LATEST ADDITIONS

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 1 comments

Monitor Audio introduced its flagship Platinum loudspeaker to the US at CES. The lineup includes the floor-standing PL300 ($8999/pair), the PL100 bookshelf ($4299/pair), the PL350 center ($4299), and the PLW-15 600W subwoofer ($4299). Stands are optional. The big system was not in use while I was there, but the smaller PL100's sounded clean and natural, with fine imaging, an uncolored midrange, and sparkling but not exaggerated highs from the ribbon tweeter—a first for Monitor Audio.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 12 comments

Dome in this case doesn't mean a tweeter diaphragm, but rather Focal's new "Lifestyle Luxury" speaker package, consisting of small, two-way satellite speakers in a rounded enclosure together with a small, separate sub. The satellite is shown here. It's used for every channel, including the center. The tab is $1475 for a 2.1 channels and $2495 for a 5.1-channel system. The "Dome" satellite speakers themselves are available separately for $750/pair. Available in April.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 1 comments

The photo here shows the original image on SIM2's LCD local dimming prototype (the quality of the image on the LCD screen, by the way, was far better than this shot). The photo in the next entry shows the backlighting for the same image (I asked SIM2 to freeze the source so you can see what is happening.) More details follow in the next entry.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments

In addition to its line of projectors (which was heavily featured at the 2007 CEDIA Expo), SIM2 has begun working with Dolby to incorporate new Dolby video technology into its LCD flat panel displays. This technology involves LED backlighting with local dimming to improve black levels. The demo in the SIM2 room (and also in the Dolby booth) was set up to show not only the original image (in the previous post), but, with the flick of a switch, the lighting pattern of the LED backlights (shown here). According to SIM2, their prototype uses 1300 LEDs.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 1 comments

Focal redesigned its Electra series a year or so ago to incorporate the beryllium tweeter originally found in the Utopia series. That revised Electra line remains available, but a new Electra S range makes for a more affordable (though not cheap) Electra package. The prices start at $3495/pair for the bookshelf 1007 S all the way up to $5995/pair for the floor-standing 1027 S. The CC 1000 S center will run you $2295, the SR 1000 S surrounds $3495/pair, and the SW 1000 S sub $2995. The big savings in the S series come from a somewhat less elaborate and expensive cabinet construction and finish, and the substitution of an Aluminum/Magnesium tweeter in place of the beryllium design in the Be range.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments

Focal's XS 2.1 system is designed to match the look of the latest iMac computer, right down to the metal trim. There is an iPOD dock on one of the satellite bases and a small, separate sub. $749 for the package shown, including the sub (not visible) but excluding the iMac!

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 1 comments

The Harmon Specialty Group was demonstrating Levinson's new $30,000 No.502 surround processor together with Lexicon amps and a complete Revel Ultima2 speaker system, the latter anchored by the big Revel Ultima2 Salon2s on the right and left front channels. It sounded outstanding, but this did not surprise me after my recent review of an Ultima2 Studio2 system.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 8 comments

KEF's flagship speaker, the Muon, looks to be over 6 feet tall, is fashioned from 6mm thick, super formed aluminum. Only 100 pairs will be built for worldwide sales, and a pair will run you $140,000. Surround sound? No problem, just buy six. Add five Mark Levinson No.53 amps and you're good to go.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments
The new room correction in Anthem's D2 and D1 pre-pros is billed as the only full commercial implementation of principles developed by Canada's National Research Council 15 years ago in Project Athena. Improved thermal design adds stability--in fact, the model we heard had a lamp sitting on its top vent holes, as you can see.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments
Among the new stuff from Onix, a champion of the budget speaker genre, is the step-up Concerto. Eight hundred a pair will buy you a dual-drive woofer with magnets in front and back. We're betting that when we get to try it, that's going to be some pretty disciplined bass, with the driver starting and stopping on a dime, though of course, that's just speculation at this point. Also new is the X-Statik which puts the tweeter and midrange in an open baffle above the conventionally enclosed woofer. It'll be $699/pair.

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