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TOWER SPEAKER REVIEWS

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 13, 2009 0 comments

Performance
Value
Build Quality
Price: $4,749 At A Glance: Open, clean, and detailed • Expansive, cinematic sound • High value

Imagine: Airy Soundscapes

When deciding whether or not to set product priority for evaluation, every reviewer (consciously or unconsciously) applies a filter based on his or her previous experience with that manufacturer. Of course, there are always breakthrough products that demand to be covered and new companies that deserve to be discovered. But given the options available in the speaker world—including the new and the fascinating but rarely the revolutionary—you look first to those that have proved that they can make a great product.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Apr 06, 2009 1 comments
Price: $6,044 At A Glance: Elegant, understated styling • Sweet yet detailed sound • Excellent dialogue intelligibility • Coherent three-dimensional picture • High SPLs without strain

Leather-Clad Pleasure Toy

What’s in a name? If a 1960s-era General Motors marketing consultant had suggested a car brand-named Toyota, he’d have been laughed out of the room and probably lost his job. “Are you crazy, man? No one’s gonna buy a car with toy in the name!” No one at GM is laughing at Toyota today. The car brand was named for its founder, Kiichiro Toyoda, so the company had a reason to toy around with the designation.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 30, 2009 0 comments
Price: $4,494 At A Glance: Distinctive angular form makes for an un-boxy look • All drivers utilize Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragms • Subwoofer has bloat-killing EQ and wireless option

Curves Ahead

Where ideas are concerned,” the late George Carlin said, “America can be counted on to do one of two things: take a good idea and run it completely into the ground or take a bad idea and run it completely into the ground.” Many loudspeaker manufacturers tend to follow one of these two trains of thought, with results that range from staid to disheartening. But there is a third path, the one that Infinity Systems follows, and it will take more than a sentence to summarize, period, enter, tab.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 06, 2009 0 comments

Performance
Value
Build Quality
Price: $4,355 At A Glance: Slender, gloss black, extruded-aluminum towers • Dual built-in powered subs with passive radiators • Superb dialogue reproduction

Hide the Sub—No, Subs!

Why build a system around powered towers like Definitive Technology’s Mythos STS SuperTower? Wouldn’t it be easier to live with a subwoofer? Maybe. Maybe not.

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uavSteve Guttenberg Posted: Mar 02, 2009 0 comments
I'd like to admit something up front—I'm the sort of reviewer who's easily swayed by the sight of attractive gear. There, I said it, and I feel a little guilty about it. Sadly, I may have missed out on some great-sounding but drab-looking products over the years, including a number of Boston Acoustics speakers. So I was pleasantly surprised by the company's gorgeous new VS Series speakers when they were unveiled in New York City a few months ago.
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Fred Manteghian Posted: Mar 02, 2009 0 comments
Price: $3,769 At A Glance: Three-way center for superior dialogue intelligibility • Awesome room-filling surrounds • Classy good looks

Life’s Too Short for Bad Shoes

Buy a pair of shoes online that don’t fit quite right, and it’s easy enough to box them back up for the round-trip refund. You wouldn’t think you could say the same about a 70-pound speaker like the Aperion Intimus 6T, but mailorder company Aperion Audio makes it almost as easy. The Portland, Oregon–based company manufactures in China and purports to pass the savings on to you. Aperion wants you to be 100-percent satisfied, so it gives you 30 days to try the speakers at home. The company will even pick up shipping costs both ways if you decide not to keep the speakers. So even if you can’t go to a store to listen to them, Aperion speakers are a no-risk purchase. Still, six boxes full of speakers worth almost $4,000 is hardly an impulse buy like a $39 pair of Converse All Star Sailor Jerry high tops on eBay, so listen up.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 09, 2009 0 comments
Founded in 1972, UK-based Monitor Audio has long produced speakers that offered good value, from its low-end Bronze line, starting at around $325 for a pair of two-way bookshelf models and extending up to $4500/pair for the company's priciest Gold Signature model. Even that is not an outrageous price for an upscale design in today's speaker market. The number of current speaker lines topping out at over $20k/pair, however, would be alarming if it weren't counterbalanced by excellent speakers selling for a fraction of that price.
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uavSteve Guttenberg Posted: Jan 05, 2009 0 comments
Dynaudio is, first and foremost, an audiophile speaker company, but one that also makes superb home-theater speakers. Wait, that implies it makes separate audiophile and home-theater lines, which is not really true. Dynaudio speakers excel with music and home theater.
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Posted: Dec 29, 2008 0 comments
Price: $15,195 At A Glance: Gorgeous custom finishes • Pure beryllium tweeters deliver incredible detail • Outstanding dynamics

Paradigm Elevates the Art

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a demonstration of Paradigm’s Signature Reference Series at its quasi-premiere at Definitive Audio in Bellevue, Washington. I’d been a long-time fan of Paradigm’s Reference line of loudspeakers, and I was excited to see its new flagship paired with Anthem’s Statement products.

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uavGary Altunian Posted: Dec 08, 2008 1 comments
German products are usually associated with precision performance and high quality. When you think of brands such as Porsche and Mercedes-Benz cars or Rolleiflex cameras, meticulous attention to detail and quality construction are probably the first impressions that come to mind. A budget price not so much.
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uavSteve Guttenberg Posted: Nov 24, 2008 0 comments
Nowadays, it seems like I can't write a review without acknowledging the impact of flat-screen TVs on speaker design. Today's speakers have a tough assignment—they better be super-model thin and still have what it takes to belt out heavyweight home-theater sound.
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uavSteve Guttenberg Posted: Oct 08, 2008 0 comments
I've reviewed hundreds of speakers, and back when I was selling high-end audio, I auditioned many hundreds more. Summing up those experiences, here's what I've learned: They all sound different, but some sound more "right" than others.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 29, 2008 0 comments
Following a train of thought.

The world is full of loudspeakers and their manufacturers. Try as I might, I can’t review them all, and normally I have no problem with my limitations. But where Mordaunt-Short is concerned, a feeling of having missed the boat haunts me. Given the quality of the Alumni sat/sub set I reviewed in March (my first review of a Mordaunt-Short product), how could I have missed out on such a stellar company, especially one with a 40-year pedigree?

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 08, 2008 0 comments
“i” is for intense.

Every audio reviewer thinks back on specific products and sometimes wishes that he or she bought them following the review. For me, one such product was the Polk RT3000p. The two-piece speaker featured a powered subwoofer, with the mid-tweeter section perched on top in a separate cabinet. The system had a gutsy, meaty quality to it that beautifully suited movie soundtracks.

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uavGary Altunian Posted: Aug 12, 2008 Published: Aug 13, 2008 0 comments
Not long ago, large floorstanding speakers were preferred—practically required—to get the sonic performance demanded by audiophiles and home-theater fans. Smaller speakers simply couldn't adequately reproduce the wide dynamic range and clarity of today's high-resolution digital sources.

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