TOWER SPEAKER REVIEWS

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 30, 2002 0 comments

RBH Sound has been around for 25 years, but don't think you're out of the loop if you haven't heard of the Layton, Utah company. My introduction came only a few years ago, and I've been in the loop a long time. RBH built speakers for other brands for many years, but began concentrating on establishing its own brand name about six years ago, when the home-theater boom began. Today their products are sold through 400 dealers and custom installers. After spending a few months with one of RBH's top-performing, most expensive systems, I can tell you that finding one of these dealers will be well worth your while.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 26, 2002 0 comments

A company with B&W's resources, experience, and technical know-how can pretty much build what it wants. What B&W chose to do in the CM Series is blend good looks, high build quality, and typically rich "British sound" into an affordable package—something easier said than done.

Steven Stone Posted: Sep 09, 2002 0 comments

Boom. Thud. Crash. What would a movie be without low-frequency effects? Even non-macho films like <I>Sense and Sensibility</I> have their share of carriage-wheel rumblings and horse-hoof thuds. Without a serious subwoofer that extends down to a solid 30Hz, and preferably even lower, a home-theater system can hardly be called "high-end."

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 02, 2002 0 comments

All survivors of the classic audiophile disease of upgrade-itis can rattle off one or more components they wish they'd held on to. Easy enough to do in hindsight; at the time, we needed the dough to climb the next rung on the ladder to audio nirvana. I can name half a dozen products I'd like to still have around, if only for their nostalgia value. But I suspect that the Snell Type A loudspeakers, which I owned (in their improved versions) from 1978 to1985, would do more than awaken memories of the "good old days." They were genuinely fine speakers that would still be competitive today.

Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 21, 2002 0 comments

When it comes to surround-speaker systems, good things rarely come in small packages. Microsatellites and little subwoofers typically sound thin and anemic, with poor tonal balance and low volume capabilities. Yet there are many situations (e.g., small apartments, dorm rooms, guest rooms) in which such speakers would be ideally suited, if only they produced a reasonably good sound.

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&mdash;or, at least, the bane of the unfortunates who support those who use them&mdash;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"&mdash;"Got to be good-looking 'cause he's so hard to see"&mdash;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.

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