I’m selling the speakers with stands, requiring a local sale, but would be willing to drive 250 miles to meet buyer.
Original owner, purchased new from Audience in June 2013. Audience installed V2 drivers (A3S2-16) and upgraded internal wiring June 2015. Those upgrades yielded significantly improved sonics, which is saying a lot given that the 2+2s had already received multiple rave reviews in their original configuration. Beautiful, hand selected, heavy birdseye maple veneer with satin finish.
The cabinets are constructed of a 13-layer Baltic birch ply, with heavy internal bracing and shaping that ensure that there are no parallel surfaces inside the speaker. The front and rear baffles are CNC-machined from a 3/8"-thick slab of aircraft-grade aluminum, then damped using a proprietary combination of surface finish and coating.
The stands are modified Sanus 3-post stands that were their top of the line at the time I purchased them. Modifications include: 1) replaced stock spikes with premium Track Audio spikes, 2) filled posts with lead shot and Star Sound Micro-Bearing Conductive Steel Fill (bottom half) and lead shot/sand (top half), and 3) added solid maple platforms with solid birdseye maple (not veneer) picture frame edges that were custom made by Andy of HHG stands. The maple platforms are attached to the stands' steel top plates using brass wood screws, allowing them to be easily detached from the stands.
As currently configured, the speakers are attached to the maple platforms: they were compression bonded to a sheet of Herbie’s Audio Lab dB Neutralizer which was in turn compression bonded to the maple platforms. The adhesive at both interfaces is medical grade silicone adhesive recommended by Herbie’s (semi-permanent, but removable with some effort). I experimented with other methods of coupling the speakers to the stands, including heavy Mapleshade brass cones and compliant footers, and believe the current configuration to be significantly more effective at damping any cabinet resonances and providing stability.
Dick Olsher’s review in The Absolute Sound concludes: “The ClairAudient 2+2 is by far the most enjoyable, musically compelling mini-monitor I’ve auditioned to date. It crushes other mini-monitors at their own game, yet can play louder with lower distortion and power compression. There is little to complain about and much to rave about. In the mini-monitor genre it sits well above a crowded field. A sonic gem that demands a serious audition. Highly recommended!”
Brian Damkroger’s review in Stereophile concludes: “Don't seriously audition unless you're equally serious about buying new speakers. Once you've gotten used to not hearing the distortions created by crossovers and multiple, different drivers, it's awfully hard to go back. Very highly recommended.”
Andre Marc’s review in Audio Video Revolution concludes: “I believe after spending well over 500 hours listening to the Audience ClairAudient 2 + 2 monitors that it’s a breakthrough product. Using them with three amplifiers, tube and solid state, various cables, and in two different rooms confirmed that that the 2 + 2's provide a natural, coherent, and seamless sound . . . They remind me very much of my days listening to my father's Quad ESL's when I was a teenager, except the 2 + 2 can handle lots of power and have plenty of bass . . . I really believe those shopping for a top class monitor should find a way to hear these. Besides their sonic beauty, they are also beautiful to look at, and will integrate into any decor. The 2 + 2's are extremely well made and are hand crafted at Audience's factory in Southern California . . . Highly recommended.”
For what it’s worth, I paid $4290 for the speakers in their stock form with the upgraded veneer (which I thought was quite a good deal, given that the retail with standard veneer was $5,000) plus $1,200 for the driver and wiring upgrade, plus over $900 for the stands with all upgrades.
Rated 8 because they are more than 1 year old.