TOWER SPEAKER REVIEWS

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 27, 2000 Published: Aug 28, 2000 0 comments
Jaded no more.

I've heard too many speakers. After 10 years of reviewing them, it's hard for me to remember what it was like to be surprised . . . astounded . . . amazed by a really good speaker. However, over the past couple of months, I've gotten a taste of what it was like when I first heard good speakers— when I first experienced broad soundstaging, precise imaging, and a neutral, natural tonal balance.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Jun 01, 2010 0 comments
Price: $18,790 At A Glance: Unique design with proprietary components • Seamless topto-bottom coherence • Wide dynamic contrast • See-through transparency and clarity

Defining the Possibilities

Speakers sometimes remind me of cars. The marketing campaigns are built around uniqueness, but in a larger sense, most are far more similar than different. Most cars have combustion engines, four wheels that go around, and options that are more distinguished by the jargon that describes them than by their functionality. These days, many speakers are assembled from materials that are purchased from a handful of well-known source component companies. They often have much more in common with each other than people are led to believe.

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Ultimate AV Staff Posted: May 25, 2006 0 comments

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 31, 2006 0 comments
2.1-channel home theater is more than mere reductionism.

Home theater is the union of big-screen television and surround sound. Those are the two bedrock principles on which this magazine was founded. So, it may seem heretical to even consider modifying that second requirement. After all, the whole notion of home theater has matured in tandem with advances in both video and surround technology.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Sep 13, 2006 0 comments
  • Two-Channel System Price: $1,595/pr.
  • Ported two-way with one 5.5" mid/woofer and one 1" "textile" dome tweeter
    HWD: 35" x 6.3" x 9.5"
We know. This is Home Theater magazine for chrissakes! But not everyone we know (or you know) is able or willing to consider a full-on five or seven channel surround system in their space. In addition to that, some people are music lovers first, and to them the tradeoff of owning a single pair of reference quality speakers is trump compared to littering the room with speakers. And hey, you can add a center and surrounds later! Look into our December issue to see if the Totem passes the two-channel challenge!
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Steven Stone Posted: Jan 06, 2007 0 comments

When I say, "horn loudspeaker," what do you think of first? Most longtime audiophiles immediately visualize big corner-mounted Klipsch K-Horns or Altec Lansing "Voice of the Theater" speakers. Although horn-mounted technology is not as common today as it was during the golden age of mono in the '40's and '50's, it still exists. The Triad InRoom Platinum speaker system ($29,850 as tested), for example, is very much here and now.

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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Oct 22, 2005 0 comments
American beauties.

Flat-screen-friendly speakers, iPod-inspired microspeakers, and adorable HTIBs are selling like crazy, but Vandersteen Audio is immune to such flights of fancy. Their speakers are all plus-size beauties—the company's new VCC-5 Reference center channel measures a healthy 24 inches wide, 9.75 high, and 18 deep. So, sure, it would be a hell of a lot easier to sell a slimmer design, but the company's head honcho, Richard Vandersteen, doesn't play that game. He designs speakers for buyers who care more about sound than fashion. His stuck-in-the-1980s styling isn't a calculated stab at retro—the handsome 1C tower speaker was originally introduced in 1981 as the Model 1, and the "C" iteration debuted in 1996. You see, change for the sake of change isn't an option at Vandersteen Audio, and that extends to bucking the industry stampede to move production offshore. They still build every speaker in Hanford, California, and they test and measure every speaker in their own anechoic chamber. That's commitment.

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Posted: May 25, 2006 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/506vander3a.1.jpg" ALT="506vander3a.1.jpg" WIDTH=220 HEIGHT=281 HSPACE=4 VSPACE=4 ALIGN=RIGHT><B>Price</B>: $11,673 as configured in SCB's former reference system.

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Posted: May 26, 2006 0 comments

<B>Price</B>: $22,434 as configured in SCB's reference system.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 03, 1995 0 comments

The Vandersteen 3A is a higher-end variation on the theme established by the company's first loudspeaker, the 2C. The latter is still available, though much updated into the current, highly popular 2Ce. A four-way design, the 3A has separate sub-enclosures for each drive unit; the whole affair is covered with a knit grille-cloth "sock" with wood trim end pieces. A rear-mounted metal brace allows the user to vary the tiltback&mdash;an important consideration for best performance with this loudspeaker.

Robert Deutsch Posted: Dec 15, 2004 0 comments

Location, location, location. What's important in real estate is just as important in subwoofer perfor-mance. (And speaker performance in general, but that's a story for another day.) While agreement on recommendations for subwoofer placement is less than complete&mdash;some say "in the corner," some say "anywhere but the corner"&mdash;everyone agrees that the location of a subwoofer and its relation to the listening area can have a major influence on how the sub sounds.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 20, 2011 1 comments
Price: $11,250 At A Glance: Silky-smooth sonics • Refined, furniture-grade cabinetry • Depth-charge deep bass

Videophile Ready

Show Vienna Acoustics’ living-room-friendly Beethoven Baby Grand system to your hesitant significant other, and you might get the long-awaited nod you’ve been looking for. This is a speaker system an interior-design-conscious, non–audio enthusiast can make peace with.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: May 15, 2006 0 comments
Where there's a will, there's a way.

Say your Great-Aunt Edna died and left you $10,000 or so in her will with the stipulation that you had to spend it on a home theater system (that's why she always was your favorite great-aunt). You and I could while away the better part of an evening arguing the particulars of what gear to buy—and especially how the money should be divided between the audio and video parts of the system.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 29, 2010 1 comments
Price: $58,390 At A Glance: Huge dynamics • Enormous, transparent soundstage • Foundation shaking, boom-free, tuneful bass • Exquisite musical delicacy

Painting Pictures With Sound

To produce room-filling sound, a speaker has to move a lot of air—even in a relatively small room. Moving a lot of air, particularly in a big room, necessitates a large woofer placed in an even larger box. Refrigerator-sized speakers were commonplace in audiophiles’ living rooms back in the 1950s. When stereo arrived and required two large expanses of wood-framed grille cloth, significant others objected. Downsizing began, aided in part by Edgar Villchur’s invention of the sealed-box acoustic-suspension woofer.

Steven Stone Posted: Mar 03, 2003 0 comments

Vienna Acoustics likes to name their speakers after composers and classical musical forms. So far, they've covered Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Haydn, Mahler, Mozart, Schoenberg, and Waltz. The Strauss, Oratorio, and Waltz are Vienna's three most recent additions to this distinguished list, and they form the heart of a new home-theater and surround-music system designed for folks who demand great sound without completely gutting their 401(k)s. Batons ready? And ah-one and ah-two . . .

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