Right On! Page 5

The Bottom Line

The Atlantic Technology FS-3200 and Klipsch RVX-42 systems sound very good, and their stylish, compact designs will add to the on-wall elegance of a big LCD or plasma TV. Between the two, the Atlantic system sounded a bit smoother and more accurate, while the Klipsch exhibited warmth that some listeners may even prefer. Magnepan's Magneplanar MC1 system is a special case. If you have a bit of audiophile in you, and don't mind that the front speakers aren't visually as well tailored to today's flat-panel TVs, then you owe yourself a listen. (And don't forget to budget for a really good subwoofer.)

Freestanding speaker systems are still the performance champs and usually offer better value. But if the siren song of a sexy, space-saving on-wall setup has you in its grasp, don't fight it, because you won't be giving up much in terms of performance. If I could have the home theater of my dreams, instead of the perpetually cluttered disaster area of my reality, I'd give in, too.

In the Lab

All of the speakers in this text exhibited predictable behavior during measurements and showed no problematic aberrations. The Atlantic Technology FS-3200 LR was notable for tightly controlled directivity, and its frequency response was characterized by a slight midrange elevation between 1 and 2.5 kHz, a mild notch at 3kHz, and falling response in the top octave.

The response of the Klipsch RVX-42 was characterized by falling low frequencies below 80 Hz, an elevation between 500 Hz and 15 kHz, a dip at kHz, and some roughness at higher frequencies.

The bottom end of Magnepan's MC1 dipole panel rolled off significantly below 160 Hz, its meaningful bass limit. Minimum impedance measured under 5 ohms below 200 Hz and above 10 kHz, which could be an issue with some amplifiers not designed to drive low-impedance loads.

Click to see a PDF of the full lab report, including graphs of frequency response and measurements of impedance, sensitivity, and bass limits.