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EgglestonWorks Rosa Loudspeakers Print E-mail
Sunday, 01 October 2000
Image The EgglestonWorks Rosa, some may say, is the little brother to the now famous Andra. It is quite similar in design and execution with the major difference being in the driver complement and crossover points. The Rosa relies on the same excellent Esotar tweeter from Dynaudio and uses 4, 6 inch drivers positioned in a vented vertical array. The footprint is deeper than it is narrow and the front baffle has a natural slope to aid in imaging. The enclosure itself is an exercise on how speaker enclosures should be built with rigidity beyond belief and serious internal bracing. The exterior finish is one of absolute beauty with black lacquer covering the front, trapezoidal top and rear of the enclosure, while beveled, polished slabs of black Italian granite adorns the sides of each speaker. The entire ensemble, weighs the $9,900 a pair Rosa's, in at a hefty 210 pounds each.

The Sound
I spent a great deal of time positioning the Rosa's in my listening room for the best blend of both imaging, image depth and bass response. I used my ears and my trusty tape measure first and ultimately relied on the engineering prowess of my new Sound Alignment Systems Laser Device from Checkpoint Professional, to fine tune the speaker system. What a difference this made as the use of both the laser pointer and the bladder/graph system proved essential in getting the sonic result themselves was looking for from both my Classe' CA-200 and the Rosa's themselves. After the much needed break in time, I noticed the brightness in the higher frequency registers disappear and the bass became both deeper and more articulate. Because of the depth of the cabinets I was forced to place the speakers about 14 inches from my rear wall but, considering the time spent in set up, was still able to achieve the center image and lack of boominess I expect from a loudspeaker system of this caliber.

The Music
Listening to the cut "Kestrel hovers over the hedges..." from the Viklarbo Chamber Ensemble's debut CD Songs and Romances (Raptoria Caam Recordings) I was taken breathless at the sound of the clarinet players transition from low to high notes and from loud to quiet passages. I could clearly hear the artist breathing as well as the careful articulation of each note being played as well as the sound of the keys themselves working. Stunning. The soprano singer's incredible vocal transients were handled effortlessly in the upper registers never producing any loading up of loud transients.

On "Snow on the Sahara" from Anggun's debut CD Snow on the Sahara (Epic) the depth and articulation of the bass line blended effortlessly with her lyrical vocal melodies. Percussive transients were presented with a sincerity that really made me tap my foot while listening to this awesome track.
When I played "La Femme D'Argent" from Air's Moon Safari CD I was moved again by the articulate bass and presentation of the various electronic sounds present in this recording. I explored the speakers low level detail with this track and never once felt like I was missing anything. With extreme volume levels I noticed a slight glaring present with this particular track which may be attributed to the recording being less than spectacular, but it was very listenable nonetheless.

The Downside
The Rosa's fit and finish were of unusually high standards and impressed me in both design and execution. However, on most music I found myself missing low frequency notes usually accustomed with a speaker system of both this caliber and price range. It would be a shame to have to add subwoofers to a speaker system such as this, especially considering their price tag, but some listeners may find this necessary to get the most out of the lower registers available on the best recordings.

At $10,000 per pair the EgglestonWorks Rosa's are not inexpensive and have some very serious competition both at and below their price range. Just as I would recommend with any high end loudspeaker system, you must pay special attention to the front end, amplification and cabling being used. Surely any EgglestonWorks dealer would also be able to provide the expert set up that the speakers deserve. With a neutral sonic signature and accuracy and musicality on their side the Rosa's would certainly be capable of pleasing even the most jaded and spoiled music lover.

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