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The barrier of entry. Getting high-performance loudspeakers into the living room isn't merely a function of funds, elbow grease and space.

The primary hurdle could be looks. Wherever living rooms double as sound rooms, objects allowed into this sanctuary for any length of time must blend and integrate. They need to be beautiful.

With beauty in the eye of the beholder, the best solution of course is a custom finish on a physically compact shapely box that shows the bare minimum of hardware.

Eryk S of the eponymous Polish company has that very idea with his newest model Fresh. Its enclosure is narrow, leans and curves back to present no visual obstructions to the eye. The only visible hardware are a narrow ribbon and tiny widebander made from Japanese paper.

The three Carbon fiber woofers with double magnets are fully concealed from view as is built-in 200-watt amplification. But now the Fresh goes beyond custom finish to custom art.

By turning the gloss-white surface into a literal canvas, the creation of a true object d'art is limited only by your imagination and the ability of a painter to execute it.

As a concept this approach could be adopted by any number of speaker makers and there have been various precedents already. The Eryk S Concept Fresh is thus merely a reminder and example. This stuff matters! Most particularly for loudspeakers which due to their size and need for free placement become visual focal points, appearance must become part of the performance package to a greater extent than is presently practiced. Car makers wouldn't dream of separating the two. A sleek Corvette is as much visual design statement as it is street-legal race car. But it still ain't parked in the living room facing you on a daily basis. Kudos to Eryk Smólski for reminding us that hifi ought to embrace these obvious demands and get more creative about meeting them.

Eryk S Concept website