Unlike many high-end manufacturers that concentrate on one type of product, MBL casts a wider net. For three decades, this German company has developed super-sophisticatedand super-expensivespeakers, power amps, preamps, integrated amps, optical-disc players, and D/A converters. At the top of its speaker heap is the 101 X-treme, a stunning sonic and visual masterpiece.
At the 2008 CEDIA Expo, I was surprised to find a new high-end projector company making its debut. Could <A href="http://www.wolfcinema.com">Wolf Cinema</A> successfully cross light paths with the likes of Runco and Digital Projection?
One look and you know this is no ordinary speaker. The flowing, liquid lines of the Muon reflect the highest artistic expression, and rightly so—after all, it was created by renowned designer Ross Lovegrove for pre-eminent British speaker manufacturer <A href="http://www.kef.com">KEF</A>.
Danish A/V manufacturer <A href="http://www.bang-olufsen.com">Bang & Olufsen</A> is undoubtedly one of the most innovative companies in the world when it comes to industrial design. Founded in 1925 by engineers Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen, its products not only offer superb performance, they are works of art in their own right.
If you thought 1080p is as good as it gets, think again. Long known for its reference-quality audio products, <A href="http://www.meridian-audio.com">Meridian</A> now offers a video projector with <I>five times</I> the resolution of 1080p. Dubbed the 810 Reference Video Projector, this 140-pound behemoth uses three D-ILA panels, each with a resolution of 4096x2400 for a total of nearly 10 megapixels.
As part of megaconglomerate Harman International, <A href="http://www.revelspeakers.com">Revel</A> has access to some of the finest speaker-design and development facilities in the world. And yet it retains its identity as a separate, relatively small company whose sole focus is producing the best possible speakers without compromising or cutting corners.
After 60 years of making some of the finest audio components available, <A href="http://www.mcintoshlabs.com">McIntosh Laboratory</A> is celebrating its quadquindecennial with the reissue of two classic models—the C22 preamp and MC75 monoblock power amp that were first introduced in the early 1960s. Both units have been updated with the latest features and manufacturing techniques and will be sold as a limited-edition "Classic System" including one C22 and two MC75s.
<A href="http://www.bowers-wilkins.com">B&W</A>'s Nautilus speakers are not new—they were introduced in 1993—but they remain unequaled in the sheer beauty of their design. And that design isn't merely for the sake of visual impact—it's a classic case of form following function.
Italian projector maker <A href="http://www.sim2.it/home/en/">SIM2</A> specializes in combining high style and high performance, especially when it comes to the high end. The company's C3X Lumis HOST 1080p projector is a perfect case in point—curvaceous cabinet on the outside and 3-chip DLP imaging engine on the inside.
If CES 2009 was any indication, it looked like Philips was getting out of the consumer-electronics business, seeing as how the company had no booth or press conference this year. We know for sure it won't be selling TVs in North America, having reached a deal whereby Japanese electronics manufacturer Funai will market Philips and Magnavox TVs in the US and Canada while Philips concentrates on Europe and key emerging countries.
<A href="http://www.wilsonaudio.com">Wilson Audio</A> is well known for ultra-high-end speakers, but most of its products are designed for 2-channel listening. To create a full surround system, all you need do is mate any of Wilson's superlative L/R models with a center, surrounds, subwoofer, and controller from the WATCH (Wilson Audio Theater Comes Home) lineup.