The first selection was the Brilliant Corners: The music of Thelonious Monk album by composer/arranger Bill Holman which is a crystalline very dynamic big-band date. It allows me to evaluate transient speed, explosive macrodynamics and the quality of soundstaging a speaker can reproduce at realistic +100dB peaks. Moab delivered one of the special qualities of Eric Alexander's array, namely the velocity normally only experienced with horns but without their distortions and colorations. My favorite word to describe this is a sense of dynamic aliveness often lacking in other designs.

It was also very apparent that just like the 21-driver Ulfberht, the 17-driver Moab was linear and had no discontinuities across the range. Therefore the imaging and placement of members of Holman's big band spread across my acoustic space well beyond the outsides of Moab's cabinets.

Even the height of the soundstage was accurate without reducing the space between the rows of individual players who sat on different risers in the studio. On extremely powerful crescendos, Moab kept their effortlessness and never sounded strained. Here I noticed a slight difference to Ulfberht. On the loudest levels, its 7" mid-bass couplers moved more air to pressurize the room to a higher degree in the power region of the lower midrange and upper bass. This I viewed as a slightly more realistic grounding of the music.

As I have stated often, my favorite tenor saxophonist is Johnny Griffin whom I had the great pleasure of hearing on numerous occasions in different Chicago venues. He recorded many outstanding albums on many labels in the US and Europe. On several, mainly on the Prestige label often with Rudy Van Gelder, the sound engineer nailed his tonality to a very high degree. One of these is 1961's Tenor Scene recorded live in New York City by Rudy himself. Because of Eric's unique application of 14 small, fast and accurate transducers to cover the spectrum of the lower midrange to the upper levels of the midrange without the shortcomings of line arrays such as notch filtering, Moab has a level of transparency and clarity that rivals the best electrostats.

These speakers were conduits that allowed the natural beauty of Griffin's full warm color created by my upstream gear to easily flow into the listening space. All the micro detail and smallest nuances of his playing were on display. Yet the overall musical presentation never became analytical or sterile as I have experienced with other very high-resolution transducers using metal or ceramic drivers. In this area Moab competed directly with Ulfberht.