There was a chap sitting next to me on the plane on the way out here from a company named Morel. It didn’t surprise me that he turned out to be a CES 2009 exhibitor of a high end audio product after he pulled out a pair of electrostatic membrane in-ear headphones to plug into his arm rest. What did surprise me was that his product, The Fat Lady, won an award for innovation here at Vegas and, fortunately, I had a few hours for it to be explained to me in detail, and this is how it goes…
There’s two reasons why these loudspeakers are called The Fat Lady. The obvious one is that they’re shaped like the curves of a voluptuous woman. What’s more the drive units were made in house to make sure the output matched and perfectly complimented the cabinet shape and acoustics. The second reason, however, is the more important of the two.
The insides of The Fat Lady, driver withstanding, are completely empty. There are no materials to dampen the sound and stop it from interfering with the output from the drivers which most speakers try to do. The trouble is, that as much as you can reduce the effect, it’s impossible to dampen it out completely.
So, instead, Morel has decided to run with it and allow the cabinet to resonate and sing in tune with the rest of the sound. It’s shaped not unlike a musical instrument and, rather than wood, it’s made from carbon fibre.
For those into stats, they have a nominal impedance of 4 ohms and a frequency response of 20-25,000 Hz. They’re about a metre and a half tall, weigh 44kg and cost more than I earn in a year – about twice over. Out now and available to those that can.
CES 2009 continues here.