TOWER SPEAKER REVIEWS

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Jul 12, 2002 0 comments

In my fantastical and factional stretch of planet, "PC" usually stands for "politically correct," as in "Don't even think about saying that." Or it could simply refer to that bane of all society—or, at least, the bane of the unfortunates who support those who use them—the Personal Computer. But when Phase Technology Corp. uses "PC," they mean their Premier Collection, which represents not only the pinnacle of their current line, but an excellent value as well.

J. Gordon Holt Posted: Jun 24, 2002 0 comments

It's an article of faith among audiophiles that you can "hear" materials. It just stands to reason that, if a loudspeaker cone has a certain sound when tapped with a fingernail, then everything it reproduces will be colored by that sound. This is why an audiophile will tap the exposed cones of an unfamiliar loudspeaker to see what they sound like. But not every material has a characteristic sound; some aren't stiff enough to vibrate. A wet dishrag, for example, has no sonic "signature." Only if you hit something with it does it make any sound at all, and then it just goes splat. But any material stiff enough to push air without wilting is likely to have some kind of resonant mode that we can hear, so you just know that a metal loudspeaker diaphragm is going to sound metallic.

Chris Lewis Posted: Jun 11, 2002 Published: Jun 12, 2002 0 comments
Energy's updated Veritas line lives up to its legacy

It was a question I hadn't considered until I stepped into the listening room on that gloomy Monday morning to greet my Canadian guests. Then it hit me like a slap shot to the forehead. Could I be the unbiased, emotionally unruffled reviewer that I know I am on this day, or was my bitterness simply too strong to give these visitors their fair shake? For you see, it was less than 24 hours earlier that one of the most important games in North American hockey history—the gold-medal final between the United States and Canada—had ended in utter disappointment for the Stars and Stripes. And now, these Canadian speakers were staring me right in the face—their phase plugs pointing at me in ridicule, their ports directing a sly, triumphant wink my way, and their cabinets standing a little taller and straighter after 50 years of Olympic-hockey frustration. My doubts quickly passed, though, as my foreign guests began expertly filling the room with the soothing sounds of the Mississippi delta and Virginia mountains, bringing an undeniable calm over me—even a hint of resignation. As much as I love hockey, it's their game, after all. If Canada starts beating us in football or baseball, I'll know the sports gods have really turned their backs on the good old U.S. of A.

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Michael Fremer Posted: May 03, 2002 0 comments

John Lennon's line in "Come Together"—"Got to be good-looking 'cause he's so hard to see"—sums up the sleek, shapely appearance of Sonus Faber's new Grand Piano Home L/R speaker. With its warm, leatherette-wrapped front and rear baffles and sculpted black-lacquer-like side cheeks, the gently sloping design exudes European elegance even as it seems to disappear under its own good looks.

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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Apr 09, 2002 Published: Apr 10, 2002 1 comments
Back to square one.

I can't listen to B&W speakers without thinking about my audio buddy Ralph. Back in 1977, Ralph was a hot young artist rolling in dough. He had just become an audio junkie and picked up an amazing set of B&W's potbellied, time-aligned DM 6s. Sure, they looked kinda funny, but their sound was so good that I developed a bad habit of regularly barging into Ralph's Greenwich Village loft, armed with a bag of take-out Chinese food and a stack of LPs.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 13, 2002 0 comments

Veteran readers of <I>Stereophile Guide to Home Theater</I> and <I>Stereophile</I> will know that my longtime reference speaker for 2-channel playback has been the <A HREF="http://www.stereophile.com//551/">Energy Veritas V2.8</A>&mdash;it's capable of dominating a room in a way that few other speakers in its price range can. For years now at trade shows, I've badgered Energy to produce a suitable center-channel and surrounds, but what Energy has had in the works the last few years were not additional models to fill out a home-theater setup based on the V2.8, but a complete new Veritas line. Everything about the current flagship of that updated and expanded range, the Veritas V2.4&mdash;from drivers to cabinet&mdash;is new, and many of those new developments are carried over to the full Veritas line.

