Photos by Tony Cordoza As I unpacked Athena Technologies' Audition Series home theater speakers, I recalled that Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom, reason, and purity. Was it wise and reasonable, I wondered, to expect purity of sound from a six-piece system that costs less than $1,500? If anyone could make such a system, though, I figured Athena could.
Have you been waiting for the high-resolution audio formats, Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio, to get their acts together? Have you, like me, said, "Format war? Bah! No flippin' way am I buying two more players just for these things! And it's for major sure I'm not spending a grand or two on a new combi-player!"
Photos by Tony Cordoza Not too long ago, a loyal Sound & Vision reader wrote complaining that the "audio/video" preamps and receivers we regularly review are really just plain-audio components with a few video inputs and switching thrown in. Point taken. So here's an A/V component with some actual video: the Rotel RSP-1098.
Photos by Tony Cordoza My old man told me I'd get nowhere trying to be all things to all people, but Denon appears to have done pretty well by flouting this adage with its new DVD-2900. (I always knew Dad was full of it.) It plays optical discs in just about every current video or audio flavor.
Your new A/V receiver's front panel seems friendly enough with its softly winking LEDs and ergonomic layout of buttons and knobs. But turn that sucker around, and you'll find a menacing thicket of jacks, terminals, and other connectors - some familiar, some not.
Homepage photo, remotes, and back panels by Tony Cordoza Sure, when it comes to A/V receivers, the $4,000 flagships get most of the attention in our fantasy lives, and the $399 loss-leaders get most of the play in the Sunday-paper circulars.
So you're shopping for a home theater speaker system and you've got between one and two grand to spend. Welcome to the jungle. This is one of the most densely populated and competitive price ranges in all of speakerland. The good news is that there's lots to choose from.
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.