For a country with a population of fewer than 6 million, Denmark has an amazingly high profile when it comes to manufacturers of audio and home theater products. Bang & Olufsen, Dynaudio, Vifa, Peerless, Jamo, Gryphon, Ortofon, Thule, Dali, TacT—the list goes on and on. According to the folks at US importer Sumiko, Primare (pronounced "prime-AIR") has been around since the 1980s, and their products combine outstanding industrial design with an emphasis on sound quality. In the late '90s, the Primare team was joined by Michael Bladelius, well-known for his analog and digital design work for Threshold, Classé, and Pass Labs. Primare products are now manufactured in Sweden, while the head office and design center remain in Denmark.
There's no rest for the wicked or for manufacturers of surround preamp-processors. By this, I don't mean to imply that makers of these devices are wicked. In fact, the ones I'm acquainted with are all nice folks devoted to bringing high-quality sound to home-theater fans while making a bit of money in the process.
Rotel has been in the audio business for four decades, and they were among the first to recognize the importance of the developing home theater market. The last Rotel surround preamp-processor I reviewed was the RSP-1066, in January 2003, and it was a honey: good-sounding, full-featured, and priced at an affordable $1499.
Location, location, location. What's important in real estate is just as important in subwoofer perfor-mance. (And speaker performance in general, but that's a story for another day.) While agreement on recommendations for subwoofer placement is less than complete—some say "in the corner," some say "anywhere but the corner"—everyone agrees that the location of a subwoofer and its relation to the listening area can have a major influence on how the sub sounds.