The New Meadowlark Kestrel!

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
#1
Having owned the increible sounding, easy to drive, Meadowlark Kestrel Hot Rods of the late 90's/early 2000's, I was excited to hear that the Meadowlark Kestrel was back in production. The original Kestrel, especially in Hot Rod guise, was renowned for being one of the greatest speaker deals available. Priced at less then $2k in the early 2000's, they gave real high end sound, while the simple first order crossovers and and mechanically time aligned drivers, made for an easy and benign load that required little power and was a piece of cake to drive. Add 10-20 watts of tube power, and you had the high end in your listening room.

 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
#2
So I found Meadowlarks new web page, expecting to see something close to what they were before. However, what I found was shockingly different:



The website description spoke of a very different kind of speaker:

In 1994 as we introduced the Kestrel we had no idea it was to become one of the most popular and revered small floostanders in high end audio history. Three strengths made that so and continue to make 20 year old Kestels sought-after on the used market: they were easy to drive, easy to place and unerringly musical. Simply put - they were a whole lotta love for the buck.Of course, today’s Kestrel drives itself and has full on board parametric equalization that makes it easy to place and tune to any room. And it’s easily as sure-footed on difficult music as it’s grandpa. But unlike Kestrel’s ancestors a pair of the new marques sport the ability to transduce 1KW of power into musical energy. This speaker is quick, vibrantly dynamic across the entire band and, thanks to intelligent use of DSP, boasts the ability to deliver serious bass energy and impact.This kind of performance used to take a Heron level speaker with very good amps. Forget that now. Just bring your data stream to the rear of the Kestrel and shine on you crazy diamond.Shown in Sapele. Chose from Walnut, White Oak, Cherry, Sapele and Maple. Custom choices as you wish. Just ask.

Technology indeed marches on! I want to hear these. Badly!
 

airdronian

Junior Member
#3
From the website: "This is not high end audio. This is a break from the past. This is luxury audio."

I'm not intending to be a drag, but I'm not sure I want to know what "luxury audio" is. Maybe that's a by-product of being too "value oriented". ;)

Best of luck to them anyway.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
#4
From the website: "This is not high end audio. This is a break from the past. This is luxury audio."

I'm not intending to be a drag, but I'm not sure I want to know what "luxury audio" is. Maybe that's a by-product of being too "value oriented". ;)

Best of luck to them anyway.
Can we honestly say that most hi end audio isn't really luxury audio? I like calling a spade a spade. Or all audio actually? Is this nothing other then a luxury? Most folks on the Haven have the value of a good used car into their systems. Or at least what most people will pay for a week at a resort. So I've got no problem with calling it what it is.
 
#5
Can we honestly say that most hi end audio isn't really luxury audio? I like calling a spade a spade. Or all audio actually? Is this nothing other then a luxury? Most folks on the Haven have the value of a good used car into their systems. Or at least what most people will pay for a week at a resort. So I've got no problem with calling it what it is.
USED car? ;)

Whatever label is applied, it would be interesting to hear what they sound like. :)
 

airdronian

Junior Member
#7
Can we honestly say that most hi end audio isn't really luxury audio? I like calling a spade a spade. Or all audio actually? Is this nothing other then a luxury? Most folks on the Haven have the value of a good used car into their systems. Or at least what most people will pay for a week at a resort. So I've got no problem with calling it what it is.
You do have a point.... :chin
 

Don C

Active Member
#8
You bring up a good point - while these are called Kestrels, are they in homage to the past? Or just a repurposing of a recognized name for a new product that really has nothing to do with the previous namesake product?

Take the recent thread concerning the new JBL Century line - a speaker that clearly and purposefully harkens back to its past, with new technology under the hood. Side by side, the relationship is unmistakeable.

The old and new Kestrels side by side may not have an obvious relationship. Still, it's intriguing!
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
#10
You bring up a good point - while these are called Kestrels, are they in homage to the past? Or just a repurposing of a recognized name for a new product that really has nothing to do with the previous namesake product?

Take the recent thread concerning the new JBL Century line - a speaker that clearly and purposefully harkens back to its past, with new technology under the hood. Side by side, the relationship is unmistakeable.

The old and new Kestrels side by side may not have an obvious relationship. Still, it's intriguing!
The difference here is that they are called Meadowlark Kestrels, because they are designed and built by the same gent responsible for the originals. Pat McGinty, brilliant designer and all around good guy, is responsible for both. He's trying to achieve the same thing he did with the original Kestrels but in a 21st Century way.
The original Kestrels were meant to be an easy speaker. Easy to drive. Easy to place. Insensitive to the room, etc. The new ones are the same, but done with 21st century technology. They are even easier to place, as they accomodate any room you put them in. Even easier to drive, as they don't even require an amp.

I'm trying to arrange a listen. I'll definitede post my thoughts once I do.
 
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