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Monday, 01 May 2006 ,  Written by Tim Hart
Bowers & Wilkins M-1 Mini Theater 20 Speaker System
Introduction Ever since HDTVs started working with Richard Simmons and eating a healthy diet, their significant others (high-performance speakers) have been forced to follow suit. Before you break out the drywall saw to bury some in-walls in your 2x4s, B&W has a creative new loudspeaker system that has audiophile soul and, as James Brown would say, are “super bad” (“bad” meaning “good” in this case). The Mini Theater concept from Bowers and Wilkins comes in three different configurations, depending on the level of subwoofer in the package. Each of the three levels uses the same identical complement of five identical M-1 speakers. The MT-10 package is mated to the 85-watt AS1 subwoofer at $1,250 for the package. The MT-20 utilizes the 150-watt AS2 at $1,499 (which B&W sent for review), while the MT-30 that sports B&W’s much-heralded 500-watt PV1 at a cost of $2,500 for the 5.1 package. The M-1 speakers priced at $200 ...
Sunday, 01 January 2006 ,  Written by Ben Shyman
Orb Audio Mod2 Speaker System
Introduction The proliferation of surround sound in movies, music and high-definition television has made five-channel speaker systems a virtual necessity in home theater. Advances in technology and engineering have made opting for an out-of-the-box satellite speaker system, particularly smaller systems, a worthwhile investment for entry-level buyers and high-end enthusiasts more than ever before. This is especially true for consumers on a limited budget and/or with limited space. Orb Audio’s approach to satellite speakers is unique. Their core beliefs rest in offering consumers high-end audio without the high-end markup. In order to keep their selling prices low, Orb utilizes a direct sales model, selling their products only via their website at orbaudio.com. Furthermore, their product line is built on a simple foundation of only one four 3/16” diameter satellite speakers and a powered subwoofer. This should not suggest, however, that their product offering is limited. To the contrary, Orb satellites can be put together in different combinations to ...
Saturday, 01 October 2005 ,  Written by Matthew Evert
PSB Image 5.1 Speaker System
Introduction PSB Speakers, aptly named after founders Paul and Sue Barton, have been producing high-performance loudspeakers since 1972. Paul Barton, the chief speaker designer, had his beginnings in high school putting together speakers for college students. Now one of Canada’s most reputable names in loudspeakers, PSB with Paul Barton at the helm, continues the craft of speaker design that started 30 years ago. In addition to Paul Barton’s passion and dedication to speaker design, PSB has a close relationship with the National Research Council (NRC). The NRC offers nearly a century of knowledge and test resources in the area of psychoacoustics research that PSB has effectively incorporated into their Image Series speakers. The midlevel price range of the Image Series speakers affords precision sound reproduction to those with limited budgets. The PSB Image Series speakers reviewed consisted of the Image T65 main loudspeakers ($1099 per pair), an Image C60 center channel ($449), two Image S50 surrounds ...
Saturday, 01 October 2005 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Snell Acoustics Series 7 Speaker System
Introduction Snell Acoustics’ Series 7 is the first line created by Snell’s famed chief designer Joe D’Appolito. The reviewed system is comprised of three LCR7s (front left and right and center speaker), a pair of K7s for surrounds and an ICS300 subwoofer. This new Snell system is attractive, compact and is designed to pack a large, accurate punch for a retail price of $5,750. The main speaker in this system is the LCR7, which utilizes dual five-and-a-quarter-inch woofers flanking a one-inch tweeter. This array is better known as the D’Appolito array. All of the drivers are made by SEAS and help provide the LCR7s with a stated frequency range of 75Hz to 22kHz and output up to 100 dB per pair, with 90 dB sensitivity. The cabinet measures 19 inches high, seven inches wide and eight-and-three-quarters inches deep. My review samples were finished in a very attractive real cherry wood veneer, with satin black as ...
Thursday, 01 September 2005 ,  Written by Ben Shyman
Dali Suite 2.8 Speaker System
Introduction Home theater manufacturers continue to offer consumers better performance for less money. Gone are the days when high-quality home theaters cost tens of thousands of dollars. Driving this trend is the proliferation and availability of affordable high-definition televisions, which come in the form of plasma, LCD, D-ILA and DLP rear-projection sets that cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,500. Add in a reasonable 5.1-channel audio playback system and you can have an amazing home theater without breaking the bank. But what if you are a more serious listener and seek to build a component-based home theater that trumps the theater-in-a-box solution? Now more than ever, components are available that challenge laws of diminishing returns by offering much of the outstanding performance, build quality and aesthetics of high-end systems for a fraction of the high-end price. Dali Loudspeakers is a relatively new player in the ultra-competitive U.S. audio-video market. In Europe, Dali is a force with over ...
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