TOWER SPEAKER REVIEWS

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 15, 2004 0 comments

When Paul Barton was a youngster, he showed great promise as a violinist—so much promise that his father spent an entire year building him a violin based on one of Antonio Stradivari's most thoroughly studied instruments. Barton still has that violin, and still plays music regularly, but he long ago decided that the musician's life was not for him as a primary vocation. Instead, Barton decided to design speakers.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 15, 2004 0 comments

Tannoy has been designing and manufacturing speakers in the United Kingdom for as long as anyone can recall. The word "Tannoy," in fact, is as generic in Britain as "Scotch tape" is here. If a Brit tells you that he just heard something on the "Tannoy," you're more likely to be in a train station than a hi-fi shop, and he's talking about an announcement on the PA system.

Steven Stone Posted: Dec 15, 2004 0 comments

We all long for big, bodacious home theater systems. Unfortunately, many of us, especially urban dwellers, find ourselves shoehorning 100 pounds of gear into a 10-pound space. Some videophiles even resort to pitiful little satellite speakers the size of Ping-Pong balls.

Chris Lewis Posted: Dec 15, 2004 0 comments
Post-time for B&W, Dynaudio, Phase Tech, and PSB.

The odds of finding a horse for $3,000 that will win the Kentucky Derby are about as good as they are of me hitting the Pick 6 at Santa Anita Race Track—in other words, it ain't gonna happen (although, in the case of the latter, it won't be for lack of trying). Even Seattle Slew, one of the great bargains in horse-racing history, carried an initial price tag of $17,500.

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—some say "in the corner," some say "anywhere but the corner"—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.

Robert Deutsch Posted: Nov 07, 2004 0 comments

Of all the subwoofers I've reviewed over the years, the one I remember as being the most satisfying overall is the Bag End Infrasub-18. It went lower than any sub I've had in my system, and its integration with the main speakers was the most natural. At any level that I could tolerate, the low bass had an authority that left other subwoofers sounding just a bit strained.

Fred Manteghian Posted: Nov 05, 2004 0 comments

Canadian speaker manufacturer Paradigm Electronics is but a 90-minute drive from Niagara Falls, New York, home of the classic heart-shaped-tub honeymoon suite. The few months I spent with the Paradigms were a honeymoon of sorts. An Armenian and a sextet of Canadians—and they said it wouldn't last! Now, after two months, the honeymoon may be over—but will the magic go on?

Joel Brinkley Posted: Oct 17, 2004 0 comments

For two decades now, Danish manufacturer Dynaudio has been known for making superb speakers in small cabinets. No, such designs can't produce the robust bass that larger speakers can muster—that's a simple factor of physics, not of design. But Dynaudio's track record should intrigue anyone interested in buying a compact speaker.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 15, 2004 0 comments

Two years ago, when I visited the B&W facilities in Worthing, England, I heard a demonstration of that company's then-new flagship, the Signature 800 ($16,000/pair). I salivated at the prospect of reviewing a home theater package anchored by these impressive speakers, but ultimately put off requesting them in favor of slightly more manageable and affordable designs.

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Oct 15, 2004 Published: Oct 01, 2004 1 comments
The totally bearable lightness of being a Mythos.
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Chris Lewis Posted: Oct 15, 2004 Published: Oct 01, 2004 0 comments
Big, bold, and beautiful.

Odd as it may seem for a speaker review, I must begin with my first visual impression of Paradigm's new Reference Signature speakers. Granted, I usually stress that a speaker's physical appearance means little—after all, we don't buy speakers to look at them. If the current trend is any indication, though, many people don't agree, as evidenced by the proliferation of smaller, prettier, and more aesthetically sensitive speakers.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 02, 2004 0 comments

I keep hearing that thin is in. While my goal of joining the slender set has always been a struggle between food and evil, I'm at least beginning to surround myself with the trappings of that lifestyle. Gone is my bulky 36-inch direct-view CRT, replaced by a Belgian-waffle-thin plasma. Now comes this quintet of speakers from the original manufacturer of thin-is-in speakers, Magnepan. This was not my first experience with planar-magnetic speakers—a long-gone pair of Maggies was my first true audiophile love. But love is no substitute for food. Could these new Maggies sustain me?

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Michael Trei Posted: Sep 18, 2004 Published: Sep 01, 2004 0 comments
Trickle-down economics, audio style.

While those on the left and right sides of the political fence are bound to debate the pros and cons of trickle-down economic theory for the rest of time, it's hard to deny the way in which many high-tech developments that began life in projects bearing stratospheric price tags eventually came to benefit the masses, in products we can use every day. Today, many of us can afford gadgets like GPS navigation systems and laser pointers, whereas a few years ago this type of technology was available only to the largest institutions and military powers. This access to technology has had a major effect on today's audio components; for example, most of the latest surround processors have far more computing power than the in-flight computer used for the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969.

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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Sep 18, 2004 Published: Sep 01, 2004 0 comments
They're cool—really cool!

MB Quart's new Vera Series speakers have redefined cool. They're cool-sounding, for sure, but I also mean cool, as in low-temperature cool. Heat, you see, is the enemy of good sound. When you're rocking with Aerosmith's ballistic blues bash Honkin' on Bobo or crankin' Master and Commander, your speakers' voice-coil temperatures shoot up. In extreme cases, they can heat up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The excessive temperature does bad, bad things; it can raise the voice coils' resistance by as much as 25 percent. Distortion creeps up, dynamics flatten out, and transient response goes to hell. Worse yet, sustained overheating can lead to driver meltdown. Ouch!

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Jerry Kindela Posted: Aug 19, 2004 Published: Aug 01, 2004 0 comments
This home theater system only seems like the new kid on the block.

In 1984, Ole Witthoft found the state of the speaker art wanting. To his ears, most speakers suffered in two fundamentally intertwined ways: One, they didn't present the details of sound in a way that, two, led you to sense the music's feeling and passion. So, like so many entrepreneurs who try to fill the void in a marketplace based on their own perceptions, Witthoft launched System Audio, using these composite criteria as his mission statement.

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