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Speaker Reviews

Paradigm Shift A2 Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Paradigm Shift A2s

The Active Atom booksehlf speaker, or A2 to be hip, is part of a new sub-brand dubbed Paradigm Shift. Back in 1997 Paradigm had a line of powered speakers derived from their then recently launched...

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Polk RTiA 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System

Polk RTiA Home Theater System

Founded in 1972 by Matt Polk, George Klopfer, and Sandy Gross, Polk Audio has always strived to deliver natural, full-range sound at a competitive price. While no longer run by the founders...

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Crystal Acoustics TX-B1 Bookshelf Speakers

Crystal Acoustics TX-B1 Bookshelf Speakers

Crystal Acoustics is an on-line company that manufactures speakers, media players, and other accessories. Their top-of-the-line speaker is priced at $33,000/pair, which is very unusual in the on-line speaker business. Fortunately, for the majority of us, they also make very affordable speakers, some of which we have reviewed. The current review examines the TX-B1, which is a bookshelf speaker that has the woofer in the main enclosure, and a completely separate (but attached) enclosure for the tweeter. It has a very high quality sound, is well constructed, and sells for only $349/pair.

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Martin Logan Theos Hybrid Electrostatic Speakers

Martin Logan Theos Hybrid Electrostatic Speakers

At the CEDIA Expo in 2010, Martin Logan was giving one of the first demonstrations of their new Theos electrostatic speakers (ESLs) for the press and dealers. Though the conditions at shows are often less than optimal, when seated in the sweet spot of the room, the experience was nothing short of amazing. Sounds came from all around, causing me to check and make sure that there were no surround speakers setup in addition to the Theos.

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KEF Q300 Bookshelf Speakers

KEF Q300 Bookshelf speakers

KEF recently introduced an all new Uni-Q driver. The Q300's are the largest bookshelf models in the "All New Q Series" speaker line. Will KEF be able to further their reputation as a high value brand with the all-new Q300's?

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Boston Acoustics A Series 5.1 Home Theater Speakers

Boston Acoustics A Series Home Theater Speakers

Boston Acoustics has a well deserved reputation for delivery good sounding and musical speakers at reasonable prices. The very first pair of speakers I owned were Boston Acoustics. It was such a long time ago I can't remember the model number. All I recall are small bookshelf speakers in black ash. Sound wise they stood out at the time as the only speakers I could afford that sounded like music. The Boston Acoustic A Series set of 5.1 speakers is reviewed here.

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B&W CM8 Tower Speakers

B&W CM8 Bookshelf speakers

Bowers and Wilkins (B&W) recently made the bold move to sell their products through Magnolia and Best Buy. Adding big box retailers in addition to specialty retailers is quite a step from a brand surround by "audiophile" credentials. Few speakers have as much universal respect as B&W speakers. One of their new models is the CM8 Floor-stander (tower), which is reviewed here.

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A 'First Look' at the Paradigm Series 7 Mini Monitor Speakers

A 'First Look' at the Paradigm Series 7 Mini Monitor Speakers

CEDIA EXPO 2011 is right around the corner, and among products being highlighted this year by Paradigm is the 7th generation of their legendary Monitor series speakers. A pair of Mini-Monitors from this new iteration was rushed to us for comment. What follows are our first impressions (a full review will be published at a later date).

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LG LHB336 Home Theater System (Blu-ray Player, Receiver, Speakers, and Subwoofer)

LG LHB336 Home Theater System

Last year I reviewed the LG LHB535, a full-featured Home Theater-in-a-Box Blu-ray system. I felt it performed pretty well and offered a lot of features for the price. Wait until you see what the LG LHB336 offers, for $399.

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Magnepan Magneplanar MG 1.7 Flat Panel Quasi-Ribbon Full Range Speakers

Magnepan Magneplanar MG 1.7 Flat Panel Quasi-Ribbon Full Range Speakers

Probably 99% of the speakers in the world have drivers in a box, aka, an enclosure, either ported or sealed. Flat panel speakers don't have enclosures, other than the frame. The drivers consist of thin metal ribbons, or thin metal conductors attached to thin plastic ribbons (called "quasi-ribbon"), thin plastic sheets (i.e., larger than ribbons) with conductors running in narrow loops up and down, and thin plastic sheets suspended between perforated metal sheets called stators (electrostatic speakers). In the case of ribbons, there are permanent magnets close to the ribbons, and the music signal passes through the ribbons, creating a magnetic field that pulls or pushes the ribbon back and forth to create the music. Magnepan is a manufacturer of flat panel speakers, and in the past, at least one of the drivers was a large surface with the conductors running in loops. Perhaps their most popular model of recent years was the Magneplanar MG 1.6. At $2,000/pair, this was nirvana for flat-panel speaker aficionados. They now have announced the MG 1.6's replacement, the MG 1.7, which is the subject of this review.

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Klipsch Reference II 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System

klipsch-fig1-teaser

At last year's CEDIA Expo in Atlanta, Klipsch set up their demo in a room that was more than just a little bit off the beaten path. Undaunted, I was able to find my way there and boy was I glad that I took the extra time to seek them out! The Klipsch Group, Inc. owns a total of four speaker companies – Klipsch, Jamo, Mirage and Energy. Each company had some new products on display. In this review, we take a look at the Klipsch Reference II 5.1 Speaker System, which includes RF-82 II floor-standers (towers) as the Mains, an RC-62 II Center, RS-52 II Surrounds, and SW-311 Subwoofer.

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