John J. Gannon Posted: Feb 24, 2002 0 comments

Wharfedale is a name that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue of the average American audiophile. It should. This British firm's long, distinguished history dates back to the early 1930s and includes a good number of industry firsts, including the use of ceramic magnets. Once one of the most popular brands of British loudspeakers on this side of the Atlantic, Wharfedale has enjoyed only limited exposure in North America in the past 20 years. By introducing cutting-edge designs at affordable prices, they're now obviously aiming to change that.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 15, 2001 0 comments

When I reviewed the Revel Ultima loudspeaker system in SGHT's July/August 1998 issue, it was a challenge to come up with adequate superlatives&mdash;so the Ultima Gems, Voice, Embrace, and LE-1 subwoofer became our first Class AAA-rated speaker system. The Gems and Voice have been a frequent fixture in my reference home-theater system ever since, moved aside only when other speakers are being reviewed. The Revel Ultima surrounds and subwoofer were displaced for logistical reasons, not because of their performance, which was&mdash;and is&mdash;of reference quality. (Both&mdash;particularly the subwoofer, with its heavy, separate amplifier&mdash;were cumbersome to move in and out of position, a consideration important to a reviewer.)

HT Staff Posted: Nov 07, 2001 Published: Nov 08, 2001 0 comments
Got money? HT editors tell you the best value for your $$$.

As editors of Home Theater, everyone asks us questions about the consumer electronics business. This is fine—it's our duty to help those who may not have the time to spend all day playing around with really cool gear. Some questions are easy, like "How do I hook this up?" or "What does anamorphic mean?" Unfortunately, the one question we get all the time is not as simple to answer: What gear should I buy?

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Michael Trei Posted: Sep 04, 2001 Published: Sep 05, 2001 0 comments
With the Image Series speaker system, PSB proves that you can cut corners without compromising performance.

Quick, which do you think would be more difficult to do: design a cutting-edge, no-compromises speaker or design a speaker that gives the best possible performance for a very affordable price? While coming up with a mind-blowing design without any cost boundaries is undoubtedly a daunting challenge, I would argue that producing a loudspeaker that can deliver killer results for a very affordable price is much harder. Making great budget speakers involves the art of compromise, knowing where you can save money without sacrificing the sonic results you're after.

Clint Walker Posted: May 02, 2001 Published: May 03, 2001 0 comments
A commanding performance from a well-disciplined pupil.

Over thirty years ago, B&W Loudspeakers set out to build a speaker that would set the standard in sound and build quality, a speaker that other companies would strive for years to keep up with. Today, there is little doubt that B&W's goal was achieved. In fact, the designs of yesterday were so successful that 80 percent of all classical recordings are monitored using B&W loudspeakers.

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Chris Lewis Posted: May 02, 2001 Published: May 03, 2001 0 comments
Innovative Audio's new speaker system begs the question, "What has your furniture done for you lately?"

I'll wager that, if you were to poll the attendees at January's Consumer Electronics Show as to which was the most intriguing audio demo at the expo this year, a large majority would respond with Tom Holman's 10.2-channel sonic roller-coaster ride over at Alexis Park. Sure, the high-resolution demos were purer, and I'll be damned if the two-channel rigs at that same venue didn't, on the whole, sound better than ever (two-channel ain't dead just yet, gang). Still, when it came down to pure entertainment value, Holman's demo undoubtedly stole the show.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jan 29, 2001 0 comments

When a speaker company changes hands, particularly when it is sold by its founders, a new design team often comes on board. That can be a tricky affair. Like passing a baton in a relay race, if it's not handled smoothly, or if it's dropped, sometimes there's no catching up and the race is lost. That almost happened to giant Harman International when it bought Infinity from Arnie Nudell and Cary Christie. Both men ultimately left to pursue other ventures. It took years for Infinity to fully regain its footing, which it did with the rollout of the outstanding, high-tech Prelude system, reviewed by Joel Brinkley in the July/August 2000 issue of SGHT.

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Jerry Kindela Posted: Dec 27, 2000 Published: Dec 28, 2000 0 comments
The MartinLogan hybrid electrostatic speaker system delivers a distinctive aural panorama that throws you into the movies.

A core tenet of stellar home theater reproduction calls for a system's ability to re-create infrasonic bass—the kind that drops so low that you no longer hear it, but you can feel it throughout the length of your alimentary canal. The kind of bass that threatens to shatter your gallstones. Of course, getting this kind of gut-whomping bass is relatively easy today, depending on your room's resonance nodes and the amount of greenbacks you can muster for the purchase of a foundation-rattling subwoofer.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Nov 29, 2000 Published: Nov 30, 2000 0 comments
Definitive Technology's newest home theater package is at the plate. Will it strike out or strike up the band?

Even if you're not a baseball fan, you've probably heard of Mark McGwire. After crushing the previous single-season home-run record a couple of years ago, McGwire continues to pound the ball out of the park to the delight of Cardinals fans everywhere. Yet, despite his imposing form and incredible swing, McGwire (like most power hitters) strikes out with some regularity. Of course, who's going to complain to a guy who has hit 72 home runs in a single season?

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