Chesky C-1 Loudspeaker
14 April 2003
twenty years ago, David and Norman Chesky
Records. Simply put, their intention
was to create records that were sonically
superior to anything available at the time.
Their initial efforts resulted in a critically
acclaimed series of re-issues. Soon after,
the company began releasing recordings of
both new and established artists. Their unwavering
dedication to the highest recording standards
earned them many international awards, including
two Grammies. Today, Chesky recordings are
synonymous with high-end sound. Now the brothers
Chesky have turned their attention to loudspeaker
design, and the result is the Chesky C-1 loudspeaker.
The C-1 is the result of
a collaborative effort. To quote the product
literature: "The musicians and engineers
of Chesky Records worked closely with skilled
designers to create and evaluate several new
approaches in accurate and emotionally satisfying
music reproduction." The C-1 is a 2½
way isobaric design utilizing extremely high
quality drivers and the best high-voltage
polypropylene capacitors, precision film and
foil bypass caps in the crossover. This speaker
meets the designer's goal of high quality.
As you know, a speaker is more than the sum
of its parts; how it performs is what counts.
Recently, I had an all-too-brief
opportunity to listen to the C-1s at the Chesky
corporate offices, in Mid-Town Manhattan.
While the listening room was far from ideal,
I was quite impressed with the sound these
rather small floor-standers produced. The
mid-range was clean and open without any hint
of edge or hardness. The treble was extended,
as was the very top. While the bass was quite
full, the combination of the room anomalies
and the 25 watt 47 Labs amplifier that was
providing the power resulted in a somewhat
loose bottom. But the overall sound of the
speakers under these circumstances gave me
a good indication of what the result would
be with more appropriate ancillary equipment.
These speakers will easily
fit into almost any décor. With their
high gloss black finish they are strikingly
handsome. But here's the best part: the C-1s
are available directly from Chesky for only
$3,995. I didn't find this out until after
I heard them. The price came as a surprise,
since I had anticipated that they would cost
at least one-third more. Also, you have thirty
days to audition them before making a decision
on buy them. Try getting that kind of deal
from your average high-end speaker designer.
I know, you've heard this
before: "If you are looking for a speaker
in this price range …" In this
case, I would advise you to audition the C-1s
even if you were looking for a speaker at
twice their price. These speakers are truly
a sonic bargain.