CAF 2021: Eikon Audio

CAF 2021 saw the premier of the Eikon Audio IMAGE.5 System.

The IMAGE.5 System ($12,000) is comprised of an Eikontrol System Control Module, 1 pair of of Image.5 Loudspeakers, and a set of Eikontrol Interconnects (up to 20′).

the IMAGE.5 speakers come in Matte White and Matte Black

The Image5 speakers sat atop IMAGE.5 Stands ($1500/pair) with IMAGE.5 Monoprice Stand Top Plates ($194/pair).

The Eikontrol System Control Module offers digital and analog inputs and employs a DSP-based room correction system. The  IMAGE.5 Active Digital Loudspeakers house an AMT super tweeter and two 5.25″ hi-excursion, low distortion woofers and also employ DSP. If you want more information, please visit the Eikon site.

After sitting and intently listening to a number of tracks with a room full of people, the crowd thinned out to the point where I was asked if there was any music I’d like to hear. While this request can prove to be stultifying at times, I said, How about some Nina Simone? I love Nina Simone. After looking at the iPod’s display and the tracks offered in the search results for “Nina Simone”, I picked “Strange Fruit”. I know, not exactly an uplifting number, but I was essentially alone and Nina Simone’s version of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” can be an immensely moving experience. At least for me.

The song begins:

Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root

Here’s what I have to say about what happened next — the Eikon IMAGE.5 System dissolved along with the room, and I was left alone with Nina Simone and her band in the white hot heat of “Strange Fruit” and its harrowing story. When Simone sings the line, “for the trees to drop”, she stretches ‘trees’ out while sliding down in register and if everything is working, you feel as if you’ve been pulled down by sorrow. I felt as if I’d been gutted, nearly bare.

To say I was impressed with the Eikon IMAGE.5 system falls far short of my experience and I just hope I can re-experience “Strange Fruit” again to such a heart-felt degree some day.