Paradigm has designed the Monitor SE Speaker Series to bring their signature sound quality to the budget-minded audio enthusiast. Much of the technology that goes into their high-end Persona series has trickled down into the Monitor SEs, such as the X-PAL™ Pure-Aluminum Dome Tweeters with exclusive Perforated Phase-Aligning (PPA™) Lens.
Center Channel Speakers
The Dynaudio Excite line has been thoroughly updated for 2014. On hand for review is a fantastic sounding surround system anchored by the flagship Excite X38 towers, the bookshelf Excite X14s for use as surround channels, and the Excite X24 center channel speaker.
Bowers and Wilkin's (B&W) is a name that anyone even casually interested in audio and speaker manufacturers will undoubtedly know. With their distinctive look and stellar reputation, B&W speakers have found their way not just into many home audio set-ups, but also of the world's most iconic professional recording studios (raise your hand if you've seen the picture of an array of B&W speakers and Classé electronics at Abbey Road studios). Despite having known of B&W for as long as I've been involved in this field, I have personally had little experience with the speakers directly. I was therefore excited to have the opportunity to evaluate the B&W's 805 Diamond bookshelf and HTM4 center channel speaker and I am eager to pass along my thoughts.
MartinLogan is most famous for their electrostatic speakers (ESLs). I remember many years ago hearing their full-range model and was astonished at the transparency. Since that time, they have produced ESLs of varying sizes, and in "hybrid" form, meaning that a cone woofer takes care of the low frequencies, which smaller ELS panels cannot reproduce. When home theater became a prominent market, they released the Stage, which used a dome tweeter, ESL panel for the midrange, and cone woofers. The newest iteration of the Stage line is the Stage X, which has a thin film tweeter (called "Folded Motion" by MartinLogan). This type of tweeter is part of the flat panel family of speakers, which includes ESLs, Ribbons, and Planar Magnetic speakers. So, with the Stage X, the high frequencies and midrange are now handled by flat panel technology.