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What Reviewers are Saying


- Article
- Introduction
- Associated Equipment and System Overview
- Listening Sessions and Observations
- Reviewer Conclusions and Sonic Evaluations


Quintessence Stealth Loudspeakers, PBN Audio Amp < Click on for Video

Quintessence Acoustics, PBN room. The latest Stealth speakers dominated this room, and considering how small the room was relative to the speaker size, the overall sound was well balanced and natural with large bass dynamic potential. 


Quintessence was a brand new to me, but it turns out that the company's Shadow V loudspeaker ($35,000/pair) was designed by PBN's Peter Noerbaek. Driven by PBN amplifiers and playing a Nat King Cole track from open-reel tape, this large, elegant 225 lb speaker sounded a little lacking in air at the top, but this may well have been due to the room being larger than optimal for the tweeter's dispersion. The sound was otherwise high quality, with an uncolored midrange and extended lows.


"[Quintessence Acoustics] put on one helluva room demo. Tom Compagna, who was the only person present when I walked in, proudly showed his Quintessence Stealth SV ($50,000) which employs 9 drivers per side (15,12 10, 8, 2 X5", 2 X 1" Titanium Tweeter, 1 X 2" Ribbon Super Tweeter) and boasts a single-ended lovers 94.5 dB of sensitivity. The 15, & 12" are in a separate sub woofer enclosure and use a what Compagna describes as a "Compound Isobaric Alignment." Specs, however dazzling, means nothing if the sound doesn't match. The sound of this room was what I would call my second "Best at Show" surpassed only by the immensely sophisticated VR room (and only on the third day at that). Once you were under the hypnotic spell of the electronics here which included the MSB Super CD player and those huge Atma-Sphere mono amps ($28,000 pair), it was Game Over. I couldn't get out of the room."

Clement Perry
Stereo Times
CES 2004 Report

"Stunning... Astounding... What I am talking about is state-of-the-art replication of reproduced sound... that will make your hair stand on end. My new reference speaker."

Arnis Balgalvis
The Audiophile Voice
Vol. III, No. 4

"Best Sound of Show Nomination: The New Quintessence Shadow.... Yeah, I know none of these is exactly affordable. One can dream, can't one?"

Robert Deutsch

"Most auspicious debut of an expensive loudspeaker: The Stealth from Quintessence Acoustics."

Guy Lemcoe
Vol. 18, No. 8

"Their ... Stealth is another sensitivity champ: 97db... supplemented with a ... sub-woofer... had a big spacious sound."

Robert Deutsch
Vol. 18, No. 8

"Looking rather like sleek modern sculpture... sounded fabulous, too, with a big, bold, vibrant presentation."

Rosen Brownell
Vol. 18, No. 8

"My personal pick for best sound at the show goes to the LAMM Audio, Purist Audio Design, Quintessence Acoustics room. Equipment used in the setup during my two stops to the room included the Quintessence Acoustics Studio speakers...."

Dave Duvall
Hi-Fi 97 Standout Rooms

"Like Dave, I was really knocked out by the LAMM Audio, Purist Audio Design, Quintessence Acoustics room as well. The LAMM gear is pricey, but extremely nice. In conjunction with Purist and Quintessence, the sound was rich, powerful, yet detailed and seductive...."

Hi-Fi 97 Standout Rooms

"Several SoundStagers had [the LAMM Audio/Quintessence system] on their "Best Of" lists, a decision that is hard to fault. The Lamm/Quintessence combination produced a seamless, coherent, remarkably well-balanced sound."

Hi-Fi 97 11th Floor Coverage

I recently was invited by the president of Quintessence Acoustics to hear their Stealth SV Speaker System. This is not a review of the speaker, but simply my impressions upon hearing a most wonderful speaker system. I refer to this as a system as there were two subwoofers along with the Stealth speakers. I have included the link to Quintessence for info and pictures.

Mr. Campagna, President of Quintessence, had two listening studios for the Stealths; one a large home theater room, the second a typical family listening room. Associated equipment included Krell amp, Theta monoblocks, BAT preamp, Clearaudio turntable, Dodson DAC.

I am the owner of a Wilson 7, Levinson 32, 33H system. Simply put, the Stealth delivered a musical experience that my system could not touch.

The sound was natural with no particular emphasis of highs, lows, etc. The dynamic qualities of the Stealth were awesome. The speakers displayed a huge soundstage, deep and wide, with the finest reproduction of ambience I have ever heard. Images were not exaggerated in size as with other larger systems I have auditioned.

Quite simply, music reproduction through the Stealth had such a sense of ease and dynamics, that at times I thought I was hearing a live event. My Wilson 7s have never done this for me.

Quintessence will be at the CES. Definitely do not miss hearing these gorgeous speakers.

I wish I had spare $65K!

Steven Plaskin


for the passion, for the love of music
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