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Saturday, 01 September 2001 ,  Written by Tim Hart
Marantz SR-19EX Receiver
Introduction As more big-budget, blockbuster and effects-laden movies are being released in new formats such as DTS ES 6.1 and 7.1 , the choices expand in new receivers that take advantage of these exciting formats. Separate components allow the flexibility to get the best performance and the ability to change a single aspect of your system to take advantage of the latest technology without replacing your entire rig. However, most of us aren’t in the financial position to have "Best of Breed" gear and must remain financially realistic when it comes to spending our hard-earned deneros. And, let’s face it, not all people like to search for the perfect component to highlight the rest of a system. Some folks want a centerpiece that has a good reputation for reliability, performance, versatility and, if possible, upgradeability. One serious contender in this area that commands consideration is the Marantz SR-19EX AV receiver ($2,299.95). At seven-and-one-half-inches wide, 18 inches ...
Sunday, 01 July 2001 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
MartinLogan Ascent and Theater Loudspeakers
Introduction The MartinLogan Ascent ($4,195 per pair) and Theater ($2,595) loudspeakers are part of the latest lineup from veteran electrostatic speaker manufacturer MartinLogan. The Ascent replaces the older SL3 in the MartinLogan product line and incorporates trickle-down technology found on the ungodly expensive $70,000 per pair MartinLogan Statement E2 and the more sensible $11,000 per pair MartinLogan Prodigy speakers. The Theater is MartinLogan’s top-of-the-line center channel speaker. The Theater is the replacement for the Logos center channel and accompanies the Cinema to complete MartinLogan’s center channel speaker lineup. The Ascent shares the new aesthetic design of the Prodigy speakers. The ESL portion of the speaker is detached from the woofer and slightly forward from the cabinet. There is also a small red led light visible through the bottom of the panel’s grille. The bottom border of the grille features a small, attractive stylized silver M. Other than the above, the Ascent is aesthetically similar to past MartinLogan ...
Sunday, 01 July 2001 ,  Written by Tim Hart
Monitor Audio Gold Reference 5.1 Theater System
Introduction Monitor Audio has had a presence in the development and manufacture of high-quality speakers since 1972. Monitor has also been an early pioneer in metal driver technology that started some 16 years ago. Other notable speaker manufacturers have recently migrated to metal driver configurations, for good reason. The benefits of using metal are pretty significant, including the ability to control speaker driver distortion. The new Gold Reference Series utilizes the latest advancements from Monitor Audio in metal driver technology. The Details The speakers involved in the Monitor Audio 5.1 system I received are the Gold Reference GR 20. I used these for the main channels. The Gold Reference GR 20 is a floor-standing loudspeaker system ($2,995 a pair). Each speaker sits 37.5 inches tall, is eight-and-seven-eighths inches wide and 12.5 inches deep. They weigh 44 pounds each. The GR 20 is second from the top in the Gold Series and benefits from many of the advanced technologies ...
Friday, 01 June 2001 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
MartinLogan Prodigy Loudspeakers
Introduction For years MartinLogan has produced electrostatic loudspeakers that have been considered by many to be at the top of their respective classes. The Prodigy is MartinLogan’s top-of-the-line speaker under their very-respected Statement E2 loudspeaker system. The Prodigy has been in production for close to 18 months. Although it utilizes technology from the Statement Loudspeakers, it does so at a much-reduced price. The Prodigy measures 67 inches tall, 16 inches wide, 28 inches deep and weighs a hefty 133 pounds per speaker. The MartinLogan Prodigies retail for $10,995 per pair in standard wood trim finishes. It’s hard to deny that MartinLogan loudspeakers have a unique look. The upper two-thirds of the loudspeaker consists of a thin transparent perforated panel, with the bottom portion of the loudspeaker containing the low-frequency enclosure. The Prodigy shares a similar size and position in MartinLogan’s speaker lineup with the ReQuests of the past, but that is where all similarities end. The ...
Thursday, 01 March 2001 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Magnum Audio IA 170 Integrated Amplifier
Introduction The IA 170 served as my introduction to Magnum Audio as a high-end audio manufacturer. Magnum Audio is a British electronics company that is building a strong following on the east side of the pond and is expanding its reach within the U.S. The IA 170 is an integrated amp that retails for $750 here in the United States without a phono section, and $850 with phono included. For $750, the listener gets a one-chassis amplifier and preamp with 70 watts per channel into eight ohms and 110 watts per channel into four ohms, six single-ended inputs, one tape loop, a headphone output, mute and mono switches and bi-wireable speaker terminals. One of the unit’s inputs, labeled "monitor," is connected directly to the amplifying circuits for a purer signal path. The front of the IA 170, with the exception of its nameplate (which appears to be easily removable), is an attractive polished steel. While ...
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