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Sunday, 01 September 2002 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Piega 5.1 Speaker System
Introduction Piega is a loudspeaker manufacturer based in Switzerland, already well known to European audiophiles and definitely a striking-looking relative newcomer (5+ years) to the crowded U.S loudspeaker market. Piega has developed their most loyal following with a line of high-end speakers that incorporate unique ribbon tweeters designed and manufactured by Piega, along with traditional dynamic drivers. The Piega speakers are slender and modern in appearance, with a very refined sound. The speaker package I reviewed featured two affordable pairs of Piega S4 floor-standing loudspeakers ($1,795 per pair), a S4C ($795) center channel speaker, and their pricier P Sub 1 subwoofer ($3,095). The S4s are part of Piega’s less expensive “S” line of speakers, a design that utilizes conventional electromagnetic drivers. Piega’s unique ribbon tweeters are only available in their more expensive “P” line of products. The Piega speakers are very handsome and relatively small in size compared to other speakers in their price range (Energy, B&W, Sonus ...
Saturday, 01 June 2002 ,  Written by Richard Elen
Morel Applause Home Theater Speaker System
Introduction Israel-based Morel offers a wide range of truly unique speakers for stereo and surround operation. Each system is built from a combination of common magnetically-shielded modules. The company offers several subwoofers, powered and otherwise, and three styles of compact satellite speakers, with either separate or coaxial LF and HF drivers. These can be mounted on a horizontal or vertical surface or on special monopole stands. At a recommended U.S. retail price of $2,399, the Applause system is at the top of the Morel line, with the similarly-priced Supra. It includes four identical SoundSpot SA-2 satellites, with separate tweeter and 100-millimeter diameter low/mid-driver in spherical mild steel enclosures. Each satellite weighs a little over 2.5 pounds. These feature a novel "external voice coil," or EVC design, which uses a magnet with a shaped pole piece that fits inside the aluminum voice coil rather than around it, allowing for a beefier coil and apparently a smaller driver for ...
Wednesday, 01 May 2002 ,  Written by Richard Elen
RBH Compact Theater CT-5 / CT-7
Introduction Utah-based RBH Sound has been around for a while: last year was their 25th anniversary. In the time they've been in business, they have produced some formidable loudspeaker systems, notably the impressive Signature Series. Now they have turned their attention to the needs of home theater listeners who have limited space, addressed with the release of the "Compact Theater" series. Though the new design is diminutive, RBH has managed to include the same design standards – and solid, durable materials, notably aluminum – that are utilized in their more up-market products. The result is a very satisfactory combination of high-quality audio and practicality that will suit the home theater and home surround audio listener who wants something way beyond your average grotty little satellite speakers (believe me, you do). The system arrived in two boxes. One contained the MS-8.1 powered sub, a near-cube a little over a foot wide on all sides. The other ...
Friday, 01 March 2002 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
PSB Alpha 5.1 System
Introduction When I found out that PSB speakers were redesigning their most affordable line of speakers, I signed up for a review. It is easy to write glowing reviews of cost-no-object speakers (just see my review of the MartinLogan Ascent and Theater speakers), but more down-to-earth speakers offer greater challenges with greater rewards, considering that most of our readers can realistically afford the less pricey systems. The system I reviewed consists of one pair of Alpha B’s ($249 per pair) for the left and right positions, an Alpha C ($229) in center, a pair of Alpha S ($399) for surrounds, and a SubSonic 5 ($449) performing in the .1 subwoofer position. The entire system is priced at a reasonable $1,326. The Alpha B’s reviewed were finished in a light cherry wood gran finish over an MDF cabinet. The front panel features a black metal grille and polymer baffle. The rear of the speaker sports ...
Tuesday, 01 January 2002 ,  Written by Tim Hart
Acoustic Research HC6 Home Theater System
Introduction Life is full of compromises. There is always a situation when you wished that you had paid the extra money, or waited a bit longer for something that would have been more satisfying had you stuck to your guns, instead of bowing to the pressure of other influences. When it comes to consumer electronics, the strongest influence is predictably cash. Another can be what I call "Spousal Acceptance Factor," or "SAF." In my case, statements like "you’re not putting that in my living room" can be common. Aesthetics play a big part. You want to make a physical statement to yourself and those around you with your speakers. Then there is size. Speakers have to fit into your existing environment without detracting from your living space. With all of this in mind, you are ready to start shopping for real loudspeakers. One option that can please a fairly wide range of tastes and ...
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