Issue 175 / October 2007

hp's Workshop: HP's Editor's Choice Awards

Speaker Systems

The Nola Grand Reference Mk IV.1
$145,000 (standard finish)

Over a six-year period, designer Carl Marchisotto has taken this towering multidriver hybrid design from a romantic speaker of the "big sound" school to, in its latest incarnation, a system capable, with carefully selected affiliated equipment, of a stunningly high level of realism. He has largely solved the discontinuity between its large woofer towers and main speakers, and has freed the top octaves to become capable of the airiness of the real thing. In retrospect, I'd call the References a work of art in progress.