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Daniel Kumin Posted: May 27, 2004 0 comments

High-tech wonders like the DVD and Dolby Digital get much of the credit, but the home theater revolution owes just as much to a more mundane development: compact, affordable subwoofer/ satellite speaker systems.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Nov 19, 2014 1 comments
Dolby Atmos, the latest, “object-oriented” surround sound solution magicked up by the San Francisco technologists, has earned enough ink here and elsewhere that many of us are passingly familiar with it already. Briefly, then, object-oriented means that instead of panning discrete effects or overall mixes to left, center, right, or various surround channels, sound designers and producers can now direct sounds through a virtual listening space, letting the computer work out the details. Ultimately, of course, whether at the theater or at home, sounds still emanate from physical loudspeakers driven by physical amplifier channels, so there’s a certain amount of semantics at play here. But Atmos is scalable: A commercial theater can have as many as 64 discrete, individually addressable loudspeakers, including multiple “height” speakers in the ceiling.
Daniel Kumin Posted: Oct 06, 2007 0 comments

the listAudioControl is that rara avis, an American company that actually manufactures A/V electronics - carrying comparatively rational price tags - in the U.S. of A.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Apr 09, 2003 0 comments
Photos by Tony Cordoza For half a century, British speaker maker B&W has been very successful following a strategy of incrementally improving its designs year after year. Building on solid foundations is hard to argue with.
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Daniel Kumin Posted: Oct 12, 2015 4 comments
A return to live playing reiterates how far we have to go.
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Daniel Kumin Posted: Nov 09, 2015 1 comments
Our own Nostradamus on the perils of prognostication.
Daniel Kumin Posted: Feb 23, 2005 0 comments

Until some enterprising soul invents a software-defined virtual speaker, designers of real speakers will keep trying to make them less obtrusive. That's certainly the idea behind Boston Acoustics' P400, star of the company's Plasma Series.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Feb 16, 2009 0 comments
The Short Form
$4,000 (as tested) / BOSTONACOUSTICS.COM / 888-627-1444
Snapsho
Daniel Kumin Posted: Sep 08, 2014 3 comments

Bowers & Wilkins CM6 S2 Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value

Bowers & Wilkins ASW10 CM S2 Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE Price: $5,850 (CM6 S2, $1,000 each; CM Centre 2 S2, $1,250 each; CM1 S2, $550 each; ASW10 CM S2, $1,500)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Exceptional tonal balance
Superb sub/sat integration
Impressive bass extension from compact sub
Lovely design and finish

Minus
Expensive
No dipole/bipole surround option

THE VERDICT
Highly neutral and free of obvious coloration, invitingly listenable, and beautiful, the B&W CM S2s wear their substantial prices fairly.

B&W should need little introduction in these pages. The British loudspeaker-maker has been a force in serious audio repro practically since Noah’s flood (1965, actually), and here in the States have for two decades and more occupied an enviable market position straddling the highest of high-end to the almost-popularly-priced. So when a new generation of B&Ws take the stage, the audio world tends to pay attention, as we are doing here with the firm’s latest iteration of its next-most-affordable CM range. Named with typical British phlegm the CM S2, the new designs highlight a dozen or so interesting engineering refinements in driver, crossover, and cabinet designs (in particular a new “dual-dome” aluminum tweeter diaphragm claimed to push its resonance a half-octave or so higher, and thus extending its smooth reproducing range), but in typical B&W fashion show comparatively little in the way of visible changes.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Sep 26, 2014 1 comments

Mini T Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value

Mini T Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $8,881 (as tested)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Outstanding sonics and dynamic ability
Impressive bass extension from Mini-T alone
Made in Canada, not overseas
Minus
Requires substantial
amplifier power for best performance
Classic boxy designs won’t thrill everyone

THE VERDICT
They’re big, boxy, and expensive, but these speakers are world-class performers, top to bottom.

Bryston’s new Mini T loudspeakers spoke to me early, even before I’d fully wrestled them out of their imposing, oversized packaging. And what they said was, “We were designed by guys who don’t give a hamster’s hindquarters for new-age cosmetics, ‘breakthrough’ transducers, or 21st-century styling: We’re old school!”

For the record, Bryston Ltd.—based in the small Canadian city of Peterborough, an hour or so east of Toronto—has for decades produced some of the world’s preeminent power amplifiers (also preamps, surround processors, and even the odd integrated amp), impeccable performers built to a standard of brick-house quality seldom bettered, and warrantied accordingly. If you wanted vast reserves of current, bulletproof design, road-ready ruggedness, and genuine craftsmanship, Bryston fit the bill.

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