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Wednesday, 01 November 2006 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
MartinLogan Summit Loudspeakers
Introduction MartinLogan, a well-known name in the audio enthusiast community, is undergoing a radical change. The entire line is being revamped. The Summit retails for $10,000 per pair, which is slightly less than its award-winning predecessor, the Prodigy. In staying true to its history, the Summit is a hybrid design with an electrostatic panel mated with a dynamic woofer, but it features a host of new technology and sports a completely new industrial design. Visually, I find the Summit to be the most attractive MartinLogan I have seen to date. It is more reminiscent of the Scenario than the Prodigy it replaces, in that its panels are not surrounded by visually imposing frames. The panels on the Summit are surrounded by frames featuring MartinLogan’s AirFrame technology and made from aerospace-grade aluminum. The panels feature a whole slew of technological and design innovations that have a bunch of catchy names, such as MicroPerf Stator, CLS, Generation 2 ...
Tuesday, 01 August 2006 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Morel Vario On-wall 5.1 Speaker System
Introduction All too often, we as consumers gravitate towards the latest technology and stylistic trends with reckless abandon. One only has to look at flat panel display sales over the past few years in the U.S. to understand. Fortunately for consumers, this often frothing at the mouth attitude helps propel technology further faster, while helping to keep overall costs relatively low. While flat panel displays are no flash in the pan, other facets of the consumer electronics industry, mainly speaker manufacturers, have been forced to play catch-up. Sure, you can stick with your bulky floor standers that take up as much space as a sofa and chair but that’s not sexy. Is it? While in-walls provide an aura of stealth and sophistication to many installations, there are still those out there who rent their homes and/or do not wish to cut holes in the walls, making in-walls less of an option. It’s this simple ...
Saturday, 01 July 2006 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Marantz VP-11S1 DLP Video Projector
Introduction These are exciting days as the Marantz VP-11S1 is the first consumer 1920 x 1080 DLP front projector on the market. Retailing for $19,999, the VP-11S1 certainly isn’t inexpensive, but if it keeps pace with the precedent set by the VP-12 series, it should be worth it. We will see below how it fares in its attempts to fulfill the expectations set forth by its VP-12 predecessors. The VP-11 builds upon the VP-12 series, using its rigid, noise-deadening cast-aluminum chassis (which can use the same ceiling mount as the VP-12S4) and 200-watt DC super high pressure, 2,000-hour lamp. The processor is the 10-bit Gennum VXP 9351, the next generation of the VXP 9350 processor used in the VP-12S4. Like its predecessor, the VXP 9351 features Gennum’s TruMotion HD, FineEdge, RealityExpansion and FidelityEngine technologies, which were described in AVRev.com’s earlier review of the VP-12S4. The VXP 9351 is twice as efficient as the VXP 9350, which ...
Thursday, 01 June 2006 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Monster THX Speaker System
Introduction The mighty Monster Cable is diversifying. The company that successfully taught mainstream consumers the value of high-performance cables is now taking extraordinarily measures, like buying naming rights to sports stadiums, to teach consumers that they now sell home automation products, cables (of course) and, believe it or not, loudspeakers. Head Monster Noel Lee knows exactly how competitive the loudspeaker business is and, armed with 20 years of trendsetting industry experience, he is not holding back. Consumers should be excited. The Monster speaker line consists of a tower speaker, two monitors, a dipole surround and two different subwoofers. The system I reviewed was comprised of the Monster THX Select Tower 200s for the front left and right speakers, a Monster THX Select Monitor 200 in center position, Monster THX Select Dipole Surround Sound Speaker 100 in the rear and two Monster THX Select Subwoofer 200s on the LFE channel. The speakers are priced at $800 for ...
Thursday, 01 June 2006 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Morel Stream MK II 5.1 Speaker System
Introduction There is a war going on, and it’s waged every day in living rooms across this country, where the casualties can often be found sleeping on the couch. I’m talking about a war between good and evil. Right and wrong. You vs. her. I’m talking about the war over the WAF, or Wife Acceptance Factor. For years, you’ve wanted those towering, monolithic speakers of yore, capable of shaking your house off its very foundations and coming in every color so long as it’s black. And she wants, well, Bose. Let the games begin. Time and time again, manufacturers have attempted to bridge the gap between the sexes, creating pocket-sized speakers in every shape and color, only to produce pocket-sized sound, which is great for the bedroom or office but not for your living room. Still manufacturers persist, and some succeed: my former reference Definitive Technology ProCinema 80 system is one such success story. ...
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