Alaia Audio Ekahi Loudspeaker, Verito 1 integrated Amplifier

Please join me in giving a hearty shout out to newcomer Alaia Audio, whose exhibit proved that all is not parched in the state of Arizona. Showing their forthcoming Ekahi two-way stand mounted loudspeaker ($8849/pair with stands, due in August), this loudspeaker weighed 54.2lb plus 31.8lb for the stand and claims a frequency range of 42Hz—20kHz.

It also sounded quite fine, with a good soundstage and lovely midrange. Making allowances for the source, an old Oppo BDP 95, and the “nothing special” cabling, the pairing of Alaia’s Ekahi with the LKV Research Verito 1 180 Watt Integrated amplifier ($2700 with MC/MM phono stage) did full justice to Diana Krall’s “S Wonderful.” Piano sounded a mite metallic on high and a bit muddy lower down on my CD of Murray Perahia performing the final movement Handel’s joyous Harpsichord Suite in E, HWV 430, but the spirit of the performance survived Room Node Blues. This speaker has great potential. I’d love to hear it with a better front end and cabling.

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