I don’t normally care for tower speakers; you can get more accurate bass reproduction by using satellite speakers and subwoofers. But the Talon Phoenix delivers subwoofer-quality bass in a tower speaker. The active version of the speaker (which runs $95,000/pair) includes a 500-watt-per-channel Class D amp with a PARC three-band equalizer for each channel, made by Talon parent company Rives Audio. Company head Richard Bird drove the top parts of each speaker with 12-watt single-ended tube amps. The combination sounded surprisingly well-blended when he played saxophonist Ben Webster’s version of “Caravan” for me. And best of all, the bass was even and accurate — something you almost never hear from tower speakers.
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