equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
In Appreciation of the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3
RHA MA750i In Ear Headphones Review
Thiel TM3 Loudspeaker Review
Reviewed: MusicScope Analysis Software by Xivero
Fluance XL7F Loudspeakers Review
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Wednesday, 01 August 2007 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Sunfire XT Series Cinema Ribbon CRM-2/CRM-2C
Introduction Speakers have under gone huge leaps in evolution, from the once common rectangular box with one or more drivers on the front to multi-cabinet designs. Newer manufacturing techniques and materials have allowed unique shapes previously only dreamed of to become reality. The upsurge in flat panel displays and the huge increases in real estate values have energized the market for smaller, more ergonomically sensitive speakers. Audio guru Bob Carver is well aware of these new market factors and has created a very compelling new loudspeaker solution for real world systems that don’t want to compromise on old-world audiophile excellence. Carver is well known for making products that outperform their size. This goes for his amplifiers, which usually weigh a fraction of others in their class, to his legendary subwoofers that have redefined size and performance expectations, and now the Cinema Ribbons. Standing at just over eight inches high, these new speakers are designed to give ...
Tuesday, 01 June 2004 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Polk Audio LSi9 Bookshelf Speakers
Introduction Polk. It’s one of those brands that almost anyone who has ever stepped foot into an electronics store chain to shop for new speakers has heard of. Their product line is immense and they make everything from micro-satellite systems for your computer to equipment racks to Earth shaking subs, floor standing loudspeakers and car audio products. Their top of the line LSi series features two floor-standing models, the LSi15 and LSi25, the LSiC center channel, LSiFX bi-pole/di-pole surrounds, the LSi subwoofer and two bookshelf models, the LSi7 and LSi9. Cracking open the box of a pair of LSi9 bookshelf speakers, the first thing that I noticed about the speakers was their distinctive smooth black high-gloss finish on the top and rich cherry wood sculpted side panels. I’ve seen Polk speakers countless times in retail mega-stores, but it was ...
Friday, 01 August 2003 ,  Written by Ben Shyman
Revel M20 Performa Loudspeakers
Introduction The Revel Performa M20 is the compact, bookshelf-sized sibling to the floor-standing Performa F30 speaker reviewed by AudioRevolution.com in April 2001. Revel is the high-end loudspeaker company of Madrigal who is owned by parent company Harman International. Their entry-level Performa line targets audio enthusiasts who are looking for excellent sound and build quality at more reasonable prices than their high-end Ultima line. The M20s cost $2,000 per pair, plus optional stands and grilles. Setup The Performa M20s are rear-ported, two-way loudspeakers, featuring a six-and-a-half-inch inverted magnesium-alloy woofer, with a low-frequency extension to 44 Hz at -3 dB and a one-inch custom aluminum-alloy dome tweeter. Upon unpacking the hefty 36-pound loudspeakers, I was immediately struck by the exceptional build quality of the Performa M20s. Constructed of one-inch-thick MDF with extensive internal bracing, the M20s are solid as a rock. Mine came in an attractive black ash finish, but are also available in cherry, sycamore and rosewood veneers. Since I was ...
Tuesday, 01 April 2003 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Anthony Gallo Acoustics Due Speakers
Introduction The Due is the latest creation from Gallo Acoustics, a company famous for making physically round AV speakers. The $599 Due’s name is derived from the fact that the speaker contains two spherical units, rather than the single sphere of past Gallo designs. The two spheres are joined in the middle by a cylindrical tweeter assembly that is unique to Gallo, resulting in a very stylish “un-speakerlike” speaker. Gallo paired the Due with their $750 MPS-150 woofer for low frequency reinforcement. This woofer is also very unconventional in design. The design features two short cylinders, one housing the 10-inch driver, the other containing a 240-watt amplifier and related electronics. The Dues are refreshingly small, measuring 11 inches tall, five inches wide and five inches deep. The Dues come with modernistic perforated steel grilles that can easily be removed. Removing the grilles leaves the speakers almost an inch thinner and reveals their unique dual spherical shape, ...
Thursday, 01 August 2002 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Paradigm Focus / CC270 / ADP170 Speakers
Introduction Paradigm is known for building great-sounding speakers that entry-level music and home theater enthusiasts can actually afford and can definitely enjoy. Unlike most loudspeaker manufacturers, Paradigm actually makes, designs and tests their speakers without significant help from outside agencies. They have the largest anechoic chamber in North America at their testing facilities, along with enough engineers to start a "Star Trek" convention. Paradigm designs and makes their own drivers, cabinets, hardware and more. With this level of control over the design and manufacturing process, they are able to hold a top position in the highly competitive world of under $2,000 loudspeakers. The Focus v.3 is the latest addition to Paradigm’s Performance Series, priced at $299. The newest Focus is a two-way, bookshelf or stand-mounted speaker, featuring a rear-firing port. The Focus has a 6.5-inch cone mid-woofer and a one-inch dome tweeter driver complement. The Focus’ mid-woofer utilizes an all-new metallescent, polymer cone material. The cone is ...
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