TOWER SPEAKER REVIEWS

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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.

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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Michael Fremer Posted: Dec 23, 2006 0 comments

Since veteran Acoustic Research loudspeaker designer Ken Kantor and Chris Byrne founded the company back in 1986, NHT has been tossed around like a corporate football: first to Jensen International in the early 1990's, then to Recoton, and to Rockford Corporation in 2002 following Recoton's failure. Finally, in 2005, Rockford handed it off to Colorado-based Vinci Group.

Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Nov 21, 2006 Published: Nov 22, 2006 0 comments
HDMI: It's not just for video anymore.

HDMI is a wonderful invention filled with promise. When utilized to its fullest, it can offer the best of both worlds: uncompressed audio and video signals and intelligent, two-way communication over a single cable. Manufacturers have long teased us with talk of complete home theater systems that you can set up using just two or three cables, but the reality has fallen far short of the promise. Most designers have used HDMI only as a top-grade video connector, paying little attention to its audio and communication abilities. Armed with the new HDMI 1.2a spec (the products here were designed and released before 1.3 was finalized), Panasonic is aiming for the ultimate in connection and control with their new EZ Sync HDAVI Control products.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 23, 2006 0 comments

Given Pioneer's current prominence in the world of plasma displays, DVD players (plus soon, they trust, Blu-ray Disc), and other home audio and video electronics, it may surprise you to learn that it began as a speaker company. In fact, Pioneer speakers still have a significant market presence in many parts of the world.

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Oct 15, 2006 0 comments
Why settle for a sweet spot when you can have a sweet room?

There's nothing unusual about a father who's eager to show off pictures of his kids and rave about how great they are. This is one of those moments, except Ken Hecht, the president of Phase Technology, isn't showing me pictures (I'm getting a real-life look), nor is he exaggerating how good these particular offspring are. In truth, we're not talking about little people at all. What Hecht is so proud to show me is a very special—I know, that's what they all say—home theater speaker system he's been dreaming about and working on for the better part of 15 years. It's a system that, he tells me, "will make any room sound like the best theater in the country." As if that weren't enough, he claims that the system can expand the sweet spot from the typical single-pair-of-ears hot seat to an area large enough for half a dozen or more people to sit comfortably and enjoy a movie. He's christened the system with the name Digital Audio Reference Theater System, or dARTS for short. (Thankfully, his real children have names that roll a little more easily off the tongue.)

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Joel Brinkley Posted: Sep 23, 2006 1 comments

The advertising brochures for Infinity's new Cascade line of speakers tell much of the story. The speakers are pictured nestled snugly up against a plasma TV, the center channel mounted on the wall. The stylized shot is from above, to show that the speakers are barely deeper than that ultra-thin TV. These are speakers designed for acceptance by both the enthusiast and the spouse.

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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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Shane Buettner Posted: Sep 13, 2006 0 comments
  • $1,600/ea.
  • "2.5-way" active loudspeaker with built-in 200-Watt IcePower amplifier modules powering four 4" aluminum mid/bass drivers and one 1" aluminum driver
With the CD 3200 Canton is at the forefront of a trend we expect to see major growth in: active speakers carrying small, efficient and powerful 200-Watt digital switching amps onboard. The drivers have been re-engineered for increased excursion for superior deep bass response and a focused soundfield. Canton claims it will outperform anything or near its class.
Steve Guttenberg Posted: Aug 17, 2006 0 comments
The audiophile and the ecstasy.

Bowers & Wilkins offers an impressive range of speakers in nearly every size and price category, but they're best known for models that demonstrate the company's continuing pursuit of the state of the art. Just last year, the diamond-tweeter-equipped Nautilus 800 Series speakers made a big splash in audiophile magazines all over the world. Those one-plus ultra models all come with breathtaking MSRPs, but you'll find traces of the 800 Series' inspired engineering throughout B&W's new, considerably more affordable XT Series designs. The XT4 tower's gleaming extruded-aluminum cabinetry is fresh, but the déjà-vu curves, yellow Kevlar midrange driver, and bulging topside tweeter pod leave no doubt—it's a B&W.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 13, 2006 0 comments

A decade ago Sonus faber introduced the Concert line, a series of loudspeakers designed to deliver Sonus faber performance and industrial design at a more affordable price point. That's what high-end companies do after establishing a strong reputation at the upper echelon of the marketplace. Once your products become the object of lust, you feed the hungry beast. And make no mistake: early Sonus faber products made waves both for their spectacular looks and their intoxicating sound.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 24, 2006 0 comments
The well-tempered speakers.

Some speakers start communicating immediately. Ten seconds after I got these JBLs started, I was engrossed. Before I set them up, I'd just gotten halfway through the first disc of Vladimir Feltsman's hard-to-find four-disc set of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier. Having just rearranged my reference system to better visual and sonic advantage, I was loath to pull it apart again, but duty called. The Cinema Sound speakers simply picked up where my reference speakers left off. They sounded neutral, substantial, and well able to keep up with both the recording's shifting dynamics and its liquid beauty.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Jul 23, 2006 0 comments

Focal, the French speaker and speaker component manufacturer formerly doing business as Focal-JMLabs, has always made a point of getting great sound at shows. While I didn't run into Focal at Primedia's Home Entertainment 2006 show in Los Angeles this June, I did hear some music in the MBL room that morphed into another sale for Amazon. As I work on the final edit of this review I'm listening to the just-delivered Jeff Buckley rendition of "Hallelujah" from his 1994 album <i>Grace</i> (CD, Columbia, CK 57528). The memory of what this song sounded like on the <a href="http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/he2006/060206mbl/" target=new> $47,000/pair MBL 101E speakers</a> is still fresh. At just 1/10th the MBL's price, Focal's Profile 918 speakers get me very, very close to the fire-branded goose bumps I felt in LA last month.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 12, 2006 0 comments

We haven't reviewed any of Revel's flagship Ultima models since the Gem/Voice/Embrace combination was evaluated in <I>Stereophile Guide to Home Theater</I> way back in 1998. But we've reviewed several Revel Performa systems since then. Three years ago I reviewed the then-new flagship system of Revel's Performa line, headlined by the floor standing <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/speakersystems/123/">Performa F50 </A>.

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Ultimate AV Staff Posted: May 26, 2006 0 comments

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