prevent scuffing and give an air of luxury. Dr. Lirpa felt that velvet, given its origins in Asia, was too foreign. Instead, each Liberty Freedom 1776 A-FY is wrapped in a full-grain patent leather satchel. Each speaker covering, I was told, requires an entire cow and is used only once then discarded. I’m no authority on leather, but that sounds impressive, and it certainly looks and feels like it came from a high-end cow.
Most speakers are built from medium-density fiberboard. The Liberty Freedoms instead are crafted from nonrenewable, Iowa-sourced oak. No paint is used on the exterior. Instead, a special black, bitumen-based sealant is shipped down from northern Alaska.
The Liberty Freedom features 12 tweeters, spaced just far enough apart to minimize the chance of their functioning together as a line array. (Line arrays sound too “socialist,” according to Dr. Lirpa.) The woofer makes 13 total drivers, one for each of the original 13 colonies. The speaker magnets and all internal wiring are made from steel in deference to the languishing U.S. steel industry.
On the back are three toggles, mimicking a design found in the Ford GT40. Each gives a 12-dB boost to certain frequencies. The left-most toggle boosts frequencies in a narrow Q around 200 Hz. The middle toggle boosts in a slightly wider Q around 3 kHz. The right-most toggle boosts all frequencies above 17.76 kHz. If you activate all three, they increase total output by 20 dB. Sadly, these switches are not labeled, a significant oversight in my book. The manual isn’t much help. The cover informs the owner that in deference to the greatest President, George W. Bush, the manual contains no words, only pictures. Knowing that ports means “bass,” Dr. Lirpa designed the Liberty Freedom with four chrome ports, two on each side, designed to evoke thoughts of a 1957 Buick Roadmaster. The flame decals on the front add 3 dB each.
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