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Oct222008

Pico Executive: Testimonials

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"The rest of my family likes their compact and innovative design. My teenage daughters think they look 'cool' and my wife thinks they look great..."

"I am really enjoying the music the Pico Executive speakers produce more than I could have imagined. Right out of the box the Pico Executives sounded 'perfect.' This initial impression was based on my auditioning experience over two years of about 35 well-known brand speakers, most of which showed their weaknesses immediately. Here are some specific thoughts about the Executives based on longer-term listening of all styles of music from rock to classical, vocals to electronica.

"Sound stage -- The speakers disappear like no other speakers that I have heard. Sound presentation is able to extend beyond the physical boundaries of the speakers and the room. The sound stage just feels right; it is appropriately wide, high and deep. In live recordings, instruments are in their proper place; none calls attention to itself as being too forward or back. In studio recordings, cymbals do not jump out in front the speakers, they are next to the drums just as they are supposed to be. Vocals are front and center, not hiding in the back.

"Musicality/Voicing/Clarity -- The tweeter, mid and bass drivers are very well matched with consistent sound characteristics from high to low frequencies. The drivers are able to resolve the smallest details of the music while still getting you to feel the rhythm of the music. The highs are pure and clear. No hint of harshness or etch. Vocals are full and not colored. Sound stays consistent whether you sit in front of the speakers, stand off to the side, or listen from the next room. Off-axis listening is almost as pleasurable as sitting in the 'sweet spot.' The rest of family likes listening to these speakers, and keeps commenting on how 'clear' they sound.

"Bass -- The speakers go deeper and louder than you would except from such a small package. There is lots of bunch and no bloat.

"Dynamics -- These speakers can 'crank.' Because I share my house with rest of the family, I appreciate their great ability to convey the dynamic range of performances at moderate to low listening levels.

"Build-quality and design -- The build is very sturdy and clean. Step-up instructions are easy to follow. I like the adjustable spikes that help proper anchoring into the carpet. The rest of my family likes their compact and innovative design. My teenage daughters think they look 'cool' and my wife thinks they look great in our contemporary home.

"Overall Experience: Small in stature, big in performance. These speakers give you back all the emotion and nuances that the artists put into their recordings. After two years of searching, my journey has ended. I am listening to music again. Thank you for producing such a great speaker.

"Associated Equipment: Almarro A318B integrated SET amp, Marigo Audio modified Panasonic S-55 DVD player with Marigo Audio isolation system and cryogenic treated custom silver power cable, Marigo Audio Analog 1 Signature interconnects, Marigo Audio Speaker 1 Signature speaker cables, Marigo Signature 3-D Stabilizer Mat, Adona AV45-G audio rack with Marigo Audio Tuning Dots, Ganymede Vibration Control System."

--R.B., Washington, USA


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"...good imaging is gloriously addictive. And your speakers have drugged me."

"Roy, I am astonished by these speakers. I have the misfortune of being an almost-always discontented perfectionist. I suffered audiophile burnout several years ago because of the failure of whatever megabucks equipment was moving through my system to satisfy my desire to approximate live music. I am a classical guitarist who takes great pleasure from listening to music -- with corresponding disappointment from unfulfilled expectations.

"I have owned speakers costing tens of thousands of dollars, including offerings from B&W, Wilson, and Avalon. They were the best I could identify at the time. Starting over now, I decided to buy your little Pico Executives -- against my instincts to go bigger and more expensive -- because of what I read about them, but more particularly what you wrote about your design notions and techniques, especially regarding time alignment and crossover simplicity. Your ideas made sense to me.

"These are the most real sounding speakers I've heard, bar none. I usually find hyperbole embarrassing, but that's my sincere reaction. You have produced something extraordinary. I'll write you a detailed account of my impressions when I've heard more and have more time, but for now let me mention four big surprises.

"The first is string sound. I had never heard it done right. Never. And it used to make me crazy. Real violins don't screech and they aren't metallic, they just resonate like lacquered wood -- at every frequency. Your speakers produce violins that remain wooden even at their higher reaches. This is a first for me.

"The second surprise is your speakers' percussive sound. It starts and stops when it's supposed to, without smearing. So it has the startling quality of live sticks and fingers on whatever they might be hitting or strumming and the "blat" that happens when air is forced through brass. That's a satisfying part of the musical experience. Its absence is one of the dead giveaways of -- and what's boring about -- reproduced sound. Your speakers produce those little explosions better than I've ever heard.

"The third thing involves timbre. I'm not educated enough to know what it is about a reproducer that preserves the essence of an instrument's sound, but I know what acoustic instruments sound like live. Preserving accurate timbre is something I have experienced in the best speaker systems before, and to hear it is to love it. Your Pico Executives are among the very best I've heard in this regard.

"Fourth is the incredible sound stage. We audiophiles love great imaging because it dis-congeals the sound and spotlights counterpoint and individual contribution within an ensemble; it also makes the sound more "present." Whatever, good imaging is gloriously addictive. And your speakers have drugged me.

The sound stage is plenty big, and the image specificity is the absolute best, with a technicolor rendering. I have never heard such palpably layered depth. People who listened to my systems in the past often commented on their great imaging. They didn't hold a candle to what I'm hearing now. The images are so real and "right there," it's just spooky.

"These speakers are great. By any measure. I count myself lucky. You should be very, very proud."

--M.M., Texas, USA

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"She loves the sound of the Pico's and the look of the Calypso's -- as do I."

"We are really enjoying the Pico Executives in our living room and frankly I would be shot by my wife if I didn't consider the Calypso's as an option [for the downstairs room]. She loves the sound of the Pico's and the look of the Calypso's -- as do I. We've already had many enjoyable evenings listening to our Pico's, either talking as a couple or doing things as a family -- not to mention more focused, higher volume listening when there is no one else around. They are a great sounding speaker that totally fit what I wanted for this part of our home. Thank you."

--G.C., Alberta, Canada


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