I note with some amusement, and more than a little satisfaction, the advertisement on page 3 of the May/June and July/August issues of “The Absolute Sound” magazine. Those with long memories will remember the very first AudioMachina loudspeaker put into production, now over a decade ago, The Ultimate Monitor. Like all AudioMachina products since, the UM was far ahead of its time and contained technologies which the “big name” manufacturers didn’t even dream of attempting. In this case, the rear enclosure of the UM was an incredibly advanced “elongated ellipsoid”, using advanced aerospace-derived carbon fiber laminate systems that still, to this day, have not been equaled by any composite loudspeaker at any price, anywhere in the world. So, when the present advertisement appeared, using not only a stunningly similar shape to the venerable UM, but made of mere “polymer” (a euphemism for “cast plastic”), I had to chuckle. Once again, the “big names” are proving themselves to be literally decades behind the incredibly advanced and state-of-the-art systems developed and produced by AudioMachina. If you are one of those audiophiles who buys the “big name” brands simply because their well-honed marketing plans tell you to, it’s time to ask yourself: How many more decades of your life are you going to spend listening to loudspeakers which are decades behind what AudioMachina is making? How much longer until you own a loudspeaker which incorporates the by-far-the-best-in-the-world AudioMachina “SSA” cabinet system? How much longer until you own one which uses the by-far-the-best-in-the-world AudioMachina “Ti” crossover technology? Because you can’t get these from any other manufacturer in the world, regardless of price. Perhaps in another decade, or two, or three, the “big names” will finally get around to equaling what AudioMachina can offer you right now (although based on history, it’s doubtful…), but the real question is: Do you really want to wait that long to finally own a loudspeaker you can be happy with, or would you rather own an AudioMachina system, and live happily ever after with its incredibly lifelike musical performance, knowing that a decade or two from now, your system will likely still be more musical and more satisfying than anything the “big names” are promoting, and having spent the last decade or two in musical bliss?