Jared Rachwalski

Vancouver Audio Show 2016

Vancouver Audio Show 2016

This is the second time in recent years we have had the pleasure of an Audio show on the west coast of Canada. As it is a relatively new show the attendance for both exhibitors and attendees was on the low side. The quality of the equipment shown was certainly on the high side...

Bryston 28BSST2 Monoblock Power Amplifier

Lately I had been sampling the Bryston Mini T Bookshelf speakers with my reference amp, a modest Marantz Integrated, and though they matched well I wondered how they would fare with some serious Bryston power behind them. So when Bryston offered up some 28BSST2 's for review I had one stipulation: let me try them with the Mini T's.

Bryston Mini-T Monitor Speakers

Bryston has a long history of manufacturing high quality amplifiers and digital components. Their products come with an industry leading warranty, reference-level sound quality, and above average build quality. For years their electronics have been paired with high end speakers at various shows, Thiel, Magnepan, PMC and other serious loudspeaker manufactures have chosen Bryston electronics to showcase their sound so I was very interested to hear that they were producing their own speakers.

Surround Sound Systems: 5.1 or 7.1?

I'm going to be in the market for my first surround sound system. I was wondering if you know if what I'm looking for exists. I'm looking for a surround sound system that can be expanded to more speakers. Like a system that is a 5.1 surround that has ports to add an additional two speakers to make it a 7.1 surround. A kind of modular surround sound system. I'd love to get the 7.1 right away but if I can save some money right away with a 5.1 and maybe in 6 months or so add a couple speakers that would be the best.

- Bill Russell
Bismarck, ND

Frugel-Horn Mk3 – DIY Flat-pack Speaker Kit

It is surprisingly easy to build a high performance speaker for considerably less than purchasing a commercial product. All it takes is a few inexpensive tools, the right plans, a little time and patience. Even for those with little to no construction aptitude. So what to do if you're like me and are able to screw up the most basic home improvement projects, yet still desire to build your own speakers? Answer: Flat-Pack speaker kits.

Parasound New Classic 5250v.2 Multi-Channel Power Amplifier

Parasound builds many audio products such as amps, tuners, preamps, and products for custom installations. As well their products can be found in many movie studios, including Lucasfilm and Pixar, you can even see their name in the credits for Star Wars. As well they are known for their highly regarded stereo products designed by John Curl. Their New Classic line has been around for many years and Parasound has released an updated five channel amplifier from this line, named the 5250v.2 which is a powerful and rugged THX Ultra-2 Five channel amplifier.

Thiel MCS1 LCR Speakers

Thiel Audio has been designing and building loudspeakers for over 30 years. The 1978 Model 03 was one of the first multi-driver speakers to utilize a time and phase accurate design. This has been at the heart of all Thiel designs ever since, and is consistently found throughout their product line. This is a lofty and difficult design choice which, when done right, can provide an enveloping and realistic musical presentation. In this review, we take a look at the Thiel MCS1, which is a monitor speaker that could be used in an LCR configuration.

MartinLogan 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System

I remember the first time I saw a pair of MartinLogan electrostatic speakers. It was 1993 and I was still in high-school, shopping for a new car stereo. And then I saw them, a pair of tall ominous black panels. I was immediately intrigued by the strange looking panel. Asking for a demonstration, I was politely refused, who would think a teenager with a scratched rap CD fresh off the car audio demo system could afford (or even appreciate) such a speaker? Here, we review a 5.1 set of MartinLogans, consisting of the Summit X as the front speakers, Vista as the rear surround, Stage as the center channel, and Descent i subwoofer.

Bryston 9B SST2 Multi-channel Amplifier

Bryston is known for building some of the most sought-after, powerful and dependable amplifiers in the business. For over 40 years, they have provided an incredible 20 year transferable warranty, practically unheard of in this or any industry. If you find one (that is if you can find one) on the used market, chances are it will still be under warranty. Their rare appearance on the used market has as much to do with their sound quality and dependable (high) power delivery as it does with their warranty. Here, we review their 9B SST2, which is a five-channel (5 x 140 watts) power amplifier.