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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Thiel TM3 Loudspeaker Review
Reviewed: MusicScope Analysis Software by Xivero
Fluance XL7F Loudspeakers Review
Luminous Audio Axiom II Passive Preamp Review
Denon PMA-50 Integrated Amplifier Review
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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 ...
Thursday, 01 November 2001 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Bowers & Wilkins DM303 Loudspeakers
Introduction When selecting a speaker for your music or home entertainment system, there are so many critical variables to consider including size, aesthetics, price and, lastly but surely not least, performance. Some buyers make their decisions based on looks alone, others select based on performance somewhere near their target price range. Due to the fact that many (or at least spouses of many) prefer not to have their speakers as a visual centerpiece in their living rooms, small speakers are dominant in the AV retail environment. Some hardcore AV enthusiasts are scared away from smaller speakers by their perception bigger is better. There is no denying that bigger speakers can provide more bass and in many cases more dynamics, yet there are advantages to smaller speakers, as smaller cabinets are less expensive to produce. Therefore, the manufacturers can afford to use better materials and or better cabinet bracing. Smaller cabinets tend to interact less and ...
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