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Speaker Reviews

AV123 ELT 525 Surround Sound Speaker System

AV123 ELT 525 Surround Sound Speaker SystemTo say I was excited about the prospect of reviewing AV123’s new entry-level surround sound system is an understatement. For those that don’t know, AV123 is one of many companies that sell loudspeakers from their website only. The drawback is that one cannot audition the speakers before you purchase them. However, these companies usually offer an “audition period” where you can listen to them in the comfort of your own home without any pressure to buy as the company will refund 100% of your payment (these particular speakers carry a 3 year warranty with a 30 day trial period

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Earthquake Supernova MKVI 15" Subwoofer

earthquake-supernova-mk-6-subwoofer-teaser

Earthquake Sound, renown for powerful subwoofers, unleashes their Supernova MKVI, with its 15" driver, 15" passive radiator, and 600 watt amplifier. It will produce 110 dB at 15 Hz, and has low distortion. And did I mention it is in a not so huge enclosure?

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MK Sound M-5 5.1 Speaker System

MK-lead-in.jpgFor years, the letters “M” and “K” have been synonymous with high-quality professional and home audio. Miller and Kreisel, or M&K as the company was known pioneered the satellite + subwoofer speaker system concept. M&K speakers were well known in the entertainment industry as the choice among many big-name professional sound mixing studios, including Dolby Labs, DTS, Lucasfilm, THX, and Sony. Those are some serious bragging rights. But about two years ago, the company was struggling, and ended up going under, as they say. Today, the brand has re-emerged under the name MK Sound. MK Sound has brought back some of the stalwart technologies from M&K, as well as some new products too.

 

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MK Sound M Series Speakers

MK Sound M Series SpeakersThey’re baaaaack! A long time ago (1973 to be exact), Walter Becker of Steely Dan asked Ken Kreisel to design a reference subwoofer suitable for mixing their Pretzel Logic album. For more than three decades, Miller & Kreisel was the name in speakers for music and motion picture studios. M & K also developed a tremendously loyal following in consumer audio, the MK 150 series speakers in particular creating fanatical devotion among owners.

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THIEL CS3.7 Floor-Standing Speakers

THIEL CS3.7 Speakers

THIEL is one of the most well known and long lived high end loudspeaker companies. Jim Thiel founded Thiel Audio in 1976, building his company's reputation on speakers that are time and phase coherent. All of THIEL's full range loudspeakers have followed this recipe, including the new CS3.7. Where the CS3.7 differs is in its level of execution. The CS3.7 is almost double the price of the older CS3.6 model, and approaches or exceeds the price points of the larger CS5 and CS7 speakers of the past. While the speaker follows the same recipe as past THIEL models, it is reinvented in almost every way. For some (at least those who haven't heard it), the increased price was a big disappointment. I call this sour grapes for people who thought they could afford the CS3.7 but then had to realize they couldn't. The CS3.7 is worth every cent, and is a strong contender versus pretty much any full-range loudspeaker in the under-$20k price category.

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Definitive Technology Mythos STS Supertower Speakers

Definitive Technology Mythos STS Supertower Speakers

Definitive Technology made a big splash with the introduction of the innovative Mythos ST tower speaker back in 2007 - its sleek elegant design and proportions along with some serious technology and integral powered race-track shaped subwoofers made it an instant hit. And oh boy it sounded smooth! Of course this was nothing new for current President Sandy Gross who founded DT back in 1990 and introduced one successful speaker after another.

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Sunfire Cinema Ribbon CRM-2 Bookshelf Speakers

Sunfire Cinema Ribbon CRM-2 Bookshelf Surround Speakers

When I first heard about the Sunfire Cinema Ribbons, I was very intrigued with the product, as I own the 6' tall Carver Amazing Platinum IVs that are the acoustic benchmark the diminutive 8" tall Sunfire Cinema Ribbons are supposed to mimic. I have kept the Amazing Platinum IVs these last 19 years because I have not found a pair of stereo speakers under $10K that will outperform them in the areas of resolution, sound staging, bandwidth, and the ability to play at elevated levels with an extremely low level of distortion. The Cinema Ribbons use the same ribbon length as found in the Carver Amazings, and fold it so that it fits into a bookshelf size. How do they compare? Read Greg Mahoney's review and be enlightened.

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SVSound PB-12 Plus Subwoofer

SVSound PB-12 Plus Subwoofer

In today's economy, good value in audio is more important than ever. To that end SVSound (SVS) has created a line of subwoofers that address every possible need in home theater and music listening without breaking the budget. I recently spent some quality time with their big box model, the PB12-Plus. This superbly-built sub includes quality amplification, a sweet-sounding 12-inch driver and plenty of adjustability. I would venture to say that most bass issues can be resolved with the PB12's tuning and EQ controls.

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Velodyne Optimum-12 Subwoofer

Velodyne Optimum-12 Subwoofer

I remember marveling at the sound being produced by a pair of small bookshelf speakers during a recent visit to a local high-end dealer's shop. I asked the salesman, "The bass extension on these speakers is amazing for their small size. How do they do it?" "Technology" was his reply. I sat there stone faced for a second while the wheels turned. Great bass extension with useable output is still governed by the laws of Newtonian physics. Technology can't violate those laws. The designer must work within the framework of the laws to produce a design that will fulfill their objectives. Velodyne has worked within these laws to produce a compact subwoofer that will surprise you with its amazing bass output. Read more about what Jim Clements has to say.

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Aperion Audio Intimus 6T-DB Hybrid XD 5.1 Speaker System

Aperion Audio Intimus 6T-DB Hybrid XDWhen I was just getting started in hi-fi back in college, going to look for a new piece of equipment was both exciting, and annoying. Venturing out with a collection of CD’s to evaluate speakers at different shops would often lead to two results: salespeople that would totally ignore me based on my perceived age and income, or salespeople that would try to steer me away from the speakers I could reasonable afford to something far more expensive. In those rare cases that I found a store with a salesperson that actually respected that I wanted a nice set of speakers but did have limited funds and tried to help, I would return there later as my finanaces allowed.

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Aperion Audio Intimus 4T Hybrid SD Speakers

aperion-audio-intimus-4t-hybrid-sd-speakers-teaser.jpgThe question I am asked most often regarding stereo systems is “what speaker should I buy”? My answer is usually “the one that sounds best in your room”. If you have a good relationship with your local HiFi dealer, you just may be able to audition in your own home. Not all of the good speakers are sold in stores and sometimes to get the best value you need to purchase online. The problem is, you will have to at least pay shipping one way to get the speakers into your home. This can get pricey. What if you could audition in home, risk free? How about a ten year warranty? While we are at it, toss in a 100% credit trade up program.

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