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Tuesday, 01 August 2006 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Canton Vento Series (809 DC, 802, 805 CM, AS 850 SC) Loudspeakers
Introduction Sound comes from the movement of air – short pulses of wind, so to speak. So it’s no surprise that the newest speaker line from the German speaker manufacturer, Canton, derives its name from the Italian word for wind: Vento. Four audiophiles founded Canton in 1973 with the mission of making the best speakers possible, and through the years they have remained dedicated to this principle. The Vento line employs technologies learned from experience, as well as computer modeling and extensive listening tests. The Vento 5.1 surround sound speaker system that I received for review consisted of a pair of Vento 809 DC floor-standing speakers that retail for $2,500 each, an 805 CM center channel with a retail price of $1,500, a pair of 802 compact speakers that retail for $2,000 and the AS 850 SC subwoofer that lists for $2,500, bringing the total system price to $11,000. They are available in a dark ...
Tuesday, 01 February 2005 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Classé CA-M400 Multi-channel Power Amplifier
Introduction Classe is one of the top ten most recognizable names in high-end audio history, with a respected lineage that goes back decades. Recently, Classe joined forces in, as some are calling it, a “slow takeover” of the company with the investment firm that owns and operates B&W loudspeakers and Rotel. Their first move was to hire one of Mark Levinson’s big gun executives, Dave Nauber, to run the show. Like Maserati, the newly-reconfigured Classe set out to significantly redesign every element of their product line, from the look of their products to functionality to dealer networks and beyond. Their goal, and I am one who believes they will be successful in this, is to elevate Classe from a Top 10 AV company to one of the most elite brands in the world. One of the new Classe’s first offerings is a reference-level monoblock amplifier system for high-end audio and home theater use. The CA-M400s are ...
Monday, 01 March 2004 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Canton Ergo 5.0 Speaker System
Introduction While it’s a fairly new name to the North American market, Canton has been producing high-end speakers in Germany since 1972, reportedly capturing an impressive 25 percent of the German market with its wide variety of speaker offerings. This review features the Canton Ergo RC-A’s at $5,000 per pair used as front main loudspeakers, Ergo CM502 center channel speaker at $800, and the Ergo 302s at $1,400 per pair for rear surrounds. The Ergo line being reviewed is more traditional then Canton’s more contemporary Karat line and is a step up from the LE and Movie series loudspeakers. Both lines share many of theme drivers and other components and the build quality is the same. I was asked by Canton to review this system without a separate subwoofer, using the powered woofers in the RC-A towers to handle the low end. Canton is a fairly large speaker company, with considerable research and development resources. ...
Monday, 01 December 2003 ,  Written by Richard Elen
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro PC Sound Hardware
Introduction Despite its enormous name, the Audigy 2 is a worthy successor to the original Audigy and, in addition to prodigious capabilities aimed at the pro or semi-pro musician, it also is the first computer-based system to play DVD-Audio discs. The Audigy 2 ZS is a complete kit for Windows PC (there is no Macintosh version), incorporating an external I/O hub, audio card and accessories, which include a compact IR remote. The card fits into a PCI slot in the usual way, and you can also install the included joystick/MIDI bracket in an adjacent slot if you wish. The I/O box is the coolest (and most visible) part of the system, providing inputs and outputs, with the exception of speaker connections, for the system. The box is 7.75 inches by eight inches by 2.25 inches in size (WDH). It is linked to the installed card via a dual cable, one leg with special high-density ...
Tuesday, 01 July 2003 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Crystal View 2 CRT Projector
Introduction Despite the advent of truly exciting digital projection technology in the past few years, there is still no denying that a “big gun” CRT video projector is the best source for a great-looking video image available on the market today. While digital projectors DLPs and D-ILAs are incredibly bright and appealingly small, an eight or nine-inch CRT projector still creates a picture that looks more like film. Someday, digital projectors may surpass the performance of a CRT, but if you are in the market for the best picture money can buy in 2003, you are likely shopping for a big-time CRT projector. There is a new kid on the block dedicated to absolute video performance with a special angle towards customer service. Crystal View was formed in 2002 to address the needs of the high-end video projection customer. Co-owners Gary Guidi (also owner of HI-REZ, one of the world’s largest and most respected projector ...
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