Most of us can't spend unlimited amounts on Father's Day gifts this—or any—year, but we can dream. And who knows, you might win the lottery or otherwise strike it rich someday. Even better, maybe you already have. If so—or you just like to dream big—here are some recommendations for over-the-top Father's Day gifts.
Stax SR-009 ($5250)
I had the pleasure of reviewing the Stax SR-007 Mk II electrostatic headphones some years ago, and I quickly fell in love with their sound. However, they were simply too expensive for me to buy at the time—or now, for that matter. The current Stax flagship is the SR-009, which I haven't heard, but InnerFidelity.com editor Tyll Hertsens has, saying
, "Simply put, this is the world's best headphone. The speed, clarity, and resolution is simply stunning…These are electrostatic headphones and require a special type of amplifier to drive them. Because they are 'cost no object' headphones, and because they are so extraordinarily good, I highly recommend purchasing the best possible electrostatic headphone amplifier. For me, that means the HeadAmp Blue Hawaii SE [$4980]." That's over $10,000 for a pair of headphones and an amp, but as long as we're dreaming…
Kaleidescape Strato Movie Player ($4495 with 6 TB of storage
Kaleidescape has always represented the pinnacle of movie servers with bit-for-bit copies of Blu-ray discs, and the Strato really ups the ante. The company's newest player offers 4K/UHD playback of titles from its online store—of which there are over 100 as of this writing—at bit rates up to 100 Mbps and frame rates up to 60 fps, the same as Ultra HD Blu-ray. Also, it performs high-quality upscaling of Blu-ray and DVD content. Even better, it supports high dynamic range (HDR) in the HDR10 format and lossless multichannel audio, including Dolby Atmos. (The 4K/UHD titles in the Kaleidescape store are not yet HDR, but that's coming soon.) The optional 6 TB internal hard drive can store up to 100 UHD movies, 200 Blu-ray movies, or 900 DVD movies. For even more storage and multi-room capabilities, you can add one or more Terra movie servers with up to 24 TB of storage ($7995 each with maximum storage) for up to 400 4K/UHD titles, 800 Blu-ray titles, or 3600 DVD titles in each server with cloud backup. A movie-loving dad's dream!
Trinnov Altitude32 ($32,150 for 32 channels, 3D audio, and calibration microphone)
At the heart of most high-end home theaters is a preamp-processor that selects which source device to use and processes the signals as needed for playback. (AV receivers do the same thing, but they also include power amps for the speakers; pre-pros require separate, outboard power amps.) Among the most drool-worthy pre-pros is the Trinnov Altitude32, which can be configured for 8- to 32-channel operation. As an extra-cost option, it supports all the immersive audio formats, including Dolby Atmos, Auro 3D, and DTS:X. And of course, it offers a wealth of other advanced features, such as speaker remapping for less-than-ideal placements. Now, all you need are amps and speakers for all those channels, and your father will be fully immersed in sound.
JBL M2 ($24,275/pair)
JBL really knocked it out of the park with the M2 speaker, which is now a favorite among recording engineers. This 2-way speaker includes a dual-diaphragm, dual voice-coil compression tweeter mounted in a custom-designed waveguide for wide horizontal dispersion and a 15" differential-drive woofer in a ported cabinet. The result is a frequency response from 20 Hz to 40 kHz and an astounding maximum output of 123 dB SPL with exceedingly low distortion. Of course, $24,275/pair is expensive, but that price does include two Crown iTech 5000HD 2-channel power amps that biamp each speaker with 1200 watts for the tweeter and 1200W for the woofer. For a complete surround system, add some LSR708i ($4850/pair) and/or LSR705i ($3200/pair) bookshelf speakers that use much of the same technology as the M2—and those prices include a Crown DCi 2/300N 2-channel power amp. Dear old dad will be in audio heaven!
LG 65G6 OLED ($8000)
OLED is generally regarded as the best flat-panel television technology available today, and LG is the only company that makes large-screen OLED TVs. The 2016 flagship 65G6 offers OLED's essentially perfect blacks and rich colors as well as UHD Premium certification, which assures an exceptional level of performance. Perhaps most important, this TV includes support for both types of high dynamic range (HDR): Dolby Vision, which is used by most streaming services that offer HDR content, and HDR10, which is used on Ultra HD Blu-ray titles. Plus, the Picture-on-Glass design looks great with any décor. What father wouldn't love to get one of these gems on his special day?
If money were no object, what would you get your dad this year?
Note: Please do not quote this entire article when posting a comment. Feel free to quote the relevant portion that pertains to your comment, but wading through the entire thing in the comments is quite annoying. Thanks!