Okay, I'll try to answer all your questions to the best of my ability.
First, thanks to everyone for the support. I'd never have gotten to this point without you all, not to mention I've met some great people along the way. That is truly priceless and worth much more than a pair of speakers, IMO. You guys are awesome!h
The LCY SongTower's are covered in Santos Rosewood and are a little browner than the pictures might let on. They are covered in a hand rubbed glossy finish and have the most incredible wood grain patterns that I have ever seen on any speaker, period.
The SongTower's sport the new anodized front aluminum baffle, which looks amazing if you ask me (even better in person). I'll have to double check, but I do believe that the service is flat and not corrugated. It has a unique feel to it, not smooth but also not rough. As Funkmonkey said, I think those marks are present because of the mill and the anodizing process, but Jim will correct me. Whatever the marks are from, they look amazing and give the speaker some character. When you move around the speaker the lines also move, giving a 3-Dimensional look to the baffle. Awesome!
The cost of a custom veneered pair of SongTower's starts at $1995 and goes up from there. The extra cost of the new baffle and tweeter design is $700, and the hand rubbed high gloss is another extra charge, of course. I've still got plenty of time to put in with them, but if you want to know if I think the upgrade is worth it, so far I'd say yes. I'm only comparing based off my memory, but the ribbon seems to complete that 3rd dimension if you will. What was an already incredible high frequency response has been refined with an added transparency and smootheness that seems to extend into eternity - just what I was looking for. The sound is neither too bright or too laid back, but "just right" to my ears. However, as mentioned above, I still have plenty of listening to do. I'm also having an issue with my Audyssey programseems to make the right speaker's reproduction of the cymbals and high hats softer. This could be due to my room configuration in that the left speaker is 3 feet from a side wall while the right speaker has a 10 x 12 opening next to it. Perhaps the left speaker's reproduction of the cymbals and high hats is louder due to room reflection, at least I hope so. Either way, I was under the assumption that Audyssey should fix this, but it seems to make it more apparent (it's less apparent if I simply level match and use no EQ). Anyone have any advice concerning this? Is there a way to ensure the tweeters are outputting at the same level throughout their given FR range?
I'll let Jim answer the other questions, especially the one about the circular design of the LCY ribbon tweeter and its implementation.
Warpdrv, I'm going to have to have you over for a listen soon. I'll be out of town for the next two weekends, but we'll set something up, perhaps during the week after work hours. Until then, I'm getting a security system put in just because of you.
Thanks everyone - more to come soon.