|B&W Zeppelin Mini Review|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems|
|Written by Todd Whitesel|
|Tuesday, 23 March 2010|
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The recent death of Alex Chilton sent me back to the first two Big Star albums, #1 Record and Radio City, both masterpieces of what would later be called power pop. No band did jangly guitar and harmonies better than Big Star, and the Mini accorded itself well with shimmering classics including “Way Out West” and “Back Of A Car.”
Megadeth's fiery “Holy Wars...The Punishment Due” features a barrage of guitar riffs and licks courtesy of rhythm master Dave Mustaine and lead phenom Marty Friedman. The tune had plenty of crunch and drive, but here the bass fell short of satisfying. To get the impact of the 4-string rumble I had to turn the Mini around and let the rear port unload its artillery.
But for precision, the Mini is a dead-eye. I played a series of high-resolution classical and jazz (24/88, 24/96 and 24/192) files through its twin cones and was very impressed by the clarity, imaging and transient response. The Mini is very good with transients. The Moody Blues' “Are You Sitting Comfortably,” from On The Threshold Of A Dream, features a wash of percussion including a steady cymbal beat/crash from Graeme Edge. Instead of fizzling out, the Mini let the brass breathe and decay naturally. Nice performance from a speaker box.
The Mini exceeded my expectations and kept me company with an iPod longer than I had in years. Its attractive lines and crisp presentation made it easy to live with and listen to. For tight treble, clear mids and better-than-average bass, the Mini should keep most music lovers shuffling through their 'Pods and computer files to hear them anew. Refined, elegant and poised, the B&W Zeppelin Mini won't shake the Halls of Valhalla, but it will make the Misty Mountains hop.