Sometimes you can tell a lot about a company by how well they are packaged
Upon receiving Egglestonworks all new Kiva floorstanding speakers, the House Of Stereo staff were all impressed with the substantial wood shipping crates. The icing on the cake however, resided within. Subsequent removal of the top revealed a sculpted beauty in “Porsche Blue” paint. The cabinets were affixed to a “rolling sled” with a ramp to execute an amazingly elegant removal of the speaker. Nicely done Eggleston!
The Kivas weigh in @ 130 lbs. and are 48” high, 22” deep, and 10.5” wide without stands. The enclosures are extremely inert due to multiple layers of MDF and HDF with aluminum plates and baffle bracing. The Kiva is a three way, five driver system with a medium efficiency rating of 88 dB. Frequency response is a very wide 29 hz. -24khz. The tweeter is a fabric soft dome from SEAS. The two 6 ½” midrange drivers are loaded into a quasi transmission line to strongly reduce reflected energy, while also adding a slight degree of rear firing “ambient” information. The two 7 ½” woofers, like the midrange drivers, are sourced from BA Acoustics Satoris series. The Kivas are built at the Egglestonworks facility in Memphis, Tn.
From the opening notes of Richard Thompson’s latest LP, “13 Rivers”, I knew the Kivas were something special. The tribal drums and cleverly delivered vocal and guitar were powerful and immediately drew me in. They are one of the most “listenable” speakers I have auditioned in recent memory. For a somewhat sizeable structure, the Kivas provided a very convincing “disappearing act”, while getting out of the way and allowing a very natural presentation. While very dynamic and capable at high levels, the startling aspect of how terrific they sounded at mere conversation levels is worth noting. They lean a tad to the warm side tonally, but with a very uncolored, natural demeanor. They are eminently pleasing and offer the proverbial “I can’t wait to listen to what’s next” from your music collection.
Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady’s Hot Tuna excursion “Hesitation Blues” was swinging sweetly. Casady’s percussive “woody” attack matching Jorma’s intricate finger style guitar note for note without any blurring or transient smear. As the audience clapped during the slowed tempo change, a vivid acoustic as characterized by a true live performance clearly emerged. Turning now to the beautiful cello work of Maria Kleigel, on the Telefunken LP Virtuose Kammermusik, her vigorously and beautifully bowed cello was appropriately rich, resonant, and satisfyingly real. Another very impressive performance on the Kivas was the David Grisman Quintet ’80 LP. On the track, Mugavero, the very tip end of the pick was shockingly clear and resolute on Dave’s mando. The natural “plunky” wooden quality was there in spades.
Summing up, regardless of the music’s size and scope, the Eggleston Kivas were more than up to the task. In many important ways they are comparable to speakers costing 2-3 times their $15,000. pair price. Every music enthusiast should make it a point to experience these beauties!
- Bill Gibson