Canadian audiophile speaker manufacturer Totem has a new in-wall and in-ceiling line called Totem Tribe. The ceiling mounted speaker caught my eye, as its angled woofer-tweeter-woofer array nicely aims at the listening area while three dual-stage passive radiators help extend bass performance down to 57 Hz. The sound of the single playing unit was remarkably alluring.
A new line of speakers from well respected PSB has just hit with some of the most beautiful finishes I've ever seen in an affordable speaker. Unfortunately, my pictures don't do them any justice, so you'll just have to use your, well, you know.
If you bought the $3,000 T 785 AVR from NAD and are bent out of shape because it doesn't do Dolby TrueHD or dts-HD MA in-processor decoding, or have Audyssey Volume Ausyssey EQ, cast your bitter stones aside. For $400, you can buy the upgradable card that was promised you when you tied the bond with this modular card based system. Ditto those seeking Sigma video processing ($965 for that upgrade).
Okay, you're probably not going to build a home theater around these "starting at $4,000 a piece" Italian designed ceramic, two-way hanging <strike>plants</strike> speakers, but be honest, they're cool!
A new, easy on the eyes system with classic bookshelf pedigree that will be affordable for almost anyone, from the $149/ea CS 26 bookshelf (top shelf, left or right end), to the floorstanding CS 226 ($249/ea). All speakers use one or more of the same 6-1/2" woofer and a single 1" Kortec softdome tweeter.
The new Vista line by Boston Acoustics may be hard to photograph, but they are stunning and come with end caps in variety of finishes (a striped "ebony" wood was beautiful). In common with all the speakers in the line is a new Super Wide Bandwidth tweeter which is capable of being crossed down as low as 2 kHz while retaining good horizontal dispersion, according to reps in the BA's booth. Pictured are the $3,398 a pair VS 336 floor standers (3-way, with three 6-1/2" drivers) and the $1,699 VPS 210 subwoofer (500 class D watts into a 10" driver / 10" passive). There's a 3 way center and an LCR as well that could be used as a center as well some smaller bookshelves in the line. Special red and Arctic white finishes are available for a 20% premium as well. Unfortunately, the demo material used was worthless for giving any impression on how they might sound.
Denon's DVP-602CI is playing to a small marketplace, but they're playing. This 6-in, 2-out HDMI unit may look like a simple switcher, but it can scale as well, up to 1080p. Why I'm showing you the business end of this unit instead of the face plate, is so you can see the two component (one RCA style, one BNC) inputs and the s-video and composite inputs that make this Denon capable of feeding everything to your video display via a single cable. Like I said, it's a niche player, but if you're in the market and have $2,499 to spare, look no further.
The SR-6003 and SR-5003 AVRs from Marantz have the latest in in-processor decoding. In addition, the 6003 is slightly more powerful (100 wpc x 7 verses 90 wpc x 7), has more HDMI capability (3-in 2-out verses 3-in 1-out), but they both get Audyssey Multi-EQ and Sirius and XMradio-readiness. Best of all, the top model is only $1,199 and the other only $799. You go Marantz! (feature placards to follow).