With regard to Iverson's Force Field, I am happy to give my two cents as I am guessing Marty will as well.....
I hope that Marty and Steve offer their perspectives on this very strange night.
Wow, you are asking me to provide details of something I heard 4 decades ago. To be honest, if it weren't for the fact that it was a singularly unique event in my life, I probably would not comment. But in fact, it was extraordinary for a number of reasons. To begin, the sound that Iverson managed to reproduce was extraordinary and in some ways, the best I ever heard. it was holographic in a true sense, however several limitations were obvious. First, it was not full range to the extent that we have come to know modern systems with subterranean bass. Bass extension was limited to approximately 30 Hz. Second, it could not play at very loud SPL;it probably went to 85-90 dB tops, but certainly not capable of realistic orchestral levels w >100bD peaks. Fourth, it was impractical to operate. It had a power supply the size of a small refrigerator and Iverson told us that the operating costs were in excess of $1000/mo (with part time use). But the sound? OMG. Extraordinary by any standard then or now. To this day, I've not heard anything replicate its authenticity.
Now for some quirky and weird factoids.
Iverson said the speaker system was basically one that operated as a hetrodyne microwave transmission line that operated around an carrier frequency of 450 Megahertz. He felt that the microwave radiation that was subsequently processed to the audible frequencies were able to be perceived by the auditory system not only by the ear mechanism (through the ear canal to the inner ear to the cochlea) but also directly by the 8th cranial nerve (auditory nerve) directly. For this reason, he fully believed the speaker system would never be approved for consumer use by the FDA as he said it had the capability of increasing the core temperature of the brain and would be considered dangerous to consumers. Based on the noticeable after effects we all had the next day with cognition and general behavior, I would not dispute these claims. I've heard a lot of great hi-fi rigs played at loud volumes. None of them left me loopy the next day. I have no idea what the hell Iverson did or how he did it, but it was not ordinary by any means. John also told us that when his cat sat in the listening position for an extended period of time, he became essentially comatose. Hmmm....
Two other claims were made by Iverson that were even more preposterous. He insisted that one could use such a loudspeaker as a weapon system to knock out missiles from the sky In fact he said his intent was to get the government to agree to let him build 5 of these units on a bigger scale to place around the Pentagon as a defensive weapon system. Keep in mind that the ElectroResearch 75 amp that John manufactured was first commissioned by the Navy for use on our nuclear submarines, so who am I to argue about wacko claims about the system being able to knock out missiles from the sky?
Think we're done? Not yet. Iverson absolutely insisted that with a slight modification (he didn't specify), the speaker could be used to transport objects through time. He swore that he witnessed that small bugs and flies flew into the speaker (sort of configured like an electrostat with plate like panels) and never came out again. He was convinced they left our temporal dimension and were transported to another time (but did not specify if it was backwards or forwards.) Seriously folks, you can't make up stories this good. The guy was totally bananas and brilliant, but at the same time, was either most likely in need of major medication, or was taking major medication! Possibly both. But again, there was no denying that what we heard was memorable to this day.
And finally, my favorite part. Most of us keep our records cleanly stored and carefully wrapped in "audiophile" anti-static record sleeves. Not Iverson. His records were strewn about on the floor, mostly without jackets or covers of any kind. It was like, "wait 'til you here this" and then he would pick up "Chet Atkins in Hollywood" from a naked pile of loose records lying on the floor, blow it off with his mouth, wipe it on his shirt sleeve and then plop it down on the turntable. If you would have told me that was I was about to hear was Chet Atkins play as if he were in the room, I would have never in a million years believed you. But it was true. No idea why or how. All I know is what I heard. And I think it is fair to say that even back then I was a critical listener. it was absolutely mesmerizing, that's for sure.
I remember the night ending about 3 am as we headed to an all night diner because John was hungry. We were beyond exhausted and he behaved as though he had just consumed about 10 cups of coffee (with no evidence of cocaine use or other drugs to the best of my knowledge). The guy was just non-stop. I remember we drove back to LA in silence, trying to wrap our arms around what had just happened. Bottom line, I'm still trying to figure out what happened, even today!
Wow, after your 4 decade disclaimer, pretty good, if not extraordinary recollections, which I now remember with your assistance. The only addition I could make is that when John offered me speed, I said no, but he indulged to the tune of about 6 pills!
Toss up between the Wilson Audio Alexandria XLF at RMAF and Rockport Arrakis. Vandersteen 7s come awful close. But most musical and most cohesive mids / highs - TAD Evolution 1s. I would guess the TAD ref 1 or CR1 bring it all together..
Before december 2012 it was Acoustat DIY Spectra 6600s
View attachment 7221
After december 2012 now it's Acoustat DIY Spectra 8800s
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Both rebuilt by Jocelyn Jeanson Quebec Canada, dollar for dollar i have yet to hear better ( for me of course )
This one is the baby of the family the Acoustat 1+1 - - - 14x94x3 weight 200 pounds All steel 2x3 frame. View attachment 10511
Big fan of XLFs whose cohesive presentation made me think, in comparison with my older X, of just a more solidly built, more strictly designed speaker. Really 7 generations of improvements. As for the Arrakis for a 2-tower speaker, I honestly do not think i have heard its equal. Yes, different rooms, different systems...but in all the years i have been listening to Wilson Xs in different rooms and different systems, i have never heard the sense of scale combined with such ease, macro/micro dynamic nuance. I remember first hearing the big Genesis 1s and thinking 'makes a Wilson X feel like a Sasha'...and on the Arrakis, it was 'makes a Wilson X feel like an Alexia'.
That is far from scientific, but there are very specific tracks i played where elements of that track have not reproduce-able on the other big rigs (Focal Grande EM, X/Alexandria/XLF, etc) which i have tried.
As for TAD Ref Ones, i still think of how well Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations came through that system (Pioneer Plaza in Japan which was TAD's showroom with an all-TAD system). It did not have the scale of the bigger XLF or Arrakis (which matters to me), but yes, I agree a remarkably great speaker.
Never had the chance to hear the new Vandersteens.
Very good point, X2 on the Arrakis. That sense of scale and effortlessness I've heard with very few systems, maybe the Scaenas at RMAF. But I believe it has a lot to do with the room size too.
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