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TOWER SPEAKER REVIEWS

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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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Ultimate AV Staff Posted: May 25, 2006 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/506thielcs37.jpg" WIDTH=152 HEIGHT=333 ALIGN=RIGHT>

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Roger Maycock Posted: May 15, 2006 0 comments
Sonic revelation.

When the assignment came in to review Revel's Performa system, I was more than just a little bit excited. After all, spending time with a Performa F52, C52, S30, M22, and B15A setup is akin to driving a Mercedes-Benz CL600 coupe with every conceivable option when you're accustomed to commuting in a Honda Accord. There's nice, and then there's, "Give me the keys, and get out of the way!" Yes, this would be fun.

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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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 15, 2006 0 comments
Sometimes it's better to be indirect.

Mirage has been, ahem, reflecting on the influence of room acoustics for nearly two decades. In the process, this distinguished Canadian speaker maker has birthed some unorthodox designs. The common thread running through all of them is a determination to make room reflections work for loudspeakers rather than against them. That determination bears fruit in the second-generation Omnisat series.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 18, 2006 Published: Apr 19, 2006 0 comments
All the THX in China.

First-generation THX blossomed in the high-end sphere. The first companies to make THX-certified speakers were already making great ones, with or without certification. Even now, the list of THX speaker makers reads like an industry honor roll. That list is now one name longer.

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Roger Maycock Posted: Apr 09, 2006 0 comments
Home theater audio with a pro-studio heritage.

When I received the call to review PMC's OB1, CB6, GB1, and TLE1 home theater loudspeaker system, I was excited. The British company enjoys a stellar reputation throughout the professional audio community, and prominent clients, including Dolby Labs, BBC Radio, Capital Records, and Village Recorders use their equipment. The opportunity to discover how PMC's consumer equipment performs was more than a bit intriguing.

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

My first experience with Energy speakers came in 1994, when I reviewed the Canadian company's then flagship speaker, the Veritas v2.8. It rotated in and out of my system for years, occasionally bettered in specifics by speakers selling for its original price ($6000/pair) or more, but never trumped overall, to my ears. The pair I own is still a valued two-channel reference, but unfortunately Energy never made a center channel speaker to match it.

Michael Trei Posted: Mar 10, 2006 0 comments
Flexibility and value from a Scottish benchmark.

Imagine what it would be like if shopping for a new car involved the same number of decisions we must make when buying a home theater system. First, we would pick an engine, then we'd need a chassis to mount it in, and, to top it off, we would hire a coach builder to design a body to our specifications. This is, in fact, the way people bought luxury cars prior to World War II, before the car companies came to recognize that advancing technology required them to think of the design as an integrated whole rather than as a hodgepodge grouping of discrete components.

Rebecca Day Posted: Feb 14, 2006 Published: Feb 15, 2006 0 comments
A complete system you won't want to hide in the basement.

My basement audio/video system is so last century. It's a mix-and-match collection of gear that's been retired as I've put together my real home theater system upstairs. The TV, a 30-inch analog CRT, circa 1988, doesn't even have a flat picture tube to its credit. The receiver maxes out at four-channel Dolby Pro Logic, and the speaker system is a mishmash of center and surround speakers (unmatched), with unshielded front speakers that deliver a killer image with stereo music but an unwelcome rainbow of colors when placed next to a video display. The DVD player is the only current-millennium piece in the stack, but not by much.

Jerry Kindela Posted: Feb 14, 2006 Published: Feb 15, 2006 0 comments
A combination that hits all the right notes (and sounds).

There's a compelling magic that has kept my butt on the sofa— it's the enthralling And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself. It was for no small reason that this HBO film earned an Emmy for sound editing. The width and depth of the soundscape, the detailed sound bits, the way the dialogue comes through, and the score's ability to underscore the power and poignancy of scene after scene are remarkable. Each of these turns a made-for-TV movie into a film that transcends the limitations of the home venue for which it was created. And the system I've been using—an Epos M Series 5.1 speaker setup powered by the Butler Audio TDB 5150 vacuum-tube power amplifier—reveals such wonderful nuances in Pancho Villa that I have been completely glued to the couch.

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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Jan 11, 2006 0 comments
Body and soul.

I don't think I've ever before referred to a speaker as "sexy," but Sonus faber's new Domus line is definitely hot stuff. Yeah baby, the Domus Series' enticing curves—sheathed in supple black leatherette, poised on spiked feet—will get audiophiles all hot and bothered. That's because they make for pretty sexy sound, too.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Dec 24, 2005 0 comments

Manufacturers of many types of goods, from mattresses to consumer electronics, sell different products through different distribution channels. One channel might be the big chains like Best Buy and Circuit City. Another might be higher-end, specialty retailers like Harvey's and Tweeter, Etc. Yet another might be custom installers. In fact, some brands, like Triad, are available exclusively through the custom installers. You can't buy them at retail.

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Chris Lewis Posted: Dec 21, 2005 0 comments
Quality drivers in quality cabinets equals quality sound—at a nice price.

It's easy to find your eyes dazzled, and your mind befuddled, by the outpouring of new speakers over the last few years, particularly those of the nontraditional variety. In-walls, plasma-friendly speakers, and even flat-panel speakers are all the rage with the general public. This is hardly a bad thing—anything that can get people to recognize that the speaker realm extends far beyond the two-dollar paper drivers in their televisions serves a valuable purpose. Many of these people may also come to realize that, at this point, most of these recent unconventional designs embody some degree of compromise, and they hopefully won't fall victim to the dreaded anything-that-is-new-is-better philosophy. It is true that manufacturers are getting more out of unconventional designs than ever before. But, generally speaking, the best speaker sound still comes out of old-fashioned cone drivers and dome tweeters in cabinets with the proper interior and exterior qualities, along with the proper space for them to do their work.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 18, 2005 0 comments

While I'll be the first one to defend the importance of the independent dealer who can provide expert demonstrations and face-to-face advice, the reality is that these dealers are experiencing an increasingly diverse and difficult market. And in some parts of the country, they're hard if not impossible to find.

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